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Stories of the Past: Tuesday, February 19, 2002

February 19, 2002

>>50 years ago — A Marine fighter pilot leaped to safety from his flaming plane that crashed into a plowed field six miles southeast of El Centro and exploded. The pilot was identified as Capt. George Cullins. It was reported he suffered a broken leg in landing from a low-level parachute jump.

>>40 years ago — Imperial Valley's first Safety Economic Run started with 43 high school students from seven high schools taking part. The route of the run was 113.8 miles. The purpose of the run was to emphasize the relationship between safe and economical driving.

>>30 years ago — The drive to underwrite the Central Union High School band trip to Mexico City has topped the $15,000 mark, with the next major fund-raising event scheduled Sunday. Proceeds of the drive stand at $15,105.94. The goal is $25,000 — the amount needed to finance the trip by the 120 bandsmen and a couple dozen chaperones who will accompany them to compete in the band festival in Mexico's capital city.

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>>20 years ago — After 30 years as county clerk, Harry Free announced Thursday he will not seek another term in June. His current term runs until January 1983. Free said months ago he would retire if the county Board of Supervisors didn't get him upset. His wife, Ruth, has been pressuring him to retire. Free will be 68 in November.

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