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Smithfield, RI Weather

50 Years Ago August, 1968

By Jim Ignasher

A plaque citing Smithfield’s Cranford Club for their “loyal and dedicated service” provided to the patients at Zambarano Hospital in Burrillville over the previous five years was hung in a place of honor in the waiting room at the hospital.

The Cranford Club of Smithfield was a local charitable organization established by Miss Orra A. Angel on October 30, 1905. It was initially a women’s organization with eight charter members, and quickly grew to twenty-five members, and was eventually capped at seventy-five.

According to a history of the club published in 1930, “The name “Cranford”, a name which the late Rev. James Colwell, rector of St. Thomas Church and Superintendent of Smithfield schools, was wont to ascribe to our quiet village, was derived from the classic “Cranford”, and suggested by Mrs. Henry F. Jenckes.”

The organization was active in community affairs as well as providing for the patients at Zambarano Hospital until it disbanded in the 1980s.

U.S. Army PFC Michael Keach of Greenville returned home after serving in Vietnam. Meanwhile, his brother John P. Keach was serving in the navy aboard the U.S.S. Fiske.

David A. Bann of Georgiaville was home on leave from the navy.

U.S. Navy Ensign Andrew H. Aitken of Greenville graduated flight training.

On August 3, United Artists released the movie “Hang ‘Em High”, starring Clint Eastwood. Eastwood played an innocent man who survived a lynching and is later appointed a U.S. Marshal.

The Farnum Heights Association elected new officers. John J. Sasso was elected president; Donald Provonsil was elected vice president; Gertrude Sasso was elected secretary; and John Palumbo was elected treasurer.

A proposal was made to merge the Greenville and Esmond post offices and call it the Smithfield Post Office. Apparently there was great confusion with postal addresses at the time between Smithfield’s villages, as well as those in the neighboring villages of North Scituate, Chepachet, and the town of Lincoln. History has shown that the merger never took place.

The Steere Family Association held its 36th annual reunion.

Residents of Hawthorne Road in Greenville’s “Olde Smithfield Village” held their first annual block party, while residents of the Maplewoods neighborhood held a clam bake.

There was a time when television sets resembled large pieces of furniture. One local merchant advertised a Zenith 23 inch color TV console with dual speakers for $589.95, and a swivel base model for $569.95. Both had “modern styling” with “oil finished walnut veneers.” Those old enough to remember these behemoths will recall that it took two people to move them around. And they didn’t come with remotes either.

On August 19, NASA announced that a lunar landing was possible for 1969.

On August 21 the annual water carnival was held at Georgiaville Beach. Youths who’d participated in the town sponsored swimming classes since June 24th had the opportunity to compete in various events to demonstrate the skills they’d learned. Trophies were awarded to Richard Blanchard, David La Fond, Andrea Petit, Blake Ricci, David Hendrickson, and David Petit.

A national dry cleaning chain, of which there was a franchise in Greenville, held a national “back to school sweepstakes”. All one needed to do to enter was to visit the store and fill out an entry form. The grand prize was a brand new 1969 Chevrolet Bel Air station wagon. Second prizes included four Magnavox color TV stereos. Third prizes included fifty portable tape recorders. Fourth prizes included one-hundred-fifty sets of encyclopedias, and one-thousand Shaeffer pen and pencil sets would be given away as fifth prizes.

On August 26, the song “Hey Jude” by the Beatles was released in the U.S. It went on to become a number one hit.