Retrospective — Oct. 12

Twenty years ago — 1997

An effort to keep the lights shining at the Dunkirk Lighthouse is now under way. The Dunkirk facility is among eight Great Lakes lighthouses that would be shut down under a plan by the United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has decided the lighthouses are not needed as operational aids any longer due to advancements in radar, satellite navigation systems and modern pole-mounted lights. However, instead of shutting the lights out, the Coast Guard has decided to seek proposals for a local group to operate the lighthouse as a private aid to navigation. While the Coast Guard maintains the light in the Dunkirk tower, the veterans park and museum at the Dunkirk Lighthouse are operated by a local non-profit group.

Thirty years ago — 1987

The world’s largest pancake was cooked in Penn Yan before a crowd of 5,000 — many of whom got to eat the 28-foot, 1-inch buckwheat hotcake slathered in butter and maple syrup. Despite a few giant holes, the Birkett Mills claimed the world for the monstrous pancake because it was edible and flipped over on a griddle containing 15 gallons of PAM cooking oil. The batter, some 2,000 pounds of buckwheat and 2,000 gallons of water, was poured out of a new cement mixer. The jumbo flapjack was flipped over about an hour later by a 75-ton construction crane.

Forty years ago — 1977

Dr. Walter S. Hartley, professor of music at Fredonia State University College, has been named a recipient of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Standard Award for Serious Music. The amount of the award is $2,000. This marks the 16th consecutive year that Dr. Hartley has won this award.

Fifty years ago — 1967

Claims totaling $20,000 were filed against the Dunkirk Board of Education for an incident that occurred July 25 at 8:45 p.m. on the School 7 playground. Filed on behalf of Romaine Ann Sobecki, 11, of 102 Warsaw St., Dunkirk the claim states that the girl “was playing on the monkey bars at the playground and she was forcibly grabbed and pulled by both legs by the playground attendant, causing her to strike the bars and the ground.”