Twenty years ago — 1997

An idea whose time has come — a long overdue tribute to Americans who helped win World War II, a war that has been called the defining event of the 20th century. That is the proposed World War II Memorial, planned to be built on the Mall in Washington, D.C., where other monuments, such as those to Washington and Lincoln, currently hold places of honor. The proposed memorial’s purpose is to provide similar recognition to the veterans who fought to defend freedom during those dark years that stretched from 1941 to 1945 and those on the homefront who contributed to the war’s effort. The estimated cost is $100 million.

Thirty years ago — 1987

Chautauqua County Social Services Commissioner Charles Ferraro relates that he was absolutely astounded when a “workfare” letter telling certain people receiving food stamps assistance to comply with a workfare directive drew what appears to be a 100 percent compliance. Toward the end of September, the letters went out to 457 people now getting food stamps but no other welfare benefits. The letter told them they had to register with the Private Industry Council for job evaluation and assistance in locating work or else lose their benefits. All 457 complied.

Forty years ago — 1977

The following is a letter to the editor by Anthony Privitera of Fredonia: Editor, OBSERVER: Incredible as it may be, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson allegedly offered the following statement to a news reporter regarding the knee injury to his star running back O.J. Simpson: “The loss of O.J. reminds me of something that happened in the past. It was two days after the bomb was dropped at Hiroshima. I was there and the feeling I had then is the same as I have today.” Seventy-eight thousand people were killed in that attack. Such compassion, Mr. Wilson, is truly touching.

Fifty years ago — 1967

Mayor Joseph J. Steger, recently re-elected to a fifth term in office, will be the “fall guy” at the banquet and show presented by the Bluch Landolf tent of the Circus Saints and Sinners. Mayor Steger will be both roasted and honored.