Retrospective

Twenty years ago — 1999

In the biggest personal injury award in U.S. history, a jury ordered General Motors Corp. to pay $4.9 billion to six people severely burned when the gas tank of their 1979 Malibu exploded in flames in a rear-end collision. The verdict came after a 10-week state court trial in California that focused on an internal GM study. The plaintiffs’ lawyers said the study demonstrated that GM had known for years that the tanks were unsafe, but found it cheaper to pay for lawsuits than to pay for a recall.

Thirty years ago — 1989

Dunkirk High School senior pitcher/first baseman Bob Krzyzanowicz has signed an athletic scholarship to attend Crowder College in Neosho, Mo. Crowder had two players chosen in this year’s baseball free agent draft. Bob holds the school record for wins in a season, with 11 as a junior. He also had 14 consecutive hits as a junior. He will play as an all-star from the east coast and will travel to Japan and Hawaii this month.

Forty years ago — 1979

Highlighting this year’s Fredonia Sesquicentennial Celebration held the weekend of July 13-15 was a balloon rally, a wine and cheese party, the sesquicentennial ball, a champagne ball and the big band sound of the Joe Strada Orchestra. Eleven hot air balloons were set up in the village. A wine and cheese party at the White Inn welcomed balloon pilots and special guests of the centennial committee.

Fifty years ago — 1969

Apollo 11, carrying three astronauts and the dreams of humanity, blasted off for the moon July 16 on an historic voyage to place the footprints of man in the dust of an alien world. Command pilot Neil Armstrong and his crewmen, Michael Collins and Edwin Aldrin, thundered into space at 9:32 EDT. If all goes well, they will become the first men ever to set foot on the moon on July 19.

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