Fri | Aug 18, 2017

It happened this week in 1972

Published:Thursday | January 7, 2016 | 1:00 AM
Richard M. Nixon
Robert Lightbourne
Robert Lightbourne
Forbes Burnham
Cheddi Jagan
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Sunday, January 2

Ireland's first church on wheels, complete with Gothic-style coachwork, a pulpit and a fold-away spire, is ready for service. It was built for Baptist preacher the Rev Robert Dunlop, who calls it a 'churchmobile'. Dunlop, who is pastor of the village church at Brannockstown in County Kildare, will use the 40-seat vehicle to hold services in the more remote corners of his scattered parish.

New Year truces called by both sides brought a relative lull to the fighting in the Vietnam War, but the Saigon and United States commands accused the Communists of at least 35 violations of the ceasefire, and said 21 South Vietnamese had been killed.

The South Vietnamese added that the violations, both of a 24-hour government truce which expired at dusk and the overlapping Viet Cong three-day truce which ends after midnight, cost the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong 45 combat deaths.

The US command in its daily military communiquÈ said three of the 35 violations affected their troops although none of the incidents - a mortar attack on a truck convoy in the north of the country and two shooting attacks on two helicopters - caused casualties or damage.

Monday, January 3

All barristers and solicitors became attorneys-at-law. Fusion of both branches of the legal profession is now a reality. The Legal Profession Act, 1971, went into full force and effect. A great change in the practice of the law in Jamaica has taken place with the intervention of Parliament. From as far back as 1963, a committee of the House of Representatives and the Senate was appointed to consider the matter of fusion. In February 1963, the House unanimously agreed that both branches of the legal profession should be amalgamated and that the necessary provisions for carrying this into effect should be worked out. This act created history in one particular, namely, it amended a certain section of the Constitution, that is, Section 111.

As part of its plan to improve family-planning services throughout Jamaica, the National Family Planning Board opened 11 clinics. These clinics will operate on a full-time basis and will be staffed by nurses specially trained to undertake the entire management of the clinics. They are located in capital towns except for St Mary, where the full-time clinic will be in Annotto Bay. The Beth Jacobs Clinic in St Ann's Bay will continue as the full-time family planning clinic for St Ann. Meanwhile, arrangements are continuing for the parishes of St James and St Thomas.

No upward adjustment of the prices of imported foods from the United States, because of increased freight charges will be permitted here, Minister of Trade and Industry Robert Lightbourne announced. Lightbourne issued a statement in connection with a reported increase in shipping rates for container cargo coming to Jamaica from US ports.

Tuesday, January 4

Dr Kurt Waldheim of Austria started his new job as United Nations Secretary General and one of his first appointments - at his own request - was with United States Ambassador George Bush.

Twenty-three hemisphere nations received allocations of special drawing rights from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), designed to assist them in balance-of-trade problems. The allocation, computed at 10.6 per cent of their IMF quota of general drawing rights, is the third since 1969, when the new special drawing rights was authorised. The allocations to some hemisphere recipients were made to: Argentina US$46,640,000, Barbados US$1,378,000, Bolivia US$3,922,000, Guyana US$2,120,000, Haiti US$2,014,000, Honduras $2,650,000, and Jamaica US$5,618,000 (about JS4.3 million).

Wednesday, January 5

Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) President Percival A. Broderick issued a warning to Minister of Trade and Industry Robert Lightbourne to explain more about Europe Economic Community (EEC) association before leading the country into it.

Speaking at a JAS meeting, Broderick called the attention of delegates to a news item published earlier in the week which quoted Lightbourne as saying, "Jamaica, along with other developing countries of Africa and the Caribbean, has been offered a choice of links with the EEC covering a Yaounde or Arusha type of association, or trade agreement."

Thursday, January 6

The wreckage of an airliner, missing since Christmas Eve with 92 persons on-board, was located in the north-central Peruvian jungles - but there was no sign of any passenger and crew reported to have survived the crash. Air force planes spotted the split fuselage of the turboprop Lockheed Electra after following instructions given by a 17-year-old West German girl survivor, who miraculously escaped with only a fractured collarbone and cuts.

The girl, Juliane Margaret Koepeke, told authorities that several others were alive after the crash. She had spent eight days aboard a river raft of tree branches and bushes she made herself to go in search of help. Two peasants found her suffering from exhaustion and hunger on the Seboya River near its confluence with the Patichea River, not far from the jungle town of Tournavista.

President Nixon gave the green light to the development of a US$5.5-billion space shuttle that will carry four men aloft like a rocket and, after an orbital flight of up to 30 days, return to earth like an airplane. Nixon conferred at the Western White House with James Fletcher, administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and studied a model of the strange vehicle, which is expected to be ready before 1980. The craft looks something like a modern jet airplane. It would go aloft riding piggyback on huge booster rockets and disposable fuel tanks. After completing an orbital mission only, the airplane section would remain in the sky and would fly back to earth, making a conventional airport landing.

Friday, January 7

A California commuter flight was hijacked to Cuba by a woman with a baby and a man with a shotgun. The hijackers ordered the Pacific Southwest Airlines jet be flown to Havana after a stop at Tampa, Florida, where they vainly sought a plane capable of taking them to Africa.

In all, the 2,200-mile cross-country odyssey of the Boeing 727 Jetliner took 9.5 hours.

Authorities said the hijack began when a black man jumped out of his seat, grabbed a stewardess by her ponytail, jammed a shotgun in her back and forced her to accompany him to the cockpit.

Meanwhile, his female companion held a pistol on the passengers with one hand and cradled the baby with the other.

The hijackers let the 134 passengers off the plane at Los Angeles, along with a steward. The pilot and eight other airline employees made the trip across the country and on to Cuba.

Saturday, January 8

Guyana's Opposition Leader Dr Cheddi Jagan said recent changes in the hierarchy of the national army were clear indications of the sinister intentions of the government to establish a police state.

Dr Jagan told a press conference that Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, in his capacity as defence minister, had retired four senior officers, promoted Lt Col Clarence Price to brigadier, and appointed Major Ulric Pilgrim as the new commander of the force.

He said the government had been blatantly racially and politically discriminating in its recruitment, appointment and promotion of personnel in the country's security forces over the past six years.

Dr Jagan said when it suits the government, the claim is made that it has no power constitutionally over appointments and promotions. But in practice, the Constitution is violated in keeping with the intentions of making the governmental apparatus a People's National Congress apparatus.