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Dairymen dumped milk during 1931 milk war

1911 - A 'visitation of Gypsies' was in Gresham 100 years ago and The Outlook spoke rather politically incorrectly about the visitors, 'some in rags, some in velvet gowns.'

Their presence caused the city recorder to point out that there was a heavy penalty in Gresham for fortune telling without a license.

One young woman entered a local housewife's kitchen and negotiated a fortune telling session for a payment of bread and butter.

1921 - Ninety years ago, with World War I long over, the flag-draped coffins of American soldiers were still being shipped home. An Outlook photo showed row after row of coffins being prepared at Antwerp. In Seaside, the sea wall and promenade was finished along the beachfront.

And on Mount Hood, stiff fines were imposed for campers who went off and left campfires burning. The law levied a fine of $5 to $100, 50 days in jail or both.

1931 - The 'milk wars' were under way in the Portland-Gresham area 80 years ago as dairymen fought for stabilization of milk prices, dumping their milk in ditches rather than selling it cheap. Clark County farmers formed a barricade on the Interstate against those hauling milk into Portland and held up a banner declaring, 'They shall not pass.'

1941 - Frank Spangler of Gresham traveled across the country 70 years ago to visit his old mess sergeant, who was supposed to have died in a troop train wreck in Arkansas during World War I. Spangler realized his sergeant wasn't dead when he recognized the voice of NBC singer 'Smiling' Ed McConnell on the radio. McConnell had indeed been declared dead in the train wreck after officers worked over him for two hours, Spangler said. 'Then a solider stepped on a charged wire with wet shoes, and this current started McConnell's heart beating.'

1951 - A new law went into effect 60 years ago, permitting retailers to sell colored margarine. Previously, the dairy industry, trying to protect butter, had managed to prevent the sales of margarine in any other but it's native state, pasty white.

Housewives were forced to whip a colored capsule into their margarine to make it look like butter, or in some cases flex a margarine bag until a capsule inside burst and then knead the product until it achieved a butter-like hue.

1961 - Vice President Lyndon Johnson was considering backing out of a promised appearance at the Multnomah County Democratic picnic 50 years ago. Johnson was working on President John F. Kennedy's foreign aid program and feared he would not have time to make the trip to Oregon.

1971 - Benjamin Franklin Savings and Loan announced plans to build a replica Governor's Palace, similar to the real thing in Williamsburg, Va., on the corner of East Powell Boulevard and North Roberts Avenue 40 years ago. It's still there.

1981 - The housing market was slow 30 years ago too. Tony and Sheenagh Lees of Troutdale wanted to sell their $79,950 house and move to Houston to a new job. With no buyers, they decided to throw in something extra, a 1980 Toyota Celica.

1991 - Gussie McRobert, then mayor of Gresham, was mad about a proposed county tax increase on business and was talking about secession from Multnomah County 20 years ago. There was a swimming ban at Blue Lake where a mysterious illness was making kids sick.

2001 - David Topham of Southeast 168th Avenue built a 5-ton trimaran in his back yard and 10 years ago saw it lifted out of the yard with a crane and taken to the Columbia River.

2010 - At this time last year, former Barlow High School choir members were tuning up for a return of their beloved choir teacher, J. Robert Barber. They had a gathering, they sang, he conducted. Barber died this year at the age of 88.

Researched and compiled from The Outlook files.