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Looking Backward

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The north

10 years ago

Dec. 7, 2002: Cameras and other gadgets will be a critical but limited tool as the United States and Canada step up security on their border, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said Friday. Following a report that border security cameras in the state of Washington fail regularly, Mr. Ridge said that such mishaps are to be expected and that the government cannot rely exclusively on new technology. “It’s not fail-safe technology,” he told reporters at the White House.

25 years ago

Dec. 7, 1987: The proposed extension of city bus service to the Salmon Run Mall at the outside edge of the city has the support of senior citizens, many of whom seem ready to hop a bus to the mall if the City Council approves the service. But the city of Watertown and the Salmon Run Mall have yet to strike an agreement to make that service a reality.

50 years ago

Dec. 7, 1962: Guy Lombardo, nationally prominent bandleader and speedboat racer, disclosed here today after a concert at Watertown High School that he has a new Gold Cup class boat on order for delivery about March and will return to circuit racing competition in the 1963 season, and is interested in future speedboat racing on 30-mile-long international Lake St. Lawrence between the Iroquois and Moses-Saunders dams.

75 years ago

Dec. 7, 1937: Watertown High School’s football team will play two games in Clearwater, Fla., during the Christmas holidays, it was announced this morning by William I. Graf, director of athletics at the high school.

100 years ago

Dec. 7, 1912: Civil engineers of the St. Lawrence division of the New York Central have completed their survey of the track conditions between Watertown and Syracuse and declare that between eight and 10 weeks of track work will be sufficient to connect the sidings upon all stations that will allow for a high-speed train. The trip between the cities will take only 100 minutes.

125 years ago

Dec. 7, 1887: Editors L.G. Chase, of the Carthage Republican, and William B. Kesler of the Carthage Tribune are in the city, called here by the libel suit that was set down on the day calendar for today, in which the former is defendant.

150 years ago

Dec. 7, 1862: Reports have been put in circulation in some parts of the county, that the price of the Weekly Reformer has been raised to $2 a year. It is hardly necessary to say they are entirely unfounded. We still continue to take $1.24 for a year’s subscription — too little, we know, and if white paper should go still higher we may be obliged to raise the price above these figures. But when we do we shall give due notice to our readers.

The world

Today is Friday, Dec. 7, the 342nd day of 2012. There are 24 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as part of its plan to conquer Southeast Asian territories; the raid, which claimed some 2,400 American lives, prompted the United States to declare war against Japan the next day.

Ten years ago: Iraq handed over its long-awaited arms declaration to the United Nations, denying it had doomsday weapons. President Saddam Hussein grudgingly apologized to Kuwait for his 1990 invasion. Shuttle Endeavour returned to Earth, bringing an astronaut and pair of cosmonauts home from a six-month space station voyage. Bombs tore through four movie theaters in Bangladesh, killing 19. Miss Turkey Azra Akin won the Miss World contest in London, bringing to a close an international pageant that had incited deadly rioting in Nigeria, the original site of the event.

Five years ago: Congressional Democrats demanded a full Justice Department investigation into whether the CIA had obstructed justice by destroying videotapes documenting the harsh 2002 interrogations of two alleged terrorists. Two window washers fell 47 stories from a Manhattan skyscraper when their scaffolding failed; Edgar Moreno was killed, but his brother, Alcides, miraculously survived.

Thought for Today: “No nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace or insure it victory in time of war.” — President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933).

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