Russian-American Igor Sikorsky, shown in 1914, flies the first four-engine aircraft on May 13, 1913. Wikipedia

Looking backward

The north

10 years ago

May 13, 2012: Louisville Town Supervisor Larry R. Legault said he will draft a letter for the New York Power Authority and state Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation asking them to grant jurisdiction of Croil Island to the municipality. The island is currently owned by the New York Power Authority but falls under the jurisdiction of the parks office, which placed signs on the island last year placing restrictions on activities on the island.

25 years ago

May 13, 1997: The Watertown area cost of living was 2.5 percent higher than the national average for 311 urban areas surveyed in October by the American Chamber of Commerce Research Association. In New York, Watertown had the fourth-lowest cost of living score of nine areas surveyed. New York-Manhattan was the highest and Buffalo-Niagara Falls was lowest.

50 years ago

May 13, 1972: The New York State 50-cent lottery will take center stage in Watertown June 22 when the weekly drawing is conducted at the new State Office building on Washington Street. The drawing will be the first in the north district in the five-year history of the lottery, which for most of its existence relied on the sale of one dollar tickets and only recently shifted to the 50-cent variety.

75 years ago

May 13, 1947: The R. T. Vanderbilt company, New York city, is expected to begin mining for talc in the Balmat area in the near future, it was disclosed at Gouverneur yesterday. The Vanderbilt company will undertake the mining of the mineral of the McLear property near Sylvia lake, comprising more than 200 acres.

100 years ago

May 13, 1922: The increased number of automobiles in Watertown and Jefferson county has caused the police department to be confronted with the serious problem of successfully handling the traffic and parking during the summer months. Already the traffic is much larger than at any time in the history of Watertown and city officials are making arrangements to provide for the parking of the machines.

125 years ago

May 13, 1897: There was a party of young men in Carthage, up from Watertown last evening who were making noise enough that they seemed to think it was Jayville or a lumber camp. They are all known to be well connected. If a party of Carthage people had acted in Watertown the way these fellows did, they would have been arrested.

150 years ago

May 13, 1872: Conductor Sandiforth entertains his passengers now-a-days with fine concerts. One was given last evening in the ladies car. A harp and two violins constitute the outfit. The trio of musicians gave several serenades about the city just before, and after midnight.

The world

1648: Margaret Jones of Plymouth is found guilty of witchcraft and is sentenced to be hanged.

1861: Britain declares its neutrality in the American Civil War.

1913: Igor Sikorsky flies the first four-engine aircraft.

1944: Allied forces in Italy break through the German Gustav Line into the Liri Valley.

1958: French troops take control of Algiers.

1968: Peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam begin in Paris.

1981: Pope John Paul II survives an assassination attempt.

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