Pages Past— April 8


On this date …

April 2-3, 1975: A department store, a shoe store and the junior high school auditorium in Tucumcari were destroyed by fire and officials suspected arson. the first fire broke out just before midnight, on April 2, at a Gambles Department Store. Flames spread to an adjourning shoe store and engulfed both stores before firefighters could contain the flames.

Two hours later, fire broke out at the Trojan Junior High School auditorium and destroyed the building, United Press International reported. Officials had to close school for the day.

Damage was estimated at more than $1 million.

April 3, 1965: A Tucumcari man was shot in the buttocks by a Santa Fe liquor store owner during an alleged robbery attempt. Officials said Eugene Foster fired a shotgun at the man as he fled the store with $69.50. A police officer who spotted the suspect leaving the store also fired at him; the suspect surrendered to the officer and was taken to a hospital by ambulance.

April 3, 1965: Pam Reed, a student at Tucumcari Junior High, won the senior division of the Quay County Spelling Bee. Sue Ann Young, a sixth-grader at Mountain View School in Tucumcari, won the junior division.

Pam spelled “defecate” and “delicatessen” in her final round; Sue Ann spelled “vein” and “sole” in her finals.

April 2, 1940: Tucumcari Mayor Henry Priddy won re-election in a close race with William Troup.

Priddy had 1,076 votes, to 974 for Troup. About 1,000 people gathered on Center Street outside the Tucumcari Daily News office for election returns.

A loud speaker was used to deliver the information; it played dance music in between updates.

Pages Past is compiled by Editor David Stevens. Contact him at:


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