10 YEARS AGO

Aug. 10, 2009 — What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than sitting on a back porch making music with a bunch of friends? The clouds roll by, dragonflies zip back and forth, and inspiration flows.

The kids in Music Mart’s Back Porch Band know that as well as anyone. The new band for children, which plays behind Fairbanks’ oldest music store, is led by music instructor Vicki Rayburn.

When school ended for the summer, Rayburn asked her young musicians if they’d be interested in attending a “school of rock.”

They had their first rehearsal the first Saturday after the last day of school and have been there every Saturday since. About a dozen kids ages 7 to 12 play a variety of instruments, including guitar, keyboard, drums, electric bass — and vocals.

25 YEARS AGO

Aug. 10, 1994 — WASHINGTON — The battle lines over health care are being drawn in the Senate, with Democrats saying every American deserves guaranteed care and Republicans warning of damage to the world best health system.

Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell opened the debate Tuesday evening with a litany of horror stories about the problems of America’s 39 million uninsured and others struggling with soaring medical costs.

“Why is our society willing to allow people to experience the degradation of begging for care after a lifetime of work and personal responsibility?” Mitchell demanded.

50 YEARS AGO

Aug. 9, 1969 — EDGARTOWN, Mass — A court inquest is to open Sept. 3 into the death of Mary Jo Koechne, drowned July 18 when Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s car ran off a bridge into a tidal pool.

The date was set by Judge James A. Boyle Friday after a meeting with Dist. Atty. Edmund Dinis, who invoked the law that allows district attorneys to “require” courts to conduct inquests in accidental deaths.

Dinis had said earlier he planned to call Kennedy aw a witness along with others who attended the cookout party the night of July 18 on Chappaquiddick Island. But he said Friday that Kennedy was not among the 15 witnesses he planned to call.

75 YEARS AGO

Aug. 10, 1944 — HONOLULU, T.H. — President Roosevelt on July 29, in Hawaii concluded a three-day conference with United States war leaders in the Pacific.

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and Gen. Douglas MacArthur went aboard the ship which brought the Chief Executive to Pearl Harbor.

The President greeted Gen. MacArthur in a very friendly manner. “It’s good to see you, Doug,” the Chief Executive said.