10 YEARS AGO

May 10, 2012 — WASHINGTON — On the fence no longer, President Barack Obama declared his unequivocal support for gay marriage on Wednesday, a historic announcement that gave the polarizing social issue a more prominent role in the 2012 race for the White House.

The announcement was the First by a sitting president, and Republican challenger Mitt Romney swiftly disagreed with it. “I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said while campaigning in Oklahoma.

Gay rights advocates cheered Obama’s declaration, which they had long urged him to make. Beyond the words, one man who married his gay partner in Washington, D.C., was stirred to send a $25 contribution to the president’s campaign. “Making a contribution is the best way to say thank you,” said Stuart Kopperman.

25 YEARS AGO

May 10, 1997 — It’s about time.

It’s about time to single out Fairbanks women who are positive female role models for youth.

And it’s about time to make it an annual event.

The Farthest North Girl Scout Council started it off Thursday night, holding its first Women of Distinction awards banquet honoring four local women: Brenda Holden, director of the United Way Volunteer Action Center; Effie Kokrine, Native elder and cultural educator; Martha Harrell, Fairbanks North Star Borough deputy municipal clerk; and Ann Secrest, news anchor at KTVF Channel 11.

The honored women, who juggle families, careers and community service, share many similar traits, said Gayle Maloy, who introduced the honorees with a short synopsis and slide show of their lives and accomplishments.

Three of the strongest elements that run through all their lives are “teamwork within their families, the ability to organize and deeply rooted values,” said Maloy.

50 YEARS AGO

May 10, 1972 — The future of Fairbanks’ city center was the topic of discussion Tuesday at the general membership meeting of the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce at the Traveler’s Inn. The same topic will be center stage in a public meeting next Monday.

The City Center Plan Steering Committee will hold its third public meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the basement of the chamber of commerce log cabin. The committee , chaired by Kerm Hamilton, is seeking input from the community in the preliminary stages of the plan to put a new face on the downtown area.

75 YEARS AGO

May 10, 1947 — NEW YORK — Fear of war with Russia is severely hampering the development of Alaska, whose western shoreline has been turned into an “armed fortress,” a prominent churchman said here yesterday.

Dr. Mark A. Dawber, executive secretary of the Home Mission Council of North America, told the council’s executive committee:

“Huge concrete structures have been erected in rocky wastelands for air bases and military service all along the Alaska coastline. From Nome to Point Barrow there is evidence of military preparation.”

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