50 Years Ago

A Greenbrae youth, Phillip Schoenwetter, 20, won along with his college roommate the first prize in a national contest for picking the time when the first man would set foot on the moon. He wasn’t surprised. He and his roommate had submitted 80,640 entries, covering every 15-second time segment on the 28 days NASA said such a feat was likely. The most they could have missed the time was by 7.5 seconds; they missed by 5. Their prize is a two-week, all expenses paid trip to anywhere (on earth). They will probably go skiing in Switzerland and indeed started looking forward to the trip the minute they shipped off their entries. It cost them $66 to print and mail the duplicate entry blanks. —July 23, 1969

40 Years Ago

The 101 Movies, Marin’s last drive-in theater, which opened 17 years ago, has lost its lease and will close in the fall. Manager Neal Meyer says the owners of the property near the Northgate Industrial Park have plans for a residential development nearby and feel the drive-in is not compatible with homes. Though still big in southern California, drive-in movies across the country are becoming scarce due to rising land costs and stricter zoning. The county’s other drive-in, Marin Movies in San Rafael, shut down in 1977 after 25 years of providing a refuge for teen-age romance and baby-sitter-free evenings for young marrieds. —Charles Brousse, July 20, 1979

30 Years Ago

So a parent has to look at the odds that the DPT vaccine will kill his child or cause brain damage, and compare them to the odds that without the vaccine, pertussis will kill his child or cause brain damage. According to [chief of immunization for the State Department of Health Services Dr. Loring] Dales, your child will probably get away with skipping the vaccine — as long as no one else does. “Well, if everyone else is [having their child vaccinated], you can almost have your cake and eat it too,” says Dales, estimating that more than 99 percent of California children receive the vaccine. “But if more than 10 or 15 percent stop [getting vaccinated]… well, pertussis is a highly infectious disease. It’s just the high immunization levels that keep more kids from getting it.” —Greg Cahill, July 21, 1989

20 Years


For me this month is special because of the Tour de France. The three-week-long bike race has been marred by allegations that the top bike racers are using performance-enhancing drugs, but I still think it’s the greatest sporting event in the world. One of the highlights during the first week in July occurred as I sat in a mission district bar and watched the TV coverage of American Lance Armstrong winning the prologue… Knowing Armstrong was coming back to the Tour after his life-threatening bout with testicular cancer made watching his victory all the more sweet. Suddenly I wanted to be out on my bike sprinting toward a finish line. —Deborah Crooks, July 21, 1999

Compiled by Alex T. Randolph

Pacific Sun
The Pacific Sun publishes every Wednesday, delivering 21,000 copies to 520 locations throughout Marin County.


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