Being a person who loves to research and look through old archives, I have spend the last few weeks checking out events and happenings in Newport and around the world during the past Christmas seasons.

            The year was 1978 and many of the same issues Newport faces today were issues 40 years ago. The main topic of debate In Jackson County was the possible annexation of Diaz to Newport. Throughout the Newport Independent December issues, many articles arose with arguments for and against the merger.

            Newport’s Roy Evans wrote and article for the Newport Independent requesting a tribute to the late Ed Doherty, a college located here. Evans revealed in an article tribute to Doherty that he believed the establishment of a college here ‘would do as much, or more than any other thing that could happen to enhance the quality of life for a people.’ Today, Newport is home to ASUN and is proud to support the Aviators.

            Other news included the prosperity of Newport retail sales. All the local business were having a great Christmas season including JC Penneys, Purdy’s Flowers & Gifts, SamSon Sporting Goods, Glenn’s TV and Brosh Long Jewelers.

            Global news included Volkswagen stopped production of the Beetle after manufacturing 20 million cars. Gold reached an all-time high of $200.00 per ounce.

Japanese car importsaccounted for half the US import market following the energy crisis and increase in fuel prices that fuels demand for economy cars. Sweden became the first nation to ban aerosol sprays that are thought to damage earth's protective ozone layer. Louise Brown, the world's first test tube baby, was born in Oldham, Greater Manchester.

            In religion, Pope Paul VI died at the age of 80. John Paul I became Pope on August 26th, 1978 and died just 33 days later on September 28, 1978. Cardinal Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II.

            In the United States serial killer David Berkowitz, the "Son of Sam," was sentenced on June 12thto 25 years to life in prison. The rainbow flag of the LGBT movement flies for the first time (in its original form) at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. Popular movies included Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and National Lampoon's Animal House. Superman (also known as Superman: The Movie) was released that year based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Popular music included the Bee Gees with " Night Fever and Stayin Alive ", Paul McCartney and Wings, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, Rolling Stones, and Commodores with " Three Times a Lady. " Television programs included Happy Days, Little House on the Prairie, Good Morning America, Saturday Night Live, Wheel of Fortune, and Charlie's Angels.