120 years: 1978

Up, up and away in Grand Junction as Eddie and Shirley Clements hold the first local balloon rally. Local candy maker heir Rick Enstromdefeats incumbent Howard Roland and becomes the youngest Mesa County Commissioner at 24 years old. Gene Urruty, leader of the Basque community, builds a handball court at 24 and G. Road, Plaza Urrutia. The Mesa College Orchestra reorganizes and becomes the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra. Hilltop Rehabilitation opens its new facility at 12th and Patterson, while Boise Cascade purchases Independent Lumber.

The historic Anderson Furniture Co. at Second Street and Colorado Avenue is destroyed by fire. New subdivisions spreading throughout the valley. Developers of The Ridges, Village Nine, Wedgwood, Paradise Hills, Spring Valley, Northridge and Clifton Village North kick sagebrush and farm land aside to build new homes.

Serial killers John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy are arrested. The Vatican loses two popes in two months. Jonestown in Guyana is the site of a mass murder suicide of Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple cult.

View an ongoing photo gallery of The Daily Sentinel’s 120 years project, go to GJSentinel.com.


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