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Pages From Our Past: Ford Freed (1980)

As the Elkhart Truth celebrates its 125th anniversary, we look back at this front page from March 13, 1980.

Posted on March 9, 2014 at 2:48 p.m.

As the Elkhart Truth celebrates its 125th anniversary, we look back at this front page from March 13, 1980.

March 13, 1980: Ford Freed

This headline proclaims the verdict in a long criminal trial against Ford Motor Company for the deaths of three Elkhart County girls in a car accident. The girls were driving a 1973 Ford Pinto when they were struck from behind by a van and the Pinto burst into flames. After nine weeks of testimony, the jury deliberated for over 25 hours before coming to a decision—finding Ford not guilty on three counts of reckless homicide.

The second “Ford” headline on the page refers to former president Gerald Ford, who – as Republican candidates for the upcoming election readied for the April primary – was speaking out against the policies of President Carter and “talking like he wants to run.”

In local news, the Indiana state legislature approved tax credits for homeowners who installed solar heating systems in their homes. It also allowed them to negotiate with neighbors to ensure that construction and trees on nearby properties wouldn’t interfere with the solar systems’ effectiveness. Another article examines how easily Elkhart and St. Joseph counties might be brought into compliance with federal clean-air standards.




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