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50 years ago this month, November edition

Rodney Mansfield BHS principal

High school principal Rodney Mansfield resigns before teary student crowd

“There are many reasons for my leaving Burlington High School, but none of them involve you, the students of Burlington High,” said Principal Rodney Mansfield, a Westford resident. “You have always shown courtesy and respect to me as a whole student body, and as individuals, you have always been willing to listen and reason and have begun to show increasing interest in the school. Many of you are concerned, mature adults and I know you will make a major contribution to our society in some way within your lifetime.”

He took a new job as assistant educational director at the Museum of Science in Boston. Before he became BHS principal, he was head of the science department. He frequently clashed with the School Committee over matters such as overpopulation and inadequate town response. The new and improved Burlington High School was still four years away. Many students wept in the Walker auditorium as he resigned.

It seems Burlington needed all the educational leadership it could get, especially with literacy:

Except the Challenge ad Burlington MA


Red Devils defeat Bedford in Thanksgiving game. Record turnout of 2900 fans.

1969 Thanksgiving football game scoreboard


RCA computer becomes the first to operate in extreme weather

Directing missiles and aircraft during combat would become quite a challenge if ground command units were destroyed. Airborne command units to the rescue! Ah, but it’s cold up there. At 50,000 feet, temperatures can approach -100F.

“This new militarized command and control computer is no larger than an office desk, yet it has a speed of 400,000 operations per second — equivalent to commercial systems five to seven times its size,” said John R. McAllister, VP of RCA’s aerospace division. “It will also withstand the partial vacuum and extreme cold, plus it has a special fail soft feature that would enable it to operate even in the even of a major system malfunction.”

Blaze torches S. Bedford Street firm

A 12-foot-high oven used for sterilizing chemicals erupted in flames at Electronized Chemicals Company on South Bedford Street. Two engine pumpers stopped the fire after about a half hour. Too late to save the oven, says Lt.Wilbur McIntyre.


High Voltage Engineering trans-uranic accelerator, Burlington MA

World’s largest trans-uranic accelerator nears completion


High Voltage Engineering is using a gun encased in two giant pressurized tanks to shoot an electrical charge of at least 28 million volts. Giant magnets will bend the beam toward the appropriate target. This whole machine is larger than a football field. The company hopes this stream of ions will produce elements heavier than uranium, dubbed numbers 114 to 120, until now unknown to man. These elements could become power sources. This massive machine seeks to unite two uranium nuclei, something never done before. More about particle physics and this particular company here. Van de Graaff drive is named for one of its founders. Another founder is John Trump, the president’s uncle. His name in on a Lahey Clinic building because he served on the original Lahey board and because he was a pioneer in radiology.

Burlington Army Sgt. is gone

Staff Sgt. Ronald W. Clements, 28 Fernglade Rd, is now reported as deceased after going “missing” during a training mishap in Alaska. He drowned while trying to rescue some people who overturned a rubber raft. He had served 14 months in Vietnam and received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained.



Giant store grand opening Woburn MA
Giant grand opening Woburn MA


Boston Baby grand opening, Woburn MA

Santa Rex Trailer ad, Burlington MA

Burlington Knights of Columbus drug ad Burlington MA


2 thoughts on “50 years ago this month, November edition Leave a comment

  1. It’s funny how people’s memories dim, after a few years. The grass was always greener, the sky bluer, the snow deeper and the ice cream cones, bigger.

    Mansfield was a complete and utter boob and completely lost control of Burlington High School. There was no discipline, no structure, no plan and not a lot of learning going on. Mansfield embraced the 60’s, like he was leading the pot smoking in Harvard Square. He had a little band of student followers and groupies, who he lead by the nose, right to the pot stash.

    It’s interesting that no real mention was made of the reasons he was fired. Do you think maybe he was a little too close to some of the female students?

  2. how cowardly,to make all those insulting comments without leaving your name……………shame on you…………..c Johnson, bhs, 1954

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