HISTORY IS COOL: 80 years ago

Feb. 7, 1941

Army ski troops

Three officers and 53 men of the 26th Infantry, having qualified in seven weeks of intensive training in Lake Placid, have been assigned to regimental ski patrol, it was announced by Col. J. I. Muir, regimental commander.

In the past two months, approximately 700 members of the regiment have visited Lake Placid for periods of ski training in courses conducted by Rolf Monsen. Varying degrees of proficiency were shown. Of the 700, 53 men were selected.

With their appointment to the ski patrol, the work of the men has just begun. Their ski training in the future will be more exacting than the preliminaries they faced and in which they won their qualifying honors. The ski patrol hereafter will be a distinct unit attached to the 26th Infantry.

The officers and men of the patrol have been excused from all other duties, including guard, charge of quarters, fatigue and other work that may interfere with their continuing work as regimental ski troops.

The patrol is under the command of 1st Lt. Frank M. Mussgrove, assisted by 2nd Lt. William H. Seitz Jr. and 2nd Lt. Roger S. Case.

The men selected to make up the patrol come from various units of the regiment.

Whiteface amendment

Calling on residents interested in promoting Lake Placid to show a united front favoring the passage of the new amendment to the state constitution permitting the cutting of ski trails on Whiteface Mountain, H. W. Hicks addressed the Lake Placid Ski Club Tuesday evening in their headquarters in the Malone Building.

Mr. Hicks, as chairman of the Whiteface Area Ski Council, stated that recent opposition has arisen that may endanger the bill. It has passed the legislature once, and a second vote is expected to be taken within the next week. It is possible, according to Mr. Hicks, that this group may muster enough influence to block this second passage. Mr. Hicks calls on all local residents who have any influence with the legislature to exercise it as quickly and forcibly as possible.

Winter sports festival

The annual February Winter Sports Festival gets underway this weekend with several championship events, including ski and bobsled races.

A large force of workmen is busily engaged packing the Whiteface Class A downhill ski run, checking the telephone system that parallels the trail and generally making ready for the New York State downhill ski championships held on the trail this Sunday.

Among entries to date are skiers from St. Lawrence University, the Adirondack Mountain Club, Saranac Lake Ski Club, Lake Placid Ski Club and Rochester. Other clubs that are expected to be represented include Utica, Albany, Schenectady, the Hodelberg Ski Club, Appalachian Ski Club of New York City and the New York City Ski Club.

Two serious contenders for top honors will be Jack Wilkins, captain of the New York State Downhill Team, and his teammate, Ray Wrisley. Both are former members of the Lake Placid Ski Club and will represent St. Lawrence University, where they are students.