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The Commercial Appeal Memphis, TN
By BETTY LOWRY
January 1, 2002
Compiled from The Commercial Appeal files. For more Today in History items, click on Bygone Days in the Local News index of http:// www.gomemphis.com.
25 Years Ago: Jan. 1, 1977
Vail, Colo. - President Ford proposed Friday that the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico , now a commonwealth, be admitted as the 51st state. A White House spokesman said Ford's action "might be interpreted as an indication to Cuba's Fidel Castro that we value Puerto Rico and won't allow any tampering there." Ford told reporters later that "I have long felt that they had made tremendous progress - very significant economic and social and political progress . . . it seemed to me we ought to take an initiative in Washington for full support of statehood ." There was no immediate comment from President- elect Jimmy Carter on Ford's proposal.