June 14 in Adair County History

HISTORY PAGE 6-14-18

2014: Three officers from the NATO Allied Command Transformation honored Columbia resident Simpson Reliford for his service to the country of Norway in World War II.

Reliford was a member of the 99th Infantry Battalion, a special, separate battalion of Norwegian Americans used against the Axis powers in occupied Europe, including Norway.

Reliford said at the ceremony – held at the Red Barn Event Center in Adair County – that he remembered Norway as a beautiful country with kind people.

“Today we are going to honor Simpson Reliford for what he did for Norway,” said Norwegian Navy Capt. Yngve Skoglund. “This medal being given is the last one of its kind.”

1994:  Retired school teacher Minnie Corbin Rubarts published a 500-page historical account of Adair County: “Adair County: Historical Overview, County and Schools, 1970-1990.”

The book, which became popular locally, was the result of years of research. Rubarts worked tirelessly to collect the information, articles, photographs, and stories that were featured in the publication.

1974: A group of black citizens, mostly from the south end of Burkesville Street, appeared before the Columbia City Council with several requests and grievances, including for more sewer work, street paving, lighting, and hiring of black employees. Irvin Bomar spoke on behalf of the group.

“We want to make sure that the black settlement is not left out,” Bomar told the council. “Before, when sewers were being laid, we were left out.”

Mayor Murphy assured Bomar that the entire city would be included in the next round of sewer improvements, and Bomar asked to see the plans before they were sent to Washington, D.C. for approval. Murphy agreed to turn over any documents Bomar wanted as soon as they were available.

Bomar also noted that while a couple of minor street improvements were made during the previous election, there had not been any work done on his end of Burkesville Street since, and asked that the city hire more black people for city jobs, and not just “barnyard jobs.”

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