Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

25 years ago

Nov. 20, 1996

ALBANY — After more than four years, scores of black men indiscriminately swept up in an Oneonta police dragnet will get their day in court.

In what legal experts are calling a landmark decision, New York’s highest court ruled Tuesday that victims of the five-day roundup in September 1992 may sue the state for violating their rights.

The 5-1 decision by the State Court of Appeals send the so-called “blacklist case” back to the State Court of Claims which dismissed the action four years ago saying it had no jurisdiction to hear the lawsuit.

Writing the majority opinion, Judge Richard Simons said that when the Legislature established the Court of Claims it intended the court to hear cases of the “broadest character,” including allegations that state officials had violated the constitutional rights of citizens.

50 years ago

Nov. 20, 1971

Retail merchants of the area are watching the skies for weather indications more closely than they area watching the stock market or the latest government decision on prices.

Christmas shopping has already begun. Decorations are up in the stores, shelves are stocked with Christmas merchandise.

Bresee’s Oneonta Department Store starts shoppers off early by offering special early shopper benefits starting from the last part of October through November

“It looks like Christmas sales this year will be better than ever,” Phil Bresee, store executive said Friday.

Bresee said they had felt no influence of the price freeze. “Christmas is still coming, we have lots of merchandise and prices are stable.”

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