March 30, 1943, in The Star: Real bullets and quarter sticks of dynamite are replacing the blank ammunition and firecrackers which have been used up to now at the Infantry Replacement Training Center at Fort McClellan to give rookie soldiers a taste of battle. It is not expected that there will be any casualties on Fort McClellan’s two “mental conditioning” courses, as the places where live weaponry is used are called. The machine guns are pointed high enough over the men crawling on the ground that they’ll be safe as long as they stay flat and crawl as they’ve been trained. Special braces lock the guns in the high-pointed position so they won’t accidentally jar out of line and shoot into the men. Explosives experts touch off the landmines, close enough for a good effect but not too close for safety. Also this date: Meat markets and packing houses surveyed today reported a “slight improvement” in the meat situation in Anniston, but reported also the supply remains short and there’s little variety. At one store the supply of meat that was received early this week is expected to dwindle greatly by Friday and Saturday, chief shopping days.
March 30, 1993, in The Star: Calhoun County officials have picked up another ally in their fight to keep Fort McClellan from being closed. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative organization in Washington, has told the base closure commission that the fort needs to stay open to maintain the military’s ability to protect the U.S. against chemical-weapon attacks. Also this date: The Final Four for the men’s college basketball season have been determined. North Carolina will play Kansas late Saturday afternoon, followed by Kentucky playing Michigan. Meanwhile, from the film world, the big winners from last night’s Oscar ceremony include Unforgiven as Best Picture, Al Pacino as Best Actor, in Scent of a Woman, and Emma Thompson as Best Actress, in Howard’s End.