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REPORTERS' NOTEBOOK

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to a Russian proverb, "If men could foresee the future, they would still behave as they do now." . . . ON THIS DAY -- In 1822, Florida became a U.S. territory. . . . In 1842, Dr. Crawford W. Long of Jefferson, Ga., first used ether as an anesthetic during a minor operation. . . . In 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million, a deal ridiculed in the United States as "Seward's Folly." . . . In 1870, the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, giving black men the right to vote, was declared in effect.

. . . In 1870, Texas was readmitted to the Union . . . In 1909, the Queensboro Bridge, linking Manhattan and Queens, opened . . . In 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously injured outside a Washington hotel by John W. Hinckley Jr., who also wounded White House press secretary James Brady, a Secret Service agent and a District of Columbia police officer. . . . In 1986, actor James Cagney died in Stanfordville, N.Y., at age 86. . . .

THE GOOD PEOPLE at the Erie County medical examiner's office asked Olaf to let the public know that all calls to Kay Daver on Saturday (April Fool's Day) in their office should be referred to a Mr. Lyon at the Buffalo Zoo. It seems Kay has the weekend off. . . .

BIG SCOOP -- It's almost too good to be true. John and Susan Breier of North Tonawanda, owners of the Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop at 59 Kenmore Ave., Amherst, sent word that they will be dishing out free ice cream "for one and all" from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, April 7.

They are joining more than 100 other Scoop Shop owners across the country for the third annual Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day. "It's the company's way of letting people know we appreciate their business," said Breier, who opened his shop seven years ago.

"Last year, we served 2,500 free cones," he said. "People can have any flavor they want and return as many times as they want just as long as they are willing to get in the waiting line." Nationally, the Scoop Shops gave away 300,000 cones last year. . . .

TRIPLE HEADER -- Saturday will be a busy day for cultural and fun events at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 1089 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst. Dr. Tadeusz Pyzikiewicz will demonstrate the art of egg decorating, and Sophie Knab, author of "Polish Customs and Folklore," will show how to make butter lambs during a Polish Cultural Day program from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dan Haskin will read from "Polish Folk Legends," a book he illustrated, and Jadwiga Dziegielewska will answer questions about mushrooms.

From 4 to 6 p.m., Deborah Ann Decker will show how to use wool, cotton and alpaca material to create beautiful dolls, and from 7 to 9 p.m., renowned watercolor artist Dr. V. Roger Lalli and historian David Rote will give a slide show about art intertwined with Buffalo history. . . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Mary Ann Saloman, Paul Richter, Richard Tepas, Dick Seufert, Nicholas J. Castine, Heather Grunder, Ann Fricano, Michelle Kolers, Steve Neeley, John Schwing, Butch Lickfeld, Bev Brown-Copoulos, Helen Paprocki, Kathy Gregorski, Ann Marie Hirsch, Harold Cummings, Gillian Higgins, Siobhan McMahon, George Holt, Krystle Ceremuga, Dennis P. Hauser, David Buddy Wittmeyer, Karen Dolan, Kathleen A. Bamrick, Courtney Lynn Helmich, Maureen Nann, Eleanor Schaumloeffel, Brian S. Holleran, Don Witczak, June Jonston, Laura Ann Daluisio, David Cerrona, Denise Dunford, Nancy Szmania, Dom Schipani, Ray Felder.

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