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Thursday, 17 July 2014 10:17

From the archives of Liberal’s hometown newspaper since 1886.

Researched and compiled by Amira Coleman, L&T Reporter

Accident claims life of Air Force Academy Cadet Tedford

Neal Gift, of Beaver, Okla., died in Epworth Hospital from injuries received in a motorcycle accident in Liberal on the sweeping curve of Pine Street.

Gift was an employee of Beech Aircraft. He was the passenger on a motorcycle being driven by John J. Noble, 34, of Beaver, when the motorcycle went out of control on the curve and threw the two riders. The two men were en route home from work.

Gift, suffering severe head and internal injuries, was in critical condition when brought to the hospital by Campbell ambulance. Noble was treated for facial cuts and released.

Four thousand poll cards were mailed to the residents in the Liberal area by State Representative R. J. Leete. The questionnaire was prepared by Congressman Bob Dole and was to be returned to him.

Opinions on 10 subjects, such as taxes, civil rights legislation, sales of surplus commodities and unemployment were requested. When the tabulations were complete, they were to be released to the press and forwarded to the president.

Dole also said he was having the tabulated results published in the congressional record. Leete’s reason for cooperating with Dole was “to give people in Kansas an opportunity to express their opinions on important issues.”

“K. Rajedran, an International Farm Youth Exchangee from India, was finding life in the United States quite interesting,” read the July 15, 1964, edition of the Southwest Daily Times.

Rajedran was staying with Mr. and Mrs. Everett Thompson, 805 West Second, while visiting the various places of interest in the surrounding area. Ever since arriving in Washington, D.C., and participating in an orientation program there, Rajedran had been visiting various farm families in Kansas, as part of the Youth Exchange program.

He was studying the different phases of farm life and agriculture in the area for a while before heading up to St. Paul, Minn. Rajedran’s home was in Meyur Village, Madras State, India, where he was happily married to his wife, Girja, who stayed in India.

His native language, Hindi, was not a barrier, as he also spoke English fluently. Due to his religion, Rajedran was a strict vegetarian, but that was not a problem during his visits either.

Dan Tedford, 17-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Tedford of Liberal, died about 1 a.m., July 16, 1964, in Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colo., of injuries he received in a fall.

Tedford had suffered severe head injuries the day before his death in a fall from a residence hall at the United States Air Force Academy where he had reported as a cadet on June 29, 1964. The fall happened in the morning after the cadets returned to Vandenburg Hall after eating breakfast.

Col. Richard P. Haney, Academy Information Officer, said that even though the Academy had its own hospital, Tedford was immediately taken to the Penrose Hospital, where a neurosurgeon was available.

The Tedford family departed for the Academy as soon as they were informed of their son’s injury, and were able to spend several hours with him before he died. Tedford was survived by his parents, and two sisters, Mrs. Floyd Tedford, and Lloyeeta Tedford. The tragic accident that caused his death was probably from dizziness from the altitude, but Tedford’s death was being thoroughly investigated by the Office of Special Investigation at the Academy.

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About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

For more, contact us.


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