Take a look back at Franklin County’s history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years ago on Dec 26th.
25 Years Ago
December 26, 1996 – Thursday
“A Grand for Elmo?”
Christina Mena tries to sell a Tickle Me Elmo doll on fifth Avenue in New York on Christmas Eve. The Brooklyn resident said she was seeking $1,000 for the doll that retails for $30. As of mid-afternoon, there were no takers for the doll that is the Cabbage Patch rage of the 90’s.
50 Years Ago
December 26, 1971 – Saturday
“Christmas is for children”
(The following column by Erma Bombeck was first published six in 1965 at Christmas. It was instantly adopted as a tradition by her readers. Every year since, it has been republished by popular demand and has now become a Christmas classic in its own right. Thus, for Christmas 1971, here is Erma Bombeck’s beautiful and nostalgic greeting to her readers.)
By ERMA BOMBECK
There is nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child. Not to feel the cold on your bare feet as you rush to the Christmas tree in the living room. Not to have your eyes sparkle at the wonderment of discovery. Not to rip the ribbons off the shiny boxes with such abandon.
When did the cold, bare feet give way to reason and a pair of sensible bedroom slippers? When did the sparkle and the wonderment give way to depression of a long day? When did a box with a shiny ribbon mean an item on the “charge”?
A child of Christmas doesn’t have to be a toddler or a teen. A child of Christmas is anyone who believes that Kings have birthdays. The Christ muses you loved so well are gone. What happened? Maybe they diminished the year you decided to have your Christmas cards printed to send to 1,500 of your “closest friends and dearest obligations.” You got too busy to sign your own name.
Maybe It was the year you discovered the traditional Christmas tree was a fire hazard and the needles had to be vacuumed every three hours and you traded its holiday aroma for a silver one that revolved, (changed odors, played “Silent Night” and snowed on itself).
Or the year it got to be too much trouble to sit around the table and put popcorn and cranberries on a string. Possibly you lost your childhood the year you solved your gift problems nearly and coldly with a checkbook.
Think about it. It might have been the year you were too rushed to bake and resorted to slice-and-bake with no nonsense. Who needs a bowl to clean or lick?
Most likely it was the year you were so efficient in paying back all your party obligations. A wonderful little caterer did it for you for $3 per person.
Children of Christmas are givers. That’s what the day is for. They give thanks, love, gratitude, joy and themselves to one another.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have children around a tree. It’s rather like lighting a candle you’ve been saving, caroling when your feet are cold, building a fire in a clean grate, grinding tinsel deep into the rug, licking frosting off a beater, giving something you made yourself.
It’s laughter, being with people you like, and not some time falling to your knees and saying, “Thank You for coining to my birthday party.”
How sad indeed to awake on Christmas and not be a child.
Time, self-pity, apathy, bitterness and exhaustion can take the Christmas out of the child, but you cannot take the child out of Christmas.
100 Years Ago
December 26, 1921 – Tuesday
“Science shows how Santa can circle the Earth”
If anyone were to tell you that there could be two, and even three, Christmas days going on at the same time, on earth, you would probably ask them how they made their homebrew. And yet it is a scientific fact which may explain to the children how it is Santa Claus can cover the whole world on Christmas!
As the earth revolves on its axis, midnight and morning must constantly change. A new day is always beginning somewhere. But there must be some official spot or line where any given day begins on the earth.
By a fortunate chance, this line can be drawn precisely halfway around the globe from the Greenwich Meridian, and this, line crosses no Important land area, being almost entirely in the Pacific Ocean-
This line is known as the “International Day Line,” and here each day officially begins. A glance at the map illustrates this.
On the right of this line it, is say, Sunday, when it is Monday on the left of the line. Monday begins at midnight at this line, but Sunday is still finishing on the rest of the earth. It takes Monday 24 hours to encircle the globe, and get back to this line, so as to begin Tuesday. Meanwhile Sunday is running out, as Monday catches up with it, while encircling the globe. Thus, there are always two days on at the same time, on our earth!