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 4th.
25 Years Ago
December 4, 1996 – Tuesday
“Choose Different Feed For Different Birds”
If you have started feeding birds and you are disappointed in the type of birds you are getting to your feeder, it may be because of what you are feeding.
You can control the number and type of birds by the amount and type of seed you use.
If you are getting too many birds, you may want to cut back on how often you feed and how much you feed. If the feeder is empty, they will go elsewhere.
Birds are selective eaters. Most prefer sunflower seeds, some prefer millet, a few like peanuts and none seem to prefer grains such as corn, milo, oats or wheat.
If you want to only feed cardinals, doves and white-throated sparrows, you should use sunflower seeds. If you use Niger thistle seeds you will attract finches and an occasional dove or white-throated sparrow. If you want titmice, jays and white-throated sparrows, use peanuts.
If you use more than one type of seed put it in separate feeders. This helps reduce waste, as birds will toss out unwanted seeds. The type of feeder will also determine the birds you will have. If you don’t want starlings at your suet feeder then use one that is only accessible from the bottom. Starlings will not use it but chickadees and woodpeckers will perch upside down and use it. Tube feeders without trays will restrict access to small birds. Remove the perches and you will only get birds that can cling like the finches, chickadees, titmice and woodpeckers.
Feeding birds in the back yard can be fun and entertaining if you do it right. Be sure to set up the style of feeders and use the type of seed that will bring the type of birds you want to watch.
50 Years Ago
December 4, 1971 – Sunday
“Christmas trees and their care”
How do you tell a fir from a spruce?
Touch the needles. Fir needles are flat, soft at the tips and evenly spaced. Spruce needles are sharp, pointed and pierce the hand.
Before buying, check the tree. Say goodbye to the dealer who won’t let you investigate, first bounce the tree butt on the ground. If the needles drop, the tree has begun to dry out. Run your fingers across the stump. If it is sticky, the tree is still fresh. The tree should have a fragrant odor and healthy green color. Dry patches are signs of dryness and a possible fire hazard.
Lower branches should measure half the tree’s height. They should be springy and strong enough to support lights and ornaments. The stump should be several inches long to provide good anchorage and to soak up water.
To make a tree last longer, cut an inch or two on a slant from the base when you get it home. Peel back the bark another inch, then place the tree in a bucket of cold water.
Some use a 10 per cent sugar solution, adding either sugar or syrup to the water. Keep the tree outdoors or in a cool garage until you are ready to decorate. Sprinkle branches with water occasionally.
Christmas trees that have a water reservoir for the butt to stand in keep foliage fresh and green and provide fire protection. Check the water level often.
Balsam firs are most popular. Douglas firs come next, then pines, some of which have a long, soft needles. Scotch pine is popular.
Junipers are best as outdoor trees. They have a desirable, dense, bushy form.
You can decorate your home with Christmas greens from your own foundation planting and at the same time encourage more compact growth and improve the symmetry.
Armed with sharp pruning shears (and gloves for protection), carefully study the shape of the tree or shrub. Look for elongated branches or those that rub against one another, then cut. But avoid cutting more than half of the greenery from any on branch.
Don’t cut beyond the green needles or the plant may not fill in with new growth.
When you cut, do it at a slant to the leaf, bud or twig. Snip, don’t slash.
Keep the cut branches in a cool place with stems in water until ready to use. If kept indoors, it will stay fresh longer if sprinkled with water. A layer of dampened peat moss at the cut end will extend indoor life of cuttings.
Spruce, pine, hemlock, yew and arborvitae make good greens. Hollies can withstand generous pruning. So can a long branch of the thorn or juniper with blue berries. Leaves of laurel, rhododendron, azalea and bayberry add variety to holiday displays.
100 Years ago
December 4, 1921 – Monday
“Humpty Dumpty, the health clown, coming”
Under the auspices of the local branch of the tuberculosis society, which is now conducting the Christmas seal sale here, Humpty Dumpty, the Health Clown, will be in Chambersburg on December 13.
Arrangements have been made with Chambersburg School District Superintendent Gordy to have the pupils of the grade schools assemble in the high school auditorium, where Humpty Dumpty will give them some pointers on healthful living.
He does this so clownishly that his hearers don’t realize that they are absorbing valuable hint for right living; they think they are only being entertained.
He will appear at Waynesboro the day before he is here.