Looking Back: Franklin County’s history December 25th
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 December 25th.
25 Years Ago
“Just how fast does Santa go?”
(Article as seen in the Public Opinion in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania)
Students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology did some Santa Claus math, so you don’t have to.
At a speed of 650 miles per second, or 3,000 times the speed of sound, and figuring a load weight of 321,000 tons, 214,200 reindeer would be needed to pull St. Nick’s sleigh if he wanted to hit the world’s 91.8 million Christian homes in time for Christmas.
That’s in 31 hours across 24 time zones.
Including the reindeer, the whole assembly would weigh four times as much as the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2, visiting 822.6 households per second, or 15 % of all homes in the world.
50 Years Ago
“Mankind in Awe of Child’s Birth”
She felt the pains coming slowly, but sharp. She was sure it would not be long until her first child would draw his lungs full of life. The time of waiting would be over and she could gaze lovingly at the little human who had been nourished and sheltered in her womb.
Her husband held her hand when she needed it. For him, though in pain, she kept a faint trace of a smile on her lips to ease his concern. She looked into his eyes and marveled at the reflection of love there.
He had been so patient. The kind of man who would love a child, regardless of its conception. He worried for her, though the baby was not of his flesh.
People had scorned her for being with child before marriage, and she felt fortunate to have found a husband with his depth of feeling. A final surge of pain gripped her body and it was over. In the relief, she realized the quiet of the night. Time seemed to stand still.
She saw her son. He thrashed about, not familiar with his new surroundings. She touched her baby’s small features with her fingertips, and held to the moment.
She saw new lines marking her husband’s face, and in the back of her mind came a thought of the future. It was so difficult to make a living and they had to travel far to find a place to settle. Now, there was still another to feed and clothe.
Her son slept and she laid him on the soft bed to rest. She and her husband knelt beside him and looked at each other. Both must have had the same thought. What of their son’s future? Could they care for him and give him all the material and physical things a child needs?
Could they fulfill his wishes and dreams until he grew to manhood? Would he follow in their footsteps or would he disgrace them and run from the demands of life?
Somehow, she felt her son would not. Still, the worry was there, as with any other young mother nursing her offspring. Then, a strange awareness grasped her heart. People slowly gathered and brought gifts to praise her son’s birth and her mind was at peace.
Not all mankind was evil. She would worry no longer, for this event had brought a special meaning. She looked at her son in the dim light and knew his future had to be a good one. It was not a dream or wish, but reality. Pride swelled her heart and she bent again to her son.
She brought her lips slowly to his soft little cheek and kissed him. Tears streaked her face, but they came from happiness. She looked forward to watching her son’s life unfold.
She kissed him again and the heavens seemed to spill their splendor and glory upon the earth, as his birth took on meaning to those few who had beheld the wonder of it all.
“Baby Jesus, I love you,” Mary whispered to the Prince of Peace as Joseph prayed. And from’ that night on, the world would come to know Him and He would change the pattern of time and the lives of those who followed and believed in Him.
Centuries have passed since that night, yet no man has marked this earth with his life or has ever been remembered and cherished like the Son of God.
100 Years Ago
“THIRTY BASKETS, 100 TOYS FOR POOR FROM S. A. TOMORROW”
Contributions of the public enabled the Salvation Army to serve thirty or forty baskets to the poor on Christmas morning. Besides this, one-hundred toys were given away to the poor children of town. An additional treat will be given these children tomorrow evening at the Salvation Army hall.
During the past days Commandant W. II. Price , has received several large contributions for the Salvation Army, among them a 50 dollar Liberty bond, the gift of a gentleman who does not wish his name to be disclosed. Other large Christ-contributions include $18.74 from the literary society of the high school, $5 from the Mlzpah class of the Methodist Sunday school and $5 from the Girl Scouts of the Trinity Lutheran Church.