It’s been a quiet week in Lowell politics and with this Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday, today I opted for nostalgia over current events. Here is a sampling of Christmas Eve newspaper headlines, weather observations, and advertisements over the past 100 years. Please check back next Sunday when local politics will again be ascendant with my annual Lowell Political Year in Review.
Ten years ago: Dec 24, 2007 – Monday – Partly sunny, 42 degrees. Headline: Patriots beat Dolphins to go 15 and 0 with one game left. Advertisement: The best egg not in the world! Shaw Farm, 195 New Boston Rd, Dracut. Ideal Roofing & Paving, emergency snow and ice dam removal.
Twenty years ago: Dec 24, 1997 – Wednesday – 30 degrees, cloudy – Sneaky storm blankets region: snow snarls driving, whitens season.
Thirty years ago: Dec 24, 1987 – Saturday – rain. Headline: Feds to probe Lowell schools; Racial, ethnic discrimination charged. Advertisement: At Union National Bank, we’ve changed our name, but we haven’t changed with way we do business. Union National Bank has recently joined Bank of New England.
Forty years ago: Dec 24, 1977 – Saturday – Cloudy, lows in the 40s – Headline: Three politicians (Senate President Kevin Harrington, Boston Mayor Kevin White, and former Gov. Francis Sargent) deny receiving cash payments from a New York consulting firm, McKee-Berger-Mansueto, (as was alleged in the corruption trial of former State Senators Joseph DiCarlo and Ronald MacKenzie). Advertisement: Lewis Drug Inc. at 871 Varnum Ave would be open from 9 am to 1 pm on Christmas Day. “Last minute presents? Litronix Digital Men’s Watches, 50% off.”
Fifty years ago: Dec 24, 1967 – Sunday – Cloudy and cold, lows in the 30s – LBJ-Pope seek key to peace. Confer for hour in the Vatican. (President Johnson met Pope Paul VI in Rome during Johnson’s five day, 25.000 mile trip around the world). Advertisement: Cherry & Webb, After Christmas Sales!
Sixty years ago: Dec 24, 1957 – Tuesday – Mild with highs in the 50s – Headline: Cardinal Spellman arrives in Korea to celebrate Midnight Mass with GIs. Advertisement: Pollards of Lowell celebrating its 121st Christmas with a winter hat sale, regular $3.98 to $10.00 now $2.80 and $3.80.
Seventy years ago: Dec 23, 1947 – Tuesday – Fair and cold – Headline: Hunt throughout New England for gunman-kidnapper; Quarry may be insane; described as vicious, dangerous. Advertisement: Gaumont Brothers on Merrimack Street offering Tele-Tone Radios for $12.95. Dutch Tea Room at 124 Merrimack Street still taking reservations for Christmas Dinner.
Eighty years ago: Dec 24, 1937 – Friday – Sleet or rain with rising temperature – Headline: Hi-Hat is Again Ransacked: Third break in three months; get $157 in loot and do hundreds of dollars damage (Hi-Hat Restaurant on Princeton Boulevard). Advertisement: Donohoe Tire Co at 120 Church Street selling Firestone Fleetwood bicycles “finished in rich baked enamel with all chrome plated accessories, balloon tires and mud guards” for $39.95.
Ninety years ago: Dec 24, 1927 – Saturday – Fair and continued cold – Local Mill on 24 hour schedule; Yarn output on increase; Abbot-owned mills in Market Street working day and night shifts. Better days ahead is opinion of operators. Advertisement: Saunders Public Market at 155 Gorham Street is selling turkeys for 45 cents per pound, ducks for 40 and geese for 35.
One hundred years ago: Dec 24, 1917 – Monday – Light rain and warmer – Headline: American Armies constitute reserves of victory, says Sec. Baker in Review. Declares Germany’s newest peace propaganda, viewed as forerunner to new offensive in the west, “should not induce us to slacken war preparations.” Advertisements: Harrisonia Hotel offering Christmas dinner of soup, turkey, vegetables, dessert, tea and coffee for $1. J. Danas & Co. at 62 Gorham Street has large assortment of ribbon candy and fancy boxes of chocolates for Christmas.