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November 15, 2010

What Were the Headlines The Day You Were Born

Have you ever wondered what happened the day you were born? What was going on in the world, what was the top news of the day?

What was the average housewife buying? What about the guys - what ads were geared towards the typical male such as your father?

Have you checked newspapers for your town or city or country to read the front page for that day?

Believe it or not this is the first year I've ever thought to do that! Yes, today is my birthday (not that I celebrate them anymore, in fact I've been counting backwards for my age for so long I'm in the negative years!)

I couldn't find a newspaper for the little village my parents lived in but I did find one for a nearby town so on a binge of curiousity I had a peek. Of course a local small town paper wouldn't likely show worldwide news unless it was a pretty big story but I thought I'd get a sense of what my parents and grandparents might have been experiencing.

So the big world news on the day and year I was born was a 4-row corn picker in Illinois - apparently a first ever. Locally the news was a mixture - an annual St. George's Guild bazaar coming up, the fact that not many people turned up for the local Remembrance Day Ceremonies, and that deer hunting was not going well.

I did enjoy reading that the St. Regis Hotel in Toronto (the closest big city to my little village of birth) had rooms to rent starting at $2.50 for a single, per night. Oh and every room was advertised as having a telephone and a shower. I began to feel like I was born in 1900! Were things really that cheap the year I was born?

Phillips Milk of Magnesia was 25 cents a bottle! One ad was for developing rolls of film for 25 cents - no digital cameras back then of course. And I loved the ad advising that you could buy a female ferret from a man in Ontario for $3.00 - send a money order. No paypal as we use today.

There were a lot of ads for baby chicks and brooders so I'm guessing that a lot of families kept a hen or two for eggs. But my favourite ad was the one for an electric washing machine. Even though it will date me, it's too priceless to not show my readers.

I actually remember helping my mom with the laundry and using a machine that looked just like this one!

I wonder if my parents had been to the movies in Whitby before I was born? Whitby was nearby and their local theatre had three shows to choose from! "The Return of Frank James" which sounds like a Western, "Cinderella Jones" and "Do You Love Me" - none of which I've ever heard of.

I googled "The Return of Frank James" and read that it came out in 1940! I assure you I wasn't born then, not even close, so that might indicate that our little village and surrounding areas were getting the movies many years after they were made!

"Cinderella Jones" and "Do You Love Me" were made in 1946 so that's a little more current.

We didn't have much money so I'm not sure they could even have afforded to go but I'd like to think they did.

It was kind of fun reading that newspaper from the day I was born. And now I'm off to find out what today has in store for me. Reserving time for my nap of course, as us old folks like to have.


Mama Lo Moore said...

Have a Blessed Birthday

Kristin said...

We had a wringer washer too. Even though it's not my birthday I think i will do this. I've seen Headline of the national news of the day but not the city where i was born. Good idea!

Joan Miller (Luxegen) said...

I remember getting my long hair caught in the wringer washer when I was a kid helping out. Mom saved me from being scalped! (or flattened).

Sandy said...

Every single year on my birthday I'm reminded of the horrible headlines "President Kennedy Assassinated." I'm sure on the fiftieth anniversary/birthday that will dominate all the day's news coverage. It used to be that when I would tell people my birthdate, you could see their expression change as the date registered with their memories. Sadly, I guess it's the way our generation will always remember the date 9/11/2001. It’s one of those times that time stops, you always remember where you were and what you were doing, and how horrible you felt.

char21401 said...

I remember having one of those washing machines. I also remember the admonition not to get my fingers anywhere near the wringers.
I remember that we started with the whites in hot water and ended with the darks as the water got colder.

Ellen Thorne Morris said...

We had a wringer washer and my arm was caught in it when I was about two years old, broke a finger, and remember being in a hospital on Staten Island, NY. Saw a log cabin on a table when being carried home by my father, and he built me one which was probably a good way to recover from the accident.
Mention of Whitby and St. George's reminds me that Newcastle Village was where my grandfather, Charles Wilmot Thorne lived before moving to NYC. We visited St. George's and saw the Wilmot windows which added photographs and family stories to long ago names.