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From our files, Dec. 22

100 YEARS AGO — 1918

Everybody is advising everybody else what to do to make this the best Christmas in the world since the Babe cuddled in the manger in the town called Bethlehem. Here’s our idea. See to it that you make one more person glad that you are alive than you did a year ago. Widen your Christmas circle one ripple this year. Maybe it will be the paperboy, or the milk man or the blind neighbor, or the bank that is nagging you about your over-due note. No matter who it is, the further without the family circle the better, but make glad the heart of one person more this year. Suppose we all did this? A hundred million of us, adding one person each Christmas. Why everybody within 10 years would have so much to be happy for that nobody would get over it and find time to nurse a grouch before Christmas came again. We think this is the best little unpatented Christmasy idea we have caught up with for a long while. A lot of us might well start with our wives.

Tuesday the local Red Cross chapter received notice that 600 tankers from Camp Green, North Carolina would pass through Danville enroute to their respective homes and that coffee should be provided for them. The local chapter members on short notice prepared a fine lot of sandwiches, cake and coffee and were ready with the splendid lunch when the train pulled into the station. Yesterday morning the Danville newspaper received the following card signed “Six Hundred Tankers Who are Going Home.” “A few words to show our appreciation for the work of the Danville Red Cross. Of all the towns we have passed through on our way from Camp Green to Camp Dodge, Iowa, none have treated us so royally as the Danville Red Cross.

On Dec. 28, the Danville Library will hold its Silver Anniversary in the library rooms from 3 to 5 o’clock. The public is invited to come and inspect the books and is asked to bring a silver offering to celebrate the occasion. If this institution means anything to you or any member of your family, come and call and thus add your encouragement by your presence and your gift.

75 YEARS AGO — 1943

W.O. Nelson of Danville, who has been in service with the U.S. Navy for six months has no doubt been saving for Christmas ever since he entered the armed forces. Out of his modest pay, the young sailor managed to send a Christmas present of $100 to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Basil Nelson of High Street. Although in the far-off South Pacific war area, Mr. Nelson is probably dreaming of a white Christmas. The intent of his gift to his mother and dad was definitely to assure the kind of good old-fashioned American Christmas the boy remembers from pre-Pearl Harbor years.

Among the first of customary year-end reports from municipal departments was one obtained from the fire department which in the past year has cut the total number of fires from 77 in 1942 to only 53 during 1943 to date. This record achievement of fire prevention to the tune of 24 fewer blazes was accomplished by a concentrated program of education and publicity by state and local fire and insurance officials. During one week in October a total of 220 students in Danville participated in a fire prevention campaign which resulted in new safety measures in practically every home in the city. A similar program was carried out among businesses and civic clubs.

Letters to Santa: I am a little girl 3 years old. I am not expecting much this year, because I know they are hard to get but I want you to bring me a doll, a set of dishes, a baking set, a blackboard, new dresses, a story book and a lot of candy and nuts and fruits. And don’t forget my baby brother because he is too little to tell what he wants. Just anything will be alright. Linda Lou Statom, Stanford: Dear Santa, I am a little boy 3 1/2 years old. I have been very good this year and would like or you to bring me 2 guns, a tractor and lots of nuts and bananas. Edwin Wesley Leathers, Danville: Dear Santa Claus, I am a little girl, 18 months. Please bring me a big doll. I am a good little girl although I did pull the table over and broke my mommy’s little radio but that was all right. Barbara Freeman, Danville: Dear Santa I haven’t been the best boy. I haven’t been the worse when the world was good to me I was good, when the world was mean to me I was mean so I won’t ask for much. I don’t want any toys all I want is a pair of shoes, fireworks, fruit and candy. Thanks a lot, John R. Christie, Junction City:

50 YEARS AGO — 1968

Students of the Cooper School of Dance were busy during the past week with their annual community Christmas program. Each year different groups of student perform for the Kentucky State Hospital, the Friendship House and present a program of songs and dances for their parents and friends. Those performing for the Friendship House were Debbie Fox, Robin Barnes, Deborah Cooper, Ann Clay Arnold, Sabra Noland, Lisa Shoopman, Michelle Oelgoetz Rebecca Ann Grider, Ronnie Bell, Karen Bugg, Anita Sheperson, Julie Brock, Pam Baker, Kelly McGuire, Edward Shaunooke, Lisa Gibson, Mary Beth Sharp, Tammye Arnold, Billy Pelfrey, Beverly Pelfrey, Ann Young, Lisa Kingsolver, Judy Sharp, Kimberly Neikirk, Saundra Cooper and Karen Clark.

The home of the Rev. and Mrs. Morris Trayner on Jean Drive in Paula Heights, was judged the grand prize winner in the annual Christmas decoration contest, sponsored by the Danville Jaycees. Second place went to Mr. and Mrs. Tom Kernen of Valley Road in Brenwood. The Trayners won a portable television set and the Kernens won an electric percolator. Thirty two homes were entered in the contest.

The Rev. Odell Leigh, a native of Eubank who has been pastor of Second Baptist Church at Greenville for the past eight years, has accepted a call to become pastor of First Baptist Church, West Broadway in Danville. First Baptist Church has been without a regular pastor since last June with the Rev. Max Stitts resigned.

Headline: Apollo 8 returns from moon and splashes down in the Pacific Ocean. America’s newest space heroes ended man’s greatest space adventure and one of history’s most momentous explorations when their six-ton spaceship dropped into a gently rolling sea about 1,100 miles southwest of Hawaii. They are the first U.S. astronauts to land in darkness. The astronauts had been away from earth exactly six days three hours on a dramatic mission that thrilled the world and gave man his first closeup look at the mysterious celestial neighbor that has intrigued humans since the beginning.

25 YEARS AGO — 1993

Jeremy Simpson, the Lincoln County High School running back who rushed for more than 3,000 yards and led his team to the state finals has been selected as Kentucky’s Mr. Football. The award is the crown jewel in a season full of shining accomplishments for the Crab Orchard native, who was unheralded at the beginning of the season and may be unequaled for many seasons to come. “What he did has never been done,” said Lincoln coach Marty Jaggers. “He may be a grandfather and nobody will ever have done what he did this year.”

Vivian Landrum of Harrodsburg has found the ultimate way to save on Christmas cards — outside of not sending any cards. A group of friends share one card and have been doing so at least since 1959. Friends sign, frequently enclosing a letter or short note under their name and pass it on. Occasionally the card gets stopped along the way. One note says, “Don’t know how I got lost in 1965, but here I am in 1966.”

Jack Hancock kept getting hints that he needed to decorate his office door at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, where he is president of the fundraising arm of the hospital. Since the hospital is getting started on a campaign to raise money for an addition, Hancock decided that was as good a Christmas wish as he could make. His door is wrapped in gift wrap that shows $100 bills. Then to make sure Santa got the hint, Hancock enclosed an “executive memo” to St. Nicholas, Director of Gifts. He read, “Because you are the ultimate gift-giver, we are hoping you can help us have a green holiday season by bringing me a successful fundraising campaign.

The Kentucky National Guard is reconsidering its policy of renting its Danville Armory after an officer’s wife was injured this weekend at a dance. The woman told police she was hit in the head with a telephone early Sunday morning during a fight at a dance there. Guards were at the dance as part of an effort to curb fighting and drinking at armory dances. Though Saturday’s dance was open to the public, the hall had been rented by a private individual. The National Guard has canceled a dance scheduled for Thursday and is considering canceling a New Year’s Eve dance on Friday.