From our files

Published 10:10 am Saturday, August 15, 2020

100 YEARS AGO — 1920

Melvin Chapman and his son John, had a successful turtle hunt in Mercer County at Norton’s Bend. They captured nine, with one of them weighing 47 pounds. One of the turtles got away into a hollow sycamore log and Mrs. Chapman borrowed an axe from a nearby house, cut the log and captured five turtles.


One of the giant army searchlights which was used in France to locate enemy aeroplanes flying over the American lines at night will accompany the “Motorize the Farm” tour which arrives in Danville on Aug. 18. This searchlight will be part of the night entertainment which starts on the square where 30 trucks, trailers and other hauling equipment will be parked.


Hail and sleet storms, and breakdowns at the local light plant will no longer affect the performances at Stout’s Theatre. Dr. Stout, the manager, purchased an excellent  Silent Alamo engine which had been on display at the “Motorize the Farm” tour. The engine was expensive, but Dr. Stout said he had to have dependable lights for his patrons. Movie fans in Danville will have their shows, even if the rest of the town is in darkness. It is believed that clearer pictures will be had through this engine too.


On account that women of Boyle County will be given the right of suffrage this fall, the voting precincts will be redistricted in order to take care of the increased number of voters.


The Girls Club of the Parksville School will have a lawn party in the school yard next Saturday evening. Ices and cakes will be served at 25 cents. The proceeds will be used to buy cans for canning vegetables to serve with the hot lunches at the school this winter. The girls hope to make enough to purchase soup bowls, spoons and other equipment needed in preparing and serving the lunches.


75 YEARS AGO — 1945


Danville makes merry as surrender report arrives last night. Throng celebrates with noise and diverse merrymaking for five hours. No accidents nor disorder was seen. Danville received the news at 6:04 o’clock after a long day’s wait that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allied powers. The report that peace had come was the signal for practically all of Boyle County’s 17,002 residents to leave their dinner tables, snatch up whatever noise-makers they had, such as whistles, bells, firecrackers, tin cans tied to the back of cars, and even clanking chains. On Main Street, chiefly between Third and Fourth  and spilling out over the edges of the blocks all over town made merry. “Everybody let everything go,” yelled one bystander. Pent up emotions of joy and sorrow, taut nerves jittery from the weekend of listening at the radios and reading the newspapers for word of victory, and voices silent too long and cars driven too slowly since gas rationing, all let loose. The youngest children and many in their early teens could not remember when there was no war, but they soon absorbed the general idea that you were supposed to shriek. By morning, spent with merrymaking and entirely relaxed and ready for the post-war world and the work and problems it will pose, Danville prepared to go to church. All local churches were to be open all day long. 


A tented city was erected yesterday and today on the Hustonville Road, just beyond Danville city limits, to house 250 German war prisoners who will arrive here tomorrow and Monday to assist farmers in harvesting tobacco and other crops. The local camp is one of six now operating in Kentucky and will serve the farmers of Boyle, Lincoln, Garrard and Mercer. An army captain will be in charge of the camp and guards will be provided by the army. The prisoners are kept under close supervision, but are not guarded as closely as in previous years when the war was still in progress. The farmers will pick up the prisoners at the camp, work them nine hours and return them to the camp in the evening. The prisoners are paid 45 cents per hour and the army provides all food, clothing and supplies. Of the amount earned, the prisoner gets only 80 cents per day, the rest of his earnings will go to the government to pay for his upkeep. 


50 YEARS AGO — 1970


Conduct and dress codes for Danville High School students have been approved, after six months of deliberation by students, faculty and administration. For boys, no shorts or bermudas, shirts made to be worn inside must be worn inside; Levis are permitted, but must not be torn and tattered; shoes and socks must be worn; no writing on shirts and pants that is offensive. For girls, Dresses, culottes, scooter skirts and skirts may be worn but no shorter than mid thigh and not offensive when the wearer is seated; slacks may be worn, but not stretch or tight-fitting mod looks. Hair and face: Boys are permitted to wear full heads of hair, well-groomed, but not drop below collar or eyebrows and isn’t a feminine look; mustaches are permitted, but not beards or goatees; sideburns can be any length, but not wider than 2 inches.


In September of 1968, Danville was selected to participate in the second round of the Model Cities Program. Now, two years later, and after the $78,000 planning grant has been spent, hundreds of volunteers planning, and spending $50,000 of its own money, Danville has just received word that the Model City Program has been “scuttled” by HUD and other agencies in Atlanta and Washington. In another story, HUD’s assistant secretary wrote that Danville’s comprehensive city demonstration program submission “clearly indicates that a Model Cities program is not necessary, as required (by law) to enable the city to deal with its physical and social problems.


A total of $479,000 from the federal government to use in the Urban Renewal Development of Second Street has been received. The project will ultimately include the expenditure of more than $1.5 million. An area of 11.4 acres will be affected, along with 25 business buildings (including 17 operating businesses), 45 families and 14 individuals.


25 YEARS AGO — 1995


Headline: Baseball legend Mickey Mantle dies


Ruth Hughes feels a little bit like a detective tracking down lost Danville High School graduates. While compiling a list of thousands of alumni, she has even found a lost heiress, allowing a family to settle an estate. But the job started three years ago when fellow graduates found out she had yearbooks from the first one in 1925 to 1940. She has since compiled a list of thousands of alumni from 1918 to 1977. The school district hopes to use her list to start an alumni association.


The chairman of a task force that concluded hemp is an economic dead end for farmers said critics of the report are living a pipe dream. Billy Joe Miles, an Owensboro businessman whom Gov. Brereton Jones named to lead the panel said critics are misguided. “There’s a big hidden agenda behind this whole thing,” Miles said. He said pro-marijuana faction in the state has promoted hemp and made unrealistic claims about its value. The study, conducted primarily by a researcher hired for the job, found little evidence of worldwide demand.