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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Springfield Sun

My mom saved the front and back pages of the October 26, 1966, edition of the Springfield Sun (Vol. 3, #48; 10 cents), an old tabloid size newspaper.

I have a vague recollection of this now defunct newspaper, but can't remember when it ceased being published. What I remember most about it is a large Springfield Sun logo displayed on the back of a building across the tracks from the train station.

Let's check out what was happening in Springfield in the fall of '66 in Springfield, Illinois.

The front page headline is, "Choose Cavanaugh For House Race - - - GOP Chiefs Name Horsley." Those names certainly stand out as being very influential in Springfield's political past.

The rest of the front page is devoted to a photograph of the Land-of-Lincoln Girl Scouts rehearsing for the Sing-A-Rama. Girl Scout that I was (albeit for only one year), I actually participated in the Sing-A-Rama the year before.

Turning to page two, we have the following:

"To Meet Rising Wage, Fringe Costs - - - Two City General Hospitals to Boost Room Rates." Seems the two hospitals got together and decided to up the cost of healthcare, while at the same time blaming it on the help. Room prices in the range of $21.50 to $27.50 a day will go up by $2.00.

A staged photo from inside the old downtown Post Office with this caption: "Pretty Patron - Miss Bonnie Boston, a pretty Post Office patron with a Marine Corps boy friend in Vietnam gets an approving glance from Postal Clerk Robert Bumpus and servicemen, from left: Navy petty officer Glenn Simpson, Air Force Sgt. Andy Anderson, Army Sgt. Phillip Morris, and Marine Sgt. Dewey W. Pendley. Parcels to persons overseas should be mailed by Nov. 10 (Marty's Photography)" Ya know, newspapers never write about pretty postal patrons anymore. I can't imagine why.

"Louisville Man Named Local A-C Plant Chief." The man was C.M. Schaninger. And, the A-C was Allis Chalmers, which is long since gone from the Springfield manufacturing scene. (Come to think of it, the Springfield manufacturing scene is pretty much long since gone, too).

Article entitled, "Aussie Exchange Pupil Wins U.N. Essay Contest," and accompanying photograph. Next to that is the essay, entitled, "The United Nations Is All Talk." He won $25.00 for the essay which starts, "The village was small and the people were small and their children were small. They had slanty eyes and yellow skin and they were always hungry. Most of the people of India are always hungry." It goes on, but I'll refrain from quoting the whole thing. No where is it mentioned who the sponsors of the contest were, but I think it's safe to say it really wasn't sponsored by the U.N.

Going to the inside back cover (page 23).

Three legal notices.

A little blurb entitled, "Jehovah's Witnesses Session Resumed."

A photo of three guys with the caption, "Illinois Masons Honored."

A photo of a couple celebrating their golden wedding anniversary.

An article entitled "Bail Denied Mrs. Seipel." She shot and killed her husband a few weeks before, but despite her physical and mental infirmities, the magistrate denied bail.

A Springfield Sun ad offering bonus S&H Green Stamps as an enticement for subscription renewals. The ad points out the benefits of doing your Christmas shopping at the Green Stamp Store. Oh, yeah. We did a lot of that.

Finally, landing on the back page. Ah, yes, the reason my mom kept this paper all these years. Taking up the top two-thirds of the page is one of those "remember when" type photos and short article. The caption reads, "Early Model Trolley Car." And, the photo is of an early model open air electric trolley car, together with 11 train men on and around the trolley, at the downtown intersection of Fifth and Capitol. The story further points out that none of the men are identified. In the margin next to the photo, my dad has written the names of all 11 men. I'm assuming the men in the photo had some acquaintance with my dad's long before deceased dad, who was also a train man (but, not for the trolley company, that I know of).

Okay. I just called the Sangamon Valley Collection guy at our local public library and learned the Springfield Sun was published from 1964 to January of 1973. I didn't get a chance to ask him any other questions, though.

Just a little side note here. Judging from the way he hung up on me, I think the Sangamon Valley Collection guy prefers people actually come into the library and look up their own answers to their own questions, as opposed to him taking calls on the phone.

On the other hand, the reference desk ladies love it when you call. As a matter of fact, the more you call the reference desk ladies, the more they love you. The reference desk ladies and I go way, way back. Recently, we've even had conversations lamenting how the Internet could someday be the demise of the reference desk. But, that's a different story for a another day.

Carry on my wayward Springfield Sun.

Posted by Marie at July 22, 2006 3:58 PM


My mom collected S&H Green Stamps. She wasn't big on Top Value stamps, though. If I ever knew why, it has long since been forgotten.

We still have trolleys in New Orleans although we call them streetcars. I took the St Charles streetcar (It was the last and only one in New Orleans at the time) every day for four years of high school. It never got old. There's another line in New Orleans now and they're making a bit of a comeback in other cities due to business district parking shortages. Minneapolis has a few lines now.

Delightful entry, Marie.

Posted by: Rob at July 22, 2006 11:44 PM

L-O-V-E-D it Marie.

I felt like I was actually there with you reading that old newspaper.

Your little post makes my evening - as far as reading blogs is cnncerned.

Who "owns" the Springfield Sun's archive?

I always feel that the folk at the Sangamon Valley Collection act as if they are overworked - to put it nicely.

I'd love to get some grant money to scan everything they have onto a webserver, and put those overworked folk into an early retirement - if you get my drift.

And yes, the reference desk folk are much more friendly, and helpful.


Posted by: JeromeProphet at July 23, 2006 1:05 AM

Pretty postal patrons. Indeed. Nice post, Marie.

Posted by: Dan at July 25, 2006 1:05 AM

You can see what the Sun's building looked like in 1966 on today's Rewind post. Not very glamorous :)

Edited to add:

Posted by: Russ at August 3, 2006 1:42 PM