2017-11-22 / Columns

The Way We Were


First commercial Christmas card Prominent educator and patron of the arts Henry Cole is credited with inventing the Christmas card during the holiday season of 1843, says the Smithsonian Institute. Cole travelled in the elite, social circles of early Victorian England, and had the “misfortune” of having too many friends, causing Cole much anxiety. The problem were their letters: An old custom in England, the Christmas and New Year’s letter had received a new impetus with the recent expansion of the British postal system and the introduction of the “Penny Post,” allowing the sender to send a letter or card anywhere in the country by affixing a penny stamp to the correspondence. Now, everybody was sending letters. Sir Cole—best remembered today as the founder of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London—was an enthusiastic supporter of the new postal system, and he enjoyed being the 1840s equivalent of an A-Lister, but he was a busy man. As he watched the stacks of unanswered correspondence he fretted over what to do. Cole hit on an ingenious idea. He approached an artist friend, J.C. Horsley, and asked him to design an idea that Cole had sketched out in his mind. Cole then took Horsley’s illustration—a triptych showing a family at table celebrating the holiday flanked by images of people helping the poor—and had a thousand copies made by a London printer. The image was printed on a piece of stiff cardboard 5 1/8 x 3 1/4 inches in size. At the top of each was the salutation, “TO:_____” allowing Cole to personalize his responses, which included the generic greeting “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year To You.” What is believed to be the world’s very first Christmas card was designed and printed in black ink in 1842 in London, England by 16-year-old engraver William M. Egley. — Smithsonian.com First commercial Christmas card Prominent educator and patron of the arts Henry Cole is credited with inventing the Christmas card during the holiday season of 1843, says the Smithsonian Institute. Cole travelled in the elite, social circles of early Victorian England, and had the “misfortune” of having too many friends, causing Cole much anxiety. The problem were their letters: An old custom in England, the Christmas and New Year’s letter had received a new impetus with the recent expansion of the British postal system and the introduction of the “Penny Post,” allowing the sender to send a letter or card anywhere in the country by affixing a penny stamp to the correspondence. Now, everybody was sending letters. Sir Cole—best remembered today as the founder of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London—was an enthusiastic supporter of the new postal system, and he enjoyed being the 1840s equivalent of an A-Lister, but he was a busy man. As he watched the stacks of unanswered correspondence he fretted over what to do. Cole hit on an ingenious idea. He approached an artist friend, J.C. Horsley, and asked him to design an idea that Cole had sketched out in his mind. Cole then took Horsley’s illustration—a triptych showing a family at table celebrating the holiday flanked by images of people helping the poor—and had a thousand copies made by a London printer. The image was printed on a piece of stiff cardboard 5 1/8 x 3 1/4 inches in size. At the top of each was the salutation, “TO:_____” allowing Cole to personalize his responses, which included the generic greeting “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year To You.” What is believed to be the world’s very first Christmas card was designed and printed in black ink in 1842 in London, England by 16-year-old engraver William M. Egley. — Smithsonian.com Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, November 24, 1927 Women of the Presbyterian Church in Whitesburg are forming an organization to carry out work for the church. The women of the Whitesburg church are organizing with the help of Mrs. J.W. Craft, who has headed a women’s auxiliary at the Hazard Presbyterian Church for the past 13 years. Mrs. Thomas Jennings, wife of the current preacher at the Whitesburg church, was elected president of the new organization, while Mrs. Craft was elected vice-president. Mrs. J.D.W. Collins is the secretary.

. A successful hunting trip to the Cumberland River section of Letcher County has resulted in a “quail supper” being held Monday night at the Daniel Boone Hotel in Whitesburg for friends of car dealer Lewis Ammerman and county offi cial Gordon Lewis.

. The railroad is expected to expand into the Linefork section of Letcher County very soon, as right-of-way has been purchased to the mouth of Big Branch.

. An average of 40 pupils now attend school in Linefork. Seven of those students are on schedule to graduate eighth grade this year.

. Heirs of the late Judge W.F. Hall and F.F. Cawood have sold to the L&N Railroad five miles of existing track from Lenarue to Crummies in Harlan County, also known as the Martin’s Fork Line. The L&N says it will spend about $4 million to extend the line through the mountain via tunnel to connect with the C&O Railroad at Hagan, Virginia. The project will connect the Hazard and Harlan coalfields.

. “In the shadow of beautiful hills, in valley on the headwaters of Shelby Creek on the border of Pike and Letcher counties, lies a spot on this big earth known as Beefhide,” E.H. Johnson writes to The Mountain Eagle. “… Here men are endowed with that moral, mental, and physical fitness that enables them to stand in the day of adversity and fill the responsible places in life that needful world is wanting. Many times these noble people are looked upon with scorn and contempt by the ignorant, benighted souls who are not able to comprehend the beautiful and noble character of these mountain people.”

Thursday, November 25, 1937 At Mountain Eagle press time today (Thursday) Republican James M. Crase still held a lead over Democrat candidate Dr. B.F. Wright as a court-ordered recount was being conducted here by Judge Sanders E. Clay of Danville in Boyle County. With 32 of 62 voting precincts recounted, Crase held a 62-vote majority.

. Time seemed to stand still in Whitesburg last Friday morning when news of the accidental death of 16-year-old June Day reached Letcher County. Miss Day, daughter of Whitesburg restaurant owners, Mr. and Mrs. Joe I. Day, was killed in a freak accident last Thursday night in Breathitt County. The Whitesburg High School freshman — “who was more lie a little angel than a schoolgirl” — was shot in the head after a pistol was knocked out of the Days’ vehicle and onto a roadway as the car was being pushed out of the way of moving traffic. The accident occurred about seven miles on the Lexington side of Hazard, just after the engine in the car stopped running while Mr. Day, his daughter, and his two sons, Lester and Oramus, were returning home from a football game in Lexington. As the car was being pushed, a jacket was moved and the gun was knocked out of the car. The girl was rushed to the Hazard hospital immediately, but died there soon after she arrived. Funeral services were held in Whitesburg Sunday morning. Burial was in the family cemetery on Big Cowan.

. The Ladies Auxiliary of the Whitesburg Presbyterian Church served turkey dinners to 85 players, coaches and guests of the Whitesburg High School football team.

. Actress Marlene Dietrich stars in the new comedy-drama film “Angel,” showing Monday night only at the Kentucky Theatre on Main Street in Whitesburg. On Thursday for one night only, Mickey Rooney stars as “bad boy” Shockey Carter in the film “Hoosier Schoolboy,” also showing at the Kentucky.

Thursday, November 27, 1947 Earle C. Clements and Lawrence W. Weatherby will be inaugurated as Kentucky’s next Governor and Lieutenant Governor, respectively, on Tuesday, December 9, in Frankfort.

. Fleming High School graduate Bill Craft is performing well for the Union College Bulldogs basketball team early this season. Also showing promise for the Bulldogs early this season are Owen Craft, a five-foot 10-inch freshman from Mayking, and Woodrow Crum, a fivefoot 11-inch freshman from Burdine.

. The Mountain Eagle is being published a day early this week so that its employees can be home for the Thanksgiving holiday. The paper is also planning to publish its Christmas week edition a few days early.

. “Signs of sickness in our education system are not academic, but moral, and better pay for our teachers will not cure

the malady unless the moral purposes of education are revived,” writer Stanley High declares in the December edition of The Reader’s Digest. “While our $2.5 billion dollar a year school system is, materially, the most impressive educational establishment in history, the little red schoolhouse was morally a better investment,” High writes in his column, which is reprinted on the editorial page of this week’s Eagle.

. Congress established Yellowstone National Park as the country’s first national park in 1872 under an act signed into law by President U.S. Grant. The Yosemite, Sequoia, and General Grant national parks were signed into law in 1890, according to a feature in this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle.

. The first Christmas card was designed and printed in black ink in 1842 in London, England by 16-year-old engraver William M. Egley. Sir Henry Cole of London started the tradition of sending in 1843, according to a feature appearing in The Eagle.

. At least 39 Letcher County residents were in Lexington November 22 to see the Kentucky Wildcats defeat the Tennessee Volunteers, 13 to 6. The win improved the record for Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s football team to 7 and 3.

. Twin sisters Margie Lou and Betty Sue Slemp of Farraday are attending Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. The two are the daughters of Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Slemp, also of Farraday [now part of Thornton].

Thursday, November 28, 1957 Harry the Horse and Lloyd the Frog are helping to lead the University of Kentucky “Kittens” freshman football team. Harry the Horse is tackle Harry Johnson, a graduate of Fleming-Neon High School. Lloyd the Frog is Whitesburg High School graduate Lloyd Hodge, the team’s fullback. The two are also roommates in “Kitten Lodge.”

. Billy Wayne Polly and Donna Kay Warf were selected as king and queen of the Halloween carnival held recently at Haymond School. The king is in fifth grade; the queen is in fourth grade.

. Fire broke out in a portion of South- East Coal Company’s Millstone mine Sunday night, causing a portion of the mine to be sealed off temporarily. Company Vice President Virgil Picklesimer said the 30 men normally assigned to the section would be assigned to other sections of the mine. The fire caused an estimated $200,000 in damages to the mine.

. Jack Craft is in New York City this week buying merchandise for his Craft’s Department Store in Neon.

. Bert Lancaster and Kirk Douglas star in “The Amazon Trader,” showing Sunday and Monday at Isaac’s Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.

Thursday, November 23, 1967 The House of Representatives has approved a continuation of the antipoverty program under a $1.6 billion

appropriation. The Senate earlier had approved anti-poverty program proposals costing more than $2 billion. Each version has several amendments. The Senate proposes closer state control of the anti-poverty programs financed by the Office of Economic Opportunity, particularly the so-called community action programs, which are run by local groups. The House version calls for more representation of elected officials on the governing boards of local anti-poverty agencies.

. Marine Staff Sergeant Darrell Fields, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lansford J. Fields and husband of the former Joyce A. Sumpter, all of Day Rural Station of Whitesburg, participated in “Operation Swift” while serving with the first battalion of the fifth Marine regiment of the First Division in Vietnam.

. Letcher County telephone users can now telephone any out-of-state point in the United States for $1 or less after 7 p.m., station-to-station. There is also a reduction on long distance calls made after midnight if the caller dials himself, but this will not apply in Letcher County, since direct dialing is not possible here.

. Funeral services for Mary Cecil Jones, 82, were conducted Monday at Moore and Craft Funeral Home. She was the widow of William L. Jones, a Spanish- American War veteran.

Thursday, November 17, 1977 Federal aid to coal-mining “boom” areas, such as eastern Kentucky, has been approved by a House-Senate conference committee. The $180 million aid, known as “impact assistance”, is designed to help Appalachian and Western states cope with increased population and demands for housing and services that accompany increases in the coal and uranium mining industries.

. Three persons were arrested and charged in connection with the Halloween bridge dynamiting at Mayking, and a fourth warrant has been issued. The bridge has been closed since a dynamite blast rocked homes in Mayking on Halloween night.

. Eolia’s three-year fight for a safe schoolhouse, seemingly won with the announcement of a $100,000 federal grant, is in trouble. Bids from four companies for an addition to the 46-year-old school range from $146,800 to $172,000, excluding administrative costs.

. The success of the new federal mine safety and health standards, signed into law by President Carter, will depend on strict regulation and enforcement by the U.S. Department of Labor, according to Kentucky Senator Wendell Ford.

Wednesday, November 18, 1987 The Federal Aviation Administration is removing its equipment from the Whitesburg Municipal Airport. Vandals have destroyed nearly everything at the airport and the FAA is taking its equipment out. The electronic beacons and radio equipment will be taken to Hazard’s East Kentucky Regional Airport.

. Whitesburg’s new flood insurance

maps and flood control ordinance could mean trouble for the Whitesburg Industrial Site. The flood insurance map shows that the entire industrial site is located squarely in the floodplain — the area most likely to be flooded in the so-called 100-year flood.

. Authorities say they are investigating the theft of a small portion of the $5 million worth of tools and equipment the FBI and state police confiscated last month at a chop-shop operation at McRoberts. They said thieves have taken at least $13,000 worth of tools, CB radios and expensive truck stereos from a storage lot in Whitesburg.

. Thanksgiving recipes from first graders at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School include cooking turkey by putting in the oven for seven minutes, by putting it in a skillet for one minute, by killing it and cooking it for two hours, and by killing it and cooking it on the stove all day at 50 degrees.

Wednesday, November 19, 1997 The City of Whitesburg will receive a $316,798 grant from the federal Appalachian Regional Commission to help complete construction of a new water treatment plant, now under way.

. Fifteen Kentucky state and local offi cials, including State Rep. Paul Mason of Whitesburg, are participating in the Walk A Mile Kentucky program. The program will pair officials with actual welfare recipients to give them a taste of what it’s like to be on assistance. The officials will feed their own families for a month on the amount of money they would receive in food stamps.

. State Rep. Paul Mason of Whitesburg, plans to sponsor legislation to name state highway bridges in Letcher County in honor of war veterans instead of politicians. Mason said he would introduce a bill to turn state-maintained bridges into monuments honoring local war heroes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 The Whitesburg City Council has given Mayor James Wiley Craft permission to negotiate with a local vendor to purchase a video surveillance system to use to monitor Dumpster sites. Craft said it is illegal for people who do not pay city taxes to use city Dumpsters.

. Tayler Adams, a 9-year-old girl from Whitesburg, has been winning motocross races for the past 2½ years. She was among hundreds of riders involved in the 20th annual Suzuki Top Gun Showdown held at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tenn., last month.

. Negotiations between striking nurses and Appalachian Regional Hospital have ended for the time being, even though “substantial progress” is said to have been made during the talks. The strike began October 1 and affects 750 nurses at nine hospitals, including the Whitesburg ARH.

. Regina Donour, a science teacher at Letcher County Central High School, was named 2007 High School Science Teacher of the Year at the Kentucky Science Teachers Association annual awards program.

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