October 10, 1963
A pumpkin grown by Alvin Profitt of Eolia, is so big he can’t get it through the door of his house. The pumpkin, which he left on his front porch, is 76 inches around. It is estimated to weigh between 200 and 300 pounds.
A Mountain Eagle editorial headlined “Hungry mountain children — let them eat cake?” says, “What a tragedy it is that the United States with all its wealth cannot take care of the starving children of eastern Kentucky . . . Almost none of the one-, two- and three-room schools in the mountains have lunchroom programs. Yet, since these small schools are the ones located in the pockets of deepest poverty, it is the children of these schools who . . . are in dire need of a decent, hot school lunch.”
Another editorial in The Mountain Eagle salutes the first airplane landing at the Whitesburg Municipal Airport. The editorial says the airport was built by a “relatively small but capable group of local citizens who have realized eastern Kentucky must become part of the air age if it is ever to see a better day.”
October 11, 1973
The Small Business Administration has agreed to participate in the fi- nancing of an automotive spring company planned for Whitesburg. The proposed factory will be built by Liggett Spring & Axle Company of Monongahela, Penn.
The Whitesburg Yellowjackets defeated county rival Fleming-Neon by a score of 30-6 to win their homecoming game.
Kentucky Gov. Wendell Ford visited Letcher County. The governor was here as leader of an industrial development tour and brought a busload of industrial and business leaders from throughout the state. The tour group was greeted by the Whitesburg High School Band.
Mr. and Mrs. Bryant Dixon celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Mr. and Mrs. Ismay Sparks are also celebrating a wedding anniversary, their 40th.
October 5, 1983
Firms with coal mines in Letcher County ranked eighth and ninth among the top coal producers in Kentucky for 1982. Blue Diamond Mining Co., owner of the Scotia mining operation at Oven Fork, was eighth with 2,096,898 tons. The figure also included coal produced by Blue Diamond at mines in Leslie, Perry and McCreary counties. Beth-Elkhorn Corp. of Jenkins, a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corp., was ninth with 2,047,210 tons. The figure included the firm’s Pike County coal production also. South East Coal Co., with mines in Knott and Letcher counties, produced 1,251,678 tons.
A nine-foot tobacco plant was grown on Tunnel Hill in Whitesburg by C.B. Clay and Lennon Hammock. One leaf of the plant is 15 inches wide by 18 inches long.
Kentucky’s Seventh Congressional District, which includes Letcher County, is the fourth poorest educated in the nation. The Fifth Congressional District in Kentucky is the poorest educated in the country. According to US News and World Report magazine, only 42.1 percent of Seventh District residents over 25 years old had graduated from high school. Only 37.7 percent of persons over 25 in the Fifth District are high school graduates.
October 13, 1993
Letcher County schools had their ups and downs in a ranking of the state’s schools based on the scores of the 1993 assessment tests given to pupils in the fourth, eighth and 12th grades. Kingdom Come Elementary School fourth graders, Jenkins Middle School eighth graders, and Jenkins 12th graders showed improvement on the test. On the other hand, Fleming-Neon High School’s 12th graders scored fourth lowest in the state and other Letcher County schools lost ground from their 1992 scores.
The Letcher County jobless rate rose to 11.9 percent as an additional 104 people lost their jobs. Letcher County’s unemployment rate is sixth highest in the state.
Medical clinics in Letcher County are reporting a brisk business in flu vaccinations as many residents heed warnings that the 1993-94 flu season might be one of the most severe in recent memory.
October 15, 2003
The Letcher County Fiscal Court has agreed to begin negotiations with a Covington company that wants to “cook” the county’s garbage. In the process, garbage is loaded into a steam pressure cooker which spins, breaking up the bags and exposing every part of the garbage to intense heat.
Leaves are reaching their peak colors this week at the highest elevations in Letcher County. Forestry and travel experts believe the annual show of reds, yellows and brown will be at the brightest through the middle of next week if rains don’t spoil the show first.