This week in history: Dec. 9-14

Dec. 9-14, 1940
  • Giles Smith was elected new president for the Mount Olive 4-H club during the business session of an after-school meeting. GJ Sullivan was named vice president. Josephine Grady (secretary/treasurer), Tillie Hollowell (reporter), Audrey Jackson (song leader) and Frances Ward (recreation leader) were also picked as new officers.
  • Brightly-colored lights glistened in businesses and residences in downtown Mount Olive as the holiday season officially arrived. Dr. C.C. Henderson, who resided on North Center Street, outlined his home in electric blue lights. He placed an airplane, outlined with colored bulbs, atop his front porch.
  • Eligible residents in Mount Olive, Dudley and Seven Springs received their draft questionnaires. According to published reports, more than 800 trainees – including 513 North Carolina residents – are scheduled to arrive at Fort Bragg during December.
Dec. 9-14, 1950
  • The Mount Olive Tribune published several letters to Santa Claus on the front page of its Dec. 12 edition. Twenty-month-old Emily Gay asked the jolly old elf for a doll, a stroller and anything else he thinks she may like to find under the Christmas tree. Gay wrote “I hope you have good luck in getting around. Please don’t miss us.”
  • Ray Scarborough, Mount Olive’s contribution to Major League Baseball, was traded to the Boston Red Sox by the Chicago White Sox. The deal involved four other players worth an estimated $500,000 in contract talks. A right-hander, Scarborough served with the U.S. Navy during World War II.
  • The Mount Olive Panther basketball teams opened their season with a doubleheader split against New Hope. The girls won 47-20 behind Peggy Wolfe’s 34-point effort, while the boys fell 49-47 in overtime.
  • Santa Claus and Erie Cocke Jr., national commander of the American Legion, shared grand marshal honors during the annual Christmas parade that covered a 12-block area in downtown Mount Olive. The town’s public works department spent the week putting up decorations before the parade took place.
Dec. 9-14, 1960
  • Calypso Plywood Co. reminded residents to give “practical Christmas gifts,” including seven-inch electric power saws ($29.95), one-quarter inch electric drills ($13.95), hammers of all sizes ranging from $1.95 to $4.95 and a full line of hand saws.
  • IGA announced its grand opening in Mount Olive will take place Dec. 15-17. Weekly prizes given away included a vacuum cleaner, boys’ and girls’ bicycle, floor polisher, portable sewing machine and an RCA Hi-Fi stereo.
  • Mount Olive High School opened Wayne County Conference play with a doubleheader sweep of southern division rival Brogden. The girls won 44-33 and the boys rolled 64-41.

— Compiled by Rudy Coggins


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