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Local History 

Springfield Diary 1960

 Springfield’s Diary '60

Excerpts from a look back at city happenings in 1960
Sunday News & Leader, January 1, 1961


"January
1-Springfield’s New Year’s baby was a boy, William Anthony, born at 4:32 a.m. at St. John’s to Mr. and Mrs. William G. O’Neill.
7-Court of Appeals opened in new 10th floor courtroom at Woodruff building.
12- Kickapoo School district voters approved $278,000 bond issue for 12 room school.
 21- Springfield lost its natural gas supply, in sub-freezing weather, when gas line near Billings was broken by a ditch digger laying telephone cable; residents improvised electric and old-fashioned heating and cooking methods.
25- Drury College students demonstrated against rule extending semi-formal wear for evening meals at Commons into finals weeks.
27- SMS students’ soup line for demonstrating Druryites, for which Fairbanks Hallers expressed “stomach felt thanks,” broken up by SMS Dean of Men Homer Long.
28- Drury’s brief “be neat to eat” battle ended as many students finished finals and went home to mom’s meals.

February
8- Central Bible Institute announced its students were in fifth day of impromptu prayer and confession marathon.
12- City’s oldest citizen, Mrs. Rilla Abbott, celebrated 105th birthday by singing her favorite “Precious Bible” song.
13- Cornerstone laid for Drury’s new Breech School of Business Administration.
18- Park Board decided to name new northwest park after veteran banker Tom Watkins.
23- Near blizzard hit area, slowing road traffic and stopping air traffic.
24- Another four inches of snow dumped atop previous day’s inch fall, closing rural schools.
28- Springfield shivered and dug out from three-storm accumulation of 10 inches of snow.

March
8- Students at city’s three high schools held Sack Day boycott of cafeterias, which officials termed more a sign of spring than a protest
14- Entertainer Clyde (Red) Foley pleaded innocent to two counts of income tax evasion at federal court arraignment.
18- Drury College announced plans for $100,000 indoor swimming pool and appointment of Harvard’s Franklin E. Folts as director of the Breech School of Business Administration.

April
20- Thunderstorms spawned .34 of an inch of rain and lightning bolts which struck Paul Gaylor home on North National and started fire which wrecked Thomas-Wilcox Paper warehouse on West Olive.
 22- President Eisenhower signed Wilson’s Creek bill.
27- Sandra Frank, 19, SMS blonde beauty, crowned Miss Springfield by TV’s Tennessee Ernie Ford at Jaycees annual pageant.
28- Springfield and Drury College got national spotlight as Henry Ford II and Ernest R. Breech led dignitary parade to dedication of Breech School of Administration and 3000 selected ‘pea-pickers’ watched Ernie Ford’s TV show at Drury’s field house.
29- Kansas City stripper Clarise Annjell, billed as ‘ Flame of Cuba” and as ‘Bar-B-Q Girl,’ landed in city cooler on charges of indecent dress in nightclub act; released on bond, her show went on before full house in police approved garb.

May
2- Springfield plants of Dayco Corp. and Royal McBee are among nations 10 top plants chosen from 500 by Factory magazine.
4- Royal McBee gave Drury College $40,000 electronic digital computer for Breech School of Business Administration.
10- Assemblies of God asked for bids on four-floor, $2.5 million administration building, adjoining present Gospel Publishing House plant on Boonville.
11-Mrs. Sharon Likins named Mrs. Springfield and later, Mrs. Missouri.
17- Preliminary census totals showed Springfield nose count of 96,403 short of the yearned for 100,000 but still a 44.5 percent increase over 1950.
22- Two rookie bachelor policemen, Kenneth Roach and John Gentry, suspended after police answered disturbance call at party they attended.
27- Nineteen of 132 cars in Springfield bound Frisco freight derailed and damaged at Nichols Junction.

June
3- Tarzan, a cheetah, gave Eastwood Hills residents bad moments when he escaped from car of circus man who found him ‘pleasant company’.
7- Allan A. Ryan, Royal McBee board chairman, and other officials here for dedication of it's $5 million plant, said a new medium-priced portable typewriter will be manufactured here.
13- Burge Hospital’s name changed to Burge- Protestant in recognition of role played by ‘all denominations and faiths’…Former Congressman O.K. Armstrong sued government for $14,223 he said was wrongfully collected from him as income tax.
20- School board approved purchase of 100 TV sets for elementary school Spanish course.
28- Utilities Board reduced residential gas and electric rate, raised bus fare from 10 to 15 cents, revised minimum water rates and established charge for water service  connections.

AUGUST
6- Mrs. Anna Hartley, 65 year old ticket taker at fairgrounds stock car races, charged with exhibiting deadly weapon after warning shot fired to impress suspected gate crashers ricocheted off pavement and slightly wounded Jerry Bradley, 17.
8- Conservation Commission blamed second James River fish ‘kill’ in a month on city’s industrial waste.
11- City’s Trailmobile plant got $1.6 million Army ordnance contract for fabrication of missile containers.
12- Fire hastened razing of century old Springfield Pickle Company building, 600 North Rogers.
17- Mr. and Mrs. Jack Fraka and their three children completed three-day stay in home fallout shelter; with only crisis being met when broken can opener replaced by pocket knife.
18- Utilities Board raised Fellows Lake motorboat horsepower limitations from 35 to 40 horse power; extended duck hunting hours from 9 a.m. to noon, from sunrise.
24- Revoking a divorce action, Springfield Court of Appeals Judge Justin Ruark ruled the term ‘hillbilly’ is compliment.
25- Springfield challenged nation’s numerous other Springfields to get-out-the-vote contest…Police received $100 dog training suit from Frisco Women’s Club, announced dogs would operate nights only, alternating between foot and car patrol.

SEPTEMBER
1- After three months of fun in sun, more than 19,000 students returned to public, private and parochial schools.
2- Defense motion to quash careless and reckless ‘driving’ information against Fellow Lake boat duelist Charles Eddington sustained by Magistrate Judge E. A. Barbour, Jr.
7- Fast moving blaze destroyed fairgrounds coliseum and three nearby frame barns with replacement cost estimated at $350,000.
8- Fast police action on informant’s tip, resulted in arrest of Richard F. Rose, 22 and Jessie Barnes, 23 who admitted setting fairgrounds fire and implicated Gary E. Black, 21.
10- Accused arsonist Rose admitted firing Springfield Pickle Works and several buildings in and near Fordland, it was reported.
12- Because of fairgrounds fire, Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus cancelled six October performances.
14- To combat discrimination, Negro youth council organized here by NAACP.
20- Several Springfield hotels, restaurants and theaters followed lead of Kentwood Arms Hotel in announcing that segregation would end or already had ended.
 21- Vice President Richard M. Nixon, in 16 hour flying visit to Springfield with wife, Pat, told 16,000 persons at fairgrounds rally, America’s strength should be emphasized more than weakness.
23- Jubilee USA stage shows, Jewell Theater tourist attraction for more than five years, will end, it was announced.
30- Koss and Menefee Construction Companies submitted apparent low bid of $3.2 million for five-mile stretch of Interstate 44 along city’s north edge.

OCTOBER
2- Police dog Duke, seeking prowler in Temple Baptist Church, pulled Policeman Jerry Upp into baptismal font.
7- Tower Theater, after polling patrons, said it would continue to bar Negroes.
12- Evangel College’s 275 member council recommended construction of school’s first two permanent buildings, a physical education-music unit and a library-chapel.
20- Possible offer of the Shrine Mosque for sale to city as civic auditorium is in talking stage, said Recorder Russell Wilcox…Park Board approved offer to replace fairgrounds coliseum for $140,000.
24- Leggett and Platt, Carthage national bed-springs manufacturers, bought C. A. Bissman Manufacturing Company.
27- Five Medical Center inmates broke window to flee from building but were found in storm sewer on prison grounds.
31- Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, arriving a few hours after his wife, Lady Bird, told cheering crowd of 3000 at Shrine Mosque, rally voters should consider candidate’s fitness for office rather than his religion.

NOVEMBER
22- Missouri Pacific railroad announced 120 acre addition to industrial property southwest of city.
24- Cavin’s one of Springfield’s oldest fashion shops for women, announced it is ceasing operations.
26- In spring like weather, an estimated 50,000 kids of all ages watched Santa Claus and Miss Merrie [sic] Christmas officially open Christmas shopping season in annual parade.

DECEMBER
2- James O. Dahlman, 27 year old confessed “pants burglar”, captured by plucky, angry householder, Fred Hubbell, radiator shop operator, after Dahlman took more than $200 from Hubbell home.
4- Expert safe burglars, working form rented quarters up-stairs, took more than $1600 in cash and $20,000 in diamonds from Gaylor Jewelry Company, 322 South Street.
12- ‘C.C. Williford Day’ proclaimed by mayor David Scott as famous retired weatherman honored at metro club Dinner…City council approved funds for construction of new No. 1 fire station at Kimbrough and Trafficway.
13- Springfield, Ga., apparent winner of city’s get-out-the-vote derby with nation’s [other] Springfields; Missouri’s Springfield in fifth and last place.
14- School board approved purchase of $76,000 worth of tracts for Central High School parking.
15- Park Board approved $105,000, 1000-swimmer capacity pool at Doling Park.
20- Park Board, on Fair Board suggestion, approved $50,600 bid for reconstruction of fire-ruined hog, sheep and chicken barns at fairgrounds.
21- George A. Hormel Company announced purchase of closed Queen City Packing Company.
25- Fire blamed on boiler coals placed too near wooden wall did estimated $50,000 damage to Custom Trailer Company, 1631 College."


This and other newspaper articles are available on microfilm at the Library Center. 

 


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