A look back at Laurel History - 12/22/16

War puts a damper on Christmas in 1941

Compiled by 


Outlook managing editor


25 years ago

Dec. 25, 1991

A birth was announced for Madison Ruth Cebuhar

Laurel Police are seeking information on a series of vandalisms which have occurred in Laurel during the past week. According to Officer John Rosenberg, vandals broke displays and stole items from the Christmas display in Fireman’s Park during the early evening Dec. 18. Rosenberg said the vandalism consisted of damage to motors, broken displays and lights, pieces stolen, and Santa’s Workshop being tipped over. He said one of the snowmen from the display was stolen, as well as Bugs Bunny and a candy cane from one of the displays.

The potential for a serious fire in downtown Laurel was averted early Friday morning by the fast action of the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department this week. A car fire was reported behind the Shell Shack at 113 E. Main, around 1 a.m. When firemen arrived at the scene, they discovered a small Ford truck fully engulfed in flames.The vehicle belonged to a Shell Shack employee and showed signs of vandalism.


50 years ago

Dec. 28, 1966

District director R.G. Hoffeller of the Immigration and naturalization service stated that the annual alien address report program usually causes a sharp rise in the number os applications for naturalization . The law requires all aliens in the United States, with few exceptions, to report their address each January. Almost thirty percent more applications for naturalization are received during the months of January, February and March. Mr. Hoffeller attributes this to the alien address report program.

Christmas dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. R.C. Dantic were their daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Ruff and family. Mr. and Mrs. William Knaub entertained at Christmas dinner for Mr. and Mrs. Ervin Beadle and family, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Batt and family, Mr. and Mrs. H.R. Batt and family, and Mrs. James Lanouette of Billings. 

Special entertainment for the annual Christmas Party of the Laurel unit of the American Legion Auxiliary was provided by junior members of the organization. Cindy Shay, Rhonda Royer, and Merrilee Hall presented skit entitled, “It must be Santa Claus,” under the direction of Mrs. Hall. Mrs. Ready accompanied the group singing of Christmas Carols.


75 years ago

Dec. 24,1941

A letter was received here this week by Mrs. F.A. Eoff from her son, Edward Butler, who is stationed in Hawaii and who says he is okeh. The censored letter mentions the affair at Pearl Harbor, but gives no details. Young Butler did say he had listened to a “swell” broadcast indicating that the islands readily hear programs originating on the mainland.

Despite the fact that after 24 years Laurel and the rest of the nation is on the eve of another war-time Christmas, with thoughts divided between celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace and the rapid movements of American armed forces engaged in another titanic struggle, Christmas is still Christmas. Last-minute shoppers made their final purchases, and the Christmas buying which began the middle of November—more than a month ago—has ended for another year.

Mrs. George Coy, one of the Laurel Red Cross workers, attached a note bearing her name and address to one of the items of clothing she completed last summer for war-stricken Britain. This week she received a reply, a card It was written by a Mrs. I. Dean, and said: “Thanks for the lovely dress so kindly sent to our bombed-out people. I am in charge of the clothes center, women’s volunteer service, and we are so grateful to our American friends for all their gifts.” The handwriting is in characteristic English script. 


100 years ago

Dec. 20, 1916

J.H. Mendenhall, the Willys-Overland dealer of this city, who was one of the 5,000 dealers who visited the great factory at Toledo, returned to Laurel Saturday. Mr. Mendenhall recounts his experiences in this entertaining letter to the editor of the Outlook: :Nothing was ever so impressive as our tour of the great plant that turns out Willy-Overland cars. Our Pullmans all parked in the company yards. There was room enough,m for tree were seven and three-quarter miles of track within the plant. Each man got a card containing a picture of Mr. Willys and an autographed message of welcome from him. Next thing I knew we were lined up on the steps of the stunning new administration building getting photographed. Elevators shot us to the company’s own restaurant on the sixth floor. There we had a corking breakfast. At each plate was a copy of the live new Willys-Overland house organ, ‘The Starter.’ It mapped our day’s program. Then started our tour of the plant.”



Upcoming Events

Monday, June 17, 2019
Corinthian Lodge No. 72, AF&AM, first & third Monday, 7:30 p.m., Masonic Temple, Laurel Masonic Temple, 9900 Airport Road (except July-August)
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503

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