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Old News Way Back Day: December 17, 1935


This month Old News travels back 80 years to [|December 17, 1935. ] Local news dominated the front page that day with the major announcement of the [|merger] of three banks, [|Ann Arbor Savings Bank], the [|Farmers and Mechanics Bank], and [|First National Bank and Trust Co.] The merger, in the middle of the Great Depression, was seen as reassuring move in an otherwise shaky banking industry. Economic conditions dominated other local news as the Ann Arbor Public School [|announced] federal funding for nursery schools and adult education. The WPA plan for a [|"practice house"] where girls from relief families would be trained as housemaids was also unveiled. Even the Letters to the Editor were concerned with the Depression as a citizen [|called on neighbors] to drop their opposition to a home for orphan children in the 7th ward. Perhaps related to the dire economic conditions (or not), the Courts took up the case of the [|stolen hog].

Many of the holiday traditions familiar to Ann Arborites took center stage in 1935. A front page article predicted that [|thousands] would listen to the University Choral Union's Messiah at Hill Auditorium. The Community Sing, begun in 1931, was promoted with a [|full-page display] complete with lyrics to all the favorite Christmas songs for the expected 10,000 carolers. The University of Michigan's [|Subscription Dance] was becoming so popular organizers had to limit ticket sales. The local schools were not to be outdone with the Tappan School students putting on a production of [|Dicken's Christmas Carol.] Check out the list of players and you may recognize a Townie. The annual [|Yule Lighting Contest] deadline was extended to give citizens plenty of time to decorate their yards.

Amateur sports were big, really big, in 1935. Amateur boxing nights at the Armory drew big crowds and [|prominent coverage] in the News. Mill Marsh, the News sports columnist, [|mused] on the growing popularity of Wolverine hockey and basketball. Intrepid wrestling coach [|Cliff Keen] regaled the Ann Arbor Kiwanis with a description of the [|drama] of Big Ten conference matches.

So what kind of routine news would you find in the Ann Arbor Daily News in 1935? Plenty. [|Birthdays] were celebrated, [|marriage license] announced, [|deaths] noted, [|weather data] recorded, and the ever-present promotional contests, with readers competing for prizes with [|funny verses.] Readers looked to the [|radio listings] for their favorite programs and the [|theater ads] for the latest films from Hollywood.

Much has changed in Ann Arbor in 80 years but it's amazing to note how many business are still around. [|Moe Sport Shop], celebrating 100 years in 2015, had a gorgeous [|display ad] to tempt holiday shoppers. [|Kroger Co.] gave cooks [|a list] of the most-needed holiday items. [|Arbor Springs] reminded readers to stock up on water for the holiday dinners. Stay tuned to Old News for more Way Back Days.