As presented in the Fifty Years Ago column in the Thursday, Dec. 26, 1963 edition of the Rome News-Tribune
Rome spent a quiet Christmas a half century ago. It had been a long time since the weather treated the city to such a bleak and disagreeable Christmas. Flurries of snow occurred and the temperature hovered around 36.
There were only six arrests made and only one person injured by a firecracker. Joe Attaway had his eye badly injured by the premature explosion of a cannon cracker as he was showing a child how to handle firecrackers. The mayor’s proclamation on the subject of fireworks was that none could be exploded on the streets of the city, however, it was permissible to explode firecrackers not exceeding two inches in length between 12 p.m. December 24 and 12 p.m. December 25 on private property.
Five hundred Christmas baskets were distributed to the poor at the Salvation Army and no one went hungry on Christmas. The 25 prisoners in jail were served a bountiful meal.
The singing of Christmas carols, a beautiful old-time custom, was revived in Rome by the choir and the Sunday School of St. Peter’s Church, the group going from home to home to serenade.
Lindale certainly enjoyed the best Christmas it had had in many years; of course, there were a precious few who imbibed just a bit to excess, but they were quiet about it and did not feel especially good about their situation. It could be, though, that a few would be taken with warrants according to Charles J. Ogles, Lindale correspondent for the Tribune-Herald, who wrote: “Good morning, have you got your neck tie yet?” and “Santa Claus by any other name would cost as much – and be worth it” and “Children, please answer promptly when Santa calls your name.”
Dr. J.D. Thomas received the most appreciated Christmas gift of anyone – a diploma from the University of Georgia conferring upon him the degree which would have been received in the class of 1863 had he not left school to join the Confederate Army. … An alleged shoplifter got in some artistic work at Lanham’s and Kuttner’s on Christmas Eve. When she went into Lanham’s, L.N. Shahan suspected her and asked her to let him look in a small suitcase she was carrying. Many articles from various counters were inside. The same happened in Kuttner’s. She claimed to be from Cedartown and was allowed to go free provided she left town right away. … The steamer Alabama arrived from Greensport, Ala., with a large shipment of cotton and other items. … J.H. Cooper bought the old Buena Vista Hotel and planned to tear it down after the first of the year. …
A goodly number turned out for the Chamber of Commerce meeting when the question of new bridges was discussed. A committee of 25 headed by Judge Moses Wright was named to meet with the city council and the county commissioners. The Chamber considered the bridges the most important proposition before the public in 1913. … A total of $138 was raised to build a nice schoolhouse in the Dunehoo District by a committee including W.K. Holmes, chairman, W.G. Dunehoo, the Rev. J.E. Smith, J.V. Sullivan and H.N. Bradshaw. T.J. Eubanks had been engaged to build it and was to begin Monday, promising completion by the weekend. … Trolley cars were soon to be crossing the Southern tracks on Maple Street on the East Side. The crossings had arrived and were to be put down immediately. When completed, passengers would no longer have to transfer. …
Mack Noles, little son of Mr. and Mrs. John Noles, of Lindale, was painfully injured on the face when another little boy, Jim Duncan, across the street, hit him with a heavy rock. … Thomas Pullen, of Silver Creek, fell from the platform on the Central of Georgia train at Lindale after losing his balance as the train pulled away from the station and was seriously injured. … The local camp of Gideons announced that they had raised enough money to provide a Bible for every room at the Cherokee, the Third Avenue and the Porter hotels and were going to make an effort to supply Bibles in the hotels of neighboring towns. … Mrs. Bolling Sullivan had recently purchased an electric automobile, which was one of the handsomest and most modern in the state. …