Looking Back for Dec. 13, 2023

Winter on the Northern Illinois State Normal School (now Northern Illinois University) campus in DeKalb, circa 1920.

1923 – 100 Years Ago

Over 100 books have been loaned by the DeKalb City Library to the grade school of the city in order that “Book Week” may be more fittingly recognized. The books were sent to the Glidden school and will be passed on to the Ellwood and Haish school before being returned to the library. The city library will hold open house after the coming holidays when the Whist club will have compete charge. The Whist club has been active in procuring books and rendering service to the library.

Robert Firkins of Rollo is driving a new Overland Special automobile.

Miss Reed of the Palmer School of Writing, came to DeKalb to look over the work by pupils at St. Mary’s school who are taking up the Palmer method of writing. The instructor found all the students doing work above the average, even amongst the little folks at the school. She found that all have acquired the fundamentals of Palmer writing and with the extreme interest manifested, the day proved to be a pleasing one. Some very good specimens of writing have been produced by the pupils of St Mary’s school, and some of them have been reproduced in the official magazine of the Palmer School of Writing.

Christmas spirit was given a little foundation on which to grow today, when the first shipment of Christmas trees were found in front of the business stores on the Lincoln Highway. The mild weather has not been in accord with the Christas spirit but the merchants report that the sales have been brisk.

Little Phyllis Pearl Housewert of DeKalb has been spending several days here with her great grandparents Mr. and Mrs. William Wiltse.

Illinois Christmas ship is back. After four years’ absence, the tradition established by Captain H. Schueneman, who went down to Davy Jones’ Lake Michigan locker eleven years ago, has been revived by his widow. Mrs. Schueneman for a number of years after the captain died brought a load of Michigan evergreens to Chicago in chartered ships. But for the last four years she has been unable to find a captain who considered a cargo of Christmas trees in keeping with the dignity of his vessel. This year the old schooner “Fearless” buffeted Lake Michigan’s angry waves and brought the Yuletide symbols safely to port. The trees will be sold to dealers here and downstate.

1948 – 75 Years Ago

Today was a big day for the youngsters of DeKalb and community. Santa Claus arrived early this afternoon and was greeted by hundreds of his little friends at his headquarters at the Gordon-Clark show rooms located at 146 North Fourth Street. Although it was not possible for Santa to meet all of his friends this afternoon, he is looking forward to seeing them all before he leaves on the afternoon of December 24.

Christmas carols will sound over a loudspeaker system in downtown Sycamore Wednesday night. Most of them will be recorded and played back on the speaker. The committee would like to hear from singing organizations that want to participate. Just call the Chamber of Commerce, 206, and leave your name.

A most successful paper drive was conducted on Saturday in DeKalb by the Boy Scouts and Cubs. Although the final report has not been received about 32 tons of paper were collected. Through the concerted efforts of the Cubs, Scouts and Adult leaders the drive was carried out in a smooth manner. The Cubs canvassed the homes in the morning and carried the bundles to the curbs. The Scouts and trucks then covered the city gathering the bundles and taking them to Seventh and Oak Streets. Although it was not the largest collection made by the Scouts, the results of the drive were more than satisfactory.

Adding considerably to the holiday atmosphere were the Christmas decorations which were erected yesterday in the DeKalb business district. Huge silver wreaths with red metal bows were placed on each lamp post along with twisted green garlands. On the corner poles there are plastic faces of Santa Claus. The brightly sunlight this morning reflected brilliantly in the metal bows and the decorations attracted considerable favorable comment from the many shoppers.

LaPorte, Ind., - Five men, believed to be members of a burglary gang, apparently got their ideas for crimes from comic books, police said today. Officials said that Stanford Pikerton, 21, his teen-age wife, and a young girl living with them told how they and four Michigan men scanned comic books for burglary “hints.”

The Genoa post office will move from its present location on January 15, to the building at the corner of Genoa and Main streets. This building has been known as a billiard parlor for many years. There are three apartments on the second floor which will be rented out.

1973 – 50 Years Ago

Watergate and the energy crisis secondary considerations today for DeKalb County residents who woke up to find themselves buried in five inches of snow and ice. The first major snowstorm of the winter knocked electrical power out for about 400 homes and businesses in the DeKalb-Sycamore area, forced the closing of most schools and made travel difficult if not impossible.

A McDonald’s meal for two hamburgers, a shake and a regular order of french fries provides 60 percent of the daily need for protein, nearly a third of many important vitamins and minerals and is lower in calories from fat than the average American meal. The percentage of calories from fat is about 33 percent, compared with about 40 percent for the average meal.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation met today to discuss whether President Nixon complied with the law in taking tax deductions that saved him $235,000 in federal income taxes. Nixon requested the study in making pubic his tax and financial records last weekend.

In keeping with President Nixon’s request of no outdoor Christmas lighting this year because of the energy crisis, the Genoa Jaycees announced at their December meeting that they have dropping their annual Home Decorations Contest and the Villa Rest Home tour.

1998 - 25 Years Ago

The Salvation Army in DeKalb/Sycamore is once again finding itself awash in rare coins. The Salvation Army said six gold coins have been dropped off in community kettles, along with over 20 silver coins. Two are British sovereigns, an early 1900s coin. The sovereigns are a half ounce of gold each. One is dated 1910 and the other 1911.

The DeKalb Public Library will be implementing a new browser that will allow patrons access to the Internet when they have registered. Children and young adults (17 and under) must have their parent/guardian sign a waiver form allowing them access. As stated in the Internet Policy, the library has full Internet access with no filters.

In a jarring blend of constitutional drama and partisan struggle, the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against President Clinton on grounds of perjury. Clinton pleaded for the lesser punishment of “censure and rebuke.”

A deal signed yesterday should bring a new cable TV service to customers in DeKalb, Sycamore and Rochelle within the next four months. TCI and Time Warner have reached a “definitive agreement” to trade a number of cable systems which now serve more than 1 million customers nationwide.

Compiled by Sue Breese