December 18, 2016

The "Secret Agent Man" Christmas of 1966

The Cold War had an effect on the Christmas of 1966. With "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," James Bond and even "Get Smart" invading pop culture, boys dreamed of being "secret agents" and Christmas toys reflected that.

In Prescott, the Senior High opened its home bastketball season against McClintock in their brand new, saucer-shaped gymnasium. Prescott won. (*1)

December 11, 2016

1937: The Christmas Without Candy

Come 1937, the Great Depression was taking a serious human toll.

One small boy arrived at Jefferson School "wan and helpless." When the principal, Miss Anyta Buzran questioned why, she uncovered an appalling travail: For the last two days, that boy and his two sisters had nothing more a glass of milk apiece to eat for the last two days. (*1)

Buzran quickly investigated several other families with students in her school and found 8-10 more children in the same condition. (*1)

Without a social safety net, things had become extremely desperate for many Prescott families who couldn't find work. After five long years of depression, even the charities had difficulties procuring suitable donations.

December 4, 2016

1916: The Plaza's (& AZ's) First Christmas Tree

1916 was an auspicious year for Prescott's Courthouse Plaza. In October, the cornerstone was laid for the brand new (and current) Courthouse.

Later, as Christmas approached, citizens as well as the Chamber of Commerce, thought it would be an excellent idea to erect a municipal Christmas tree in the plaza.

A meeting was held December 18th with the chamber, local ministers, and city officials, where "the opinion was unanimous in favor of the big tree." (*1)

There were to be lights, decorations, candy, toys and charity baskets for every worthy, poor family in the city.

The newspaper proudly crowed: "Prescott will be the first city in the entire State of Arizona to hold a big municipal tree." (*1)

...That is, if they could get all the plans completed in less than a week!