Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Monday, July 25, 2016

Civil Defense

July 24, 1962, Neenah-Menasha Daily Northwestern
Back in the Cold War days, when fears were rampant that the Soviet Union could annihilate us with the push of a button, Civil Defense planning was all the rage.  Cities had active bomb shelter programs and Civil Defense coordinators.  Remember the duck and cover drills?   And who out there remembers "CONELRAD?"

CONELRAD (Control of Electromagnetic Radiation) was a former method of emergency broadcasting to the public in the event of enemy attack. It was intended to allow continuous broadcast of civil defense information to the public using radio or TV stations. Eventually, CONELRAD was replaced by the Emergency Broadcast System. 
You may remember the AM radios of the time had little red or white triangles at these frequency markers, to make it easier to tune in to CONELRAD broadcasts, should the need arise.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Mighty Important

July 22, 1937, Appleton Post-Crescent
In completing our summer theme, what's more summer-oriented than a driving trip somewhere.  And that equates with getting your car ready for such an excursion.  Luckily, Gibson was ready and willing to help out.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Park Fun

July 17, 1965, Twin City News-Record
Fun in the sun a bit over fifty years ago.  I know Menasha still has an active parks department and summer schedule, but at the risk of sounding like an old codger, I'd bet it's skewed to the structured side, that is, more sports and less "goofy" events, if only in keeping with current societal norms and liability issues.  With all the emphasis on food allergies and safety considerations in today's litigious world, could a peanut hunt or a licorice eating contest even be held today if it involved kids? 

Granted, times change and things evolve and it can be argued that you don't miss what you don't know about.  So, I'm sure today's kids are well-taken care of in the summer fun department.  It's just us old guys, looking back through the mists of time, comparing our lives fifty years ago with the present. Our parents did it too.  As a kid, I remember finding my father's old leather football helmet from the thirties and being regaled with his anecdotes about how today's game didn't match up to his.  I probably rolled my eyes at hearing all that!  But all these years later...look out, I've become my father!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Old Prospector

July 20, 1965, Neenah-Menasha Daily Northwestern
In keeping with our summer theme this week, comes the story of this man, a real character who headed the Prospector Days parade in 1965.  Stories like his were at the heart of the city's earliest residents and we'd be hard pressed today to find someone with such a history to speak of.  Seems like in the past, the town was rife with stories like his, of hardscrabble individuals who excelled in life as they overcame overwhelming obstacles in their way.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Dog Repellent

November 18, 1964, Neenah-Menasha Daily Northwestern
This item is a bit out of kilter with the summer themes lately, but I was taken with the concept of the postman out on an average hot summer day and what more aggravation does he need than a pesky dog who won't leave him alone.  Not sure when the concept of pepper spray was put into practice (World War I brought chemical warfare to the forefront, but that was a lot more serious than this), but the article writer here makes it sound as if we've never heard of it before. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

3 Exciting Days

July 17, 1962, Neenah-Menasha Daily Northwestern
It's that time of the summer when Prospector Days made its mark in the Twin Cities.  Not sure why the sidewalk sale was held on "Maxwell Trail Day," but it merited a name all right.  The newspapers of the time are rife with mentions of this special day.  Dear readers, any ideas what that was all about?  

Friday, July 15, 2016

Early Menasha Indian Life

July 22, 1966, Oshkosh Daily Northwestern
Much has been written about Indian life on Doty Island, perhaps to the detriment of valid descriptions of Indian life across the river.  Regardless, Doty Island bears a strong, rich tradition of Indian heritage and gives credence to Bachmann's description of the island as being "a land of milk and honey."  Note: This schematic was originally featured on page 16 of the Menasha book, showcasing the Indian mounds in Smith Park.