These moments in history were selected and edited by Thomas Coyne, Anna Kissel, and Tess Peterson who are enrolled in Kate Hardy’s tenth grade Honors English class. Thank you to the Skaneateles Library and the Historical Society for providing the Press Archives.
10 Years Ago
Ten years ago, Mrs. Delmonico’s kindergarten class made a gingerbread man in celebration of the holiday spirit. It didn’t stay put for long, later “running away” from the class, with no trace to follow. The next day, the gingerbread man was safely found in the Nurse’s office. This was inspired by the classical story, The Gingerbread Man, a story telling of a gingerbread man’s escape from an oven and other pursuers. Holiday stories such as this one are still frequently told in the classes at Waterman and State Street Elementary Schools. To celebrate the holidays this year, the first and third grade students put on holiday concerts. The 1st Grade performance was on Dec, 14, while the third graders are performing on Dec. 21. Skaneateles schools are always finding fun ways to celebrate the holidays!
25 Years Ago
In 1992, you could purchase a Christmas tree for $5, but they were not nearly as good-looking as the trees today. There were an overwhelming number of trees being sold, which led them to be skinnier and scrawnier, and sometimes pitiful to look at. It also led to a rise in fake trees. This year, families will be on the lookout for tall and full trees that can hold all their memories in the form of ornaments. Trees have cost anywhere from $25 to $100, and yet are expected to rise this year, due to a shortage. The story of the origin of Christmas trees may be one you’re unfamiliar with. In 1851, Mark Carr went to New York City with a cart of trees. He set up shop and began the first Christmas tree market. Christmas Trees have now been sold all around the United States because of Carr’s 1851 journey from the Catskills.
50 Years Ago
Fifty years ago, in the Skaneateles Press, an ad was printed promoting colored telephones. In 1967, owning a colored phone was rather exciting. Before the mid-sixties phones were generally sold in one color. Selling for around $200, these telephones were “a real conversation piece” and the perfect gift for Christmas. In 2017, people wish for the latest iPhone which goes for $1000. Today, it is a lot easier to change the color of your phone. Instead of buying a new one every time you want a different look, a variety of colored and designed cases are available for the numerous types of phones. This makes it easy for colors to be interchangeable, and possible to express your personality through your phone. Fifty years later, the demand for phones is still rising. People around the world, of all ages, are hoping to unwrap this gift on Christmas morning. What’s on your Christmas list this year?
75 Years Ago
Seventy five years ago, there was an ad published in the Skaneateles Press by the men’s store, Dowd-Leo’s. It listed the prices of various winter apparel including shirts, sweaters, pajamas, mufflers, and jackets. These items ranged from 45 cents for mufflers to $18.50 for the most expensive jackets. Today, quality North Face and Patagonia jackets surpass $200, and Canadian Goose jackets run closer to $1,000. With Christmas approaching, many families will consider clothing as a gift option. Some sales on outerwear to look out for are Columbia’s 25 percent off and Eddie Bauer offering 50 percent off through Christmas Eve.
100 Years Ago
One hundred years ago in the Dec. 21, 1917 edition of The Skaneateles Press, two articles were published discussing how people could donate food and money to troops in order to support them in the front line during Christmas time. One article discussed how troops requested for citizens to donate stores of rum, as alcohol was not included in the government provided rations. Another article urged citizens to donate the money they would usually spend toward purchasing a Christmas tree to instead help support wounded soldiers. The article suggested that this money go to the American-British-French-Belgian Permanent Blind Relief War Fund to support over 3,000 blind men due to the war. Today, there are 186,555 recorded eye injuries in military hospitals worldwide. Do a good deed for Christmas and donate to the military this holiday season.