Vintage Scan #10: Old December Newspapers

So, I had the idea to peruse through some old December newspapers to see if anything interesting caught my eye. I love to look at what was going on during this month in decades past. A few things interested me, the first being this advertisement..

 This is actually an advertisement for clothing (specifically, wool shirts), NOT weaponry.  In fact, this ad has nothing whatsoever to do with guns, so the presence of a firearm is kind of mysterious.  I guess we can assume this dude plans to shoot some animals in his brand new flanel shirt - but, I wouldn't be surprised to learn a lot of people showed up at The Crescent looking for guns 'n' ammo.

Who didn't love the Harlem Globetrotters in the 1970's? I never got to see them live, but I sure did see them on TV a lot - such as the Gilligan's Island special and appearances on Saturday morning cartoons.  I liked Curly and Meadowlark Lemon.  this would have been a great way to spend Christmastime in 1978.

I've mentioned over and over again on Retrospace how prevalent astrology and the occult in the late sixties and early seventies.  I showed you the Coleco zodiac video game; well, here's a 1969 Christmas ad about records for kids on the zodiac. Oddly enough, none of the records the kids are looking at in the picture have anything to do with the zodiac.  If I'm not mistaken, it looks like a Frank Zappa album they're looking at - someone correct me if I'm wrong.

These kind of miracle diet ads are still around today - when are people going to finally realize that there's no easy solution. You lose weight and keep it off by regular exercise and eating in moderation? This ad is from December 1969, so it's almost exactly forty years old, and I'll bet you could find an identical one from current magazines and newspapers!

What also gets me about this ad is the freaking creepy looking Santa Claus? Why is the cap covering his eyes, and why does he look emaciated? Did they think a FAT Santa would look bad considering this is a diet ad?  Notice also that Eileen doesn't look all that different in the "after" picture, but she has ditched the glasses. I guess the Elaine Powers Figure Salons miraculously cured her sight!

One thing you'll notice in your old newspapers is that very adult oriented films played right alongside the kiddie movies.  They just didn't give a crap back then. 

"Okay, kids, go have a good time watching Escape to Witch Mountain. Mommy and daddy are going to go see The Cocaine Fiends. Meet you in the lobby."

The Cocaine Fiends was a very early drugsploitation film, but not X rated material. However, it wasn't unusual to see Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS playing right alongside Pinocchio or Snow White....

...or X rated movies and live shows advertised right next to The Sound of Music

This deserves to be a post by itself, so I'll refrain from further comments on this for now.  Moving on, I recently acquired a Gainesville, Florida newspaper from November 22, 1963.  Some of you may recognize this date - the day of President Kennedy's assassination.  I attempted to scan the whole newspaper, which was in horrible condition, but it proved too time consuming and frustrating to finish. So, if you're interested, here's six full pages from that newspaper to download via Rapidshare. 

What amazed me when I read this was how life just went on.  The much beloved President has been shot dead, we really are not sure who's behind it, and there's ad after ad about dishwashers for Christmas! I guess I expected the whole paper to focus on the tragedy; instead, only a few pages - the rest is filled with great holiday sales.  1963 must have been the year that dishwashers hit the big time because there are A LOT of Christmas themed dishwasher ads in this newspaper.

One last thing I came across in my holiday readings - a little piece on former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.  I noticed that his wife (pictured below) seemed a little young..... I take that back - A LOT young. So, I did a little reading on this guy and it turns out he was quite the playboy. He married four times - his last two marriages were to law students in their twenties! Four separate resolutions were introduced in the United States House of Representatives calling for investigation of his moral character, and there were two attempts to impeach him.

Ready for Christmas? I'll bet he's ready. Ready to get down.


  1. November 22, 1962. Some of you may recognize this date - the day of President Kennedy's assassination.

    Didn't Kennedy die in 1963?

  2. I see a ticket to catch the Harlem Globetrotters in '78 was a whopping $6.50. Nowadays, that won't even buy you a bottled water at the civic center.

    And I agrre with Barbara, Kennedy died in '63.

  3. OUCH! It's been corrected. Thanks for the heads up.

  4. Cool stuff. And that last one, of the judge? I am guessing that is wife #4, seeing how he looks like he can't do jack with her anymore!

  5. For those blog-viewers under the age of 21: a "newspaper" was how we learned about things happening in our community, our country, and our world before the Internet.

  6. The Harlem Globetrotters! I remember them well, they seemed to be on Scooby Doo every other week!

    Being from Britain, I had no idea who they were or even what game they played (basketball isn't very popular in the UK)! But I thought they were really cool nonetheless!

  7. I saw the Globetrotters. They were great! I still have the program and will scan and post it some day.

  8. There's something so charming about the term "Figure Salon." Makes me think of women sitting around a tastefully decorated room as models stroll through for them to decide which figure they want.

  9. The Beach Boys were originally named "The Pendletones" because they loved the shirts so much they wore them as a band uniform.

  10. Retro Hound, I'm jealous. The Harlem Globetrotters are among the pantheon of athletes kids went spastic for in the 70's - like Evel Knievel, Mean Joe Green, Pete Rose, Namath, Orr, Kareem, etc.