Decembers past, 50 years ago.
From LaGrange Daily News, 1963.
Front Page News
15,000 Children, Adults See LaGrange Christmas Parade — Crowds of 15,000 children and adults Monday afternoon lined downtown streets in LaGrange to witness the spectacular Christmas parade, sponsored by the LaGrange Chamber of Commerce.
Droves of bundled up folks stood in freezing temperatures to watch the motorcade of 19 floats, five marching bands and five other marching units and cars.
Excited faces pressed against store windows as people stood warm inside, watching the first Christmas parade ever held in LaGrange.
Winners of the top three winning floats were the Alpha Sigma Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, first place for “Christmas Chimes,” a green and white float featuring bell ringers; the Troup County Schools, second place for “Spirit of Christmas;” and Ethel Kight High School, third, for “Santa’s Helpers Work for Peace Throughout the World.”
Senate Committee OKs $350,000 for Local Dam — The Senate Appropriations Committee in Washington has approved $350,000 in planning funds for the West Point Dam Project. This money is part of a giant public works money bill, which now goes before Congress. The House Appropriations Committee had passed the bill earlier.
The $350,000 will be utilized this fiscal year in completing the actual engineering plans that immediately precede construction. It is possible that construction could start in the next fiscal year.
City Wins Pedestrian Safety Citation Award — LaGrange has won the Pedestrian Safety Citation Award for no pedestrian deaths during 1962 from the American Automobile Association.
The award was given in recognition of the city’s efforts to save pedestrian lives in traffic, according to the Georgia Motor Club, local affiliate of the AAA.
This was one of 113 awards to U.S. cities and eight to states in the AAA’s national pedestrian safety program.
Mistake in Coin May Raise Value — A 1920 Lincoln penny, which lay in a cash register for 10 years, may be worth $1,000 to its owner.
Mrs. L.C. Hayes of Greenville Road has been told by coin collectors that she may have the only coin of its type in existence and that it may be worth as much as $1,000.
The penny was apparently misprinted in the dye. The wreath, which appears on the back of Lincoln pennies appears on the front of the one owned by Mrs. Hayes – right in the back of Lincoln’s head.
Mrs. Hayes said that she had tossed the coin into the cash register at her store thinking it was worthless. It had collected dust there for about 10 years until it resurfaced when she was going out of business about eight months ago. She and her sister had it appraised in Atlanta. A dealer suggested that she might want to hold on to it and it is now kept locked in a cedar chest.
Cotillion Club Announces New Members — The LaGrange Cotillion Club met recently and welcomed its new members who will be presented at the club’s annual Christmas Dance at the Highland Country Club on Dec. 28. The annual Christmas dinner will be held at 7 p.m., followed by the presentation and dance.
The new members are: Misses Diane Parker, Gail Jackson, Mary Mitchell, Daryl Behr, Val Hadaway, Diane Daniel, Lee Combs, Linda Schilling and Berry Braswell.
More Snow and Ice Will Hit LaGrange Tomorrow — Snow, sleet and freezing rain, which moved into the LaGrange area on the last day of 1963, is expected to continue through the first day of 1964.
The snow and ice have coated highways, rooftops, power lines and trees and have made highway travel hazardous in the area.
The State Patrol has advised against travel anywhere in Troup County and normal business activity in the city is paralyzed. Schools and mills are closed.
Industrial Expansion Top 1963 Local News Story — Industrial expansion, including the purchase of an industrial park and the announcement of the location of LaGrange’s first new industry has been classified by the Daily News as 1963’s top local story.
A group of 25 LaGrange citizens contributed a total of $22,500 for the purchase of a 75-acre tract of land to develop an industrial park in LaGrange.
The land fronts on Whitesville and Webster streets and all lies withing the city limits.
Woodbury Business Forms Inc. of Woodbury, Ga., will locate a plant in LaGrange and will construct a 35,000 square foot building in the new industrial park. This industry is the first for LaGrange in the current drive for new industry here.