Monday was my birthday, so I took the day off from work and did one of my favorite things: looking up newspaper stories about the people who lived in my neighborhood 100 years ago. And because it was my birthday, I printed out the edition of the Santa Cruz News for August 30, 1934, 70 years ago.
The headlines are "Blood Shed in Salinas Strike. 60 Highway Patrolmen Rushed To District.Cotton Textile Walkout Set for Saturday: Order Sent to Every Local in Industry: Workers in Wool and Silk May Join Them. The headlines refer to to different fights: a national textile strike, and a lettuce industry strike.
Sinclair Lewis, a "former" Socialist was about to win the Democratic Party primary for Governor. "Sinclair Will Fly East Tonight for Roosevelt Parley." "President Roosevelt Is His Boss Says Sinclair, Declaring He Will Seek No Indorsement For His Race."
In other state news, a woman in Nevada City walked 10 miles from her miner's cabin to town after being bitten by a rattlesnake hiding under her pillow. Her dog tried to tell her about it, but she wouldn't listen.
Locally, the City Pound Dogs "Hope They Get Homes With Children To Pull Their Ears and Pet Them." The seven dogs at the pound were available that week on a special two-for-one deal. A "wire haired terrier" and one "claiming Shepherd parentage," a German Shepherd, a pointer, an Irish Terrier, a black and tan, and a setter, "refrained from all scratching and private battles," in the hopes of being adopted.
On page two, the Silverado was docked at the wharf with 200,000 feet of pine from Puget Sound for four lumber dealers in town. The Chief of Police was tracking down two leads related to the the robbery at the East branch of the Bank of America a week earlier.
Upton Sinclair was on page three, with the text of a radio address he had made a few days earlier. "Capitalism Going, Says Sinclair in Outline of Remedy For State Ills." The plan as I understand it was the sort of reasonable democratic socialism that is working so well for Europe right now. Sinclair didn't win the governorship.
Remnants of Silks, Woolens, and Cottons were half-price at Leasks, and hats where $1.59. (How I miss having a department store downtown. When I moved here there were at least two, Ford's and Leask's, and I think there was a Pennys as well.) Santa Cruz Tire at Front and Cooper recommended "G3" for a Labor Day purchase, which provide "REAL non-skid protection this Fall and Winter."
A wire story let us know that "Relationships of Nazis and Jews Declared Taboo" and three million copies of the order had been printed for immediate distribution throughout Germany. Page four included a large photograph of the new grammar school at Soquel. (Local photos were still a rarity at this point in time.) The students were depicted saluting the flag and reciting the Americans' Creed, as part of a course in Americanism sponsored by the American Legion.
Modern Baking Co at 17 Maple Street (at Cedar) offered "Mother's Bread," a brain and body builder, at 12c a loaf. Four of the Five Dionne Quints gained weight. Poor little Marie was still at 4 pounds, fourteen and a half ounces.
On the Social Page, a Davenport girl wed a man from Alameda in the Greek Orthodox church. Several service clubs held meetings, and school jackets and skirts were on sale at Mode O'Day at $4.95 and $2.95. Leslie Howard and Bette Davis were appearing in Of Human Bondage in its last night at the New Santa Cruz Theatre.
The back page of the first section included a wire photo of the demolition of an office building to the west of the White House in Washington. President Roosevelt's many new programs required more office space than had been available. In local news, a "strong man" competition was to be the "card" at the Casino festivities over the upcoming Labor Day holiday. Howard Darling was arrested for attacking Daniel Duarte with a bottle at Duarte's home in Seabright. Mrs. George Shipper was the guest of honor at a bridge party held at an Ocean View home.
The front page of the second section included a column on local human interest stories called "Riptide and Undertow." This week's told of the man who had grown a large patch of "Kentucky" and "Burley" tobacco in his backyard on Ocean View. He thought that tobacco could easily become a profitable Santa Cruz county crop with "cigaret" brands such as "Loma Prieta," "Monterey," and the "El Santa Cruzo" cigar. In an unrelated story, a record crop of Oregon hops included a photograph of an "entire family engaged in picking."
In an advertisement on the same page is a cartoon of a woman leaning over a baby's crib who says "No wonder this baby can't sleep--there are mosquitos in this room." In the next frame, a man pumps a sprayer saying, "You mean there were! No mosquito on earth can live after a whiff of this fly spray!"
On the sports page, or "Today in Sport" as it was titled.... oh, who cares? It was just as boring 70 years ago as it is today.
Have you ever read comics from the 30s? they make absolutely no sense. Here's the only one that I could understand: Titled "The Angel of Peace." An old woman sits in a living room knitting. In the foyer, out of her sight, three girls in shorts and tanktops (!?) have entered the house to meet their girlfriend. They say to the mother of their friend, "We'll just wait here in the living room for her," and the mother says with her arms in a shepherding gesture: "No-No--Go right upstairs and wait. She's up there--come on--come on!
One of the editorials compared Sinclair to his Republican opponent, the thesis being if you want to revolutionize Californian government, then vote Sinclair; if you want to keep things the same, vote Merriam. (As you can probably tell from how it turned out, Merriam won. )