by Diane Davis
It was mid-August 1928.
Polio had struck hard in Philippi during the previous two weeks. Three children had died. In an effort to curb the epidemic, health officials placed a ban on children under the age of 15 being on the streets and in public gatherings. Theaters and churches were closed until the spread of polio could be stopped.
The Paris Shop, 114 S. Third Street, was visited by thieves who twisted off two iron bars and sawed through a third, to gain entry. Money and merchandise were taken in the amount of $1,025. The haul included sixty silk dresses valued at $18.50 each.
It was announced that 12 dirt track cars would race in 100 miles of dirt track racing at Norwood Park on Labor Day. One-hundred-fifty horses would be at Norwood Park for horse racing during the Greater Clarksburg Fair opening on Sept. 10.
Properties offered for the new federal building were being inspected on Aug. 23 by representatives of the Treasury and Post Office Departments.
Haymond Maxwell, a former Harrison County Circuit Court judge and 15th Judicial Circuit Court judge, was nominated for judge of the State Supreme Court of Appeals by Gov. Gore. The vacancy on the Supreme Court was the result of the death of Judge William Miller. Maxwell was the Republican nominee for the position. The oath of office was administered by Judge Birk Stathers at 11:26 a.m. Aug. 24 in the circuit clerk's office.
Clara Bow starred at Moore's Opera House in "Ladies of the Mob." Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell headlined at the Robinson Grand in "Street Angel." Also showing was Pola Negri in "Love of an Actress." The Ritz showed "The Wise Wife," starring Phyllis Havers. The film was advertised as the story of a wife who found it necessary to "outflap a flapper" to regain the waning love of her husband.
According to The Exponent Telegram, thousands crowded downtown Clarksburg on Saturday, Aug. 18. According to the account, license plates on the cars indicated that shoppers had come from Webster, Gilmer, Barbour, Lewis, Marion, Taylor, Randolph, Pocahontas and other counties.
It was mid-August 1953.
The state fire marshal began an investigation into suspicious fires at three coal tipples in Harrison and Barbour counties. Two of the fires were started with explosions. Black powder and a gasoline jug were found at a fourth tipple, but had failed to start a fire. A reward of $1,000 was offered for tips leading to an arrest.
State Police raided four establishments in Clarksburg on Aug. 18. It was reported that a retired city police officer and his partner filed a complaint with Prosecuting Attorney Robert Ziegler's office about a "reign of vice, crime and rackets." After the raids many establishments either closed or started operating within the law. The story in the paper continued, "The flow of whiskey across the city's many illegal bars and previously wide-open gambling rooms were just not to be found after the raids."
G.C. Murphy was offering a "back-to-school" sale. Long-sleeved sport shirts were $1.98; four pairs of socks, 98 cents; polo shirts, $1.19; dungarees, $1.29; T-shirts, 49 cents.
The Workingman's Store at 328 W. Pike St., was offering saddle shoes for $3.45; stadium coats, $8.95; boy's white buck shoes, $3.95; and gym shoes, $1.95.
Dr. Kinsey's newest book, "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female," reported that 85 percent of women and 95 percent of men could be jailed for their sex acts by strict interpretation of the law. The book, 848 pages, was to be released on Sept. 14.
Officials were monitoring the rapidly changing situation in Iran. Iranian Premier Mohammed Mossadegh survived a coup attempt by supporters of the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi. The shah and his Queen Soraya fled to Iraq. Communist mobs in Tehran filled the streets screaming for the end to the monarchy. But only days later, on Aug. 19, royalists seized the Iranian government, jailed Premier Mossadegh and invited the shah to return home. Reports from Tehran indicated Mossadegh's foreign minister was torn to pieces by a mob. The shah returned to jubilant supporters.
"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," with Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, showed at the Robinson Grand. The Ritz featured Esther Williams and Fernando Lamas in "Dangerous When Wet," and Jeff Chandler in "The Great Sioux Uprising." The Sunset Drive-In showed "Distant Drums," starring Gary Cooper. Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr and Walter Pidgeon starred in "Dream Wife" at Skyline Drive-In. The Ellis Drive-In was having a country evening. The film was "Louisiana Hayride," with Judy Canova. "Longo and Oscar," stars of the Grand Ole Opry, were to appear on stage along with the Goober Creek Troubadours.
Berman's, 117 S. Fourth St., offered table radios for $15.95. Trumpets and cornets were $59.50. Underwood typewriters could be bought for $1 down and $1 a week.