Friday, May 15, 2015

When toes made news in Ogden

EVERY so often an old Standard-Examiner headline comes across as odd, unique and almost outrageous.
The latest curiosity: “Girls with shapely toes” was an eye-catching headline in the Standard on Jan. 5, 1911.
“The young ladies of Riverdale will give a ‘shadow and toe’ dance at the Riverdale Amusement hall, the evening of January 13,” the report stated. “Prizes will be offered for the nicest and oddest looking couple.”
At this dance, young ladies are concealed behind a screen, with only their toes exposed to view.
“The young gallant must select his partner by the toes. He may get this choice or he may get the homeliest girl in the hall. The uncertainty adds interest to the dance,” the story concluded.
In other historical notes:
-“Hot lunches being served in country schools” was a Dec. 11, 1919 Standard headline.
This was the first time eight schools in Weber County had offered hot meals to students – and the primary reason why is surprisingly opposite to a situation in today’s schools: “A survey of children of the county schools discloses the fact that a large percentage is underweight,” the story stated.
The innovation of a hot lunch is expected to be a possible remedy to that situation of many students being five to seven pounds underweight.
-“Object to aliens doing city work” was May 2, 1911 Standard headline. Almost a full century before today’s controversy with illegal aliens, there was apparently a smaller such problem in the Ogden area.
Aliens, primarily Greeks or Italians, were being employed at the time to work in Ogden City Parks and that didn’t sit well with the City Council. It voted that only taxpayers and citizens of the country would be employed from then on.
-Plain City is to celebrate” was a March 13, 1911 Standard headline. On March 17, the 52nd anniversary of when the first pioneers arrived in Plain City was to be celebrated with a banquet.
The “latest innovation,“ a moving picture show, was also promised for the event.

(-Originally published on-line and in print in the Ogden Standard-Examiner, May 14-15. 2015, by Lynn Arave.)

-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at:

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