Written by Belinda Crowson
Old, local newspapers are full of fun and interesting stories about life in and around Southern Alberta.
Then, as now, celebrity news made it into the newspaper. In December 1916, the Lethbridge Herald wrote of Mayor Hardie’s new diet. The mayor, in an attempt to beat the high cost of living, went on an all milk diet. Six quarts of milk was dropped off at City Hall each day and the mayor planned to stay on the diet for several weeks. Was this related to the First World War? Or city finances? Who knows.
Mayor Hardie’s milk diet, scandalous affairs, and winter (mis)adventures…old newspapers are full of interesting news.
Newspapers are also known for carrying wedding announcements, but in April 1922 one in particular stands out. A young couple registered at a local hotel as a married couple from Calgary, but were not actually married. The man was arrested by local police and charged with abducting his would-be-bride. The two wanted to get married but her family objected because of religious differences between the couple. The man was tried and acquitted. The defense lawyer then acted as best man and the young couple was married at the Methodist Church in Lethbridge. The choice of church was a compromise as neither young person belonged to that church.
News from Waterton is also common in old nespapers, and in February 1947 Lethbridgians learned that Waterton Park Warden R.M. Christiansen and his son had been treed by a charging moose when out snowshoeing. The moose kept them treed for about half an hour and then moved on. However, that was the second time that winter the warden had been treed by a moose.
Sometimes newspapers reported on lost and found articles. In October 1951 the City of Lethbridge lost a road. The un-named road had roamed along the coulee and was being closed so an auto-wrecking yard could be built.
And the newspaper also highlighted changes to Lethbridge bylaws. On August 23, 1970, Lethbridge Theatres Ltd. showed the first Sunday movie presented in Lethbridge since City Council changed the bylaw related to Sunday sports and entertainment. The firm planned to show the Swiss Family Robinson and Elvis Presley’s Paradise Hawaiian Style at the Green Acres Drive-In as their first Sunday movies.
Learn more Fun Facts about our city’s history by visiting and liking the Lethbridge Historical Society Facebook page.
In this image: Aerial view of Green acres Drive-In. The first theatre in Lethbridge to show a movie on Sunday after City Council changed the bylaw related to Sunday sports and entertainment.