The week in eastern Idaho history

100 years ago

The Idaho Register was serving notice this week in 1917 that a curfew for children on the streets after 9 o’clock would be strictly enforced. First offenders under 18 without proper escort would be warned and sent home and second offenders would be taken to the police station to wait for their parents. “The city has experienced a good deal of trouble on account of children being permitted to run the streets,” the newspaper said. “This must be stopped … That means any street, not just the downtown street. The law will be enforced all over the county. Special deputy probation officers are being appointed.”

75 years ago

Harvesting of potatoes and beets in the upper Snake River Valley was in full swing this week in 1942, with approximately 1,200 Idaho Falls school students out of the classrooms and in the fields and 140 more West Coast Japanese brought in to relieve the labor shortage in the sugar beet fields. “The Japanese who arrived here at 8 o’clock Thursday morning did not come from the relocation center at Eden, but were recruited in California by representatives of the sugar company,” the Post-Register reported. Paul Scalley of the Utah-Idaho Sugar Co. said evacuees were being assigned to farms throughout the valley.

50 years ago

World Champion Spud Picker Kevin Cox, 18, retained his title this week in 1967 at the annual Shelley Spud Day, defeating his brothers and his dad, Charles Cox of Blackfoot, who had lost the title in 1966 after holding it for several years. Kevin posted a winning time, picking 500 pounds of tubers in 4 minutes and 58 seconds. This was almost one minute faster than his brother Lynn (time: 5:55) and well ahead of his father (time: 6:11). Judy Taysom took first in the women’s competition with a time of 8:03. This was the second straight year she had won.

25 years ago

Campaigning in Idaho Falls, Republican Congressional candidate Mike Crapo said his opponent’s proposals for the U.S. health care system would move the country toward a costly nationalized system. “We must trust the private sector,” Crapo said, endorsing a long list of options being pushed by conservative think tanks. His Democratic opponent, State Auditor J.D. Williams, called Crapo’s remarks “tired rhetoric,” adding, “I think what he’s trying to do is rehash some old ideas. If they worked, they would be in effect right now.”


Paul Menser is the author of “Legendary Locals of Idaho Falls.”


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