The week in eastern Idaho history

100 years ago

With Idaho a dry state in 1917, the demand for Christmas cheer was tempting a lot of people to run the “booze blockade” from Monida, Mont., to Idaho Falls. A successful run could net a hefty profit, but Bert Barr, the incorruptible deputy at Spencer, had his eyes open and his network wired, the Idaho Register reported. “(Many) carloads of liquor and the drivers thereof have come to grief recently, and the treasury of Fremont County has been made much richer,” the newspaper reported. The expenses of incarceration and prosecution, however, dictated that amateurs were to be let off with a warning after the hooch had been confiscated, with harsher punishment reserved for the professional bootleggers.

75 years ago

Buried in the pages of the Dec. 24, 1942, Post-Register — Page 23, to be exact — we find this open letter to the community, “Local Japanese leader thankful for America,” by S. Haga, past-president of the Japanese Group. “Since the beginning of the war, we, the Japanese, have been called ‘enemy aliens’ and we have passed a year of dreadful and fearful feeling,” he wrote. Yet compared to the harsh treatment of some Japanese in China, the people in the United States had been treated comparatively well. “We see the greatness of Americans and their higher culture in every respect at this present day for which we feel extremely fortunate and thankful. … As the past president of the Japanese group, I feel it is my responsibility to express our heartiest appreciation and above all to express our determination to be loyal American citizens.”

50 years ago

Heavy snow on power lines caused an hourlong power outage in four western states on Dec. 22, 1967, but the lights stayed on in Idaho Falls. William E. Fell, head of the city’s Electric Light Division, said he activated all the city’s auxiliary generators and electric pumps, assuring that the downtown business district and other parts of the city stayed lit. Some 15 city power engineers were called into service for the incident, which was slightly before noon on the Friday before Christmas.

25 years ago

The Post Register reported a record year for its annual Goodfellow Fund, collecting $33,555.80, about $500 more than the previous record set in 1990. The money was to be given to the Salvation Army, the Idaho Falls Food Bank and FAITH. Hiller, Benjamin and Associates led the giving with a donation of $1,500, and five anonymous donors gave $1,000 each, but the majority of gifts were in the $25, $50 and $100 neighborhood.

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


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


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