I’m Reading The Edmonton Journal Newspaper From 1955

The other night, I watched the news from Toronto, and I had to turn the channel because it was so depressing and stressful. I’m no baby, but it made me wonder; “really? There isn’t anything good to report about?”.

So I decided today to have a peek at what the news was like 65 years ago. I can do that with a Newspapers.com subscription. I have the Publisher’s Extra subscription because I want to read The Edmonton Journal, but there are lots of newspapers in the basic plan and then for certain newspapers, you pay an additional charge. The Edmonton Journal is one of them, but I’ve found so many great articles about my family that the extra is “worth every penny.”

So why 1955? Well just between you and me that’s the year I was born so I wondered what was going on in my parent’s world then.

So what was going on 65 years ago today? The front page tells us that the weather in Edmonton will be cloudy and cooler with occasional rain or snow tonight and that the temperature will be a low of 30 and high tomorrow of 40. So very similar to what the weather is like right now. The only difference is we’d say 0 degrees Celsius in today’s news.

Wow, the paper only costs 10 cents (but this is the weekend edition, so it costs more; it’s usually 5 cents) for 62 pages. Because they are talking about tomorrow’s weather, I believe this is an evening edition.

I was a baby at this time, but I did check out a couple of the names from the article titled; Truce Chief Confers with UN Officials. Maj.Gen. E.L.M. Burns, the Canadian Chief of the UN, was meeting with General Gad Hammarskjöld. When I checked out Wikipedia, I found that Dag was a Swedish economist and diplomat who served as the second Secretary-General of the United Nations. He is, to this date, the youngest person to have held that position. As for Eedson Louis Millard “Tommy” Burns, Wikipedia states that Historians criticize him as incapable of a military command, but it says that he played a critical role in the Middle East peace process from 1954 to 1959 and that he was instrumental in developing UN peacekeeping. 

But what else can I find in the newspaper? Remember I’m looking to see if I can find some “good news”.

Halloween is on the next Monday so there are ads for Treats for the kiddies and because it’s Saturday night there are advertisements for dances. This is just one of the advertisements for the Starland Ballroom located on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue. Whyte Avenue continues to be a part of Edmonton that’s known for its trendy shops, restaurants, and nightclubs.

If you didn’t want to go out dancing, you could go to the movies. You could go to the theatre or to the drive-in. Edmonton had several drive-ins, and they are a family memory that I cherish to this day. When our family got older it was a time when the whole family jumped in the car, all dressed in your pajamas with blankets and pillows. Why do I vividly recall dill pickles on a stick?

Sky-Vue was built in 1954 and had a capacity of 1100 cars

One of the last of the Drive-Ins to close in Edmonton was the Star Dust Drive-In, which closed October 12, 1997. But this past summer, Drive-Ins made a comeback as a way to enjoy a movie but maintain social distancing.

It’s amazing what other information learned as I continue reading. Much of it is just useless trivia, like the fact that Yorkshire Swines were selling $8 higher than the previous year. But there are advertisements with the pricing of food and other items, and it gives you a feel for what life was like back in the ’50s.

Of course, there were important pages where you can find birth, marriage, and death announcements. As well as the page where all the Notice to Creditors and Claimants were posted.

George Edward Gleave died August 26, 1955 (not a relative) Edmonton Journal October 29 1955

So that’s why newspapers can be such a valuable resource for your family history. Not just because your family might have been in the newspaper because they won a contest or had done something awful but also to understand what was going on in their world.

What did things cost? What did they do for fun? How much did they get paid? I saw an article where a sales job was paying $50/week.

So as I said before, my Newspapers.com subscription is worth every penny because I can find my family in the news. But it was especially worth it this week. It got my mind off of all of the things going on in the world and took me back to a simpler time, and I felt more relaxed after reading today’s news from 65 years ago. I think I might do this a bit more often.

Note: The post above contains affiliate links. This means I make a small percentage of the sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. This is a supplement to my income so I can continue  to support The DNA Angel Project and to make donations to the Alzheimer’s’ Society

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