Back When: Dec. 18-25

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Dec. 18

In 1956, Greenfield Mayor James Allen and other city employees moved into the new Greenfield City Hall, vacating space they had rented in the Hancock County Courthouse. County commissioners had already determined who the next tenants would be: The Cancer Society and the Center Township Trustee.

Dec. 19

In 1977, the former Greenfield police station was demolished.

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Dec. 20

In 1943, the Board of Works and Sanitation in Indianapolis issued a resolution declaring Indianapolis Municipal Airport would be renamed Weir Cook Airport to honor Col. Harvey Weir Cook. The Wilkinson native shot down seven German pilots in World War I and died March 25, 1943, in the South Pacific during World War II. The airport bore Cook’s name until 1976, when the airport became Indianapolis International Airport. Advocates, including some of Cook’s descendants, lobbied to have his name restored, but to no avail; however, when the airport’s new terminal opened Nov. 11, 2008, it was named the Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal.

In 1967, Greenfield City Council adopted a resolution opposing state highway plans to remove parking spaces along State Street between South and Grant streets. State Representative Ray Richardson presented the council with a plan that would require removal of about 15 parking spaces instead of the 50 or more the state was targeting; the Greenfield District highway engineer was skeptical of the plan.

In 1972, Greenfield annexed the Bowman Acres subdivision.

Dec. 21

In 1953, the president of the Hancock County Bankers Association announced that starting the second week of 1954, all county banks would be on a five-day work schedule. William Goss said the move was in line with the 40-hour work weeks being adopted by other types of businesses.

Dec. 22

In 1917, Daily Reporter founder Newton B. Spencer died after a long illness. He was remembered in print as “a man who inspired and merited confidence, a lover of home, and always interested in all public questions.”

In 1967, Hancock County native Rodger Haste died in Vietnam.

Dec. 23

In 1935, Charlottesville High School was gutted by fire. The loss of the building, site of a basketball sectional in the mid 1920s, was estimated at about $75,000 with the equipment.

Dec. 24

In 1912, the county clerk issued 12 marriage licenses for local couples. One couple surprised the congregation at East Greenfield Heavenly Recruit Holiness Church by marrying at the close of the Christmas Eve service.

In 1950, the last passenger train stop was made in New Palestine.

Dec. 25

In 1962, a French couple spent Christmas as patients at Hancock Memorial Hospital. They had been returning to their home in Las Vegas after a visit to France when their new car skidded into a truck on U.S. 40 near Cumberland. Staff of the hospital placed Christmas trees in their rooms. According to the Dec. 26, 1962, edition of the Daily Reporter, “Suitable presents were secured and the usual festivities and gaieties arranged. The Bertranous … were so full of gratefulness they had trouble expressing themselves. They had never found any place like Greenfield before, they said.”

In 1967, a group of young people from local Friends churches caught an evening flight to Jamaica, where they planned to lead services at Friends Meetings there and distribute 3,000 copies of the Gospel of John.