Zoot suit offenders received haircuts as sentencing


100 years ago

1922: There does not appear to be any lack of Christmas spirit evidenced at the local post office this year. The post office is handling about all the traffic it will bear, coming and going in truckloads at all hours of the day. The clerks are handling the biggest holiday rush that was ever handled at the Flagstaff office, and while it is making some of them look sort of hollow eyed and peaked, they are delivering the goods with both hands.

The Navajo people at Tuba City are now celebrating the Ya-be-chi dance, an annual winter event, which is one of the most elaborate dances the tribe hosts. The dance extends over a period of nine days, concluding with a big feast and other events, including the wonderful sand paintings on Christmas evening. A large number of sheep and cattle will be slaughtered for the final day, and several hundred Navajos from another reservation will be present.

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75 years ago

1947: Flagstaff officials have been served with the complaint, but no action has been taken in the suit Coconino County has brought in seeking to collect over $4,000 as the costs of paving two blocks of Columbus Avenue inside the city limits, Mayor Harold Sykes said Tuesday morning . The mayor said the complaint was being studied by the city attorney in preparation for an answer, which must be filed in Coconino County Superior Court within 20 days from the date of service. The suit arose over a refusal of the city to pay the pavement costs, the city’s refusal in turn growing out of the action of six property owners whose land adjoins the street in refusing to pay their shares of the costs because the final costs amounted to considerably more than had been mentioned before agreements covering the pavement were drawn up. One property owner, under protest, later paid the amount assessed against him.

Three juvenile zoot suiters, caught by Flagstaff Police Chief William Epperson Monday after forcing an entrance to the college gymnasium, received a novel but highly effective sentence when taken before juvenile judge HL Russell the same afternoon. The judge ordered the three, all wearing sleek, elaborately shaped zoot hairstyles, to receive G1 haircuts at a local barber shop. Epperson was instructed to see that the sentence was carried out. “This hit them worse than a jail sentence, “Epperson said. “They cried as if their hearts were breaking, and maybe they were.” Epperson and judge Russell are meditating on the advantages of this punishment for all future zoot suit offenders.

50 years ago

1972: Boy, oh boy, has Santa ever got a job ahead of him this season. The youngsters of all ages have made their lists and checked them twice. And they’ve been putting on their best behavior in hopes that all the goodies they’ve been keeping their eyes on will find their way under the Christmas tree. They have talked with Santa at department stores and have seen him cavorting across the television screen in a variety of roles during the past months. But the gift list isn’t really official until the items are written down. A few of those letters were shared with the Arizona Daily Sun. Robin writes: “I want a tender love doll that does not do anything at all just wet and if you have enough money, I want the close to go with her.” Consider the letter of Richard: “Please bring me an army set and two electric trains, boats, guns.” And just to make sure Santa can find his way, he adds. “I live in Flagstaff in a brown house my brother and I have been good boys.” Paul wrote: “I hope you are fine. We are fine too. I hope you have many toys for ever boy and girl in the world. Please don’t forget the men some kind words for the jolly man from the north in Vietnam. I hope you have a Merry Christmas.”

25 years ago

1997: Spurred by an extended building season as well as solid growth in pricey commercial and single-family home construction, Flagstaff shattered a record for the value of construction in one year. Nearly $104.5 million worth of new construction permits was given in Flagstaff last year, beating the mark set in 1995 of $90.7 million. A total of 330 homes worth $40 million were approved on the commercial side, 52 permits were granted and had a value of more than $18 million. The two sectors were $25 million above last year’s totals. The building boom in town has left some in Flagstaff happy, some worried, and others just plain swamped. The city community development department has been flooded with building applications for the past two years.

America Online was hit with a new technical glitch today even as representatives of state attorneys general gathered to discuss consumer complaints about the nation’s largest online service. In the latest brownout, a power outage prevented America Online customers from receiving email for two hours this morning. Last month, America Online agreed to revise its new pricing strategy in a settlement with 19 states that followed complaints from subscribers that they weren’t given enough notice when they were automatically switched to a new plan costing $19.95 a month for unlimited internet time. Today’s trouble was triggered by the installation of new computer hardware to increase AOL’s capacity to handle the surge in new usage.

All events were taken from issues of the Arizona Daily Sun and its predecessors, the Coconino Weekly Sun and the Coconino Sun.

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