This Week in History: Dec. 25

December 24, 2013 

From left, Stephen Flythe, Nyana Troublefield and Rickey Bradshaw visit with Santa Claus (aka Floyd Bridges) during a Christmas toy drive in Knightdale in 2003.


With history as our teacher, we look back into the past to glean what knowledge we can by seeing what has changed and what is the same. Here’s a look at what was going on in eastern Wake County 10, 25 and 50 years ago.

In 2003, the Wendell police department added a piece of law enforcement equipment that has since become ubiquitous to the trade. In 1988, children were giving recipe advice for some holiday favorites. And in 1963, the Zebulon Record was looking back even further in history to the origin of a popular Christmas tradition.


The Wendell Police Department was faced with a problem many law enforcement agents still struggle with: how to restrain and subdue a combatant suspect without posing a lethal threat. In late 2003, a tool was added to their arsenal to make the job easier: The Taser M-26.

After learning of the recent Cincinnati, Ohio, incident involving a 350-pound man who many thought lost his life only because police officers used excessive force restraining him, Wendell Police Chief Joe Privette wondered if a life could have been saved.

Though the death of Nathaniel Jones was later proven to be due to his weight, heart disease and drug use rather than the clubbing from officers he attacked, Privette didn’t want to take any chances in his town over 500 miles away.

In a move combining the latest technology with proven crime-stopping methods, Wendell police officers now carry advanced Taser M-26 devices. They shoot tiny wires tipped with probes carrying 50,000 volts of electricity. Upon striking a victim up to 21 feet away, the device with its pinpoint laser accuracy is used to interrupt brain waves to muscle functions, thus incapacitating the victim within seconds. There are no weight constraints.

“It’s a good tool,” Privette said. “It is designed to protect the officer from physical injury.” Garner and Morrisville police forces utilize the same tactic. “It is a very effective weapon.”


If there are two things that we know about children, it’s that they are great cooks, and that they are a never-ending fount of amazing sayings. OK, one of those might not be true. In 1988, the Gold Leaf Farmer asked second-graders at Corinth-Holders to give their favorite recipes for some classic holiday treats. The results are, in most cases, less than advisable... unless, that is, you enjoy your stuffing comprised entirely of bread, or if you prefer your choclate cake to include a coronary-inducing two pounds of Crisco.

Do you need something new to cook for Christmas?

If so, try one of these recipes written by some of the boys and girls in the second grade at Corinth-Holders School, in the classes of Rosa Watson and Josephine Lewis.

Stuffen: 1/2 cup of water, dry Bread (6) pieces of Bread and stir It. put in a Big so owl and fresh Bread. –Dottie Warnock

Chocolate cake: 2 16 c. sugar, 1/2 gal. milk, 3 eggs, pint of vanilla, 12 lb. pecans, 2 lb. rasins, 2 lb crisco, 112 box cholate. Mix and cook in 1ng pan for 50 mins. Cool and Frost, then eat. –Cameron

panut Butter carckers: 1. first put the panut butter on the carckers. 2. then put the marshmellows on the carckers on it too. 3. then put them in the oven. 4. let them boil for 8 min. –Jenny Judkin

A alppe cake: 1 cup of sugar. cook for 9 mins. put it in a bowl. stir for 7 mins. put 4 cups of egg. put 1 cup of milk. after cooking put frasting on the cake. 5 pices of alppe. –John Moody

salad: 6 eggs, 5 tomatoes, & pieces of cheese, Bread crumbs, cabbage, and red bits. --Stephanie Bailey


We take Christmas cards for granted, nowadays. People buy packs with hundreds of cards and send them out willy-nilly. But it wasn’t always that way, and in the Christmas of 1963, the Zebulon Record looked back in history to the origin of Christmas cards.

Today we take the sending and receiving of Christmas cards as a matter of course. Actually, they didn’t come into existence until the 19th century. Prior to that, no one thought of greeting friends and family at Yuletide through cards.

It remained for a sixteen-year-old English engraving apprentice, William Maw Egley, to design a card in 1842 illustrating scenes of formal banquet, a party dance and skaters. Below the illustrations was the legend “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.”

Later another Englishman, Henry Cole, commissioned the artist John Calcott Horsely, a member of the Royal Academy, to paint an illustration which ultimately depicted a Victorian family gathered around the holiday table, in addition to depicting customs of giving to the poor. Cole had Lithographed copies of Horsely’s work struck off and mailed the cards out in December of 1846.

In 1874, Louis Prang printed the first American greeting cards in his lithograph shop in Boston. These cards were noted for their artistic quality and were sold all over the United States. Thus was begun a holiday tradition which is now an accepted part of the season... receiving warm greetings of love and good will through the mail at Christmas time.

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