For Historic Trenton’s Day in the Life, we’re looking back through newspapers from the beginning and examining everyday problems, solutions, and needs during historic Trenton’s past. Today, we go back to December 2, 1920, a chilly and gloomy Friday.
As reported on the front page, New Jersey’s $200,000 State Constabulary — a civil, non-paramilitary force consisting of police officers — began active duty on Monday, December 5. According to njsp.org, on December 1, 1921, “the new troopers were administered the oath of office and on December 5, 1921, in a blinding snowstorm, started on horseback and motorcycle to their posts throughout the state.”
One of the day’s leading stories was the elimination of committee control to the Trenton Board of Education the night before. This happened because the Board of Education adopted a reorganization plan for the administration of the school system. The project was put forward by a report written by Superintendent Dr. William J. Bickett. As part of the change, Charles B. Warren, formerly a restaurant manager, was appointed as Superintendent of Purchasing, one of three new departments established. His salary was $3,000.
Meanwhile, President Wilson was looking forward to a conference establishing the League of Nations. There is a section at the bottom left-hand corner of the Newspaper called Seen This Morning with only two topics: More gloom and a Girl and Her father in a footrace en-route to school this morning.
Holiday spirit was in the air, and so were the sales at H.M. Voorhees and Bros, a popular clothing store at the time on East State Street. They bought a full-page ad and said it was 10% off all merchandise within the store. They even included a list of “acceptable gifts. Under social happenings, the regular monthly meeting of the Foreign Missionary Society of the First M.E. Church was being held as well as dance to benefit St. James Church.
Other advertisements included the likes of furs being sold. It is $9.98 ($138.04 in today’s money) for squirrel Chockers to $135.00 for seal wrap. In 2021, that would cost roughly $1,866.98.
Of final interest in national news was a man by the name of James Kennedy. He was a 90-year old bridegroom, who started his sixth honeymoon, walking part way from Winona, Tennessee to Cincinnati with his bride “as an example for other young married couples.” “Ninety is a lot more sensible age to get married at than 19, like a lot of them young snips do,” he said. “When a man is 90, he has good sense, so he don’t make mistakes.”