Notes from the White County Historical Society

By Charlene Shields

Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appeared in "The Carmi Times."

Copyright ©2002 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Cindy Birk Conley and the ILGenWeb by Barry Cleveland, editor, "The Carmi Times."

Additions to the collection

As we have been able to afford it, we have been adding to our microfilm collection, and we have some great new ones in. Gallatin County had a newspaper about 35 years before White County. So we have Southern Illinoisian (1853-56), Illinois Republication (1841-43), Shawnee Herald (1877-79), Local Record (1880-1906) and News Gleaner (1904-23) newspapers on microfilm now. Some of these should be interesting because they are so early.

To add to our White County group, we received the White County Tribune microfilms for 1929 through 1946, and the Norris City Record for 1918, with the Norris City News from 1941-1950. We added to our Grayville group from 1902-1919.

I can spend hours going through those old news items, advertising, etc. in the newspapers of bygone days.

To wind up the series on fads and fancies of the decades of the past century, we add Do you remember?? The '80s and '90s????

"Read my lips" and "Just say 'No'" were widely quoted. New jargon consisted of thirty-something, cellulite, camcorder, in the loop, cutting edge, boom box, junk bonds, fax and couch potato.

There were Elvis sightings. Reebok and Nike got people into gym shoes. Teens wore slapwrap bracelets.

Rubik's Cube became an obsession. Tanning salons gave people the rosy glow of health. Break dancing and rap were all the vogue.

Hulk Hogan was a celebrity. Smurfs, Cabbage Patch Kids, Nintendo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all came of age.

Boy George, Michael Jackson with his one white glove and the Material Girl were household words.

Stephen King, Danielle Steele, James A. Michener and Garrison Keillor were prominent authors.

The tabloids (which could not have been imagined a couple of decades before) were widely read. Dynasty and Dallas were TV serials followed closely by fans.

The Cosby Show, Cheers, Roseanne, Golden Girls, 60 Minutes and Unsolved Mysteries were among the top TV shows.


The material for this series was gathered from numerous places, but I considered the most interesting reading to be Charles Panati's book: Parade of Fads, Follies, and Manias.

The Genealogy Library is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Address letters to Genealogy, White County Historical Society, PO Box 121, Carmi, IL 62821.

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The Coordinator for the White County, Illinois ILGenWeb page is Cindy Birk Conley

Copyright © 2002 by Cindy Birk Conley, all rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use of the information contained in these pages is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If copied, this copyright notice must appear with the information.