The week in eastern Idaho history

100 years ago

Presiding at the post office’s general delivery window, Ruby Keefer Brace received the news that her husband, Howard, serving in France with the U.S. Army, had been promoted to the rank of captain. “Mrs. Brace modestly received the congratulations of her friends, who asked to be remembered to the captain when she acknowledges the message telling of the promotion,” the Idaho Register reported. Meanwhile, another 11 young men from Bonneville County and Shelley were reported to have left for service in the U.S. Marine Corps. They were: Andrew M. Anderson, Mervin H. Miller, Walter C. Frazier, Thomas C. Buckland, Arthur P. Empey, Albert W. Owen, Erward A. Ellisford, Samuel M. Frandsen, Elmer Higgenson, Clarence G. Munsee and Ervin Jones. “That branch of the service is very popular with the younger men,” the Register said.

75 years ago

Idaho Falls’ civilian defense corps staged the biggest air raid drill to date on July 2, 1943. In all, 22 separate incidents were reported within seconds of the siren going off. “High explosive bombs were reported in one place; incendiaries in another; gas bombs in another,” the Post-Register reported. “Fires were reported burning in all parts of the city. Casualties … Girl Scouts acted the roles … were stretched out on the ground, buried under debris. … That was the general confusion left by the alleged raiders.”

50 years ago

Downtown Idaho Falls was in need of decisive renovation, according to an editorial in the Post-Register of July 2, 1968. “(The) time has come to assign downtown Idaho Falls a jealous priority,” the paper said. “A wave of vibrant enthusiasm, a will to revamp and re-style, is the other indispensable ingredient. The stores must offer more in a more inviting setting. The river and its parkways, the placement of the Interstate, the approach of Highway 20, the airport — all of these exposures to a newcomer or resident make it mandatory really that Idaho Falls never abandon its downtown. … It is time to quit looking, studying and worrying — and do something.”

25 years ago

In commemoration of the Oregon Trail’s sesquicentennial, “Westward Ho” was the theme of the Fourth of July parade in 1993, being held on July 5 as it customarily was in Idaho Falls those days when the nation’s birthday fell on a Sunday. After the parade, Chesbro Music and Coca Cola Bottling were sponsoring a Battle of the Bands contest downtown and Snake River Settlers Days at Tautphaus Park was to feature buffalo burgers, scones and hot bread. Proceeds would be used to send Sister Cities delegates to Japan in 1994.

Paul Menser is the author of “Legendary Locals of Idaho Falls.”