1949 WW commission sought to ban comic books


Once upon a time, well, actually four years after the end of World War II, a Walla Walla city commission approved a recommendation to ban 93 comic books.

Well, what comic books were popular in 1949? A search resulted in these titles: Superboy, Detective Comics, Tales of the Crypt, Action Comics, Phantom Lady, Real Clue, Real Screen Comics, Whiz Comics, Classic Illustrated Comic Book Treasure Island, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, Rocky Lane western tales, Heroic Comics, Wilbur, Sniffy the Pup, Gene Autry, Steve Canyon, Our United States, Goofy Comics, Crime and Punishment, Dick Tracy, Dale Evans, Spy-Hunters, 3 Little Pigs, All-Time Sports, Young Love Golden Age, Laugh, Western Fighters, Tom Mix, Walt Disney, Porky Pig, Peter Porkchops and Daredevil.

A Mrs. Carroll Oberholtzer headed a “five-man” committee to review the “sensational so-called comic books now inundating the American magazine market,” according to an April 28, 1949, U-B article.

Other committee members, who were sponsored by the Walla Walla County PTA Council are the Rev. Kenny Claypool, Mrs. Leonard Knowles, Mrs. Lynn Wetzel and Earl Blake. The group adopted a review and editing plan from Seattle and “takes infinite pains in perusing all comic magazines now published and the scores that hit the market almost daily.”

“However, intelligence in reviewing is applied,” Mayor R.V. Borleske explained. “The committee does not summarily black list comics just to kill children’s entertainment, but makes a comprehensive study of the books’ immoral and unmoral features, then submits them to the respective publishers for correction. If done, the books are then approved by the committee and city commission.”

“To date, no legal steps have been taken to deter those who will violate in the interdiction,” the article reported.

“I wonder how long this lasted,” asked retired Whitman College librarian Joe Drazan, whose hobby is to seek for treasure amongst the stories, photos and advertisements in vintage copies of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin and elsewhere.

If he finds out, I’ll pass it on. See more of Joe’s discoveries at his online Bygone Walla Walla blog, www.wallawalladrazanphotos.blogspot.com/

A livestock facility for students in the Milton-Freewater Unified School District will become a reality because of a $10,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund Othello site, according to a release.

More than 100 students are enrolled in the school district’s Land Lab program, a project that is part of the school’s agricultural curriculum and covers a variety of topics including leadership, livestock, mechanics and welding.

District agricultural instructor Emily Holden said “Our school will use the funding to build a barn for students to use as a learning facility and it will be especially useful as a livestock judging arena. There is a connection and common belief between Monsanto and our school — we both share the goal of providing a well-rounded agricultural education program to our students.”

The Monsanto Fund strives to meet critical needs of rural communities by investing in local projects focused on K-12 education, hunger and nutrition, and first responders.

The Othello Monsanto site feels a connection to the Milton-Freewater students because community farmers actively support the district’s agricultural program, according to the release.

“We are fortunate to work with local farmers in supporting student learning, because we believe K-12 education is critically important,” said Kyle Schmidt, Othello site lead. “The Land Lab provides a learning opportunity that not many other students get. While the program itself is strong, the facilities need some updates.”

Emily added that school staff will work alongside community members to construct the barn and students will be able to learn about construction mechanisms throughout the building process.

The Monsanto Fund awarded 127 site grants thus far in 2013 to nonprofit organizations in 26 states. It continues to provide support to organizations such as the Milton-Freewater Unified School District, to help strengthen communities where farmers and Monsanto employees live and work.

The Monsanto Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. See www.monsantofund.org for more details.

As the Walla Walla Sunrise Rotary Scholarship Committee triumvirate, Jeanne Ruecker, Jason Wicklund and Maury Fortney screened more than 50 applicants. They whittled the list down for the $500 awards, ultimately presented to Megan Moberg of Desales High School and Andrew Glaeser of Walla Walla High School.

Jeanne, Jason and Maury received special recognition for their contributions from President Hank Worden at the club’s annual awards banquet and dinner at the end of June, according to member John McKern in a release.

Others were recognized for their work.

Craig Sievertsen garnered Rotarian of the Year for his efforts organizing the Pennies for Polio drive. Students from Prospect Point, Sharpstein, Blueridge, Edison, Berney and Green Park Elementary schools in the Walla Walla School District, Davis Elementary School in College Place and Assumption Elementary School participated in the Pennies for Polio campaign. Donations tallied $5,696.74.

Sunrise Rotarians donated $5,000 to Polio Plus, a Rotary International program that helps eradicate polio across the world. Leading classes at each school were awarded a pizza party for their efforts.

Hank then handed the gavel to newly installed president Jason Wicklund, who is executive director of the Christian Aid Center.

At the July 24 meeting, Tom Glover, director of the Walla Walla Joint Community Development Agency and Deborah LaCombe, the transportation planning coordinator spoke to Rotary members.

Based on a 2012 census Walla Walla, College Place and Milton-Freewater in the Walla Walla Valley reached a population of 50,000 and was designated a Metropolitan Planning Organization, Tom said. The new designation pulled the area out of the previous Regional Planning Organization with the Tri-Cities into a planning organization for a separate area.

Federal law mandated the MPO so that metropolitan areas can retrieve federal tax money for their transportation needs. Federal funding supports the planning process. The MPO was approved by the governors of Washington and Oregon in April.

The MPO is responsible for planning transportation improvements in the three-community area. Participating agencies include the three cities, two counties, state transportation departments, the port district and Valley Transit. Tom said a big task for the future is to prioritize transportation improvements needed in the WWVMPO area.

This will be accomplished through agency and public input through meetings and surveys. The MPO is not directly involved in the Highway 12 expansion, which is a state project.

For more details contact Tom at 509-524-4711 or t.glover@wwjcda.org or Deborah at 509-524-2710 ext. 2760. Also check out online details at www.wsdot.wa.gov/planning/WallaWallaValleyMPO.htm.

Sunrise Rotary meets at 6:45 a.m. Wednesdays for breakfast and community interest programs at the St. Francis Catholic Church Community Center, 722 W. Alder St. For more details, contact President Jason Wicklund at 525-7153, www.cacww.org or www.facebook.com/christianaidcenter.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.


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