Abilene News

Published 2:57 pm Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 9 – This past week, we observed National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. At 7:55 a.m. on Sunday, December 7, 1941, Japanese warplanes attacked the U. S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, HI. By the time those planes disappeared into the sky, there were 2,400 dead, 1,200 wounded, and 18 ships and more than 300 American planes destroyed or damaged. President Roosevelt declared December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy”. But now, 70 years later, it barely gets much more than a quick sound bite on the morning talk shows.

There have been many other significant historical events that occurred during this period. In 1805, Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific coast. In 1823, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore was published. In 1848, President James K. Polk helped trigger the 1849 Gold Rush when he confirmed the discovery of gold in California.

In 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman reached Savannah, GA, ending his “March to the Sea.” He wrote to President Abraham Lincoln from Georgia: “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the City of Savannah.”

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On December 24, 1906, inventor, Reginald Fessenden, broadcast the first radio entertainment program from Brant Rock, MA: a Bible reading and violin solo of “O Holy Night.”

On December 24, 1923, President Coolidge presided over the first electric lighting of the National Christmas Tree on the White House grounds.

On December 24, 1946, a candlelight service at Grace Episcopal Church in New York City became the first religious service televised from a church.

On December 25, 1949, President Harry Truman sent Christmas greetings to the nation by radio from his home in Independence, MO: “Once more, I have come out to Independence to celebrate Christmas with my family. We are back among old friends and neighbors around our own fireside . . . Since returning home, I have been reading again in our family Bible some of the passages which foretold this night. It was that grand old seer, Isaiah, who prophesied in the Old Testament the sublime event which found fulfillment almost 2,000 years ago. Just as Isaiah foresaw the coming of Christ, so another battler for the Lord, St. Paul, summed up the law and the prophets in a glorification of love which he exalts even above both faith and hope.

“We miss the spirit of Christmas if we consider the Incarnation as an indistinct and doubtful, far-off event unrelated to our present problems. We miss the purport of Christ's birth if we do not accept it as a living link which joins us together in spirit as children of the ever-living and true God. In love alone-the love of God and the love of man-will be found the solution of all the ills which afflict the world today. Slowly, sometimes painfully, but always with increasing purpose, emerges the great message of Christianity: only with wisdom comes joy, and with greatness comes love.

“In the spirit of the Christ Child-as little children with joy in our hearts and peace in our souls-let us, as a nation, dedicate ourselves anew to the love of our fellow men. In such a dedication, we shall find the message of the Child of Bethlehem, the real meaning of Christmas.”

Friends and Neighbors

On Dec. 3, Madeline Slaydon attended the wedding of Gail and Greg Henderson's daughter Ashley. It was a beautiful wedding.

Also on Dec. 3, the Abilene Community Club held a Christmas gathering for the community at the Abilene Community Center. The Mount Nebo Baptist Church choir sang followed by light refreshments – a very enjoyable way to kick off the holiday season.

On Dec. 4, Nate Noble and I participated in the Annual Farmville Christmas Parade. Representing the Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Homes, we made a float depicting Mrs. Patrick Henry sitting in the parlor reading Christmas stories to the children gathered around the tree waiting for Papa to get home. Billy Sublett from the Patrick Henry Homes, assisted us. Many thanks to the children who “volunteered” to ride on the float.

On Dec. 6, the Cardinal Quilt Guild of Prince Edward met at the home of Madeline Slaydon. We were very happy to have Marie Fowler join us. Following the meeting, light refreshments were served. After the group disbanded, Marilyn Philbrook, Madeline Slaydon, and Glenda Ottaway of Farmville went to the quilt shop, “Threads Run Thru It” in Phenix.

On Dec. 6, Madeline Slaydon had dinner with Donna and Joe Nutter in their home.

On Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. the Douglas Presbyterian Church will hold their Annual Christmas Program followed by a fellowship hour with light refreshments. All are welcome to attend.

We are very sorry to hear that Elizabeth Driskill (Joyce Slayton's sister) took a bad fall at her home. We wish for her a very speedy recovery from all the bumps and bruises.

The Abilene Community Club (ACC) is holding a “Beamer-ball” raffle. Tickets for a football autographed by Coach Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech are available now. You can order tickets by sending money order or check to Tiffany Dempsey, 3350 Abilene Rd., Charlotte C.H., VA 23923, or call 390-6401, 223-7688, or 223-8243. The tickets are $2 each and the drawing is on Dec. 22.

Happy Birthday greetings go out to Hunter Harris who celebrated on Dec. 10; Christy Kernodle on Dec. 11; Derek Thackston on Dec. 12; and Marilyn Philbrook who will celebrate on Dec. 15th.

If you have any news or announcements that you would like to share, please call me at 223-2271 or e-mail me at kz5ro@kinex.net.