Eighty years ago, the Dayton Daily News gave the following report as Daytonians weathering the Great Depression made plans to celebrate the New Year holiday. The “clarion blasts” and “owl cars” have passed along with the heyday of hotel parties and public dances, but it’s likely their great-grandchildren will also see “many whistles made wet as usual.”
Dayton ready to help greet 1932 new year
Many public and private parties arranged for annual event
A few more hours and Dayton residents will greet a new year.
Indications Thursday were that the event which comes with the ushering in of a new cycle will be observed about as usual, with the celebrants finding their pleasure during the later hours of the evening.
All of the uptown hotels were prepared to greet little 1932 in a big way, with dances holding forth in some of them and with reservations having been received for dinner parties which will last through midnight.
‘Gaiety and splendor’
At the Biltmore the custom which was established with the opening of that hotel will be pursued, that of holding a dance to which the public is invited. The management of the hotel reported Thursday that a large number of reservations have been made and that the usual scene of gaiety and splendor is expected to prevail.
At the Miami, the Van Cleve and Gibbons there will be no public dances held, although there were numerous reservations made for private parties. On the roof of the Miami a dinner party will be given by Oscar Pryor.
All of the uptown theaters have announced that special late shows will be given. Some of these will begin at 11 p.m., some at 11:30 p.m. and a few not until the magic hour has struck.
Hangovers, ’30s style
The greater portion of the reception to the new year in Dayton, however, will have its setting in private homes. With Friday, New Year’s, a holiday on which most factories, offices and stores will be closed, the celebrants will be privileged to enter into the spirit of the occasion without the dread of what must come the “morning after” when otherwise another workday would beckon.
There have been indications for the past week that the usual noisemaking devices again will be in evidence. Bells will ring, whistles sound their clarion blasts, pistols and cannon will be fired and the new year will be given the greeting common with age-old custom.
So much for discouraging drunk driving
The managements of some of the street railway companies were undecided during Thursday as to whether extended service would be given on their lines for benefit of the merrymakers. Definite announcement was made by the City Railway Co. that its latest cars would leave Third and Main sts. at the usual hour of 12:10 a.m. The Peoples Railway Co. was not certain whether owl cars would be operated and the same was true of Oakwood and Dayton Street. The last Peoples cars under regular schedule on the Main st., Valley and Cincinnati-Leo divisions leave the center of the city at 12:10 a.m. north and south. On the Oakwood line the last car departs from Third and Main sts., south at 12:34 a.m. and north, 12:10 a.m.
When dancing actually meant dancing
The various night and dinner (venues) have announced special (merri)ment at the midnight hour. These, like the hotels, have reported that they have made heavy reservations. In all of these places dancing will be the principal attraction of the evening, with floor shows prevailing in some of them.
There were no evidence, on the surface at least, of a scarcity of some of the liquid adjuncts which go with a New Year’s celebration. Reports were to the effect that, in spite of the current economic depression, demands have been in keeping with previous years since prohibition, with every indication that there will be as many whistles made wet as usual. With it, reports say, the quality will be improved over former years and at the lower prices which have prevailed for the past few months in Dayton.