Who sang “Jingle Bell Rock”? – Hamilton County Journalist

This week in Indiana history …

1867 – Sarah Breedlove was born in Louisiana. She went into business and, under the name Madame CJ Walker, established a cosmetics company in Indianapolis. She was hugely successful and became the first American woman to win a million dollars.

1917 – A full page newspaper ad read: “Travel on electricity, there is a train for you at all hours of the day”. The Union Traction Company provided decent hours each day to many towns across the state. Indiana could boast of having the second largest intercity network in the country.

1921 –Governor Warren McCray invited the Ogden Northside Carolers to sing at the Statehouse on Christmas Eve. Warden Roy Couch had planted a 40-foot tree in the rotunda and decorated it with colored lights, glitter and holly. A local reporter said the tree gave the Statehouse “a Christmas look she hadn’t seen in twelve years.” The singers were between 10 and 14 years old and were led by Mrs. James M. Ogden.

1935 – A 22-foot, 40-ton statue of Saint Nicholas has been unveiled to Santa Claus, Indiana. Lafayette Newspaper and Mail reported that “a thousand people braved the cold and slippery sidewalks to come to the small village for the ceremony.” The statue still stands in the festive community.

1957 – Martinsville singer Bobby Helms ended a very successful year in his career with the release of “Jingle Bell Rock”. The song was an instant hit, with “My Special Angel” another big record for Helms in a year he also appeared on the Ed Sullivan Network TV show.

1971 – Santa Claus visited Governor Edgar Whitcomb’s office at the Statehouse. He was there to encourage the governor’s special guests. They were the children of three Air Force pilots who were held prisoners of war in Vietnam. The governor, himself a prisoner of war during World War II, lit a Christmas candle as a sign of safe return for all U.S. servicemen imprisoned or missing in foreign countries.

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