In 1907, children roller skating on sidewalks became a huge issue for the people of Las Vegas, NM. It even sparked debate in the city council.
One letter writer to the Las Vegas Daily Optic asked, “If the children roller skate, why do they do any more harm than the baby buggies and go-carts? Why not make the women go out in the street and wheel their babies there? And I wonder if the mayor and the city council were ever children. And why don’t New York, Chicago and St. Louis, Kansas City and even Albuquerque make them stop skating? Because they like to see the children have fun, and why don’t Las Vegas?”
Another citizen wrote that “It must be a pretty, crusty old curmudgeon who would seek to prevent the harmless amusement the children have been extracting from roller skating.”
Surely, these late 19th century Smith & Griggs Manufacturing Co. roller skates, made of metal, wood, and cast iron, saw many good times on the feet of Josefita “Pepe” Manderfield when she was a child in Santa Fe.
Shave permit pins from the Teddy Roosevelt Centennial celebrations in Las Vegas, NM (1958), and a shave permit from the Clovis, NM 50th anniversary celebration, 1957. Shaving permit pins such as these were sold as a way to raise money for centennial or anniversary celebrations in many towns across the country. As part of the fundraising effort, citizens could register for a beard-growing contest. If someone did not want to participate in the contest, they could purchase a “shave permit.” This jokingly gave one “permission to shave.” The proceeds from the sale of the permits and registration fees for the contests were put towards the town’s celebration fund. Why a beard-growing contest? Often, the Brothers of the Brush would spearhead the fundraising efforts. This organization got its name because they sought to emulate the towns’ founders. Many of the towns were founded in the Victorian period when beards and mustaches were in vogue. The Brothers of the Brush decided to capitalize on this look and encouraged beard-growing as a way to raise money. NMHM/DCA 11501.45 and 2014.53.159