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A Holiday Hiccup

We all know that iconic scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie, certain that his wish for a Red Ryder B.B. gun has gone unanswered, finds that final package hidden behind the desk which turns his dismay into utter delight. Now imagine yourself on Christmas morning as a child, hoping against hope for the baby doll you’d seen in a catalog. You find it under the tree. Gleeful, you pick up the doll and give it a hug, only to have it growl in your ear, “I’m Smokey the Bear.”

That’s probably not where you thought this story was headed, but that’s the shock Christmas day of 1955 had in story for little boys and girls. On Thursday, 22 December 1955, the Malden Evening News reported a creepy voice box mix-up in an Atlanta, Georgia toy factory that assembled talking dolls. Talk about a nightmare before Christmas! Read on for the full scoop.


“Doll Factory Error To Startle Some Girl Christmas Day

ATLANTA, (UP)—A toyshop mixup threatened today to ruin some little girl’s Christmas because a dainty doll that is supposed to say a goodnight prayer will instead growl a fire prevention rhyme in a bear-voice.

The mixup occurred in a toy factory commissioned to manufacture talking models of Smokey, the bear used on posters by the U.S. Forestry Service in its fire prevention campaign.

The same factory also makes a petite little doll equipped with a voicebox that says gently:

‘Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
God bless Mommy,
God bless Daddy,
Amen.’

The prayer and the voice are much different from the sounds created for Smokey, the forest service teddy bear.

It growls in a gruff voice:

‘I’m Smokey the Bear, I’m the Smokey the Bear.
‘Running and looking for smoke in the air.
‘I warn careless people and tell them “take care.”
‘Please prevent forest fires, says Smokey the Bear.’

The South Carolina Forestry Commission ordered 96 of the stuffed bears for use in its fire prevention campaign. The first of the 96 Smokey Bears to arrive in the commission office was immediately tested. It created pandemonium by uttering in a childish voice:

‘Now I lay me down…’

Regional employes [sic] speculated that the toyshop mixed the voice boxes earmarked for the Smokey Bear and the dolls.

One of the bearlike voice boxes was sure to end up in one of the dainty ‘praying’ dolls, they calculated.”

                                                      


After some research, it seems that the two dolls mentioned in the story were manufactured by the now-defunct
Ideal Toys. The praying doll was probably Ideal’s Patti Prays doll.

Holiday Concert with the Malden High School Choral Arts Society

Join the Friends of the Malden Public Library on Sunday, December 3, at 2 pm for a free concert held in partnership with the Malden Historical Society and Victorian Society of Malden. The Malden High School Choral Arts Society will perform and we’ll provide complimentary refreshments. This event is open to the public. Come join your neighbors and kick-off the holiday season at the Library!

Book Discussion by Former Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll

Book Discussion by Former Education Commissioner


Monday, December 4, 5:00- 6:30 pm in the Maccario Room at the Malden Public Library

Come join former Commissioner David P. Driscoll for a discussion of his new memoir, Commitment and Common Sense: Leading Education Reform in Massachusetts on Monday at the Library.
Dave will be sharing wisdom from his remarkable career as a math teacher, superintendent and the 21st successor to Horace Mann as commissioner of education in Massachusetts.
The book delves into the key elements of the Education Reform Act, also known as the “Grand Bargain,” that brought billions of dollars into the system along with new expectations and accountability at every level. The changes, ushered in by Driscoll and his colleagues, catapulted Massachusetts to among the best in the world in student achievement.
The event, hosted by the Malden Public Library and Dave’s friends and former coworkers at the Department, is open to the public.

Holiday Food Drive Continues

The food drive continues as the Malden Public Library collects for the Salvation Army’s work during the Christmas season.  These non-perishables are suggested by the organization:  peanut butter, tuna, mayonnaise, jelly, oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti sauce and pasta.  Donations of ethnic foods are encouraged.  The collection container will be out on the main floor opposite the circulation desk through the end of December.

Angel Tree Program

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program is a great way to bring joy into a child’s life.  It’s easy and gratifying to make sure there is a much needed present waiting for a youngster when they wake up on Christmas morning.  Simply select a paper Angel from those adorning the Angel Tree at the Circulation Desk;  each represents a child and includes information such as their first name, age, gender and wished for gift.  No need to wrap the present.  Just drop off the gift with its Angel tag at the Circulation Desk by Dec. 13 for distribution through the Salvation Army’s Toy Store.

14th Annual Malden Parade of Holiday Traditions & Christmas Tree Lighting

The City of Malden will kick off the Holiday Season with the 14th Annual Parade of Holiday Traditions on Saturday, November 25th at 2 PM. The Parade will lift off at the Salemwood School on Waite Street Extension, will bear left onto Maplewood Street, and will then travel west on Salem Street. The Parade will conclude at the Malden Teen Enrichment Center (MTEC) at Ferry, Salem and Main Streets where residents will be invited in for hot chocolate. Santa Claus will be making a special visit – all children should bring their letters to Santa so that his helpers from the Post Office can collect and send them to the North Pole!

At the conclusion of the Parade, everyone is invited the City Christmas Tree Lighting on the lawn of the Malden Public Library.

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Library Closed at 6 pm Wednesday and All Day Thanksgiving

The Malden Public Library will close at 6 pm on Wednesday, Nov.22nd be closed all day, Thursday, Nov. 23rd for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will reopen at 9 am on Friday, Nov. 24th.

Citizen Lyceum’s Understanding Democracy and the Rights of American Citizens

Thank you Roger Desrosiers of the Mass. Center for Civil Education for the great program Citizen Lyceum’s Understanding Democracy and the Rights of American Citizens sponsored by Malden Reads, Chinese Culture Connection, Malden C O R E – Community Organizing for Racial Equity. and the American Association for Arab Women.

Thursday, November 30th 7pm-8:30pm NaNoWriMo Write-In & Wrap Party

Join fellow writers for a special Come Write In and Wrap party for National Novel Writing Month in the Maccario Room. Be sure to bring your laptop or other writing tools with you.

Do You Have A Library Card?

Many students from the Immigrant Learning Center got their Library Cards today. Welcome to the Malden Public Library! We have thousands of books, bestsellers, children’s books, books in other languages, language learning books, Blu-Rays, DVDs, books on CD, and an extensive digital e-library collection.