Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gosh? Golly? Gee? OMG! Plug your ears, kids!

From the Richmond (VA) Times Dispatch, Jan 1950
My grandfather, Cedric Adams, was an all-around media guy in the early twentieth century.  He had local and national radio shows, wrote a daily column in one newspaper and a weekly column in another (columns which were syndicated to newspapers and magazines around the country), authored a successful book, hosted talent shows and special events on TV and the radio, and anchored the news on the local Twin Cities CBS affiliate.  He was known for being friendly, corny, and folksy.  And apparently, rumply:

From the Richmond (VA) Times Dispatch, 18 Mar 1950
I've been reading a lot about Cedric over the last few days on Genealogy Bank (a historical newspaper site).  One article, from the Cleveland (OH) Plains Dealer (19 May 1950),  struck me particularly funny and really shows how times have changed.  A listener of Cedric's wrote in to say that he was offended by Cedric's on-air use of profanity. And by profanity he meant Cedric saying the words "gosh," "golly" and "gee"!!  Seriously?  Yes, seriously.  This was 1950. 

Well, Cedric decided to let his listeners give their opinions, by golly.  Almost 6500 people responded, with the vast majority - over 5700 - declaring he was not being profane at all.  Rather, Cedric explained, that "it's sort of a happy person who can say gee, gosh or golly.  They are smiling-type words, for the most part, the listeners think."  Still, though - being that it was 1950 - there were 712 respondents who did find those words profane.  Lucky those people are probably not alive to hear what's on radio and TV today! 

Another cute thing I found was this ad for Cedric's book, "Poor Cedric's Almanac" that came out in 1952:

From the Boston Herald, 23 Nov 1952.
If you haven't tried Genealogy Bank for looking up historical newspaper articles on your ancestors, give it a whirl!  It even works for people who weren't famous (although you might not find 972 items like I did on Cedric!) 

Another good site to try is Chronicaling America by the Library of Congress.  You might be amazed at what historical newspapers can tell you about your ancestors.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...