70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor • Downtown workers gathered around a loudspeaker at Eighth and Olive streets, outside the federal Custom House (now the Old Post Office), to hear a live broadcast of President Franklin Roosevelt’s war speech to a joint session of Congress. The day before, Japan bombed a U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Congress quickly ratified the declaration of war, as seen on the front page of the Post-Dispatch on Dec. 8. (The government didn’t confirm the destruction of the USS Arizona for another week.) You can see me at the bottom of the page — there was no “bird line” phrase that day. (Post-Dispatch archives)
Photo finished? • Missouri transportation officials are looking into Uplands Park’s use of a mobile speed camera on a short stretch of Natural Bridge Road — a state highway where camera use is restricted. The use of photo enforcement on Missouri highways is supposed to be limited to school and construction zones, as well as certain highways considered prone to accidents.
Ho-ho-horrendous • When it comes to “ugly Christmas sweaters,” many resale shops around town have started to make exceptions. They know that no matter the condition, these items of questionable fashion won’t last long once they put them out on the racks. The sweaters, popular in the 1980s, have found a second life in recent years as part of an ironic fashion trend that pokes fun at the aesthetics of the garments.
Happy birdday, Amadee! • Longtime Post-Dispatch cartoonist Amadee Wohlschlaeger, center, celebrated his 100th birthday Saturday at the Mari de Villa Retirement Community in Town & Country. From left are his sister Theresa Wesloh, 95; Cardinals Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst; current Post-Dispatch cartoonist Dan Martin; Fred Wiesehan, Wholschlaeger’s former neighbor; St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame President Greg Marecek; Melissa Buckley; Post-Dispatch sports writer Rick Hummel; and former Post-Dispatch sports writer Dave Dorr. Wohlschlaeger drew my portrait each day from 1932 to 1981, when he retired. (Photo by Christian Gooden / firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fire when ready • A controlled burn in an overgrown area of Forest Park didn’t exactly spread like wildfire Friday. Because of wind conditions and humidity levels, the entire 14-acre area near Deer Lake that the city parks department and Forest Park Forever wanted to burn didn’t. Officials plan to give it another try, but have not set a date. The burn was meant to rid the area of thick brush to help maintain the vitality and health of the savannahs and prairies.
The ‘in’ crowd • On average, 870 more people age 25 to 34 came to the St. Louis metro area than left it in 2008, 2009 and 2010. That is the opposite of that happened the previous three years and runs counter to the general trend of recent decades. After a long time spent watching young adults move away, and the St. Louis region slowly get grayer, a lot of people say this seems like progress.
Hatching a plan • The St. Louis Zoo hopes to release newly hatched Ozark hellbenders — the first to be bred in captivity — into Missouri rivers and replenish the endangered large salamander sometimes known as a “snot otter.” The zoo has been working with the Missouri Department of Conservation for 10 years to try to breed the Ozark hellbender, one of two subspecies of the hellbender that is native to southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.
Hellbender and back again • The St. Louis Zoo announced today it has bred 63 critically endangered Ozark hellbenders in captivity — a scientific first. The hellbender, seen here just after hatching, is an ancient salamander whose numbers have plummeted by 80 percent in the past three decades. Scientists blame pollution for its decline. (Photo by Mark Wanner / St. Louis Zoo)
Irreplaceable • Esley Hamilton, St. Louis County’s preservation historian, faces a forced retirement because of cuts to the county’s parks department. Hamilton, 66, has been trying to retire for the past year, but his work wouldn’t let go of him. In recent months, he had led efforts to save a historic blacksmith shop in Spanish Lake, a Presbyterian church in Rock Hill dating back to 1839, and, unsuccessfully, the Brownhurst Mansion in Kirkwood, built in 1892. He has yet to step down mostly for a lack of a successor. He said he asked his bosses last year who might replace him. Their answer: No one.
Culture shock • Today marks three years since InBev took control of Anheuser-Busch in a $52 billion deal. Three years out, the worst of the cost-cutting appears to be over. The brewery and some executive functions have remained in St. Louis, but the corporate culture of the old A-B has given way to an aggressive austerity and new way of thinking. Questions also remain over whether the company’s new bosses can grow brands and sell more beer.
Part of the family • For more than a half century, Bil Keane’s clever “Family Circus” comics entertained readers with a mix of humor and traditional family values, intentionally simplistic because the author thought the American public needed the consistency. Keane, who started drawing the one-panel cartoon in February 1960, died Tuesday at age 89. (Photo by Paul O’Neill / East Valley Tribune, 2006)