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Mail Tribune 100, Sept. 7, 1920

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

Sept. 7, 1920


2,000 Autos in Labor Day Parade — P. J. Neff Delivers Eloquent Address — Legion Commander Thanks Community — Parachute Jump Thrilling — 10,000 in City for Dedication of Newell Barber Field — Air Circus Is Feature Event.


Beautiful in its sentiment, spectacular in its thrill features and record breaking locally in its immense assemblage of humanity and autos, the dedication of Medford’s army aviation field and the christening of it as Newell Barber Field yesterday afternoon was successful beyond the most sanguine expectations.

Not an accident, not a hitch and not an unpleasant feature marred the big occasion, by which the name of Medford’s high school aviator here who lost his life while flying over the German trenches in France is permanently perpetuated and honored. It was a day of significance and bigness.

It is estimated that from 8,000 to 10,000 persons with all parts of southern Oregon represented were assembled at the dedication exercises on the aviation field or in the surrounding vicinity. The parade led by a band was over two miles long, and the first mile of it leaving the city for the aviation grounds one mile south consisted of cars decorated with flags, bunting and flowers.

Parade With 2,000 Cars

And parked on Newell Barber field and on the roads and fields nearby were 2,000 cars, the greatest number of cars ever assembled in Jackson county and probably southern Oregon.

Well may the chamber of commerce be congratulated on the planning of such a day and carrying the program out so successfully, thanks to the perfect cooperation between the chamber and people.

When the auto parade started no one conceived that it would become so immense, but car after joined in until one wondered how there could be any more — and still they kept coming. It was a spontaneous outpouring in memory of one of Medford’s heroes, and in honoring him every one felt that they were honoring all the boys who parted with their lives during the war for their country.

The air circus by the army aviators of the Oregon forest patrol service which wound up the afternoon’s program, with its spectacular and dangerous flying stunts was an appropriate ending for the program much enjoyed by the thousands watching at their home in Medford and other parts of the valley.

The day’s events wound up with a band concert in the city park last night and the American Legion ball and midnight cabaret at the Natatorium.

— Alissa Corman;acorman@rosebudmedia.com

News from 100 years ago