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Fascinating True Stories from the Flip Side of History

Tag Archives: connecticut

Santa Stuck in Chimney


Santa is a very busy guy around Christmas time, but on December 18, 1955, he decided to pay a visit to a children’s holiday party being held by the Naubuc Fire Department at the Goodwill Grange Hall in Glastonbury, Connecticut.

To make his grand entrance, a large chimney was constructed on the stage. Apparently, Santa had put on a few too many pounds over the past year and he got stuck as he made his way down the chimney. All the audience could see was a chimney with Santa’s boots dangling down.

Someone blurted out, “Call the fire department!” which couldn’t have been too hard since they were sponsoring the party. Two firemen came to Santa’s rescue and the party continued.

While Santa was handing out gifts to the approximately one-hundred children in attendance, a real alarm came in for the fire department. The firemen rushed off to put out a grass fire located on Buttonball Lane.

On December 18, 1955, Santa got stuck in a chimney. Library of Congress image.

Stole 55 Right-Footed Shoes


On April 11, 1935, William Lipson, a shoe salesman from Providence, Rhode Island parked his car outside of a Waterbury, Connecticut hotel.

He later discovered that someone had stolen 55 shoes from the vehicle. Lipson reported the theft to the police.

Upon hearing of the crime, Detective John Galvin stated, “Maybe we had better look for a man with a pair of new shoes.” To which Lipson replied, “O, no, that is, unless the thief is a one-legged man, for you see, they were sample shoes and no two are alike.”

In fact, as samples, all 55 shoes were for the right foot.

Advertisement for the Moc-A-Wauk shoe that appeared on page 867 of the July 1921 issue of the St Nicholas magazine.

The Tieless Teacher


It was reported on dated February 28, 1977 that East Hartford, Connecticut English teacher Richard P. Brimley had been in a fight with his school since 1971.

That was when his school’s principal ordered Brimley to wear a tie while teaching his classes. He was in clear violation of the school’s teacher dress code by wearing turtleneck pullovers to school each day.

His grievance was denied by the principal, superintendent, and the Board of Education. As you would expect, this tieless matter ended up in the courts.

Sixth months after this story made the national news, the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that male teachers must follow the school’s dress code. In other words, Mr. Brimley had to wear a tie.

In 1982, the school district’s teacher dress code was modified to allow teachers who felt that informal clothing was more appropriate for his or her teaching assignment to make a special request to either the school principal or superintendent.

In general, however, the code required men to wear a jacket, tie, and dress shirt. Female teachers could wear a skirt, dress, slacks, blouse, or sweater. They could no longer wear pantsuits, which had been previously allowed.