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shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com February 13, 2018 • Page 11 By A Whisker! New At The Library Here’s what’s new at the Yankton Community Library this week: Museum Pieces: The Whisker Club Helped Celebrate Dakota Territorial Diamond Jubilee BY CRYSTAL NELSON Dakota Territorial Museum The bitter cold days of “ol’ man winter” continue to keep us all in warm coats and furry scarves and, as true to typical upper Midwest style … fuzzy beards. Many men in our lives today often claim to let their beard grow in the winter to keep their face warm. Since the early 1850s scientists have been debating the effectiveness of this personal warming technique. As recently as 2012, Popular Science took this topic on and agreed, a full beard has potential to keep a face warm. Aside from having an ability to keep a face warm, others sport a beard for style or personal expression. One hundred and fifty years ago, in the Victorian times, the beard was a real fashion statement all across the globe. A man of age and maturity could grow the best and fullest of beards. So, what changed? Scientists discovered the germ — or rather the connection between the germ and disease. Nonetheless, the discovery created a culture of germophobes — mind you, not very effective ones. Doctors began to believe that the beard was not being cleaned often and completely enough, being a nesting place for germs, therefore it could cause a disease called “consumption.” (Consumption was any disease that caused the deterioration of the body). By 1900, widespread belief was that anything that could capture and keep a germ must go, including the fashionable beard. Therefore, by the subsequent Edwardian period, the style changed to clean shaven faces. Thirty-five years later, the Dakota Territorial Diamond Jubilee committee apparently felt that the risk for consumption from a beard was no longer a concern. To celebrate the upcoming 75th Diamond Jubilee Celebration of the creation of the Dakota Territory, a Some businesses even sponsored memberships for their whisker growing employees. Membership holders lived all over South Dakota and some stretched as far as Chicago and Lincoln, Nebraska. Members that could get together did meet weekly in various communities and towns. It appears that the real purpose of the Whisker and Sunbonnet clubs was a fun and engaging way to promote the Diamond Jubilee Celebration for Dakota Territory. The Dakota Territorial Museum staff really got a lot of chuckles out of hearing all about the Whisker Club, as I hope you did too. Maybe the next time we get ready to celebrate a Dakota Territorial anniversary, the Whisker and Sunbonnet clubs should make reappearance in the 21st century. “Whisker Club” was formed. This club was open to anyone who could make a membership payment of 50 cents and able to “grow, cultivate and otherwise encourage the growth of whiskers upon his face to the end that his manly beauty and masculine appearance may be improved and enhanced to the everlasting envy of his fellowmen and of the members of the Sunbonnet Club.” (Yes, ladies, you had your own “Sunbonnet Club” for the jubilee celebration so as not to be left out.) The Whisker Club membership challenge would continue from the fire siren sound at 7 a.m. on April 1, 1936, until the end of the Diamond Jubilee celebration on June 13, 1936. Just in case any of the members of the club felt that this was an opportunity to let loose and avoid beard maintenance for a couple months, think again. Club rules went on to say that each member was to “place his whiskers under strict care and supervision of his barber, with not less than one trim and inspection each week.” In recent months, the meeting minutes, dues paid and list of membership of the 1936 Whisker Club were found along with one unassigned membership card. The final tally of memberships was more than 966 individuals. 0% For 48 Months ~ In Stock Now EARN YOUR STRIPES. VCC To Present ATTENTION ‘Almost The NAPA Gold Rush Is On LOW Maine’ With roaring power and agile maneuverability, the compact Scag Tiger Cat II® is a force all its own. Farmers, Ranchers, Combiners & Truckers RECHARGED AND STILL LEADING THE WAY. Sup er The Vermillion Community Theatre will present a dinner theatre production of “Almost Maine” Feb. 16-18 at Valiant Vineyard Winery, Vermillion. A ticket for the Feb. 16-17 performances includes a roast beef dinner with dessert and cash bar. 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