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The Brinkley Bridge

Wayne County News
May 26, 1961


Chamber Of Commerce Committee Prepares Big Program For “Brinkley Day” In Wayne June 17

Saturday, June 17 will be a red letter day in the town of Wayne.

It will be “David Brinkley Day” – and plans for the most elaborate celebration in years have been made.

Brinkley will fly to Huntington from Washington Friday night, June 16 and will be met at the airport by Covy Smith and others. He will come to Wayne Saturday morning, arriving here around 10 a.m. under present arrangements.

The purpose of his visit is to participate in ceremonies in which the bridge across Twelve-pole Creek on Route 52, joining the old part of the town with Newtown will be formally named “Brinkley Bridge.”

The famous news commentator will remain in Wayne until after 1 p.m. and will speak from the courthouse lawn and be honored guest at a luncheon.

Covy Smith, of the State Road Commission, who convinced the idea of inviting Brinkley here, met with a Wayne Chamber of Commerce “Brinkley Day “committee in Wayne County News office Tuesday night.

Smith asked the committee headed by Senator Jackie McKown to “take the ball and carry it from here.” And the committee accepted the assignment.

Every member of the recently appointed committee was present.

The members are Chairman McKown, Roy Boothe, Arlie Queen, Fred J. Justice, Julius Fry, Roy Lee Harmon and Joe Newman.

After considerable discussion, it was agreed that a parade, the formal ceremonies at the bridge, a speech by Brinkley on the courthouse lawn and a luncheon at the Methodist Church will constitute the highlights of the program.

While details are still being worked out by the active committee, the parade is tentatively scheduled for around 10:30 a.m.

Brief ceremonies at the bridge itself will follow and then Brinkley will speak at the courthouse. Traffic will be re-routed and the crowd hearing the speech will be able to occupy the street in front of the courthouse.

Governor W.W. Barron and all members of the Board of Public Works, local legislators and other dignitaries are being given special invitations. Smith reported that Governor Barron is delighted with the plans for the celebration and says he will attend if he is in the state that day.

Already Brinkley has been made an honorary member of the Wayne Chamber of Commerce and he will be given the key to the town and named honorary mayor for the day at the luncheon meeting.

While the ceremonies at the bridge will be brief, in view of the fact, that traffic on Route 52 will have to be halted. Burl Sawyes, State Road Commissioner, will speak and Brinkley will have a few words to say.

The bridge became famous because Brinkley showed pictures of it on his nation-wide TV news program more than a year ago – and held a microphone to the noisy bridge floor as a truck crossed the structure. The result was that the bridge was repaired and the noise eliminated.

Joe Newman will be parade marshal for the June 17 festivities.

Bill Coleman, band director at Wayne High School and Harold Lane, director of the high school glee club, will have charge of the musical portion of the program. Other high school bands, in addition to the Wayne High organization, will be invited to participate.

Tentative plans call for the town to be decorated for the gala occasion. Arlie Queen heads a committee to arrange decorations.

The “Brinkley Day” queen will be crowned by Brinkley at the courthouse.

High schools in the county – all six of them – are asked to elect a “Brinkley Girl” to appear in the parade and compete in the beauty contest. One of the six will become queen.

Julius Fry is in charge of the beauty contest.

Sings bearing the inscription “The Brinkley Bridge” are being prepared in Road Commission offices in Huntington. They will be erected during the ceremonies.

There will be free parking throughout the town on “Brinkley Day” and every available off-the street parking area will be utilized. Corporal C.R. Davis, of the Wayne Detachment of State Police, will be in charge of traffic direction and parking.

Roy Lee Harmon is chairman of the publicity committee.

Fred Justice, president of the Chamber of Commerce, is chairman of the luncheon and special events committee.

Roy Boothe will work with Senator McKown in over-all arrangements.

Another meeting of the committee is scheduled for next week when more assignments will be made for those willing to help plan the celebration.

Tentative plans call for band concerts in the courthouse lawn during the afternoon of “Brinkley Day.”


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