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The Brinkley Bridge

Wayne County News
May 19, 1961


Brinkley Day To Be Observed In Wayne As Bridge Is Dedicated

It will be “David Brinkley Day” in the town of Wayne June 17.

Brinkley, famous national Broadcasting Company news commentator, will return here for rededication of “Brinkley Bridge” on U.S. Route 52 at the edge of the town of Wayne.

Mean while, the Wayne Chamber of Commerce, at its annual meeting on Tuesday night, made the newsman honorary member of the organization and plans are to have him named honorary mayor of the town of Wayne for the day he is here.

If all tentative plans materialize it will be a big day for the town.

All the high school bands in the county are being invited to attend, a parade is planned and Brinkley will be given the key to the town in fitting ceremonies.

A hillbilly band is expected to add to the festivities after the formal ceremonies at the bridge e are completed and entertainment will likely continue through the afternoon. Merchants plan special selling events, with Brinkley Day Bargains.

At the annual banquet of the Chamber of Commerce at Wayne Grade school Tuesday night a special “Brinkley Day” program and welcoming committee was appointed, with Senator Jackie McKown as chairman. Other members are Julius Fry, Roy Lee Harmon, Arlie Queen and Roy Booth.

McKown explained that his committee’s job will be to cooperate with the State Road Commission officials who are responsible for bringing Brinkley here for the dedication ceremonies.

“We don’t know yet what our part in the program will be,” McKown explained. “We’ll just offer our services to the commission and help in any way possible to make the event a success. We will have to check developments in the commission’s plans. It seems this was arranged hurriedly. But we will do our part, whatever it is.”

McKown said a meeting of the committee will probably be held late this week at Wayne County News office.

Free parking in the town throughout the Brinkley Day celebration is expected to be approved by the town council.

Wayne and the Brinkley Bridge received nation-wide publicity during the 1960 presidential primary election campaign featuring John F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey, as opposing candidates.

Brinkley came to the state to report on the presidential primary – and as a sidelight he reported on the creaking bridge just below town. The bridge was a noisy on. When a motor vehicle passed over it the sound of the creaking wood flooring could be heard for quite a distance away. Brinkley held a microphone to the bridge floor as a truck passed – and millions of television listeners heard the sounds on NBC.

A few hours after the bridge sounds were heard on TV, a losing Republican administration had repairs made on the bridge. More repairs have since been made.

A few days ago Covy Smith of the Huntington District of the State Road Commission, telephoned Brinkley in Washington and told him of plans for the repaired bridges dedication and invited the commentator here for the ceremonies. Brinkley accepted.

In his conversation with Smith, Brinkley said:

“yes, I remember that bridge and I’ll be most happy to come back. I really like West Virginia, and I think a lot of its people. They’re real wonderful folks.”

During his visit to Wayne last year, Binkley visited the Wayne County News office and chatted with the late William Canterbury who was then editor and Mrs. Helen Reynolds.

He later wrote to Canterbury several times.

At the Tuesday night meeting go the Chamber of Commerce, officers of the year were elected.

Fred Justice was chosen to succeed himself as president, Joe Davis was named vice president and Clarence Rutherford was made secretary-treasurer.

Wallace Brubeck and Leslie Workmen were elected directors, succeeding two whose terms have expired.

Principal speaker for the occasion was William G. Campbell, Huntington Insurance man, former legislator, golf star and civic leader.

He outlined the great possibilities which West Virginia and especially the Wayne-Cabell section has and painted a bright word picture of this section’s future.

A representative of the U.S. Engineers office reported on the surveys for the three reservoirs in Wayne County.


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