In December of 1957, the Johnson City Press-Chronicle created something enjoyable aimed at youngsters 10 years old and younger, which they titled “The Little People's Coloring Contest.” Four pictures, depicting the Christmas holiday, one per day, were posted in the newspaper, beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 3 and ending on Friday, Dec. 6.
One of Four Drawings for the Christmas Photo Contest
Christmas Coloring Contest.' After you finishing coloring this one, put it with the other three that you have colored, and you're ready to send or bring them downtown to the 'Little People's Christmas Coloring Contest' editor of the Press-Chronicle.
“Just in case you missed the first three drawings, you will find them in the past three issues of this newspaper if you still have them. Don't forget; the deadline for entries is Saturday midnight. All entries must be in our office or postmarked by that time. Each of the four sketches must have your name, age and address on it.
“Remember, if your colored drawings are judged the best, you have a chance to win $5, $3, $2 for first, second, third place winners in the two age divisions: up to six years old and from seven to ten. But that's only the beginning.
“The two sets of drawings, judged the best in the local contest, will be sent to Cleveland, Ohio and entered in the big national contest. These luck boys and girls will have a chance of sharing in the grandest list of prizes ever offered.
“The grand prize will be a $500 United States Savings Bond and a set of Britannica Junior Encyclopedia. There are also walking dolls, flash cameras, a beautiful bicycle, record players, table radios and other encyclopedia sets among the big list of national awards.
“So get those entries in early and remember to follow the attached 9 rules carefully to avoid being disqualified.”
The color contest had some basic rules to follow:
“1. Every boy and girl up to and including 10 years old is eligible, except relatives of employees of this newspaper.
“2. Clip out each of the four drawing in the contest as they appear this week in the Johnson City Press Chronicle.
“3. Color these drawings or reasonable facsimiles, without any assistance from others.
“4. Colored pencils, paints, crayons or any other coloring materials of your choice may be used.
“5. All four drawings must be submitted at one time. Save them until you have colored and signed each one. “Then mail or bring them to “The Little People's Coloring Contest” editor at the Press-Chronicle office on W. Main Street at Boone Street (adjacent to City Hall. Any number of sets may be entered by each child.
“6. All entries must be received by Midnight Saturday.
“7. Judging will be on the basis of beauty, imagination, coloring, neatness and originality. Decisions of the judges will be final. The Press-Chronicle will not be responsible for entries lost or damaged in the mail so package them carefully or deliver them in person. Drawings will become the property of the Press-Chronicle and cannot be returned.
“8. Local contest winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded at that time.
“9. The two best entries in the contest will be entered in The Little People's National Coloring Contest and will be eligible for additional prizes. Results of the contest will be announced on or before January 1, 1958.”
I attempted to locate the names of the winners but came up short. I would have been 15 years old at the time, making me too old to participate.