On Jan. 5, 2013, Luella Birks celebrated her 100th birthday. A long-time resident of Moline, both she and her husband, Ralph (now deceased), spent their working days serving the city of Moline; Luella as director of the Senior Citizen Center and Ralph as the first superintendent of parks and recreation. Luella has been a resident at Bickford Cottage for the past five years. Thank you, Luella, for all your contributions, generosity and love that you have given throughout the years at your work, at your church (a member for 70 years at Riverside United Methodist Church), and in the many service organizations that you were a member. Many lives, both young and old, have been blessed by knowing "Lu" Birks. Congratulations on becoming a Centenarian, Lu. We all love you!
Today is Friday, Dec. 13, the 347th day of 2013. There are 18 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Merry sleigh bells jingle in our streets in the wake of a driving northwest storm of snow and rain. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Thomas Campbell was elected commander of John Buford Post 243, Grand Army of the Republic. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Thomas B. Reidy was named consul of C.W. Hawes Camp No. 1550, and L.H. Eihl was named consul of Camp 29, Modern Woodmen of America. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island aldermen last night upheld the view of a petition signed by 150 businessmen that the city should not install parking meters. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Total volume during the Christmas mailing season may reach 12 million pieces in Rock Island, according to Rock Island Postmaster Carl J.L. Wessel. 1988 -- 25 years ago: The aromas filling the air at the Rock Island Lines depot in Rock Island soon will be prime rib and roast duck rather than sawdust and plaster. A tourist train will be offering dinner excursions in mid-February or early March, according to Dan Carmody, executive director of the Development Association of Rock Island.