Gov. John G. Winant was among the thousands of people who attended the Legion’s September 7, 1931 Labor Day celebration. Ten thousand people flooded the streets of Newport, many arriving on a special excursion train from Boston. The biggest event was a ten mile marathon from Claremont to Newport, featuring thirty-two runners, and won by Boston Marathon winner Jimmy Henigan of Medford, MA. Andre Champollion’s widow presented the Champollion Memorial Trophy to the wining marathon team. The parade consisted of National Guardsmen, Newport Fire Department, Drum Corps, Local Red Men and Pocahontas, local organization and business floats, “Leapin’ Lena,” and people dressed as “Horribles.” A midway in front of the Grange (Old Courthouse) provided the crowd with games and food. The air show at Parlin Field included parachute jumps, exhibition flying, and passenger rides. A Waco Model C Cabin plane and a Bird Biplane were on display. The day included several band concerts, drum corps competitions, baseball games, fireworks on the playground, and culminated with a dance in the Town Hall attended by over five hundred people. It looks like many people took the advice of Billy B. Van to “lock up the cellar, bed down the mare, be in Newport on Labor Day.”

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