The March 6, 1940 edition of the Kelowna Capital News. - Image Credit: Carmen Weld.

Cap News Throwback Thursday: 1940

After 86 years of service, we wanted to utilize our amazing treasure trove of Kelowna history and share it with you.

Over the last 86 years the Kelowna Capital News has served the Central Okanagan – and overthe last 86 years it has printed a whole lot of papers.

A conservative estimate puts it at about 8,000 editions.

The new Black Press Okanagan digital team, based right here in Kelowna, wanted to utilizethis amazing treasure trove of pieces of our history and share it with you.

Each Thursday we will present Cap News Throwback Thursday for a fun little peak into thepast, and a chance for the digital team to climb through the records room.

Today we present the Kelowna Capital News edition— Wednesday March 6, 1940.

Gulliver’s Travels was playing at the Empress Theatre in Kelowna, the Okanagan Union Library had its busiest month on record, blouses with a “froth of Gardenia-White frills” were just $1.95 and a dozen eggs set you back a quarter.

While the Second World War was more than six months in, the paper makes no mention of it.

The top story shares the success of the Okanagan Union Library. In our 1936 throwback, residents were debating whether the community should get the library.

The library was approved and in 1940 they were celebrating its success.

“The popularity of the Okanagan Union Library exceeded all previous heights during the month of February when that month, with January, proved to be the busiest in the history of the Library,” reads the lede.

The story reports that 4,089 books were circulated in January 1940, up from 3,979 books in the same month in 1939.

Gulliver’s Travels was on the big screen, a 1939 American cel-animated Technicolor feature film.

The film was reportedly released by Paramount Pictures in response to the success of Walt Disney’s box-office hit Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, but lost them both to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s The Wizard of Oz.

Far cheaper than the business of today, a “thriving Country Grocery business and gasoline pumps” is for sale for just $8,500.

The women of Kelowna were offered some tips from Sutherland’s Bakery, as women were of course the only ones to host a party in 1940.

“Take a tip girls,” reads the ad. “When entertaining it pays to buy your pastries…un-less you’ve much time to spare, baking means endless fussing.”

Overwaitea Ltd. also celebrated 20 years in business in 1940. On March 15, 1940 the very first store in New Westminster was throwing a celebratory bash. While plans at the Kelowna location were also been set up.

Overwaitea is now Canada’s largest western-based food store chain, operating more than 140 stores under the Save-On-Foods, Overwaitea Foods, Urban Fare, PriceSmart Foods, PriceSmart Foods International and Bulkley Valley Wholesale banners.

Fun fact: Much like today, the DeHart family made it to print. This edition announced the “a marriage of interest to the community” between Miss Christine Johnston and Lieut. Guy DeHart. “The following day Lieut. DeHart boarded the train for Toronto where he had been ordered to join the Seaforth Highlanders,” reads the announcement.

You can also check out our previous throwbacks here: 1936, 1960, 1941, 1985, 1962,1983, 1994 and 1971.

The Cap News is now owned by Black Press Community Media. Founded in 1975, BlackPress now publishes more than 170 titles in British Columbia, Alberta, Washingtonstate, Hawaii, Ohio and California.

Do you have an important date or piece of history you hope we can find in ourhistorical editions?! Let us know at

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