July 26, 2021

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Yes, Packers sold shares of stock from 1950 drive…

4 min read
Yes, Packers sold shares of stock from 1950 drive...

I recently purchased a 1950 Packers stock certificate signed in 1959 by John Torinus and Dominic Olejniczak as secretary and president. Who was the secretary of the executive committee in 1959? The stock was issued in 1950. Would there have been any stock issued in 1959?

A few years ago, I spent a month or more going through our corporate records of the 1923, 1935 and 1950 stock sales. Actually, I found the records for the 1923 sale to be more complete than those for the 1935 sale, partly because buyers in the latter sale could choose a stock certificate or advertising space in the Packers’ game programs for their $25, and it was difficult to determine at times which choice businesses made. As for the 1950 sale, there were complete records, including two sets of receipt books and typewritten lists of the buyers. There were books of pocket-sized receipts and also large ledgers where the sales were listed. That was in addition to master lists of shareholders. However, in digging through the records, there were discrepancies with what previously had been published in the Green Bay Press-Gazette during the stock drive, in several Packers history books, other publications and even our own media guide for a number of years. What I found was that there were still 468 shares of outstanding stock from the 1935 sale that some writers and perhaps Packers officials had included to boost the total amount of money raised during the 1950 drive. Those 468 shares were worth $11,700. I also found that people pledged to buy stock during the door-to-door drives in 1950 and then didn’t follow up and pay for it. That’s why for years, it was reported that the Packers raised more than $118,000 in the 1950 sale – I’ve even seen a number as high as $125,000 – when, in fact, they raised a little more than $104,000 that year. However, in response to your question, no deadline was set for the sale. Thus, an additional 50 shareholders were added to the rolls between 1951 and 1959, which mathematically would have raised an additional $1,250. But, for example, Vince Lombardi received a single share on Oct. 23, 1959. What I don’t know is if he had to pay $25 for it or if the Packers simply gifted it to him? Ditto for newly elected board members who hadn’t previously purchased shares. That’s why our media guide now states the amount collected in the 1950 sale was $104,137.50, which was the amount raised prior to the Jan. 22, 1951, shareholders meeting, according to the minutes of that meeting. (Yes, nine people were allowed to purchase a half-share at $12.50.) For transparency’s sake, our former shareholders services manager, had previously researched the same corporate records that I did and arrived at a figure that was $2,550 more than mine, although with a slightly different timeframe, April 10, 1950 through Dec. 19, 1950, which might have been viewed at the time as the unofficial end of the drive. But that was a substantial enough number to raise doubt in my mind about the accuracy of my total. Thus, I conducted a second search of the more than 1,600 receipts, and I believe I found an explanation for all but $50 of the difference. On April 15, 1950, Northern Paper Mills was listed on receipt No. 184 for purchasing 100 shares of stock. On July 9, 1950, the Sullivan-Wallen American Legion Post was credited on receipt No. 1501 for owning 100 shares of stock. But there was a notation on the Sullivan-Wallen receipt that it was actually a transfer of the 100 shares purchased by Northern Paper Mills on April 15. In essence, one sale was recorded twice in the receipt books. (Northern still owned $500 worth of stock from the 1935 sale.) In the end, after taking that into account, two searches by different people arrived at figures within $50 of each other. That’s why I feel confident the $104,137.50 figure is accurate. John Torinus was elected secretary-treasurer of the Packers on March 7, 1955, and continued to serve as secretary until his death in October 1985. Fred Trowbridge replaced him as treasurer in 1959.

Cesar from Ecuador, South America

What was the date of the first Monday Night Football game in Green Bay?

Oct. 1, 1979. The Packers beat New England, 27-14. ABC started broadcasting weekly Monday night games in 1970, three years into the Packers’ nearly quarter-century drought. Thus, they weren’t exactly a popular draw. In all, the Packers played in 10 Monday night games before 1979 and only three of those were home games, all played at Milwaukee County Stadium. The reason for not playing in Green Bay was this: The lighting at Lambeau Field was inadequate for a national, nighttime, color telecast. Before the 1979 season, the Packers installed new lights that provided six times the illumination of the old lights.