Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Eunice Kennedy Shriver

50 years ago: Hickory boy, 12, wins first Soap Box Derby

As taken from the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, June 28, 1962: A Bel Air Elementary School student from Hickory, John Michael Kirk, 12, won the first ever Soap Box Derby in Bel Air. The sixth-grader had to win five heats to claim the championship. Kirk told Derby officials that it took him about 60 hours to construct his 190-pound racer. He built it in the woodworking shop of his grandfather and named his racer "Granddad's Special." He received a $500 savings bond and a piece of luggage for his prize. Kirk also won a trip to Akron, Ohio, in August to compete in the 25th annual All-American Soap Box Derby. A rest area and service station to be built near Stepney Road...