“Class of 1913” is the brief caption extant for this early photograph from the files of the Historic Boone Society. Courtesy of Historic Boone.
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Educational concerns were much in the news in this issue of the Watauga Democrat. An article entitled “A Noble Gift” reports that, “the ten thousand dollar gift of Mr. Peabody to the State Normal and Industrial College at Greensboro… is money that is wisely invested. Nearly all the money given to educational institutions in the South has been given to the education of men. We are glad to see that Mr. Peabody recognizes the sorest need of the South today is the opportunity for an education by thousands of ambitious women… we hope that this is but an earnest of what is in the minds and hearts of generous men to do for the education of young women in the south.”
Another article reports, “[t]he last session of the University of North Carolina was the most prosperous in its history and everything points to an increased prosperity and needfulness during the coming session. The faculty has been greatly strengthened by the addition of eight new teachers, making forty-three in all. There are two new dormitories; new recreation rooms, water works and electric lights. Board, lodging, heat and lights can be secured at from $10 to $12.50 per month.”
July 5, 1923
“Government Ends Its Year with a Surplus” captured a front-page headline on this date. “Complete figures covering the government’s financial operations for the fiscal year ending yesterday, made public tonight by the treasury, show receipts for the 12 months of $4,007,135,480 and expenditures of $3,697,478,020, indicating a surplus of $309,657,460.” Although nowhere in the article is it specifically stated that the federal budget, rather than that of the state, is herein reported on, references to “the administration’s tariff policy” as one cause for the surplus, in addition to higher-than-expected “income and profit taxes” – as well as the total amounts indicated – suggest that the national budget is the one which is reported.
An open letter “To All Christian Churches of Watauga County” was published as a follow-up to a visit during the previous year by “our state Superintendent of the North Carolina Sunday School Association,” and made announcement of a series of upcoming meetings, based on townships, to further the work of the Sunday School Association locally. Officers in Watauga County were listed as G.W. Robbins (President), J.D. Rankin (Vice President), and W.L. Winkler (Secretary-Treasurer). “We are asking all the christian churches of the county to cooperate with the officials of the organization in every way possible,” reads the announcement. “We feel that the time is here for us to have better organized Sunday Schools in every Church. If we neglect our Sunday Schools we are letting the things of the world undermine the foundation of the church.” Churches scheduled to hold meetings included Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian congregations.
July 6, 1944
Independence Day weekend news in 1944 included the item, “90 are Sent to Induction Post,” as World War II continued in the European and Pacific Theaters. “Ninety Watauga [C]ounty men left recently for Camp Croft, S.C., for their pre-induction physical examinations, it is revealed by the Selective Service Board. A full list of the draftees was printed in the Watauga Democrat, beginning on the front page and continuing on page four.
“Heavy Rains Visit Part of Watauga” reported that “the drouth [sic] was broken in Boone and environs last Saturday afternoon, and while the rains did not reach all sections of the county in quantities sufficient to revive the parched vegetation, it is felt that complete relief from the drouth is on the way.”
An advertisement placed by the “Victory Pulpwood Committee, H.M. Hamilton, Chairman” addresses “How the New Draft Regulations Affect Pulpwood Cutters.” The text of the ad claims that, “pulpwood cutting is one of the 35 essential activities listed by the War Manpower Commission and designated by Selective Service Headquarters as a guide for local draft boards in considering applications for occupational deferments,” and lists three criteria which might enable pulpwood cutters to be exempt from the military draft, given that “… the government recognizes pulpwood cutting as an essential activity.”
July 5, 1962
“City Parking Problem Topic Public Meeting” was the terse title which introduced a brief front-page notice dealing with a long-familiar High Country topic. “The Town Board of Boone is having a public meeting at the Elementary school Auditorium at 7:30, Sunday, July 8, to discuss the parking problem.” The article suggests that, “because of the great increase in Summer School enrollment, tourists, and local people, the problem is rapidly becoming bigger,” and the slated meeting hoped to “acquaint the public with the problem and seek a satisfactory solution.” In an interesting and perhaps perennially timely reflection, the author comments that “the parking situation is worse this year because of the building progress at the college,” and notes that “this is a serious problem which will continue to be so unless something can be done.”
“Patrol Asks Public to Drive Carefully” conveyed to the readership of the Democrat that “the State Highway Patrol is pleading with the motorists of North Carolina to use extreme caution over the long July 4 weekend,” given that “travel over the current weekend will be exceptionally heavy and because of the increased travel on the road, hazards likely will occur more often.”
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Ross Cooper is a member of the Reference Staff at the Watauga County Public Library in Downtown Boone. The microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, from its beginnings in 1888 up to the current year, are available to the public at the Watauga County Library. The photographic archives of the Historic Boone society are also housed at the Library, and are available to the public during hours of operation.