July 23, 1914
“Huerta Passed Off the Stage” carried a dateline of “Mexico City, July 16.” The article notes that “General Victoriano Huerta resigned from the provisional presidency of the Mexican republic tonight and his resignation was accepted by the senate and chamber of deputies by a vote of 121 to 17.” The resignation “was read in the house and was greeted with cries of ‘Viva Huerta’,” according to the report. The military dictator’s successor, President Francisco Carbajal, “proceeded to the National Place under an escort of presidential guards, and all along the way was greeted with tumultuous cheering.” Huerta’s resignation followed a number of years of tumult during the Mexican Revolution.
The “Pointless Paragraphs” section of the front page, endeavoring at satirical humor, it would seem, based upon recent news and societal trends, included such brief notices as “Huerta voted for himself for President of Mexico, and that made him the unanimous choice, etc., and again etc.;” “Chicago Methodists are holding an old time religious camp meeting, and resolutely decline to discuss women’s dresses nor the lack of them;” and “Extra! Extra! Special discount sale on the remnants of Mexico.”
“The committee named to locate a great Methodist University of the M.E. [Methodist Episcopal] Church South, is meeting in Atlanta. Trinity College is bidding for the honor.” Trinity College was eventually to become the Methodist-affiliated Duke University.
In local news, “Stony Fork has had another little shooting scrape. This time, we are told, that on Tuesday of last week, John Carleton was shot by Calvin Miller, but the wounds were slight, and after the shot – twelve in number – were extracted, the wounded man went about his usual vocation, but, of course, without the best of feelings for his assailant.”
July 22, 1943
“Approved Slaughter House is Constructed” tells that “Mr. L.H. Hollar, who supplies the greater part of the fresh meat sold in Boone, announces the completion of a modern slaughter house, which is constructed of cinder blocks, and meets all the State requirements. Every convenience has been provided, and Mr. Hollar states that slaughtering is done for others, when required.”
News from the European Theater of World War II reports that “in one of the greatest combined land, sea and air military operations of all time, allied forces swarmed over 100 miles of southeastern Sicilian coasts commencing the long-awaited European invasion. Despite the tremendous number of men involved, most units were reported to have reached their objectives exactly on schedule. More than 2,000 ships took part in the gigantic movement of troops.”
On the home front, “Community Cannery to be in Operation Soon in This City” states that “a community cannery, sponsored by the Rural War Production Training Department of Vocational Education, is soon to be ready for operation in the basement of the Mountain Burley Tobacco Warehouse in this city.” The planned operation was to be supervised by “Dr. Orby Southard, head of the department of agriculture at Appalachian High School,” who was quoted as stating that “all the equipment for the modern canning plant is now on hand, and that canning will start just as soon as sealing equipment arrives.” The plant was “designed to process about 1500 No. 2 cans per day,” and those wishing to use the facility would “prepare the vegetables and fruits for canning” and “the cost with tin can furnished” was “5 cents each” for the standard no. 2 cans, “6 cents for no. 3, and 3 cents for glass jars brought by patrons.” Although “open to anyone in the county,” this facility was designed “particularly for the benefit of the people in the vicinity of Boone and eastern Watauga,” there already being “a cannery… operated at Vilas by Mr. Ernest Hillard, which takes care of the western section of the county.”
July 24, 1969
News of the first landing by man on the moon captured considerable coverage in this week’s issue of the Watauga Democrat. “Spacemen Walk, Place Flag on Moon’s Surface” was the banner headline on the newspaper’s front page. “America’s moon pioneers, that country’s flag placed on the surface of the moon were speeding toward earth Tuesday for a victorious splashdown in the Pacific Thursday.”
“Patrons at Horn in the West Also See Men on the Moon” was another headline, reporting that “the pioneer spirit of Daniel Boone literally bounced off the moon Sunday night before the eyes of some 300 patrons at Horn in the West.” The management of the outdoor drama, upon hearing that the moon walk’s schedule had been moved to 9 p.m. local time, 15 minutes after the play’s usual start time, “secured three large-screen television sets and hastily erected an antenna on the set.” The historical drama continued after the audience had “seen a new era for man opening before their eyes” in Neil Armstrong’s televised steps onto the surface of the moon. The reporter for the newspaper reflected that “[a]s they shuffled out of the arena at about 1 a.m., many may have mused that, except for the matter of 200 years, the man who first touched the moon might just as well have been Daniel Boone, the pioneer from North Carolina.”
“Young Frank Proffitt Wows Newport Throng” was another headline feature, authored by Rachel Rivers. The local singer was reported to have been invited to the Newport Folk Festival “to promote for thousands of Festival fans the traditional folk music of the Southern Appalachians on a program featuring Theodore Bikel, bluegrass star Bill Monroe, song writer – television star John Hartford, Pete Seeger and blues singer Big Momma Thorton.” The article states that it was noted folk singer Frank Warner who “uncovered the talent of young Proffitt’s late father, Frank Proffitt Sr.,” and who, as Foundation Director of the Newport Folk Foundation had invited Watauga native Frank Proffitt Jr. to the festival. “Frantic clapping” and cheers were reported during Proffitt’s introduction and his performance before a crowd of over 10,000 spectators.
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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.