The N.L. and Addie Mast Home and Store in Mast, N.C., circa 1905. Photo courtesy of Terry Harmon, Diane Williams, Anna Lynn Turner, and Randy Feimster.
August 7, 1919
“Let Us All Get Back to Work” was the heading of a front-page item in this day’s edition of the Watauga Democrat – a title, as revealed in the text of the article, taken from “Bearnad M. Baruch, chief of the economic section of the American Peace Commission.” The story begins with the assertion of the newspaper writer that “[w]ork is the world’s salvation. It has been work, yea hard work that within the short space of three centuries has made America the richest country on the globe, and it will be good, honest work that will make the future secure.” After this introduction, the feature goes on to cite some of the ideas of Mr. Baruch, and his “excellent words on work.” According to Baruch, “work is the cure all for envy, hatred, malice, avarice, and general satisfaction. It is the talisman for contentment, comfort, self-respect and above all peace. A man who really works is too busy looking after himself and his family to engage in bitterness toward others. But, of course, the work must be rewarded so that he is better than a slave. It must be done under such conditions that he can keep his head high and feel himself the equal of all. We must eradicate the gross disparities that have existed.” Mr. Baruch is also quoted as saying that “we want no war between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’,” and that “each man should have the reward that comes from effort.” In the aftermath of World War I and the recent Russian Revolution, perhaps the American Peace Commission’s representative was concerned with the possibilities of further war and upheaval as a result of class inequities.
In the same issue, “Trust-Busting to Come” notes that “it begins to look as if the job of trust-busting undertaken by the American people and their government a few years ago was left so incomplete or was so largely undone during the war, that it will have to be tackled afresh.” One arena in which this newspaper article suggests there are still monopoly-like controls are among “the meat packers,” who were “steadily acquiring a monopoly of many of the chief food products of the country.” In fact, reports the story, “their grip is not confined to meats but is rapidly reaching out and fastening upon numerous other products.” The meat packing companies “contend that such concentration of commercial power eliminates waste of effort, saves expense, makes for greater efficiency, renders smaller profits possible, and thus benefits the public by providing lower prices than can be secured in any other way.” Interestingly, the article’s author contends that “[t]his is the familiar argument of the advocates of state socialism, to which system majority opinion is opposed, and the packers will hardly be able to convert the public to such a view” and asks,” [i]f we cannot trust the Government to administer the food supplies of the country, still less can we trust a huge private combination which has nothing in view but the accumulation of wealth for itself.”
August 6, 1959
“Plans Made for Museum Opening: Crittenden and Greer to speak at Dedication of Tatum Cabin” notes that “the Southern Appalachian Historical Association will officially open its museum Friday, August 14, when the dedication of the Tatum Cabin will be held.” The story relates that “the cabin, located on Horn in the West grounds, was presented to the Southern Appalachian Historical Association by I.T. Tatum, a descendent of the Revolutionary War captain who built it.” The cabin had been kept in the same family until the prior year’s donation, “when Mr. Tatum gave it to the historical association to be the nucleus of a proposed museum” of the era of Daniel Boone. The site was to be dedicated in an evening ceremony, presided over by “Dr. Christopher Crittenden, head of the N.C. Department of Archives, of Raleigh, and Dr. I.G. Greer, president of Southern Appalachian Historical Association, of Chapel Hill.” The 7 p.m. dedication was “to be over by 7:45, in time for attendance of Horn in the West.”
“Masonic Picnic Will be Held Next Saturday” announced a picnic at Camp Rainbow “located in the beautiful Hills at Foscoe,” which was to be “a revival of the custom of holding an annual Masonic picnic, abandoned some thirty-five years ago.” The event was to include a meeting, a tour of the camp, recreations, a vesper service, and a covered dish picnic. “All Masons, their families and Eastern Star members are invited to come out and bring covered dishes,” concludes the notice.
August 9, 1976
“Blue Ridge Parkway Sets All Time Monthly Record in July” reports that “more than two million visits, an all-time monthly high, were reported on the Blue Ridge Parkway during July, helping push year-to-date visitations over 13 percent ahead of 1975, the record year.” A drop in Parkway visits in June led Parkway Superintendent Joe Brown to speculate that “many potential visitors had delayed their vacations until after July 4 bicentennial events, and that the remainder of the summer would see greatly-increased travel,” which seemed to be borne out by July’s record-setting figures.
“Waldensian Celebration is Planned” tells that “[t]he town of Valdese, which was settled by the Waldensian people from the Cottian Alps during the last century, will hold a ‘Waldensian Celebration of the Glorious Return,’” a commemoration of the return of the Waldensian Protestants “to their native valley during the 17th century after persecutions of Louis XIV had driven them out.” In addition to “native games, foods, and crafts,” an antique auto parade, dance demonstrations, tours of the Waldensian Church Museum, and performances of the outdoor drama “From This Day Forward” were to highlight the celebration.