The Week of December 11th, 2011

“Dairy Barn” reads the caption to this photograph from a collection of scenes of the school which is now Appalachian State University, as it appeared during the decade of the 1920s. Courtesy Historic Boone

December 12, 1912

“The public drinking cup is missing from the Southern train, and it will not be replaced,” began an item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, reproduced from the Salisbury Post. “The traveler must carry his individual drinking cup, for health and cleanliness have decreed that the public cup must go. The law prohibiting the cup on trains went into effect the 16th and no cup adorns the old ice box at the end of the day coach where the masses of folks drank from the same broken glass cup.  The roads may later provide individual paper cups for the traveler, but the better way is for the public to provide its own cup.” Although the shared “broken glass cup” may have been more metaphorical than literal, the language of this announcement captures, perhaps, a recognition of the threat of disease transmission in public venues which was of heightened concern at this time in U.S. history.

December 11, 1941

“U.S. Is At War With Japan,” was a prominent headline in this week’s paper, following the attack on Pearl Harbor. “Washington, Dec. 8. – America declared war on Japan today after that nation’s air bombers had dealt the navy the severest blow in its history and inflicted losses which raised the harsh possibility that the Japanese fleet may now enjoy temporary superiority in the Pacific,” read the text of the report.  Continued the article, “(s)ome details of the savage Japanese attack – which admittedly cost the navy a battleship, a destroyer, a number of smaller craft, and killed or  wounded 3,000 – was given to the nation last night by President Roosevelt.” The Presidential address was said to have “supplemented the brief message with which he asked Congress for a declaration of war Monday – a request which both houses followed up with action that was breath-takingly swift and, save for one vote, unanimous.” The one abstaining vote-caster, not mentioned by name in this article, was Montana Republican and longtime pacifist Jeanette Rankin, the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress.

In a related story, it was reported that the “bitter resentment felt in this locality over the assault by Japan on United States territory, is strikingly reflected by a conversation between some merchants on the street Tuesday. They agreed to sort out all toys and trinkets from their stocks labeled ‘made in Japan’ and burn them in a demonstration on the square.” The same article related that another “rather large retailer stated that his firm had quit buying Nipponese goods many months ago, regardless of price consideration, not waiting for a major demonstration of Japanese infamy.”

December 10, 1964

“Jaycees Sell Yule Trees on King Street,” announced an article in this week’s Watauga Democrat. “The Boone Jaycees will sell Christmas trees again this year on the Wheeler’s Produce lot on King Street in Boone. They hope to have the trees available to start sales this Saturday, Dec. 12.”  This sale was called “the most rewarding for club members,” as the “proceeds of the tree sales will be used to help the needy children of the county have a Merry Christmas. Last year some 40 children shared this experience with the Jaycees and received clothes, toys and other needed items.”

A 1907 advertisement from the Watauga Democrat newspaper

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Published in: on December 11, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

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