This wintry view shows two older buildings from the Appalachian State campus amidst considerable snowfall. The date of the photograph is unknown. Courtesy Historic Boone
January 17, 1907
“In these latter days one is denied the right to regulate even the affairs of one’s own family,” lamented an article under the title “A Georgia Case” which appeared in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat (the dateline indicating that the item was reprinted from the Statesville Landmark newspaper). The item relays news of a “dispatch from Monticello, Ga.”, which told “of the killing of James Falk, a merchant, by a young man named Rupert Waldrup.” It seems that “Waldrup had accompanied Falk’s two daughters to a dance. Falk objected to their going but finally yielded on conditions that they return home before midnight. The young people got in at 2 a.m. and Waldrup opened a window and endeavored to put the girls in the house without arousing their father. Falk was aroused, however, and he appeared on the scene and chided the young people for coming in at that hour – a very natural thing to do, by the way. Waldrup resented Falk’s remarks, an altercation ensued and Falk was shot dead by Waldrup.” The author of the article expressed concern that the murderer would “either be acquitted… or let off with very light punishment” in light a recent case called the “Charlotte precedent,” in which “a married man invaded (a) home with evil purpose,” and, when being confronted and ordered to leave by the head of the household, the intruder, who had been “drinking wine and making merry,” according to the newspaper account, “not only didn’t go promptly, but stopped to argue the fact that he was a ‘gentleman’.” When “the father, as he had a right to do, caught hold of him to put him out, he was shot dead.” The offender in this North Carolina case received, says the article, “five years in the penitentiary – a most infamous travesty on justice” for “that cold-blooded murder of a man who was endeavoring to protect his own household.” The piece concludes, “(w)hat fathers should do when young men are guilty of misconduct about their homes – as in the Charlotte case and Georgia case – is to argue only with a shotgun.”
January 18, 1940
“Armed Plot Against United States Is Foiled” was a front-page headline in this week’s newspaper. Following a dateline of “New York, Jan. 14,” the news item told that, “(a) plot to overthrow the United States government with bombs and other arms – some looted from the arsenals of the army itself – was charged tonight against 18 members of the ‘Christian Front’ who were arrested and accused of revolutionary intentions. The 18 men were charged specifically with conspiracy to create a revolution and overthrow the government.” The article said that “J. Edgar Hoover, chief of the bureau of investigation, said they intended to bomb and shoot their way to power and set up a government similar to Hitler’s dictatorship over Nazi Germany.” Targets of the group were listed as “key government agencies such as federal reserve banks, post offices and vital public utilities,” with an anti-Semitic agenda (“aimed against Jews generally,” in the words of the article) forming a major component of the thwarted group’s ideology.
The “Local Affairs” column noted, “Mrs. Bessie Brown has returned to her home in Boone after visiting for several weeks with Mr. and Mrs. Walter Brown at Laxon. While away Mrs. Brown suffered an attack of influenza, from which she has appreciably recovered.”
This week’s newspaper also included a feature entitled “From Our Early Files,” in which a selection of short “Items from the Democrat of January 10, 1901” and “Items From the Democrat of January 17, 1901” were reproduced.