The Week Of February 5th, 2012

A group of young Wataugans, date unknown (inscription on reverse reads “turn of the Century gathering”). Courtesy the archives of the Historic Boone society.

February 3, 1910

“A Horrible Hold Up” was the heading to an advertisement, neatly sandwiched among news items, in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper. “’About ten years ago my brother was “held up” in his work, health, and happiness by what was believed to be hopeless Consumption,’ writes W.R. Lipscomb, ofWashington,North Carolina,” narrated the item. “’He took all kinds of remedies and treatment from several doctors but found no relief until he used Dr. King’s New Discovery and was wholly cured by six bottles. He is a well man today,’” continued the commercial copy of the day. “It’s quick to relieve and the surest cure for weak or sore lungs, hemorrhages, coughs and colds, bronchitis, la grippe, asthma, and all bronchial affections,” continued the ad for the miraculous panacea. “50c and $1.00. Guaranteed by all druggists.”

An editorial commentary on newspaper editorship opined, “if the country editor were to snap at all the inducements held out he would soon become a millionaire. If he can (make?) a paper according to the popular notion he would be in the poor house. If he published all the items that were sent him he would be in jail half the time and in the hospital the other half. – Ex.”

“It is rumored that a great bread trust is being organized, says the New York Mail,” according to another notice. “Evidently the bread of the future is to be less and less like mother used to make.”

In medical news, and an item of African American history, this edition reported that “Gertrude E. Curtis ofBradford,Pa., is the first colored (sic) woman dentist. She passed the final examination in theCollegeofDental SurgeryinPhiladelphiawith high honors, and will begin practice without delay.”

February 4, 1926

A front-page article entitled “The News of the Normal School” reported in this week’s newspaper that the “Appalachian State Normal is not only trying to give its students the very best mental development and highest training for their service in life but is looking toward and working to some higher ideals. President Dougherty in faculty meeting last week laid before the teachers the following as one ideal to be attained.” The subsequent quoted speech by the college founder emphasized that “there should be eliminated from every conversation all swearing, black-guarding and gossiping for everyone on this campus,” with a goal of “the most cultured and refined language with purest diction” as a priority for the Appalachian Normal School community. “If these ideals cannot be reached just now,” President Dougherty was quoted as saying, “they certainly are not too high to be worked towards.”

Other news on a more national scale relayed that “government figures show that from 1920 to 1924, ‘automobiles killed 50,876 men, women and children.’ And in 1924 the ‘death toll’ numbered 15,528.” The brief note continues with the Watauga Democrat’s opinion that, “calculated to give the false and damaging impression that the automobile in itself is a dangerous and deadly demon, these figures are NOT true to fact.” The article contends that “of the sixty-odd thousand killed in five years, some were the victims of stupid, reckless, or drunken drivers, some of incompetents,” but that the “greater number killed were victims of their own carelessness, commonly known as ‘jay walking.’” Concludes the article, “(w)hen a man on the railroad track is killed nobody blames the locomotive or suggests suppressing railroads. The sign reads ‘Stop, look listen,’ and “Keep off the track.’”

Published in: on February 5, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

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