This photograph, from a postcard, shows one of the early buildings of the educational institution which would become Appalachian State University.
Courtesy Historic Boone
May 23, 1901
“Our colonies do not seem disposed to look upon us as a mother,” lamented a short news item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “Cuba obviously considers us only a mother-in-law and Porto (sic) Rico – well, Porto Rico seems to think us as a particularly harsh step mother.”
Another article noted, “(o)f course no one wants to interfere with the Supreme Court in its determination of the Porto (sic) Rican cases, but still the country is certainly entitled to some sort of decision on so momentous a question. The Porto Rican law was passed two years ago and the cases were submitted to the court more than four months ago. Surely the people ought to have a decision before next October.” The former possessions of Spain were ceded to the United States after the 1898 Spanish-American War, but the exact status of the territories was uncertain. The Supreme Court cases referred to became known as the “Insular Cases” (“insular,” here, referring to an island or islands), and the main question was summarized in the phrase “does the Constitution follow the flag?” – or, whether or not territories which become a part of the United States automatically gain full Constitutional rights. Supreme Court hearings continued until 1905, and determined that “territorial incorporation” might exist in such territories, with U.S. Constitutional rights not necessarily applying to the inhabitants.
May 23, 1940
“Work On Tater Hill Lake Is Progressing,” reported a headline in this week’s newspaper. “A steam shovel is now engaged in making excavations for a lake on Tater Hill mountain, according to Mr. S.C. Eggers, who is in charge of the huge development project. There are 66,000 yards of dirt to be moved, and the lake will cover from three to five acres of land, with a maximum depth of 30 feet. The lake will be used for fishing, swimming and boating.” Continued the article, “(w)ork of improving the road from the lake to the summit of the mountain is going on and in a few days cars can be driven to the Linney stone house on the mountain top. Six miles of bridle trails have been laid out along the crest of the mountain.”
In world news, “Allies Battle Desperately To Hold Channel Sector,” a story with a dateline of “Paris, May 22,” told that, “(t)he Allies, with their backs to the English Channel, last night fought against a new German advance which spread a path of fire across northern France and threatened to isolate England.” According to the news story, a “war ministry spokesman added that German motorcycle troops had pushed on to penetrate the outskirts of the Abbeville region. The city of Abbeville is some 12 miles from the channel’s open waters.”
May 24, 1962
“Movement Is Started To Set Up Mental Health Group In County,” reported a headline fifty years ago this week. “Watauga’s wealth is in the sound mental health of its people, might well be the slogan of the proposed mental health association,” opened the article. “The symbol of the N.C. Mental Health Association is a bell, and on the afternoon of May 15, at the Health Center a group of local teachers, preachers and social workers met to sound the first little tinkle of that bell toward organizing a mental health association in Watauga county,” stated the Watauga Democrat’s writer. The item relayed that the “Rev. Henry W. Greer, director of Baptist Student Union, First Baptist Church, Boone, was appointed temporary chairman, with the Rev. Preston Hughes, Jr., serving as co-chairman” of the organization formed to create the county mental health organization.