The Week of Sunday, February 10th, 2013.

Big Snow Photo

“Lots of white space, huh?” begins this caption to a photograph apparently originally taken during the record-setting blizzard of 1960. “This shot was made on 421 at Miller’s long before land was cleared further down the road for New Market Centre.”

Courtesy Historic Boone & the Watauga Democrat

February 13, 1908

“Liquor and Tobacco,” the heading of a moralizing front-page editorial item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, opened with the assertion that “prohibition and sumptuary laws,” concerning “what shall a man eat and drink and wherewithal shall he be clothed,” were related to “questions (which) have been with mankind through all the ages.” After hearkening to the time when “originally he (humanity) lived on fish or shell fish, and his strongest drink was rain water,” the article traced the  development of civilization through the time when the species became hunters, and when, subsequently, “he planted a vineyard, made wine and became a drunkard… Once drunk, he felt brave and consequential, and began the conquest of his fellow tribes, and through all sorts of conditions he has been drinking and fighting and playing the devil ever since.” The author of the feature particularly lamented the state of the modern person, since “now the most enlightened people who wear the best clothes, eat and drink everything they can find, and besides chew, smoke and snuff tobacco, and use opium and every form of dope known to man.” The author, J.C. Elliott of the Charlotte Observer, noted that these same people “then… pray and make a great to do about sending the gospel to the poor blind heathen.” Elliott’s editorial claimed that “all people, including the heathen, do the best they know,” and, stating that “all luxuries are enervating and injurious to the health,” and that “we have in the essentials – flesh, fish and foul, with the cereals, vegetables and fruits – that which we may freely partake of,” encouraged subsistence on these necessaries alone. While admitting that “wine, beer and cider go good with a meal,” the editorialist asked, “but where does tobacco come in with its noxious taste?” The column concluded that, although “tobacco was known as a stimulant to the Indians, and a smoke after a dinner of spoiled meat or dried toads might have left a better taste,” in modern times, “what excuse have we for cultivating such a taste?” The author did not give any sources for his characterization of the indigenous diet, which seems somewhat in contrast to his previous idyllic portrayal of the pre-modern lifestyle.

February 11, 1943

“Allies to Invade Europe In 1943, Byrnes Asserts,” a headline this week, introduced an article which announced that, “(t)he flat official statement that allied forces will invade Europe in 1943 was made Tuesday night, and coupled with it was admission that the cost in American lives must be heavy.” Continued the short news item, “(t)he statement came from James F. Byrnes, whose powers as director of economic stabilization are so great he has been dubbed ‘assistant president.’ His was the most definite indication of allied war plans since President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill planned the year’s campaigns in Casablanca.” Byrnes’ vision of an invasion of Axis-controlled Europe would indeed begin in that year, with invasions of Sicily in July 1943, but would see completion only after the Allied invasion of Normandy nearly a year later.

Published in: on February 10, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

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