“1949 Echoes of the Blue Ridge: Russel D. Hodges, Fay G. Hodges,” says the caption inscribed on the back of this photograph. The Watauga County Centennial included a dramatic recreation of vignettes from throughout the area’s history, featuring local performers. The scheduled performances in the Centennial year were, for the most part, rained out, but the endeavor gave birth to the High Country’s outdoor drama Horn in the West, running consecutively from 1952 up to the present.
Courtesy Historic Boone
March 28, 1901
This week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat included a short notice credited to the Richmond Dispatch: “The answer, ’Because I am a christian (sic),’ given by Charles Morall, of Chicago, when asked why he paid the funeral expenses of a man who tried to assassinate him and then killed himself would not be a bad approach for the powers to adopt in China.” The “powers” referred to included Britain, the United States, and other Western nations whose “spheres of influence” in China were, at the time, being resisted by the anti-foreign uprising commonly known as the Boxer Rebellion.
Cough remedies were leading advertisers in this season, with one sponsor announcing that, “(r)eports show a greatly increased death rate from throat and lung troubles, due to the prevalence of croup, pneumonia, and grippe. We advise the use of One Minute Cough Cure in all of these difficulties. It is the only harmless remedy that gives immediate results. Children like it. Moretz and Farthing. Johnson and Buchanan.”
March 28, 1929
A report bearing the somewhat scrambled dateline “Bahia, Brailz (sic), March 26” related in this issue that, “(v)irtually unreported since leaving the cast of Africa, the Spanish airplane ‘Jesus Del Gran Poder’ unexpectedly ended a brilliant flight from Seville at 10 o’clock today. Only once since leaving the African coast were they reported. The flight covered a distance of 4,100 miles.”
In more tragic news closer to home, the headline “School Teacher Gives Up Self After Murder” reported from “Brevard, N.C.” on the 25th of March that, “Richard Harrison, a school teacher at Namur, N.C., surrendered today to local officers for the slaying late yesterday of John Hinkle, prominent citizen of Transylvania county.” According to the article in the Democrat, “(t)he shooting occurred in a remote section near the South Carolina line and was unknown to officers until Harrison gave himself up.” The item noted that “(t)he slayer is the son of a former lieutenant governor of Mississippi and came from state a year ago.” Concluded the story, “(h)e claims self defense.”
March 27, 1969
“Southern Bell Sets Up System For Information”, a headline in this week’s newspaper, reported that, “(a)n increasing number of Bell System customers are getting a new response when they dial for information. The response ‘Directory Assistance’ is now being used in the major areas of Charlotte, Gastonia, Burlington, and Shelby.” Continued the report, “Boone will receive this service May 4.” The article quoted “”B.B. Leazor, Boone Manger for Southern Bell,” who explained that, “the new service will offering will provide what its name implies, ‘directory assistance.’” Apparently, the former designation of the service as simply “information” had become problematic: “the title, information, misleads many to make calls for general information rather than telephone numbers.” The purpose of the service was to have special “directory assistance operators” to “primarily seek to provide numbers which are not listed in the current telephone directory.” In order to expedite access to phone numbers in the future, the operators would “explain hard-to-locate listings and… encourage customers to copy numbers on their own personal directories for future reference.”
1944 Red Cross advertisement from The Watauga Democrat newspaper,
Boone, North Carolina, U.S.A.