September 6, 1917
“Watauga County Patriotic Rally, Wednesday September 12, 1917,” a heading on page two of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, introduced a column beginning, briefly, “[t]o be held at Boone.” “Everybody cordially invited,” continued the announcement. “There will be speeches by Hon. W.C. Newland of Lenoir; Hon. Frank A. Linney of Boone; Hon. S.J. Erwin of Morganton and others. The meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a march of those who are to go to the camp for training, led by the fife and drum corps of the Confederate army. The speaking will be at the court house. Everybody is asked to bring dinner and spread it on the court house lawn at the noon hour.” The “Confederate army” referred to was apparently an early form of tribute band honoring war veterans, and which, in this case, was called to salute those called to serve at the front in the First World War, which the United States had recently entered, in April of that year. The announcement continued, “Want every man who is to go to the front to be present, and if he has a family to bring his family. The drafted men are to be the guests on this occasion and are requested not to bring dinner. A testament [portable New Testament of the Bible] will be presented to those who are to go in the next draft. About 60 testaments have been ordered. We need about $13.00 for this fund yet. Leave it with the Watauga County Bank.” This feature ended, “”[l]et every body come next Wednesday the 12th and have a good day together with our boys before they leave for the front.”
September 3, 1936
“LOCAL PEOPLE TO HEAR PRESIDENT,” a headline this week, introduced a news article relaying that, “Cleve Gross, chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee for Watauga County, states that he expects no less than fifty local Democrats to journey to Charlotte on the tenth, when President Roosevelt will address the Green Pastures Rally, and when governors and leading figures in five southern states will take part in the huge political gathering.” The item reported, “Mr. Gross says that inquiries are coming to him daily from those who have been appointed as marshals from the county, and to others desiring to attend.” Those invited and designated as marshals were advised that they would “receive instructions after their arrival in Charlotte at Green Pastures headquarters in the Hotel Charlotte,” and that the local party head emphasized “the desirability of local people being on hand early.” “The rally is to be held at the American Legion stadium,” according to the Watauga Democrat, “where arrangements have been made for seating more than 75,000 people. President Roosevelt will speak at 4:30 and the governors, senators from the five states will take part in the program.” This “Green Pastures Rally” was organized to call attention to the beginnings of economic recovery, in the nation and in the Charlotte area, since the passing of the worst depths of the Great Depression.