December 19, 1888
The “Town and County” section of local news items in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper included a notice entitled “A Narrow Escape,” which told that, “Mrs. W.C. Coffey came near being drowned in Yadkin River on her way home from a visit to her parents.” The article related that, “Her father, Mr. Curtis[,] concluded that the river was too deep for her team and buggy and so sent a boy with a tall buggy and a very large horse of his to take her across. This horse on striking the current choked and fell and broke the shafts of the buggy. The horse recovered and turned back for the bank from whence he came[,] leaving Mrs. Coffey in the buggy in the deepest part of a very swift and dangerous ford. Fortunately Fin was on hand with his buggy and drove in and took his Mother out[,] not hurt but badly scared.”
December 18, 1941
“DUTIES OF CIVIL DEFENSE GROUP GIVEN BY BROWN,” a headline this week, introduced a story which began, “Wade E. Brown, chairman of the Watauga county committee on civilian defense, has issued the following statement relative to the duties and activities of the organization: 1. Aircraft warning service. Seven air raid stations organized in sections designated by army throughout the county, and which are now contacting army headquarters each day. Additional volunteers in this service will be needed to assist in the lookout for enemy aircraft, and for other warning and service activities along this line.” Other items in the statement included registration of volunteers “willing to give assistance when the need arises;” the appointment of “V Men,” who “are appointed to study local needs and conditions pertaining to civil defense and be available for public meetings and give instructions as the need arises;” the formation of a “Civil protection committee,” to be headed by the mayors of Boone and Blowing Rock; and a “Civil defense council, previously appointed.” Coming shortly after the entry of the United States into World War II following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Brown’s pronouncement emphasized that, “[a]fter all, we are in war through no choice of our own or of our country. We are confident of ultimate victory, and the people of Watauga county will not be content to do less than their full share.”
In happier news, “KIDDIES XMAS PARTY SATURDAY” was an article which told that, “[n]ext Sunday afternoon at 2:00 o’clock, a Christmas program will be given at Appalachian Theatre for the benefit of the underprivileged children of this community. The program is sponsored by the Woman’s Club and the Lions Club of Boone.” As part of the charitable festivity, “[t]oys and confections will be given the children who attend,” reported the newspaper. “The toys were taken in at a special toy matinee sometime [sic] ago and have been repaired by the firemen and the staff of workers at the local NYA center.” The “NYA” was the National Youth Administration, a part of the New Deal programs of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration which sought to give work to young people between the ages of 16 and 25, during the time of the Great Depression.