February 15th / 20th


This picture is titled, “Students Visiting the Watauga Democrat”. Boys and girls are shown outside the Watauga Democrat newspaper office. This was when newspaper was located on King Street. Courtesy of the Historic Boone society and digitalnc.org, The North Carolina Digital Heritage center.

1946: Decorated Navy Veteran to Serve as Recruiter at Boone Post Office

February 15, 1917

“William Jennings Bryan on Crisis,” a front-page story this week, conveyed the take of a noted populist politician during these days just prior to the entrance of the United Stated into World War I on the side of the Allies. Under a dateline of “Asheville, Feb. 7,” the story told that, “[j]ust before leaving here for his winter home in Miami, William J. Bryan, who came to Asheville yesterday to consult an architect about building his summer home here, gave the following statement to local newspaper men regarding the present crisis in the relation with Germany. ‘The president, in his noble appeal to the belligerents has asked that they forget the bitterness engendered by the killing of more than 6,000,000 of human beings and the expenditure of more than $50,000,000,000 in money, and come together in an honorable peace. If we can expect such an exhibition of virtue by them, are we not in duty bound to measure up to the standard which we have set for them?” The former Democratic Party and Populist Party Presidential candidate was referencing remarks by then-President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, on increasing tensions between the United States and Germany. “There are several alternatives from which to choose,” continued Bryan. “First, we can postpone until the war is over the settlement of any dispute which cannot now be settled by peaceful means; second, we can keep American citizens off belligerent ships; third, we can refuse clearance to ships of the United States and other neutral countries carrying contraband and passengers of the same ship; fourth, we can withdraw protection from American citizens who are willing to jeopardize the nation’s peace by traveling as seamen with contraband on American or neutral vessels; fifth, we can, if necessary, keep all American vessels out of the danger zone for the present, just as the mayor of a city keeps citizens in their homes when a mob is in possession of the streets; sixth, Congress[,] which has exclusive power to declare war, can submit the declaration to a referendum vote, making exception in case of actual invasion.” Despite Bryan’s plans for avoiding War, the U.S. declared war on Germany two months later, after many American ships were sunk by the Germans. Bryan was a noted speaker and a populist leader who had unsuccessfully run for U.S. President in 1896, 1900, and 1908, championing rural farm interests against large east coast bankers and supporting the right of women to vote.

February 14, 1946

“Local Navy Man Is Now Doing Recruiting Duty at Post Office,” reported a news feature on this week’s front page. “G.R. Carroll, chief boatswain’s mate, recently returned to the States from duty with the occupational forces of Japan, is now with the naval recruiting service at Winston-Salem and will be working in this county a portion of the time.” The story told that “Chief Carroll, a veteran of many years’ naval service… served in all theatres of the war, and wears the American defense ribbon with bronze star.” Carroll planned to settle permanently in Boone with his wife, then residing in New York, and would be offering information about careers in the U.S. Navy “every Monday, beginning at 11 o’clock”.

“KNITTERS ARE WANTED,” a short front-page item this week, relayed that, “Volunteer knitters are urgently needed by Watauga chapter American Red Cross, for the production of 40 sweaters, says Mrs. W.M. Burwell, knitting chairman. Mrs. Burwell would like for all those willing to help to get the material at once, so that the current production quota can be readily reached.”

Published in: on February 20, 2017 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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