210 YEARS AGO
Among the ten provisions of a village ordinance adopted on May 21, 1813 is the following: Be it ordained by the Trustees of the Village of Cooperstown, that one-fifth part of the street on each side thereof be appropriated for sidewalks, and that no person shall lay or deposit, or leave any wood, timber, wagon, cart, sleigh, wheel-barrow, or other obstruction whatever, in or upon the said sidewalks, under the penalty of fifty cents for every offence, and the further sum of fifty cents for every twenty-four hours the said obstruction shall be thereafter suffered to remain on the same.
May 29, 1813
185 YEARS AGO
From the Albany Argus (as reprinted in The Freeman’s Journal) we give detailed accounts of the scenes of violence at Philadelphia, consequent on the opening of a public hall designed for abolition discussions, and the assembling of a “motley group” on that occasion. Some of the preliminary proceedings of the “convention” are given in the Philadelphia papers. One resolution of the convention is, that “Abolitionists will use their influence in having their colored friends seated promiscuously in our congregations – and that when churches are disgraced with side seats and corners, abolitionists will, as much as possible, take seats with them.” A second resolution “deems it a solemn duty of every woman to pray to be delivered from such an unholy feeling (prejudice against color) and to act out the principles of Christian equality by associating with them (the blacks) as though the color of the skin was of no more consequence than that of the hair or eyes.
May 28, 1838
160 YEARS AGO
On the meaning of Liberty – The great truth is that men mistake the meaning of the word liberty. It is a fine sounding word which too many have never paused to interpret. Rightly understood it signifies the highest state to which human existence can aspire; wrongly interpreted, it implies the reign of anarchy, violence, license and shame. The grand truth that, in the present state of human nature, government is necessary to liberty is so paradoxical that men refuse to believe it. In plain terms, men cannot have liberty unless they are under restraint; and tho’ the assertion seems self-contradictory, it is nevertheless true, beyond cavil. Our readers remember Mr. Webster’s definition of liberty – It included two parts: first, restraint on individuals by government, so that they cannot lay hands on the citizen; second, restraint on the government, so that it cannot wrongly lay hands on him. In the absence of either of these restraints, liberty is imperfect, and in the permanent absence of either, liberty is destroyed.
May 29, 1863
110 YEARS AGO
Mrs. A.B. Forbes celebrated her eightieth birthday Monday and a number of her friends took tea with her in the afternoon and offered their sincere congratulations for “many happy returns of the day.” A large birthday cake bearing the figures “80” upon it was enjoyed by all guests, among whom were: Mrs. M. Campbell Smith, Mrs. Theodore C. Turner, Mrs. J.A.M. Johnston, Mrs. Charles Burch, Mrs. Dugan, Mrs. Kent Jarvis, Mrs. G.P. Keese, The Misses Keese, Miss Cory, Mrs. Wm. Festus Morgan, Mrs. Ralph Birdsall, Dr. M. I. Bassett, and Miss Florence Sill.
May 28, 1913
85 YEARS AGO
The True Story of The Origin of Base Ball,” has been published by Ralph Reid Birdsall and was placed on sale in the bookstores last week. In a prefatory note Mr. Birdsall explains that the data contained in the booklet was contained for the most part in “The Story of Cooperstown,” which was published in 1917, the author being his father, the late Rev. Ralph Birdsall, rector of Christ Church in this village. The data was painstakingly acquired and faithfully recorded. The part of the book which has to do with base ball has been checked and re-checked by many – the foremost of whom is Commissioner Landis. (Ed. Note: In spite of all the fact checking, accounts of the invention of base ball in 1839, in Cooperstown by Abner Doubleday, the Civil War hero, have proven to be mistaken)
June 1, 1938
60 YEARS AGO
At the May 21 meeting of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, held at the home of Louis B. Hager, Chamber President, a unanimous vote was cast by the Board of Directors to proceed with Phase Two of a canoe race from Cooperstown to Bainbridge down the Susquehanna River. Three “test” boats will attempt the course on Sunday, June 2, to determine obstacles and approximate time required to make the trip. A detailed description of the event will be mimeographed and distributed to interested parties. Duane Jones and Bob Bailey will be manning Cooperstown’s test boat entry.
May 29, 1963
35 YEARS AGO
Gallery 53 is moving to 118 Main Street and plans to open a new show to the public by June 4. “We’re really excited about the Main Street location,” said Sydney Waller, gallery director. “The artists we exhibit will have more visibility, and we hope it will be seen as a nice addition for Main Street, too. Gallery 53 was founded in 1981 by Sydney Waller and Ann Gourlay and has been housed at 53 Pioneer Street in space provided by the Cooper family. The organization presents 10 shows annually.
June 1, 1988
20 YEARS AGO
Reid Snyder and Finn Dusenbery went undefeated in three rounds of Section III first-doubles tennis play at the East Side Racquet Club in Manlius to become the first varsity tennis players in school history to qualify for the New York State Championship Tournament at Flushing Meadows in Queens. Dusenbery and Snyder finished the regular season undefeated as a first-doubles team with a 24-0 record. “This is really exciting. Flushing Meadows is a big stage for us to be playing on. I can’t wait to get there. Playing in the state tournament has been a goal of ours since the beginning of the season,” Snyder said. David Bertram is the CCS Tennis coach.
May 30, 2003