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100 Years Ago
Arrangements were completed yesterday for the lease of Wilcox Flats for the use of Barnum & Bailey’s Circus on Friday, July 10, and the contracting agent, Mr. McIntyre, closed the contract after residents of the city had become responsible for $50 additional to the rental which the circus people would pay. The Mssrs. Wilcox, yielding to the arguments of the local parties who interested themselves in the matter, consented to accept the $150 rental. The early coming of the circus this year will result in harvesting the hay earlier than is profitable on this field and they felt they should be paid more than the rental they would ask in August.
April 1914

80 Years Ago
About 69 percent of the students of the Normal School admit cheating in the various examinations according to the answers compiled in a recent questionnaire investigating dishonesty in the school and conducted as a sociology project by Julia B. Carson. Answers were made anonymously by about 450 students. Two hundred and eleven either approved of cheating or were indifferent to it. Two hundred disapproved, 83 of which indicated “indignant disapproval.” A large majority, 323, disapproved of reporting cheaters to the faculty. Only 53 favored reporting cheaters and the remainder were indifferent. Ten causes for cheating were listed on the questionnaire to be marked in the order of their importance. 1. Pressure of circumstance. 2. Too much emphasis on high grades. 3. Cheating seems to be the custom of the school. 4. Student carelessness in preparing work. 5. Unfair tests justify deceit. 6. Ease with which student can cheat. 7. Students’ low standard of honor. 8. Reluctance to offend by refusing help. 9. Student of foreign parentage; has no American standards. 10. Student’s family probably low on social scale.
April 1934

60 Years Ago
There weren’t any bands or horns tooting yesterday. Just nostalgic memories, as railroad passenger service in the Catskills bowed to Father Finance and quit. Fifty-four years of passenger service ended shortly after noon as the last train left Oneonta bound for Kingston on the old Ulster and Delaware Railroad, now formally known as the Catskill Branch of the New York Central. When the first U. & D. train pulled into Oneonta on July 15, 1900 with five coaches and two baggage cars behind locomotive engine No. 9, a huge crowd was on hand for the occasion. Back then, the railroad was the only means of trans-mountain travel other than the horse. Train travel was standard for thousands of residents who rode the rails for business and pleasure. With the era of the automobile, the highway truck, and the bus, the railroad and the horse were left behind.
April 1954

40 Years Ago
April Fools’ Day did not go unheralded in Oneonta. A bomb scare in Tommy’s Place on West Broadway forced proprietor Tommy Pondolfino to close his establishment early last night but the promised explosion never happened.
The motive behind the bomb scare, Pondolfino suspects was a late night April Fools’ prank. A waitress at the bar received a call around 10:50 p.m. last night from a man who warned that the bomb would detonate within half an hour. Pondolfino contacted city police who evacuated about 20 customers still in the building.
April 1974

30 Years Ago
Pregnant teenagers have friends in the area waiting to help them. The Respect for Human Life Committee was organized in 1979 by several people who felt some action was needed to fight the U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing abortion and to assist local pregnant teens. Though the group remains small, they have sponsored several informational advertisements and hold yearly collections of baby items which are distributed through Community Maternity Services and Birthright. Community Maternity Services is a Catholic charity of the Albany Diocese funded by monies from the State Division for Youth and from the Diocese Development Program of the Catholic Church. Last year CMS social worker Sherry Frohme assisted 40 pregnant teenagers, making 300 home visits, plus office visits and transportation.
April 1974

20 Years Ago
With support from the City of Oneonta, merchants and property owners plan a downtown clean-up Sunday morning thanks to the Downtown Oneonta Improvement Task Force, known by the acronym DOIT. The group will convene today at City Hall to reach a consensus on a plan for downtown’s future, and to form a Downtown Council. The plan proposes hiring a manager for downtown. DOIT will be considering the impact of losing Bresee’s Oneonta Department Store which has served as the anchor retail store on Main Street for decades. Bresee’s President Marc Bresee announced that his store will close by the end of June.
April 1994

10 Years Ago
A dead cow has been beached in the Susquehanna River for more than a week. City officials, who are waiting for water levels to recede, are pondering how to safely extricate the carcass from a clog of debris in the middle of the swollen river.
April 2004



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