Jan. 3, 2020
150 Years Ago
Bank Robbery – The safe of the Schoharie County Bank, at Schoharie Court House, was blown open early Wednesday morning of last week, and robbed of about $5,000 belonging to the Bank, and a considerable larger amount in bonds, jewelry, &c. left on special deposit – amount unknown.
Small Pox – The Deposit Courier of last week says that much excitement prevails in parts of the Town of Masonville and of the adjoining Town of Sanford, resulting from the breaking out of small pox in a family named French. Several district schools have been temporarily closed.
100 Years Ago
Flyers in the proposed 1920 world-girdling air derby will not travel by Mercator’s projection, but rather by a new “butterfly” map devised by J.S. Cahill of Oakland, California. The Cahill map has been adopted by Major Charles J. Glidden, Executive Secretary of the Aerial Derby Commission.
Mr. Cahill said that an aviator using the Mercator projection as a guide would go 1,000 miles out of his way in a trip from Panama to Yokohama. “If the North Pole were on an island a mile wide,” Cahill said, “it would appear on Mercator’s projection to be 25,000 miles wide, or nearly the total circumference of the Earth at the equator. The inventor of the new map, who worked on his drawings for 15 years said “an impartial and rational world geography is essential to world peace.”
He said, “Mercator’s projection, originally devised for ocean navigators, distorted and exaggerated the earth as it receded from the equator.” This, for instance, made it appear as if South America were much smaller than North America, when, as a matter of fact they were about the same area. The Cahill map is as though an actual sphere had been cut and flattened, its appearance somewhat resembling the outspread wings of a butterfly.
January 3, 1920
80 Years Ago
What Children Read – School children no longer read fairy tales and the old familiar fiction, says a report of the American Library Association, based on a survey of the reading habits of nine to eighteen-year-olds throughout the country. Exceptions are “Snow White” and “The Wizard of Oz” in which great interest developed when the movies appeared.
No doubt there will be a similar wave of interest in “Pinocchio” when that picture is released, and in the much-modified Gulliver’s Travels. Child readers today are said to prefer stories about horses and dogs, in which the animals do not talk. Beyond the sixth grade many are interested in vocational subjects, books about airplanes, submarines and war.
History books and biographies were listed as favorites, too. Stories about children in many lands and different sections of the United States have great appeal for youthful readers. There are such books about children in China, in Scandinavia, the Ozarks, the Gaspe Peninsula, the Kentucky Mountains and Indian Reservations. Children growing up today ought to be more aware of their fellows throughout the world than many of their elders have been.
60 Years Ago
Forty-year-old James Georgeson, Oneonta’s youngest Mayor, was sworn into office yesterday along with another dozen officials in simple ceremonies at City Hall. Joseph P. Molinari, Supreme Court Justice, who presided at the oath-taking ceremonies, urged the group to “cast aside partisanship of any kind and to perform their duties to the best of their ability.”
Mr. Georgeson, formerly a state official with the Civil Service Commission, will begin a two-year term of office. Mr. Georgeson, a Democrat, has only one other party member on the Common Council – John Kreger, Sixth Ward Alderman. The other five Aldermen are Republicans. The Mayor’s salary is $3,000 a year. In his state post Georgeson drew more than $6,000 annually and his resignation was effective this week. For the first time in Oneonta history, the Alderman will draw a $600 a year salary. The Republican Aldermen are Wesley Coddington, First Ward; Francis Feeney, Second Ward; Morton Auerbach, Third Ward; Cecil Mathews, Fourth Ward; Harvey Fredericks, Fifth Ward.
40 Years Ago
Opinion – Oneonta faces a big test in the 1980s. Between 1960 and 1970, the period of the greatest growth at Hartwick and Oneonta State, Oneonta’s population increased by about 2,500 to 16,030. But, the year-round permanent population remained the same or slightly less than it was in 1960. The golden era of easy community growth is over. There are few signs that Hartwick and Oneonta State will be any bigger five or ten years from now than they are today.
Moreover, the trend toward smaller faculties and staffs has already begun. Oneonta needs a new mission and a new commitment. We’ve got to start fighting to keep our town and area economically sound. Mayor Lettis and Town Supervisor Les Foster, and others, got off to a good start by fighting to get a federal Job Corp Training Center located here. But, that is not enough. We need to sell the community as a desirable site for light industry and intensify the commitment to making it easier for new companies to come here and present companies to expand.
20 Years Ago
“I’ve never seen a crowd that big on Main Street, and I’ve been here sixteen years,” said First Night Committee Chairman Mark Drnek, speaking of the event that kicked off Friday night with a parade down Main Street and a fireworks preview in Neahwa Park. Anne Webster of Cherry Valley and her four-year-old son, Luke Zenir, were part of the parade crowd that was lined up six deep on much of Main Street. “This is Luke’s first, First Night,” said Webster. Warmer weather this year made walking from venue to venue much more enjoyable.
10 Years Ago
Patricia Riddell Kent and Steven Kent will lead a five-mile winter snow-shoe hike in the Robert V. Riddell State Park to Mud Lake on Sunday January 10. The event, sponsored by the Otsego County Conservation Association, is free and open to the public. This excursion is on moderate grade terrain up South Hill and will take about three and one-half hours to complete. Highlights of the hike are waterfalls along the way and Mud Lake, a sphagnum bog, at the top of South Hill.