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Hometown History

June 1, 2023

135 Years Ago
A letter to an editor: Woman’s True Rights – I will take “Woman’s Rights” for my subject. I am in favor of what I call woman’s rights, but am not in favor of voting. Think that woman’s rights is to take proper care of the household; to see that everything is in readiness for her lord and master and for his enjoyment. But as to woman going to the polls on Election Day and casting their votes with rough, burly men, I am greatly opposed to such. And again, if women were allowed to vote, we would have more quarrels, ten times more fussing over one election than we would otherwise have in ten years. What lady is there that would go in a crowd where the rougher men are drinking, swearing, cheering and quarreling over their candidates? I dare say not one. But such is the case at an election. Maggie.

May 1888

110 Years Ago
Postmaster General Burleson, now in charge of the postal affairs of the United States, is heartily in favor of one-cent letter postage. This he most emphatically affirmed in an address to a delegation of the National One-Cent Letter Postage Association which called upon him in Washington recently. He further said that he hoped to bring it about as soon as the revenues of the department could be adjusted. The difficulties that are in the way are that he believes the department should be put on an efficient, paying basis, with adequate compensation for employees and the conduct of the department in a business-like manner. Reasons given for the decrease to one-cent letter postage by the association are that lower postage will promote general intelligence, improve social relations of the people, advance the business interests and increase the volume of matter handled as to defray the costs of handling and transportation.

May 1913

90 Years Ago
Will Rogers Says – This man Roosevelt not only makes Congress roll over and play dead, but by golly he made this tough guy Hitler to bring sticks out of the water. Is there no end to this man’s cleverness? Course there is one thing about Europe – you can never believe ‘em the first time. They will agree to anything ‘til it comes time to sign up. This might be just the ideal time to stop a war, for nobody has anything to fight one with. Like disarmament, it’s not done for humanitarian reasons. It’s only done for economic reasons. The whole thing seems too good to be true. But, the whole world is changing, so maybe they are going to turn human.

May 1933

70 Years Ago
A Binghamton bank president yesterday predicted a “readjustment” of the American economy within the next few months, leading to an eventual recession. “But we must be optimistic, “Cornelius C. Van Patten, president of the Binghamton Savings Bank, told Oneonta Rotarians meeting at the Elks Club. “We have building up the ingredients for a business recession. The Monster of 1929 (excessive stock speculation) will come dressed in different clothes, and we won’t even recognize it,” he continued. “We’re due eventually for a recession. There is evidence that in the next few months there will be some readjustments in the economic picture. But I do not feel they will reach the same levels as in 1932. They should not and cannot. Excessive consumer credit should be watched carefully as should excessive home mortgaging.”

May 1953

50 Years Ago
James Seward of Colliersville, youthful Republican who lost a primary race last year to the late Harold C. Luther of Dolgeville, has declared himself a candidate for the seat in the 113th Assembly District left vacant when Assemblyman Luther died last month. “It is my hope that the Assembly District Convention will recognize my qualifications for the position as well as the fact I am well known in both Otsego and Herkimer counties. I pledge a vigorous campaign this fall and full-time representation for the citizens of the assembly district. Seward was graduated from Hartwick College on Sunday with a degree in Political Science. He is associated with the local Volkswagen agency. Seward says that he ran a successful 1972 primary campaign in Otsego County against Mr. Luther, obtaining 80 percent of the GOP vote in the county.

May 1973

30 Years Ago
The Oneonta area saw an unusually high number of rabies cases over the winter and now is the time for pet owners to prevent the spread of the disease by having their dogs and cats vaccinated. “This past winter we saw cases all winter long. Generally it slows down in the winter but this year it kept going all winter and I think it’s just increasing now,” said Robert Pierce, district director for the State Health Department’s Oneonta office. Last year New York State saw 1,716 confirmed rabies cases – the largest number of rabid animals ever recorded in a single state. To help reduce the risk of spreading the disease, Pierce urged all pet owners to get their dogs and cats vaccinated. “It’s extremely important that the pet is vaccinated at three months of age or older and that vaccination should be repeated after one year,” Pierce said.

May 1993

20 Years Ago
“Spiritual confusion and religious fanaticism have convinced increasingly large numbers of people that religion is irrelevant to the modern world. In its place stand man-made ideologies designed to save society from the evils under which it groans. Yet many of these ideologies have only served to deify the state, to subordinate the rest of mankind to one nation, one race, or class, to suppress ideas, or callously to abandon starving millions to the operations of a market system that is aggravating the plight of a majority of mankind, while enabling small sections to live in affluence undreamt of by our forebears. The time has come for an accounting.” (Quoted from “The Promise of World Peace, published by the Baha’i Universal House of Justice in 1985) I read it now and think about how timely it is to re-evaluate the role of religion and spirituality in governance. Marybeth Vargha.

May 2003


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