Hometown History: March 16, 2023

Hometown History

March 16, 2023

135 Years Ago
The bright, spring-like weather of Friday and Saturday last, a warm sun shining on bare ground, was succeeded by a dark day Sunday, and that night began the heaviest snowfall of the season. The wind came up with the day, and the dry, powdery snow still falling, drifts formed very quickly. The scene on Main Street Tuesday morning was Arctic enough – nothing in sight but great heaps and long reaches of dazzling snow, with here and there a puzzled wayfarer; and nothing astir but the snow shovel. Toward noon things wore a livelier aspect, and many got out to enjoy the fine sleighing, while trade went on in a small way. But, it was a pretty dull day in the stores and business places. Not a stage or a train the whole day long and most of the telephone and telegraph lines down. Wednesday brought a marked change. The day dawned bright, the sun shone warm and the whole countryside was soon up and armed with shovels to clear the roads. The stage from Davenport was the first one to reach Oneonta, getting here about noon. That from Morris arrived toward night – having toiled through mighty drifts. The Hartwick stage pulls through today and perhaps that from Delhi, though the drifts on the hills are of fifty to a hundred feet at a stretch and six to eight feet deep.

March 1888

110 Years Ago
Saturday night the local high school quintet played the Morris team on the latter’s court and were victorious by the score of 56 to 13. The game was rather one-sided, but nevertheless interesting. The team work of the Oneonta boys was excellent and aided materially in winning the game. Soden and Gregory of Oneonta were the stars of the game, the former throwing ten baskets and the latter seven. Bull, the fast left guard of the Oneonta team, was unable to go with the team and Manager Polley was substituted in his place. He too, played a good game, holding his man down to one lone basket, while he caged the sphere three times himself.

March 1913

70 Years Ago
Camilla Williams, leading soprano of the New York City Opera Co. for five years, will be heard at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, in State Teachers College auditorium in the third and final program of the 1952-1953 Community Concert Series. As a concert singer she has captivated audiences from Venezuela to northern Alaska, and as a soloist with orchestras she has won the praise of noted conductors, among them Stowkowski. She is the first prima donna of the Negro race who had a steady job in a major opera company. Early in 1946 she auditioned for Laszlo Halasz, director of the New York City Opera Company and soon broke tradition by creating the most talked of post-war Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly. Her roles have been Nedda in Pagliacci, Mimi in Lae Boheme, and the title role in Aida. She has sung excerpts from Butterfly on the Kate Smith television hour. MGM and Columbia records have released a number of her selections.

March 1953

50 Years Ago
Bicycling shoppers will get a place to “park” their bicycles on Main Street, if locations suggested by the city’s Anti-Pollution Board are accepted. The merchants division of the Chamber of Commerce has offered to put up bicycle racks and the Common Council asked the Anti-Pollution Board to suggest locations for the racks. Anti-Pollution board members decided to ask for bicycle racks on each Main Street downtown block, one on each side of the street from Chestnut Street to Dietz Street to Ford Avenue. It will be suggested that another bicycle rack be placed on the north side of the Main Street block from Ford Avenue to Elm Street. Other racks would also be recommended for each park and in the municipal parking lot. The city will celebrate Earth Week in conjunction with the State’s Earth Week from April 9 to 15.

March 1973

40 Years Ago
Americans are among the world’s most satisfied people and are more likely to believe in heaven than in hell, according to a poll taken in 16 countries. Danes and Swedes also rank among the world’s most content people. However, Japanese, Italians and Spanish ranked as the most dissatisfied. The report also found that 80 percent of Americans and 55 percent of British were “very proud” of their nationality, but only 21 percent of East Germans, 30 percent of Japanese and 33 percent of French said they feel that way. Asked if they would fight for their country in a war, 71 percent of Americans and 62 percent of British citizens said they would.

March 1983

30 Years Ago
Opinion: Few people were surprised when they heard that Michael Griffin, dressed in his Sunday best, armed with a 38-caliber revolver, had shot Dr. David Gunn in the back. It was inevitable, said a pro-choice leader, who heard about the murder. “While Gunn’s death is unfortunate,” said Don Treshman of Rescue America, “it’s also true that quite a number of babies’ lives will be saved.” “While it is wrong to kill,” said Randall Terry of Operation Rescue, “we have to recognize that this doctor was a mass murderer.” “Praise God,” said a protester at a clinic in Melbourne, Florida. “One of the baby killers is dead!” If abortion is murder, after all, then the moral arithmetic taught by this rhetoric would seem to justify killing one life to save hundreds. Michael Griffin cannot become the next step on an escalator of violence. He must be the last step.

March 1993

20 Years Ago
City police and troopers raided downtown bars Friday night, arresting more than a dozen on charges of underage drinking. Law enforcement officials hit 10 bars during the raid and arrested 16 people for underage possession of alcohol. Two bartenders were also arrested for prohibited sales. Oneonta police Lt. Joseph Redmond said the raid went smoothly and promised his department would have more officers on duty for St. Patrick’s Day. The department also met with bar owners.

March 2003

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