May 6, 2021

Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library

135 Years Ago

The wretches who flaunted the red flag and hurled dynamite with fatal effect in Chicago Tuesday evening are not to be confounded with the honest workingmen there, or anywhere else, who seek to better their condition by agitation within the law. They were anarchists – cranks whose proper place is the lunatic asylum. Your anarchist is against all order, all existing institutions – the law, the schools, religion and the Ten Commandments. If this does not qualify him for the insane asylum then his proper place is the state prison. The country has tried ridicule long enough. It is time the anarchist was summarily wiped out. It will not be a difficult matter. Anarchism is a foreign plant with very little hold in American soil. Were it not for dynamite it might be left to die of itself. But unfortunately, that invention makes even one anarchist formidable.

May 1886

90 Years Ago

Frank A. Peck, 78 years young, one of the oldest watchmakers in this section of the state, has abdicated after a reign of 36 years in his store located at the rear of Grant’s store on Main Street. He will now rule over a new location at 5 South Main Street. The end of his 36-year reign came Friday when workmen started to raze the old building for the new parking space of the Empire State Oil Company. “It was February 5, 1895 when I first moved into that building. The structure used to be where Woolworth’s store is now located on Main Street. It was moved back to its present location when that block was built and had been there quite a number of years before I moved into it. That building was a fine old structure. But, did you know, there was never any running water or electric fixtures in it? Yes, sir, she was a great building in spite of that. A great many changes have taken place around it. In fact, that building and the one occupied by Herbert A. Lewis now are the only two buildings that were standing on Main Street when I started in business.

May 1931

70 Years Ago

The first Mother’s Day on a nationwide basis was instituted by resolution of Congress in 1914, five years after the first official state Mother’s Day in South Dakota. In 1914 mother couldn’t vote unless she lived in one of the 11 states that had equal suffrage, all of which were west of the Mississippi River. If she lived in Illinois she could vote in national and municipal elections, but not in state elections. Today, mother is even subject to jury duty in 20 states and has the option of accepting it in many more. The chances were almost 50-50 in 1914 that mother lived on a farm; today, the chances are about four to one that she doesn’t. It is much safer for the 1951 mother to have children than it was for the mother of 27 years ago. In 1915, maternal mortality occurred in one of every 165 live births; in 1948, in only one of every 850 live births (approximately). And, only one-third as many infants die today as in 1914 during their first year of life.

May 1951

50 Years Ago

Although anti-war activities were planned for yesterday in colleges across the country, little activity was reported at either SUCO or Hartwick. College students had been expected to participate in large numbers in planned demonstrations, protest marches and anti-war rallies throughout the country. However, in Oneonta, all was quiet. At SUCO, students observed the anniversary of the Kent State incident and the invasion of Cambodia peacefully with class discussions and workshops where topics ranged from “Education and Dissent” to “Women and the War.” There were reports that some of the more involved SUCO students who had traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in anti-war demonstrations there may have been arrested. At Hartwick College, students were invited to sign a symbolic peace treaty referred to as “The People’s Treaty,” a nine-point plan to end the war. The treaty was not endorsed by the college.

May 1971

40 Years Ago

A state law signed by the governor last year encourages localities to establish councils to represent the interests and concerns of disabled citizens in their communities. Speaking at a gathering disabled citizens and their friends and supporters held recently in St. Mary’s church, Rosemary Lamb, regional director for the New York State Commission on the International Year of Disabled Persons, said that a local council can focus on the specific needs of that area. She urged attendees to consider forming such a council. Among those attending the meeting were The Rev. Don Phillie, and Ken Quarty. A questionnaire was distributed asking those present to identify their needs and the impediments they have experienced.

May 1981

30 Years Ago

The State University College at Oneonta is expected to meet its fall 1991 enrollment goal of about 1,050 freshmen students despite declining high school enrollments throughout the region. In an address to the college faculty, SUCO President Alan B. Donovan announced that Walter vom Saal, SUCO vice president for academic affairs will take on the additional role of provost effective July 1. Donovan said he was encouraged by what seems to be a change in the attitude both of our entering and continuing students. “They seem to be somewhat better motivated and behaved,” he said. Donovan encouraged the faculty to work in and out of the classroom to help reinforce that trend.

May 1991

20 Years Ago

More than 25 boys and girls were honored at the Oneonta Boys and Girls Club’s annual awards ceremony on April 28. Recipients of the Carl J. Delberta Award were Madeline Harlem and Daniel Baker. This award is presented to the boy and girl between the ages of 7 and 10 who exemplify the American traditions of fair play, good sportsmanship and clean competition. The Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards were presented to Kyle Thomas and Jarrin Hayden for demonstrating outstanding leadership qualities and potential in all sports.

May 2001

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