150 Years Ago
(The following is quoted from an address by Dr. Orson M. Allaben to the members of the Delhi Agricultural and Mechanics Society at its Annual Fair, September 30, 1869) “It is but a few years since the first telegraph line was put in operation between Baltimore and Washington City. If the steamboat had been a wonder, and the steam-car had astonished and amazed the world, the Electric Telegraph was considered the miracle of the age.
That people could freely converse with each other and hold communications at long distances through the agency of electricity, and a simple iron wire had been considered impossible. But, the capabilities of a free intellect, as developed in the perceptions and productions of free thought, aided by the manipulations of a free hand, solved the problem, and the impossible became possible before the light of scientific investigation.”
125 Years Ago
Normal Schools – The Hartwick Seminary Monthly tells a great deal of truth in a single paragraph – “The state spends $300,000 a year on Normal Schools for the avowed purpose of preparing young persons for the positions of teachers. Only about one-fifth of the pupils become teachers. Not one-tenth of the teachers in public schools are graduates of Normal Schools. The State pays largely for the whistle.
It has invested $2,000,000 in Normal School property. The academies of the State are preparing more teachers for their work than all the Normal Schools combined, and doing it as well. For this the State pays nothing except the pittance that comes from the distribution of the Literature Fund.”
100 Years Ago
Wednesday afternoon, a team of horses belonging to Charles McCumber of Sidney Center ran away and crashed into the curb in Oneonta, demolishing the wagon and dumping the furniture, with which the wagon was loaded, on the sidewalk. The runaway was caused by the whiffletree coming loose and striking the horses on the legs, frightening them and causing them to get beyond control of Mr. McCumber.
The horses were not injured. It is fortunate that neither Mr. McCumber nor his wife, who was on the wagon with him at the time, were not injured. The furniture was damaged quite badly. Mr. McCumber had been to Milford for the furniture and was taking it to his home at Sidney Center.
80 Years Ago
“A well-educated Christian leadership will provide the best possible means of restoring a spiritual balance to our distraught world,” declared Dr. Henry J. Arnold, following his induction as the third President of Hartwick College. The ceremonies were followed by an inaugural luncheon in the church parlors after which delegates witnessed the football game between Hartwick and Connecticut State Teachers College. “The College President as a Leader” was the topic chosen by Dr. William H. Cowley, President of Hamilton College of Clinton, New York, in his welcoming address to Dr. Arnold at the inaugural ceremonies. Dr. Cowley pointed out that a college president must above all else be a leader, defining a leader as “a person who is going somewhere and is able to persuade others to come along with him.”
40 Years Ago
SUCO got over the first hurdle in its fight for a fieldhouse Wednesday when the SUNY Board of Trustees approved the college’s $629,000 request to plan the building. Now, Oneonta State’s request must be included in the overall university budget submitted to the Governor. Then, it must be included in the Governor’s executive budget and approved by the legislature prior to March 31, 1980. The fieldhouse request is part of a $1.3 million request for money to be used for construction and planning on the Oneonta campus. SUCO’s request is part of a $122.2 million SUNY capital construction budget for the 1980-81 school year. SUCO requested $539,000 for construction and $763,000 for planning. The entire $1.3 million package was approved by the trustees.
20 Years Ago
Measures aimed at cracking down on phony school bomb threats and teenage drinking and smoking were signed into law recently by New York State Governor George Pataki. The first law makes it a felony to falsely report bombs, fires, explosions or the release of hazardous substances at a school. “It’s not a simple prank. It’s a crime,” Pataki said. “Our schools should be sanctuaries of peace and learning, not zones of mayhem and fear.” Schools throughout the state were disrupted repeatedly by bomb threats after the April 20 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado. Penalties for the crimes include driver’s license suspension. Teenagers may also receive a youthful offender or juvenile delinquency adjudication. A second bill encourages merchants to install scanners that verify a customer’s age in stores, bars and nightclubs. The scanners can determine whether a person can legally buy alcohol and tobacco by reading a bar code or magnetic strip on the back of driver’s licenses or non-driver identification cards.
10 Years Ago
Last Saturday in Muller Plaza about 35 community members joined people from places as far away as Kazakhstan, India and Spain to make a lot of noise. Armed with kazoos, party horns, and slide whistles, the group raised a ruckus
at 3:50 p.m. as part of a global event to call attention to
environmental issues. Students in Todd Ellis’ Global
Climate Change class at Oneonta took part in the “Global Day for Environmental Action” called “Make a Noise
about Climate Change.” The event was sponsored by 350 Org., a grassroots organization. Groups from 50 countries also made noise at 3:50 p.m. in their time zones. Pictures from these events streamed live on a billboard in Times Square. The SUNY campus “Protect Your Environment Club” approached Ellis who said he realized this event could be another teaching moment for his class which looks at the science of climate change as well as the social, political and economic issues surrounding it. “The 350 org. movement is anchored by those like environmentalist Bill McKibben who care about all facets of climate change,” Ellis said.