HOMETOWN HISTORY, November 2, 2012
125 Years Ago
A narrow escape from a terrible accident was had at Quaker Street last Friday, when engineer Houghton, drawing the Albany excursion train, ran into the rear of a freight train which had out no flag. Fortunately, engineer Houghton, by reversing promptly and applying sand, managed to stop the force of his train to the extent that no passengers were injured. The engine, however, was quite badly wrecked in the collision that followed, as also were a caboose and one or two other cars. Engineer Houghton and his fireman saved their lives by jumping.
100 Years Ago
One of the finest musical entertainments ever held in this city was the piano forte lecture and recital given in the assembly hall of the high school building last evening by Edward Baxter Perry, the famous blind musician. The hall was well filled and the audience listened with the closest attention to the interesting description given by Mr. Perry of the circumstances under which the several musical numbers on the programme were composed. The musical was given under the auspices of the Woman’s Club. In technique and finish, in force and feeling and in interpretation and expression, Mr. Perry demonstrated that he is a master of the science to which he is devoted. Every number on the programme received the most enthusiastic applause. Mr. Perry distinguished serious music from popular music saying that the latter combines “a sudden jingle, dash and stir with a more or less insipid sweetness, which is commonly styled ‘pretty.’” As a matter of fact, he held, the best music is not intended to be ‘pretty’ at all, but deals with the intelligence, the emotions, and everything that goes to make up the heights and depths of human experience. True music is the kind which will stir the brain or warm the heart of a cultured human being.
80 Years Ago
President Hoover on Monday said that “if Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected President of the United States and the Democratic Tariff policy adopted, the grass will grow in the streets of a hundred cities.” Hoover asserted “that to embark upon this inchoate New Deal, which has been propounded in this campaign, would be to undermine and destroy our American system. “This campaign,” Hoover said, “is more than a contest between two men. It is more a contest between two parties. It is a contest between two philosophies of government. We are told by the opposition that we
must have a change, that we must have a New Deal. It is not the change that comes from normal development of national life to which I object, but the proposal to alter the whole foundations of our national life which have been builded through generations of testing and struggle, and of the principles upon which we have builded the nation.”
60 Years Ago
Ultra-modern spooks came out of their eerie haunts last night, under the spell of an Indian Summer moon, and cavorted before 6,000 bewitched onlookers in that parade ground for pixies known as Main Street. The annual “Night of Fun” frolic was distinguished this year by up-to-the-minute goblins, ghosts, gremlins, elves and spritely little folk. Space cadets, a man from Mars, walking ballot boxes, the Statue of Liberty, and most everything except a witch in a helicopter, were prancing in line with the orthodox little people. The Oneonta high school band, directed by Carmen Caiazza went through strictly new maneuvers and exhibited a musicianship and precision that was outstanding. There was a time when fearful property owners anchored their houses and things lest the mischief-makers move them to different wards. But, the Rotary-Kiwanis-Lions Club-spon-
sored event evoked not a single complaint to police about mischief.
40 Years Ago
Phillip A. Luce, the one-time member of the Progressive Labor Party turned right-wing libertarian, will appear on the State University at Delhi campus, Thursday. Luce, speaking on the topic, “Why the New Left Should Hold No Attraction for You,” will be at the Little Theater at Farrell Hall on the Delhi Campus at 4 p.m. As a college student in the early 1960s Luce was active in many facets of politics of the far left, visiting Cuba on one occasion and arranging trips to the island nation for others. Luce later changed his mind about politics and became a member of the right wing Young Americans for Freedom. His visit to the Delhi area is being sponsored by the local YAF chapter.
30 Years Ago
Governor-elect Mario Cuomo went jogging and chatted by phone with defeated Republican opponent Lewis Lehrman as he took time off Wednesday to savor a sweet but narrow victory. Cuomo defeated Lehrman by about 164,000 votes in the race to succeed Hugh Carey. It was the lowest margin in a New York gubernatorial race since 1954 when Democrat Averill Harriman beat Republican U.S. Senator Irving Ives by 11,125 votes. Cuomo spent Wednesday relaxing at his home in Queens and working on plans to form a transition team. The first person named to the team – to head the operation – was Cuomo’s 25-year-old lawyer son, Andrew, who has served as a top adviser throughout his father’s campaign. Lehrman conceded defeat 16 hours after the polls closed.
20 Years Ago
A city of Oneonta committee reports that it will not ask Otsego County to cut back the hours that bars remain open. Tavern hours are set by the county, and Oneonta’s representatives to the county board had indicated they would support a move by city leaders to shorten tavern hours and mandate closing at 1 or 2 a.m. instead of 3 a.m. The call to have bars close earlier has come in the wake of alcohol-related violence that has plagued downtown Oneonta. However, the committee believes a change is unnecessary. “Based on what we’ve seen, based on the efforts of different organizations – the city, the colleges, the bar owners and the students – our committee doesn’t feel at this time we want to petition the county to bring the drinking time back,” said Robert Bard, 5th Ward Alderman.