HOMETOWN HISTORY, October 5, 2012
125 Years Ago
Mrs. A.B. Ford has died under peculiar circumstances. On Friday she visited the grounds while the Deposit Fair was in progress, one of the attractions being the balloon ascension. Mrs. Ford watched the balloon as it shot toward the sky, and when the aerialist suddenly dropped from the basket onto the trapeze below, she uttered an exclamation and dropped to the ground unconscious, in which condition she remained until death intervened. A post mortem showed that a blood vessel at the base of the brain had been ruptured.
A party of anarchists undertook to hold a meeting at Union Hills, New Jersey, last Sunday, under a call which denounced all lawfully constituted authorities as a “rabble of thieves and murderers.” It was very properly decided by the mayor of the village that no such lawless assemblage should be suffered. When the hour for the meeting came, the patriots therefore were confronted at the entrance of the hall with a cordon of police. A fierce contest followed in which authorities triumphed, notwithstanding the knives and revolvers of the mob. No anarchist meeting will be advertised at Union Hill again. Would that local governments everywhere were equally enlightened and determined.
100 Years Ago
Kenneth L. Nash, who since his graduation from Brown University, at Providence, R.I. last June, has been a member of the Cleveland American League ball team, is calling upon Oneonta friends. Mr. Nash played in several league games since his arrival in Cleveland, but of late has been suffering from a sprained knee and he has been given a leave of absence for the rest of the season, although required to report at the opening of the season next spring, when the team begins the spring practice in Florida. He will teach in a preparatory school in Providence this winter. Mr. Nash has played in Oneonta two summers and has many friends who are pleased to greet him.
60 Years Ago
Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, United States delegate to the United Nations and widow of the WWII president will be the speaker at a public meeting at 8 p.m. tonight in the auditorium of the Oneonta State Teachers College. Mrs. Roosevelt announced yesterday that her topic will be “Human Relations as It Affects the Community.” Her address, which also will be broadcast direct from the STC auditorium over WDOS, is open to the general public. Mrs. Roosevelt’s talk is under the sponsorship of the Oneonta Brotherhood Council, organized during National Brotherhood Week last year to carry out the purposes of that organization throughout the entire year. Dr. Willis P. Porter, principal of Bugbee School and chairman of the committee will preside. Following her address, Mrs. Roosevelt will be the “guest of honor” in Morris Hall, to which the official representatives and presidents, and their husbands and wives of the 54 organizations affiliated with the Council are invited.
40 Years Ago
There is too much noise in the city of Oneonta according to Alderman Helen Baldo. She wants the city’s 18-month-old noise ordinance enforced, even if it means the city will have to purchase equipment to measure noise levels. Mrs. Baldo asked city attorney Harold Vrooman if the ordinance is enforceable. “Yes,” he replied, if the city buys a decibel meter. Although fraternities and sororities were not singled out openly, they were obviously the target of much of the discussion. “When there are noisy houses or parties next door, people shouldn’t have to put up with this,” Mayor James Lettis said. Mrs. Baldo believes there are some obviously noisy situations where the police could act on their own initiative. Meanwhile, she wants the city to look into the purchase of a decibel meter.
30 Years Ago
Oscar the Grouch usually hangs out in trash cans along television’s Sesame Street. But this week, he has joined ranks with the Oneonta Fire Department as a fire safety instructor. “If you catch fire, you gotta stop, drop and roll,” Oscar tells elementary school students. Oscar’s appearance in the Oneonta elementary schools is part of National Fire Prevention Week. “The kids think it’s great,” said Captain Francis Russo, who coordinates the program. “They get involved and everyone learns how to stop, drop and roll. Groups of students meet with Oscar in a school cafeteria or gymnasium to sing songs and witness demonstrations of what they should do if they or their home catches fire. The children practice the stop, drop and roll technique on floor mats and are tested toward the end of the program.
20 Years Ago
Ten panelists at a SUCO symposium on “hate speech” debated the possibility whether attempts by college administrators to limit speech amounted to the imposition of standards of “political correctness.” Panelist Dineesh D’Souza, author of the book “Illiberal Education,” said that even if there were no codes regulating speech, there were certain opinions that, if raised, could bring a “chill” from students, faculty and administration because they did not embrace the standards of cultural diversity contained in the doctrine of political correctness. “If you stood up in a women’s studies class and denounced Roe versus Wade and said that abortion on demand was unnecessary, your view would not be merely wrong,” he said. “You would be viewed as an enemy of women’s rights.” Nadine Strossen, president of the American Civil Liberties Union, answered that dealing with such criticism is the price one pays for exercising the right of free speech. “One has to learn to say things that are unpopular and deal with the pressure,” she said.
10 Years Ago
Ralph Nader, an anti-establishment icon for decades, attacked crime in corporate America on Friday under a Wall Street statue of George Washington. “Take the pledge to crack down on corporate crime,” Nader said, as he stood atop the steps of Federal Hall, where Washington was sworn in as President in 1789. Several thousand protesters stood behind police barricades, some holding placards that read “Stop Cooking the Books” and “Protect Main Street from Wall Street.”