150 Years Ago
Ed. Note: The following item is an excerpted editorial response to the public exhibition in Albany of the Cardiff Giant, a fake fossil created as a hoax. The Cardiff Giant
has resided at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown since 1948: “The Cardiff Giant – The interest in the stone man seems unabated, and the attendance shows no falling off, but rather on the increase. The statue will probably be removed to New York next week, so that it behooves those who have not seen it to do so tomorrow, as it may be their last opportunity. Speculation as to the origin of the old fellow is still rife, but no conclusion has yet been reached in the matter. The humbug theorists stoutly maintain their ground, while the believers in its antiquity as firmly stick to their side of the question, so that between them the mystery
is kept up. The “petrifactionists” are evidently losing ground, and are not very numerous, the absurdity of that idea being patent to almost everyone who examines the matter carefully. Each individual, however, must visit the giant, inspect him carefully, and form his own opinion.
He is worth seeing at all events.”
125 Years Ago
Miscellaneous: The holidays are coming, and Christmas, their forerunner, is near at hand. Little eager-eyed children are even now counting upon their fingers, as best they can, the days that are to go before Christmas is here. So hurry up, Old Santa Claus, a countless number of tiny stockings are waiting for you. Unfortunate indeed it will be if even one little child in all the land shall be sad from your neglect on that happy morning.
100 Years Ago
As a means of stopping automobile thefts, Major George Chandler, superintendent of the New York State Police urged the New York State Motor Federation at their convention to back a law requiring the Secretary of State to issue an Owner’s Card which would serve the purpose of a deed. Failure to have this card would be made a felony. Basing his plea on the increased number of automobile registrations and automobile fatalities, Secretary of State Francis M. Hugo advocated the licensing of all operators of automobiles. The Committee on Aviation recommended changes in the by-laws so that aerial clubs could be admitted to membership in the Federation. Legislation to compel those who sell automobiles to furnish headlights which comply with state law was recommended by another committee.
80 Years Ago
There isn’t any use in preparing our children for the world as it is today, because in 20 years it will be different. The most important item in all education is the readiness for change,” stated Dr. Gerald Wendt, Director of Science at the New York World’s Fair. “This force, science, keeps on and on. In the next 20 years we shall have more changes in the conditions of our living than in the last 50 years. We say this is a materialistic mechanistic age. We blame science for it and rightly so. But it is because we are in the infancy of science. We have to know about matter before we know about life, consciousness and psychic phenomena. As examples of material progress, he exhibited synthetic textiles – a rubber glove made from limestone, coal and salt; a toothbrush with a plastic handle and fiber bristles, both made from coal; plastics; synthetic foods; and fluorescent light. These material developments, he declared, would have a great influence on social development. He nevertheless declared: “I don’t think there will be such a thing as synthetic foods on a large scale as part of our diet.”
60 Years Ago
The Oneonta School Board will meet with Warren Ashley, Connecticut architect who has been commissioned to prepare preliminary plans for the proposed new high school. Attending the special meeting will be Nikolaus Engelhardt, educational consultant, Charles Belden, OHS Principal and Kenneth MacElroy, an associate with Mr. Ashley’s firm. Preliminary plans for the 900 pupil school to be constructed on the Upper East Street site calls for 30 classrooms, provisions for modern instruction in science, mathematics and languages, special wood, machine and electrical shops, a home-making unit, gymnasium and 550-seat auditorium. A central kitchen to prepare food for all schools in the district is also planned. The proposed school is a one-story structure. Earlier the school board had toyed with the idea of a campus-type school. The idea was later rejected.
20 Years Ago
Former Oneonta High basketball standout Krissy Zeh, now a freshman at the College of St. Rose, was named New York Collegiate Athletic Conference’s Rookie of the Week on Monday. Zeh averaged 19 points and 2.5 rebounds per game while shooting 61.5 percent from the field during two conference contests for the Golden Knights. She scored a career-high 20 points in an 87-46 home victory over Marcy on December 1 and had an 18-point effort in a 76-61 victory at Dowling on Sunday. Lucas Murray, a 1999 graduate of Oneonta High scored 10 points for Skidmore in a game against Hampshire College on December 3.
10 Years Ago
New computer modeling suggests the Arctic Ocean may be nearly ice-free in the summertime as early as 2014, Al Gore said Monday at the United Nations Climate Conference. This new projection, following several years of dramatic retreat by polar sea ice, suggests the ice cap may nearly vanish in the summer much sooner than the year 2030, as was forecast by a U.S. government agency eight months ago.
Average global temperatures have increased 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century, but the mercury has risen at least twice as quickly in the Arctic. Scientists say the makeup of the frozen north polar sea has shifted significantly in recent years as much of the thick multi-year ice has given way to thin seasonal ice. Some predict that Arctic summers will be ice-free within 30 years.