50 YEARS AGO — 1973
• Drinking, dope, obscenity and lack of discipline are just some of the problems at AuSable Valley Central Middle School cited by Ruth Woodside of Clintonville. Mrs. Woodside, who is the mother of four and a former member of the AVCS non-teaching staff, said that she resigned her position as a cafeteria, after-school and outside proctor because she did not want to be fired, after she stated her position on the school problems to the board of education. She did not feel an employee could say what she had to say, she added. “I just don’t know where to begin,” Mrs. Woodside said. She said the students played “dirty games” which involved obscene thoughts and words and played music from “Woodstock” which had many four-letter words in its verses. She said she knew of an incident where a study hall proctor’s glasses were stolen by students and flushed down the toilet and of cases where janitors give the students cigarettes.
• Air Force Col. Donald R. Nicholas, wing commander of the 380th Bomb Wing at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, was honored Thursday at a testimonial luncheon in his behalf at the base officer’s club. Nicholas took over the reins of the wing last month when, as deputy wing commander, he took over for Col. John M. Parker, who was transferred to an Air Force post in Belgium. Nicholas, who said that he never thought he could find himself in such a position (he has served under two former wing commanders), said that he is enthusiastic and optimistic with 300 persons and 10 aircraft coming to PAFB this summer. “This indicates that the Strategic Air Command and the Air Force have plans for the 380th here in Plattsburgh,” he said.
• The civilization of Australia began in the 18th century when England used the country as a penal colony. But by the beginning of the 20th century, the nation had progressed to the point where it became the first country to institute the use of secret ballot for parliamentary elections. Bruce Gardner, an Australian Rotarian, told the Plattsburgh Rotary about his country this week. He and five other Australian club members are touring parts of the United States and Canada. Gardner said a recent government survey indicated that only 30 percent of the population wants to retain “God Save the Queen” as the national anthem. A suggestion of “Waltzing Matilda” was voiced from the audience as a replacement, so the six Australians closed the program with a verse from “Waltzing Matilda.”
75 YEARS AGO — 1948
• Bicycle thefts in the city and vicinity in the past three months were believed solved with the arrest Saturday of a 25-year-old Pine Street man and a 16-year-old South Platt girl. Scheduled to be sentenced today after pleading guilty before City Judge Thomas R. North to charges of petty larceny are Joseph L. Waite and Mary E. D’Amour. Police Chief Clifford Fleming said that the pair signed statements admitting to the theft of 13 bicycles which, he said, they reassembled, repainted and sold to secure money to attend dances. Cycle owners in the city have been complaining in past weeks of the theft of their cycles while they were attending motion picture shows or from their homes. Six bicycles are currently at police headquarters, awaiting claim by their owners. Four of the six have been identified. Average sale price of the bicycles was about $5, the police chief indicated.
• Dimes are useless in Plattsburgh’s parking meters, and neither are two nickels at one time, it was pointed out yesterday by Police Chief Clifford L. Fleming, in requesting publication of advice to automobile owners. Since inauguration of the parking meter system several weeks ago, there has been an average of 15 dimes each week in the collections taken semi-weekly by the authorities. Dimes do not register on meters and they are out-of-pocket money to would-be parkers. Chief Fleming also sought to clarify the fact that Plattsburgh’s meters are 60-minute meters and that the most money that is intended in any one parking period is five cents. His attention has been called to a number of instances where parkers deposited two or three nickels on the assumption that they could have two or three consecutive hours of parking.
• “What is there about the words ‘I am an American’ that stirs the hearts and swells the breasts of 140 million Americans?” That was the question fittingly asked Sunday evening when Plattsburgh Post No. 20, American Legion, played host to several new American citizens at a dinner in the main dining room of the Legion Home. The ‘I Am An American Day’ observance is a day which might well be dedicated to a review of some of the landmarks and privileges and obligations which go along with being an American citizen. James W. Codding, district superintendent of schools and commander of the Clinton County organization of the Legion, continued his address: “Our heritage is young as compared with that of the Old World; young, but great by every known measure of values. We have gathered the best out of the old and built anew upon a firmer foundation: a foundation based upon human rights and the dignity of the individual and the family.”
100 YEARS AGO — 1923
• A new tennis court is now under construction for students at Plattsburgh High School and is expected to be finished before the end of the school term in order that the public may have the opportunity to enjoy this healthy form of sport. Several men are now at work on the foundation of the court, which is located in the rear of the school building above the hill. After the ground is leveled off, a new net will be placed on the court and backstops will be erected.
• The Normal Athletic Association is among the bodies of young people who believe in physical exercise as well as mental as being among the main requisites of the modern student. Last year, the Association had in the field a very creditable baseball team and has shown this year that it has some very creditable diamond material. In order to raise funds for necessary equipment and expenses, the Association is producing the clever farce comedy “Professor Pepp” at Normal Hall on Friday evening. This bright little comedy was written for laughing purposes only and fulfills its mission so well that it is said to be one continuous riot of fun. The professor’s adventures among the “Reds” in Russia and the “Blues” in the College have been worked into a combination of situations that are ludicrous in the extreme. In fact, the whole show is just as happy as its name.
• The annual graduation of nurses from the Champlain Valley Hospital Training School for Nurses was the magnet that drew hundreds of the friends of these young women to Normal Hall last evening. At the hour scheduled for the opening of the exercises, every available bit of space in the auditorium had been taken and late-comers had to content themselves with standing room in the corridors. It was undoubtedly the largest audience that has ever been assembled at an occasion of this kind in Plattsburgh. The stage was very tastefully decorated and on it were seated members of the hospital board, medical staff, clergy, speakers and, of course, the graduates. Two pretty little flower girls, Marion Besette and Marion Meyette, added to the decorative effect of the scene.
— Compiled by Night Editor Ben Rowe
50 YEARS AGO — 1973