Editor’s note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.
Nov 14, 1940
On Nov. 14, 1940, the Watauga Democrat reported that a number of “Wataugans” would be called into military service by the coming summer. According to the article, “a total of 88 Watauga men will be called to the colors for a year’s military training between now and June 30, 1941.”
This came after net quotas from the state’s draft board were made public by the state’s draft board per the office of Governor Clyde R. Hoey. The article noted that the local draft board would be “mailing out questionnaires to registrants in the county, according to order numbers, and decisions will be made upon the information furnished therein, and by such other avidavietts as the registrant wishes to offer in regard to dependents, profession or physical condition.”
Included in the article were the names of the first 88 Watauga County men who were selected for service, according to their order number.
Nov. 10, 1960
Sixty years ago, the Watauga Democrat reported Sen. John F. Kennedy’s victory over Vice President Richard Nixon during the 1960 presidential election.
The race was described as “close” according to the article’s headline, with “Sen. Jack Kennedy amassing a comfortable electoral vote lead over Vice-President Nixon in Tuesday’s voting, and squeaking through with a popular majority of perhaps less than a million in the hardest fought national election in recent times.”
Per the article, the former Vice President obtained an early lead over the 43-year-old senator from Massachusetts, however, was eventually overtaken as votes poured in throughout the night.
“Nixon amassed a popular lead in the early returns which was quickly dissipated as returns began to come in from the big states of the east, but the race tightened in the early Wednesday morning hours as Nixon appeared to have taken states with the exception of California, which provided the winning margin for the Massachusetts lawmaker.”
Kennedy would go on to snag Nixon’s home state of California, as well as several other crucial states, such as Texas. According to the article, “Nixon held onto Ohio, and swept most of the midwest farm area.” Nixon also “laid claim to the border states of Kentucky and Oklahoma, also in addition to the three states of the South.” Those three states of the South were Florida, Virginia and Tennessee.
However, the Kennedy campaign would take home the Tar-heel state, with “Kennedy distancing Nixon by about 65,000 votes” in North Carolina.
Nov. 9, 1950
A string of fires ravaged the High Country, causing significant damage according to the Nov. 9, 1950, edition of the Watauga Democrat. According to the paper, “six fires in the past three weeks, three of them in Boone, have brought losses of close to 15,000.”
The most devastating fire according to article occurred on a Wednesday night, when the “home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Honeycutt of Hodges Gap, burned with a loss estimated at $10,000.” The Honeycutt family was reported to have been absent from the house during the time of the fire, however, “the house was completely furnished, and everything was destroyed, including clothing and lard stores of food supplies.”
Another fire which occurred during the same three-week period claimed the home of Virgil Miller of Meat Camp, which was destroyed with an “estimated loss of $1,000.” Meanwhile, Jack Edminsten’s Garage of Perkinsville was burned, with a loss of $3,000, as well as “an unoccupied filling station in Adam’s neighborhood.”