Editor’s note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.

July 5, 1962

North Carolina Governor Terry Sanford was to speak in Boone in July 1962 as part of a three-day meeting of the N.C. Board of Conservation and Development, the Watauga Democrat reported on July 5, 1962.

Meetings and events were scheduled at the Daniel Boone Hotel, Boone Methodist Church, Appalachian State Teachers College, Tweetsie Palace and “Horn in the West,” which featured a special “Governor’s Night” performance in honor of Sanford.

“Alexander Takes Issue With High Court For Banning Prayer” read another front-page headline in the issue.

“Congressman Hugh Alexander stated from his office June 26 that he was shocked to learn that the Supreme Court issued a ruling on Monday of last week banning prayer in public schools,” the article stated.

“The decision of the Court,” the North Carolina congressman was quoted as saying,” is dangerous in its implications and may well have the effect of abolishing chaplains in our Armed Forces, preventing prayers in the Congress and could even preclude the President of the United States from putting his hand on the Bible when he takes the Oath of Office. Furthermore, the decision could be interpreted to prohibit religious songs in school music programs and permit the removal from our coins of ‘In God We Trust’ and ‘One Nation, under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance, and the elimination of sacred obligations throughout the land.”

July 8, 1982

The newspaper reported on July 8, 1982, an agreement to widen U.S. 421 in the Perkinsville area of Boone and the N.C. 105 Extension to four lanes.

“What local officials have called ‘the worst traffic problem in the county’ is expected to be alleviated,” the article began.

The section of U.S. 421 between N.C. 194 and N.C. 105 would be further widened to six lanes in a project completed in 2012.

An article inside the newspaper claimed that Linville Ridge Country Club’s “New 18-Hole Course Is Reported To Be Highest Around.”

“According to golf course architect George Cobb, the new Linville Ridge layout is the highest golf course east of the Mississippi River with the fourth hole being at an elevation of 4,945 feet,” the article stated. “The front nine was opened for the first time on Sunday as members celebrated the 4th of July by playing the picturesque course.”

July 8 and 10, 2002

“Fewer vacationers head to the coast, more go to the mountains,” stated a headline in the July 8, 2002, Watauga Democrat.

An Associated Press article pondered whether hot temperatures or the economic downturn was responsible for driving more tourists to the mountains.

The next issue of the newspaper reported that the Partnership for Watauga’s Future, a local nonpartisan community action group, was gathering signatures on petitions to obtain a state scenic highway designation for the Doc and Merle Watson Highway despite the Watauga County Commissioners’ recent 3-2 vote not to seek the designation.

The designation was approved by the N.C. Board of Transportation in 2003.

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