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

March 9, 1983

Several Appalachian State University students were among eight college students who were rescued after their canoes were swamped and they fell into a frigid New River in Grayson County, Va., the Associated Press reported in an article published in the March 9, 1983, Watauga Democrat.

The area where the accident occurred was considered a difficult stretch of rapids even for experienced canoeists. The last dispatch from the scene came at 4:08 a.m., when two of the men were rescued by boat from an island in the river.

“Six of the students struggled to shore Monday afternoon after their four canoes were swamped by four-foot waves at Molly Shoals,” the article stated. “None of the men appeared to (be) seriously injured although they suffered bruises from being dashed against rocks in the river.”

Another story in the issue began with an ominous conclusion: “It’s going to cost a lot of money to erase ‘Devil,’ ‘Satan’ and ‘Satan Kills’ written on walls and to correct other damage done by vandals at Hardin Park Elementary School.”

Vandalism and other damages were reported after a break-in, discovered by a Boone Police officer on a Saturday afternoon.

“The main damage was water-soluable paint thrown on the carpet in four classrooms, which is being cleaned at present,” then-Hardin Park Principal James Daye said. “Faces of two clocks were broken, numerous American flags were partially burned, papers and books covered the floor of practically every classroom, papers were set on fire in several classrooms.”

March 10 and 12, 1993

The Watauga County Commissioners unanimously approved the purchase of 70 acres off Vanderpool Road for $675,000 for the new Cove Creek Elementary School, the Watauga Democrat reported on March 10, 1993.

The newspaper also reported that the Boone Area Chapter of the National Organization for Women was to hold a forum on “Lesbian and Gay Community Issues” “in an effort to foster better community understanding of lesbian/gay issues and to dispel stereotypes and misinformation.”

In the March 12, 1993, issue, the Democrat reported that a group from Appalachian State University had been at the World Trade Center just 30 minutes before a bomb ripped through the basement of the buildings — at the time the world’s second tallest.

“Two professors and six students from the ASU College of Business were visiting the city’s financial district when the bombing occurred Feb. 26,” the article stated. “On the morning of the bombing, the group had gone to the World Trade Center to purchase tickets for a play and then had eaten lunch across the street.”

“The group found out about the bombing from media reports and word of mouth, and then called their homes to tell their families they were all right.”

March 7, 2003

The front page of the March 7, 2003, issue of Watauga Democrat included photos of a protest against the Iraq War. About 200 people marched around the campus of Appalachian State to protest the American invasion of Iraq under President George W. Bush.

“’The Mothership’ will descend on Boone,” read an announcement in the newspaper about an upcoming concert by George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic at the Holmes Convocation Center.

“As Clinton says, ‘If you want to capture a boogie, you’ve got to attack from the back,’” the article said.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.