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Today in Milligan History (7/1)


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Today in Milligan History

an ongoing project of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

appearing sporadically during the summer months

Good day, Milligan!

Proverbs 1:10, 13,15 — My child, if sinners entice you, . . . if they say, “Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,. . . we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder . . . do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths . . . .

This is Monday, July 1, 2013, and on this day in Milligan history . . .

1791    As a result of a census conducted by the Tennessee government, Governor William Blount reckoned that 36,043 people were living in the “eastern section of the Southwest Territory.” Kevin T. Barksdale, The Lost State of Franklin – America’s First Secession (University Press of Kentucky, 2009), p. 22.

1887    The citizens of Union, TN, adopted a new name for their town: “Bluff City.”  Goodspeed’s History of Tennessee speculates that Bluff City changed its name more often than any other place in Tennessee. Originally known as Choate’s Ford, it became “Middletown” when a stage line from Abingdon to Knoxville made a stop there. When surveyors laid out a town, and after the arrival of the railroad, it became “Union.” During the Civil War it became “Zollicoffer,” named for the occupying Confederate general, but in 1865 it became “Union” again until July 1, 1887.

1943    The orders read: “Report 1 July 1943 to Commanding Officer, V-12 Unit, Milligan College, Milligan College, TN.” About 300 young men read those words in the late Spring of 1943.  Milligan College welcomed the task of educating officers for the United States Navy’s V-12 Program. The college dismissed all civilian students with the graduation ceremonies of May, 1943. James G. Schneider, Milligan College Navy V-12 Unit: July 1, 1943-June 30, 1945, (Broadway Printing, Bradley, IL, 1980) , p. 3.

“On July 1, 1943 the 400 men assigned to Milligan arrived on campus for the first time. For the next two years the “USS Milligan” served as a naval base with no unauthorized civilians allowed on the campus and guards posted at the entrance. In the 1943 basketball season the Milligan V-12 team had an 18-2 record, defeating both Duke and North Carolina on successive nights on their own floors. In January 1944 the “Buffaloes” were ranked the No. 1 basketball team in the country.” Colin Baxter, “Colleges Meet War Challenge: Milligan, ETSC serve as training grounds for officers in WWII” in The Johnson City Press, July 30, 2007, p. 4A.

Milligan’s V-12 interlude, 1943-1944, was certainly a departure from the vision that Josephus and Sarah LaRue Hopwood (1846-1935) had in mind, and yet blessings came of it. The V-12 program introduced Duard Walker (1948, Fide et Amore, at Milligan 1951-2001), to Milligan. He graduated and then served for 50 years (!) on the faculty and staff: professor, coach, dean of men, and Webb Hall resident director. Guy Oaks came to Milligan to teach math during the V-12 period, and stayed on to become an institution himself: mathematics professor, academic dean (1952-1970) under whose leadership Milligan achieved full accreditation (1960), and alumni director (1970-1973). And then there is the story of John Hasty (1948). He came to Milligan with the V-12 program, and became a Christian under the teaching of Joe Dampier (Fide et Amore). He stayed on to major in Bible, became a missionary to the Philippines, and still later served as President of Great Lakes Bible College. (Thanks to Prof. John Wakefield for contributions to this item)

1947    C. Howard McCorkle (1931), who had been principal for the past three years of Science Hill High School in Johnson City, took over responsibilities as Dean of Milligan College. After graduation from Milligan, McCorkle had taken a Master’s degree at Vanderbilt University. The Stampede, April 1, 1947

1955    Prof. Sam Jack Hyder (1892-1970), senior faculty member, turned the first shovel of soil in ground breaking ceremonies for the construction of Sutton Hall.

1955 Milligan College chemistry professor Lone L. Sisk was promoted to major in the United States Air Force.

1997 Donald R. Jeanes (ΦΑΘ, 1946-2012) became the fourteenth president of Milligan College, and only the second president who was an alumnus (1968) of the college. He served until his retirement in 2011.

2003    Milligan College alumnus Jason P. Radmacher (1997) became the one hundred sixty-first pastor of John Street United Methodist Church in New York City. John Street Church, founded in 1766, is the oldest Methodist congregation in the United States. Nathan Flora, news release, November 30, 2005.

Birthdays: In 1941 choreographer Twyla Tharp in Portland, IN . . . in 1961 Diana, Princess of Wales, at Park House, Sandringham, Norfolk, England.

Elsewhere . . .

In 1535 Sir Thomas More went on trial for treason in England.

In 1776 The Continental Congress took the first vote on a “declaration of independence.”

In 1816 the French frigate Medusa wrecked; the subsequent tawdry story inspired Théodore Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa.

In 1863 Union General George Gordon Meade halted Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s northward advance at Gettysburg, PA.

In 1932 at its Chicago convention, the Democratic Party nominated New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt for the Presidency of the United States of America.

In 1963 The Beatles recorded “She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)”

What do you know about Milligan’s history and heritage? Tell Phi Alpha Theta at phialphatheta@milligan.edu.