Today in Milligan History (12/18)

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Today in Milligan History

an ongoing project of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

Good day, Milligan!

Proverbs 18:12 – Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.

This is Tuesday, December 18, 2012, and on this day in Milligan history . . .

1795    The Southwest Territory (now the State of Tennessee) conducted elections. Five delegates from each county were to attend a constitutional convention in Knoxville in January 1796. The convention was to draw up the basic law for a new state — Tennessee. The delegation from Washington County which won election included Landon Carter, John Tipton, Leroy Taylor, James Stuart, and Samuel Handley. Frank Merritt (1947), Early History of Carter County 1760-1861 (Knoxville, TN: East Tennessee Historical Society, 1950), p. 28.

1937    Moliere’s The Doctor in Spite of Himself was the Dramatic Department’s production at Milligan College. Dorothy Kester directed Mary Helen Banner (1938), Estelle Elliott (1939), Chad Gillenwatter (1940), Florence Potter (1939), Donald Qualls (1941), Edward Vogel ( 1938), Jack Willis (1938), and Mary Wood (1940), in the play, “a laugh from start to finish.” The Stampede, December 14, 1937

1938    “The Milligan College Hour of the Air” debuted on WJHL-Radio in Johnson City. At the keyboard of the George W. Keys Memorial Organ, located in the college’s Administration Building (now Derthick Hall), was Milligan College professor Edward Lodter, who opened the program each week with Robert Schumann’s “Träumerei,” and followed with a program of classical selections, hymns, popular songs and spirituals. Professor Lodter also invited talented students and alumni to play.  Occasionally President Henry J. Derthick (1872-1968; president 1917-1940) would also have a few words to say. Radio listeners tuned in to “The Milligan College Hour of the Air” each Sunday afternoon during the school year from December 18, 1938 until the program closed on December 8, 1940. Bob Cox, “’Milligan College Hour of the Air’ featured majestic organ”,” Johnson City Press, History/Heritage, June 28, 2010, p. 4a.

1947    The Stampede reported that after a lapse of several years, Milligan College and East Tennessee State College (now ETSU) would resume athletic competition. Signing ceremonies were held in the office of Milligan Dean A. F. Cochrane during the week of December 5. Signatories to the agreement were Dean Cochrane and Coach W. Hugo “Red” Yancey for Milligan and ETSC Athletics Director Willie S. Bible and Coach L. T. Roberts. The Stampede, December 18, 1947

1960    Ura Seeger, whose substantial gift to Milligan College supported the construction of Seeger Memorial Chapel, died of injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Coral Gables, FL. Seeger had been an Indiana State Senator and benefactor of schools, youth camps, and colleges.

2009    Acting on a prompt from Milligan College president Donald R. Jeanes (ΦΑΘ, 1968, Fide et Amore, president 1997-2011), Vice President for Business Joe Whittaker sent out a campus e-mail urging all employees to knock off at 3:30 on this snowy Friday afternoon. The weather forecast was for a major winter storm that was only then just beginning.  The storm fell upon East Tennessee, closing the Johnson City Mall on the last Saturday before Christmas. Heavy snow caused significant damage to trees on the Milligan College campus and along Milligan Highway.  Power to half the campus was out for several days

2010    A winter storm of snow and ice hit the Milligan College campus with significant damage to trees, buildings, and the power grid.  A utility pole behind the library snapped, cutting off power to Welshimer Memorial Library and Seeger Memorial Chapel. As temperatures plunged a number of musical instruments in Seeger were destroyed.  The library staff spent the next several days in makeshift quarters in other buildings on campus.  Winter 2010 was rough. The Milligan Magazine reported that the bill for weather-related expenses came to over $100,000. Contributions from librarians Gary Daught (Milligan since 2005), Mary Jackson (Milligan since 2007), and Meredith Sommers (Milligan since 2009)

Birthdays: In 1707 Charles Wesley in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England . . . in 1878 Josef Stalin in Gori, Georgia . . . in 1879 Paul Klee in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland . . . in 1886 Ty Cobb in Narrows, GA . . . in 1913 Willy Brandt in  Lübeck, Germany . . . in 1946 Stephen (Steve) Biko in King William’s Town, South Africa  . . . and in 1989 Milligan College senior Aaron Michael Hoffman.


In 1787 New Jersey ratified the new United States Constitution, the third state to do so.

In 1834 Georgia chartered the Methodists’ Emory College.

In 1859 South Carolina declared itself an “independent commonwealth.”

In 1892 Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky introduced his Nutcracker Suite.

In 1915 widowed President Woodrow Wilson married Edith Bolling Galt.

In 1956 the United Nations admitted Japan.

In 1961 the Associated Press named Wilma Rudolph “Female Athlete of the Year” for the second consecutive time.

In 1969 Britain abolished the death penalty.

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