Today in Milligan History, 4/14

Today in Milligan History

an ongoing project of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society


Good Day, Milligan!

Proverbs 14:15 – The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.

This is Tuesday, April 14, 2015, and on this day in Milligan history . . . 


1891    The Daily Comet, Johnson City’s first daily newspaper, announced that President of the United States Benjamin Harrison, accompanied by his wife Caroline Harrison and Postmaster General John Wannamaker, would arrive in town at 2:15 p.m. and would address the citizens of Johnson City. Buffalo Male and Female Institute alumnus Alfred A. Taylor introduced the President to a large crowd that gathered at the train station to hear him speak. The original owners and editors of the Comet were Buffalo Institute alumnus Robert Love Taylor, Robert Burrow, and Nat C. Love.(Buffalo Male and Female Institute was the forerunner of Milligan College.) Ray Stahl (Fide et Amore, at Milligan 1950-1968), Greater Johnson City: A Pictorial History (Norfolk/Virginia Beach: The Donning Company, 1983), pp. 79, 81.

1909    The weekly schedule at Milligan College included daily chapel. On this day in 1909 W. S. Buchanan delivered an address entitled “Wanted: A Man.” Milligan College “New Horizon,” Volume I, No. vi, Catalogue Number 1909-1910

1950    The Milligan College Concert Choir set out on its sixth major tour. In one day the bus traveled from Milligan College to Ironton, OH. That was the first leg of a trip that would take Director E. Gordon Warner and thirty-three singers through West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. The Stampede, April 25, 1950

1967    “Donkeys A-Go-Go” was the title of the Stampede article that described the Donkey Basketball Game in Cheek Hall. Those who bought their tickets in advance for sixty cents could watch Milligan College faculty members  “Wild Man Wetzel” (Prof. Robert Wetzel, Milligan 1961-1980, adjunct 2009-2014), “Waddling Walker” (Coach Duard Walker, 1948, Fide et Amore, at Milligan 1951-2001), “Roger Dodger Sizemore” (Coordinator of Campus Life Roger Sizemore),  “Fearless Fife” (Prof. Robert O. Fife, Fide et Amore, at Milligan 1954-1975), “Wheels Wheeler” (science professor Ralph Wheeler), and “Cougar Crowder” (Prof. Orvel Crowder, at Milligan 1957–1982) face off against a student team that included David “Duck” Wollett (1967), “Minor Minor” Joe  Noe (1968), “Doctor Doc,” (Who can tell Phi Alpha Theta who this student was? ) “Laughing Kathy Armstrong” (1967), “Salty” Ginger Roth (1970),” Jumpin’” Jeanie Robcke (1970), “Harry” Hariette Miller (1970), “Human Joan Human,” “Hoof” Alan  Hoffman (1968), “ “Parakete” Mike Miner (1967) and “Meleta’s Boy” Steve Kardos (1969).  Oh yes, the cheerleaders for the faculty team were the “Health and Hygiene Honeys” Prof. Patricia J. Bonner (1957, Fide et Amore, at Milligan 1966-1998) and Prof. Rowena Bowers.(at Milligan 1959-1978). The Stampede, April 13, 1967, p. 1; the 1967 Buffalo  

2007    One hundred and fifty Milligan College students and their guests “danced the night away at the “Black and White” Junior Senior Banquet at the Johnson City Country Club. Junior Class president Jackie Libby (2008) and a committee including Katie DeConto, Casey Williams and Maria Sturgill had done the planning for the event. The speaker for the evening was Professor of Occupational Therapy John Paul Abner (Milligan since 1999).  The tab for the evening came to $25 per person. Kalee Nagel in The Stampede, on-line edition, April 19, 2007

2010    It was “Wonderful Wednesday” at Milligan College! Actually, things got started the evening before when at 7:45 students descended on the State Line Drive-In for a movie, followed by late-night Capture the Flag.  Wednesday itself saw a 10:30 brunch in the cafeteria, a faculty-staff hunt, “Race the Bells” at noon, Big Top games in a tent set up on the Sword Commons, ultimate Frisbee, and tournament play in volleyball, dodgeball, and basketball. Yes, of course there was the water slide and the Buffalo Creek obstacle course. The day concluded with dinner and bowling.  Evening classes met as scheduled.

2013    The Milligan College Men’s Tennis team captured the first ever Appalachian Athletic Conference regular season title in program history on Sunday afternoon with an 8-1 victory over Reinhardt University. Milligan Today, April 15, 2013.

Birthdays: In 1797 Adolphe Thiers in Marseilles, France . . . in 1862 Pyotr A.  Stolypin in Dresden, Saxony, Germany . . . in 1928 Robert Mugabe in Christian Village, Rhodesia . . . in 1935 Loretta Lynn in Butcher’s Hollow, KY . . . in 1945 Steve Martin in Waco TX . . . in 1995 Milligan College sophomore Hannah Segrave . . .  and in 1996 freshman Cleo Bailey Farr.


Elsewhere . . .

In 1865, on Good Friday, John Wilkes Booth mortally wounded Abraham Lincoln who died early the next morning.

In 1912, shortly before midnight, HMS Titanic struck an iceberg off the coast of Nova Scotia.

In 1931 Spanish republicans overthrew King Alfonso XIII.

In 1935 the worst of the destructive Dust Bowl storms hit the Plains States. The day would go down in popular lore as “Black Sunday . Milligan College professor emeritus Robert Wetzel (Fide et Amore, Milligan 1961-1980 and 2009-2014 adjunct) recalls how his mother-in-law  Lorene Dunlap, vividly remembered the storm.  As a 17 year old she stood beside her father in their farmhouse living room watching the dust cloud, several thousand feet high, roll in from the north.  When it hit their farm she turned to look at her father, but it had become so dark that she could not see him.  Mrs. Dunlap now lives in Erwin, TN, and is cared for by her daughter, Bonnie Dunlap Wetzel. Submitted by Robert Wetzel (Milligan 1961-1980, adjunct 2009-2014).

In 1939 John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath came off the presses.

In 1958 Sputnik 2, with space traveling dog Laika, burned up re-entering the atmosphere.

In 1961 scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory discovered Element 103, Lawrencium.

In 1973 acting FBI director L. Patrick Gray resigned after admitting he destroyed evidence in the Watergate scandal.


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