Today in Milligan History, 4/17

Today in Milligan History

an ongoing project of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society


Good Day, Milligan!

Proverbs 17:15 – Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent— the Lord detests them both

This is Friday, April 17, 2015, and on this day in Milligan history . . . 

1784    North Carolina ceded its western territories to the new federal government in Washington, DC, with the understanding that the new territories would be organized as separate states. George Washington’s administration however took no action, and the people of the ceded territory regarded themselves as ungoverned and unprotected. Consequently in August leading citizens of the abandoned territory undertook to establish their own state, the State of Franklin. Ray Stahl, Greater Johnson City: A Pictorial History (Norfolk/Virginia Beach: The Donning Company, 1983), p. 24.

1903    This from the Washington Times of April 17, 1903, p. 5: Professor Josephus Hopwood (1843-1935; president 1881-1903, 1915-1917) of Milligan College, Tennessee, has practically completed arrangements for the purchase of the property of the West Lynchburg Hotel, and seventy-nine acres of land which will be used for the establishment of a co-educational institution, to be known as the Virginia Christian College [in Lynchburg, VA]. Prof. Hopwood pays $13,000 for the hotel, which in the boom days cost about $60,000.  The college will be ready to open for next season.” Virginia Christian College is now known as Lynchburg University. Submitted by Bob Cox.

1905    The Tennessee General Assembly approved and adopted a design for a State Flag developed by Johnson City attorney LeRoy Reeves (1876-1960). Tennesseeans flew their flag first in Johnson City above the campus of the East Tennessee State Normal School (now ETSU). LeRoy Reeves is buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Johnson City. James Brooks in the Johnson City Press, February 20, 2006, p. 4a.

1959    Elizabeth Jacynthia Murphy McKissick, widow of Milligan College ex-president James Tracy McKissick (served 1914-1915), died in Abilene, TX.

1967    Seeger Chapel was far from finished. The audience of six hundred sat on folding chairs and blankets in the unfinished hall; but the program included Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony and Rossini’s “Overture” from William Tell. The performers were members of the New York State Symphony Orchestra.

1969    The Stampede announced the results of Student Council elections for the 1969-1970 school year. To serve as president of the Council was John Banks (1970); Vice President was to be Dave Patrick (1970); the student body elected Jan Myers (1971) to serve as Council Secretary, and Denny Crossman (1970) as treasurer. The Stampede, April 17, 1969, p. 1

1986    Milligan College dedicated an addition to Sutton Hall in honor of Joseph P. (1926) and Lora D. McCormick. A generous gift from John and Pearl Hart made the new McCormick Dining Center possible. Clinton Jack Holloway (1995), Age Deo Fide et Amore: A History of Milligan College 1940-1966. (Unpublished thesis, Emmanuel School of Religion, 1998), 59.

2007    The Milligan College Golf Team pulled away in the final round to capture the program’s first ever NAIA Region XII Championship. Milligan won the championship by 12 shots over Brescia University, 947- 959.  The Buffs also captured the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) championship at the event. Milligan’s 22-shot advantage, 947-to-969, over Covenant College gave the Buffs their third AAC championship in the last four years. The championships were contested at the par-72 Elizabethton Golf Club in Elizabethton, Tenn.


2013    The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) recognized Milligan College’s women’s basketball coach Rich Aubrey (1985; at Milligan since 1994) with its Coach of Character Award,  given annually to the head coach who has been outstanding in embracing the five core values of the NAIA Championship Imitative: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.  Aubrey’s award came one day after the Tennessee General Assembly honored his team in Nashville for winning the Appalachian Athletic Conference championship, finishing with a league record of 16-2.  Jeff Birchfield, “Aubrey earns NAIA award for character,” Johnson City Press, April 18, 2013, B-1.


Birthdays: in 1894 Nikita Khrushchev in Kalinovka, Dmitriyev Uyezd,Kursk Gubernia, Russia . . . Milligan College HPXS Professor emerita Linda Doan (at Milligan 1983-2010) . . . in 1994 Milligan College junior Tabitha Anne Varghese in Des Moines, IA . . . and in 1995 sophomore Grace Ann Moorhouse in Elizabethton, TN.



In 1421 an estimated 100,000 people drowned when the dikes broke near Dort, The Netherlands.

In 1521 the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated Martin Luther.

In 1640 Swedish Lutheran pastor Reorus Torkillus landed at Fort Christie in Delaware, the first Lutheran pastor to arrive in North America.

In 1704 bookseller and postmaster John Campbell published The Boston News-Letter, the first successful newspaper in the British North American colonies.

In 1861 Virginia seceded from the United States of America and joined the Confederacy.

In 1937 cartoon characters Daffy Duck, Elmer J. Fudd and Petunia Pig enjoyed their Warner Brothers debut.

In 1945 the Netherlands suffered floods (again) when German occupiers deliberately exposed the low lying Wieringermeer to the sea.

In 1946 Syria claimed independence when the last French troops pulled away.

In 1947 Jackie Robinson got his first major league hit, a bunt.


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