Today in Milligan History, 4/23

Today in Milligan History

an ongoing project of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society


Good Day, Milligan!

Proverbs 23:15-16 – My child, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad indeed; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.

This is Thursday, April 23, 2015, and on this day in Milligan history . . . 


1869    Eleven charter members organized the First Presbyterian Church of Johnson City. City of Johnson City Community Relations Department, “An Historic Tour of Johnson City, Tennessee, second edition, May 2006.

1949    Milligan College hosted the Milligan College Relays. Competing track teams from Wafford College, Roanoke College, East Tennessee State College joined with several high school squads: Science Hill in Johnson City, and both high schools from Bristol – Tennessee and Virginia. The Stampede, April 15, 1949

1951    Milligan College President Dean E. Walker (1899-1988; president 1950-1968; chancellor 1968-1988) turned the first shovelful of earth for the new Student Union Building, which was to be built primarily with volunteer, student labor. The golden shovel then passed to Frank Hannah, Sr., Board President; Dr. Donald G. Sahli, Dean; T.P. Jones (1951) and JosephRandy” Cooper (1952), followed by the presidents of each class.   Prof. Sam Jack Hyder (1892-1970; Milligan Class of 1916; taught at Milligan 1916-1966), served as General Building Contractor; Dean McCracken was construction superintendent. The building, now remodeled, goes under the name Lowell W. Paxson Communication Center. Clinton Jack Holloway (1995), Age Deo Fide et Amore: A History of Milligan College 1940-1966. (Unpublished thesis, Emmanuel School of Religion, 1998), p. 54. and  The Stampede, October 31, 1952.

1971    At a special convocation called for Friday, April 23, Milligan College President Jess W. Johnson (1918-2008; served as president 1968-1981); announced that the college would build a new 60,000 square foot field house, thanks to a generous gift of $1,200,000 from the B. D. Phillips Charitable Trust Fund  of Pennsylvania.  President Johnson added that the new building would carry the name of Mr. Steve Lacy (1931, Fide et Amore, doctor honoris causa ), former coach, athletic director, dean and vice president 1942-1947, board member and chairman of the board. The field house was to be built “utilizing the revolutionary architectural principle of air cable construction,” designed by Dr. David Geiger of Columbia University, modeled on the United States Pavilion at the Osaka, Japan, World’s Fair.  The most unique aspect of the structure was the roof: a translucent, Teflon-coated fabric weighing only one pound per square foot, capable of withstanding winds up to 125 miles per hour.  There would be no obstructing pillars or external supports.  The Milligan College Lacy Field House was to be the first privately owned structure of its type in the world.  The Stampede, May 1, 1971, p. 1.

2010    At 11:00 a.m. ceremonies Milligan College dedicated the new Gilliam Wellness Center.  Richard and Leslie Gilliam and their family were present, as well as the other significant donors, Denny and Cindy Mayes.

Birthdays: In 1564 William Shakespeare in Stratford-on-Avon, England . . . in 1775 Joseph Mallord William Turner in London, England. . .  in 1891 Sergey Sergeyevich Prokofiev in Sontsovska, Ukraine. (According to the ‘old style’ Julian calendar Prokofiev’s birthday was April 11.) . . . and in 1996 Milligan College freshman Nicholas Chambers in Johnson City, TN.



In  A.D. 34, according to calculations by Sir Isaac Newton, Pontius Pilate authorized the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.

In 1945 Allied forces liberated the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp where, on April 9, prisoner Dietrich Bonhoeffer had died.

In 1968 the 10.3 million-member Methodist Church and the 750,000-member Evangelical United Brethren Church joined together to form the United Methodist Church, the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States (after the Southern Baptists).

In 1971 Columbia University students went on strike and shut down the school.

In 1985 “New Coke” debuted.  Whose idea was that?

In 1992 McDonald’s opened its first fast-food restaurant in China.

In 1997 Titanic opened at Lunt-Fontanne Theater in New York City.


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