Today in Milligan History, 5/1

Today in Milligan History

an ongoing project of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

Good Day, Milligan!

Proverbs 1:10–15  – My child, if sinful people entice you, do not give in to them.  If they say, “Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for innocent blood, let’s ambush some harmless soul . . . we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder;  cast lots with us; we will all share the loot”— my child, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths. . . .

This is Friday, May 1, 2015, and on this day in Milligan history . . . 

1882    A charter from the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee empowered newly-named Milligan College to confer academic degrees.

1943    Milligan students and alumni who were enrolled in the Virginia Army Reserve received their call to arms in World War II. Affected were Crofton Bays (1945), J. B. Combs (1945), A. B. Hurt, Jr. (1941), James Moore (1948), Horace Pettit (1948), and Wythe Robinson. The Stampede, May 15, 1943

1952    “Moods in Music” was the theme of the May Day Festival at Milligan College. Queen of the May was Ruth Brown (1952) of Piney Flats, TN. King of the May was John Ammerman, Greensburg, PA. Senior members of the Court included Sally Bellamy (1952), Kara Bright (1952), Randy Cooper (1952), and Carolyn Story (1952). and Mill-Agenda, May-June 1952.

1952    Professor emerita Pat Bonner remembers that a tornado came through the campus and tore down trees, one of which landed on Prof. Bob Rhea’s automobile. Submitted by Pat Bonner, e-mail to Phi Alpha Theta, May 2, 2011

1960    The Francis Gary Powers Story – Part Three: Milligan alumnus Francis Gary Powers (1950) was shot down over the Soviet Union by one of fourteen SA-2 surface-to-air missiles. At the time, he was gathering photo intelligence from about 70,000 feet in a U-2 spy plane for the CIA. Powers made a safe parachute landing, whereupon Soviet farming folk apprehended him until military officials arrived to take over.  Francis Gary Powers with Curt Gentry, Operation Overflight (Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, 1970).

1960    A parade in Elizabethton featured the Milligan College Board of Trustees, members of the administration, faculty, and students. At the conclusion of the parade Carter County officials presented President Dean E. Walker (1899-1988; Fide et Amore; president 1950-1968; chancellor 1968-1988), and President emeritus Henry J. Derthick (1872-1968; president 1917-1940) tokens of the county’s esteem. The celebration reached a climax with an open house on the campus where visitors were especially interested in the new Webb Hall. Mill-Agenda, Vol. 10, No. 2, May-June 1960.

1963    Milligan students elected student council officers for the 19643-64 school year. They chose Bill Nice (1964) to serve as president and Jack Waugh (1965) to serve as his veep.

2009    The Johnson City Press set a Milligan College record for numbers of articles-with-pictures of Milligan personalities. On the front page was President Donald R. Jeanes (1968, Fide et Amore, ΦΑΘ, president 1997-2011, chancellor 2011-2012) announcing the impending construction of the Gilliam Wellness Center. On page 5A, in a continuation of the same article, the paper pictured Milligan junior Mark Simo (2010) working out in Steve Lacy Fieldhouse. The first sports page (C1) featured a picture of Milligan catcher senior Brian Murphy (2009), and the jump to page C8 revealed the portraits of pitcher junior Collin Duffie (2010) and coach Nathan Meade. (Milligan since 2008) because Milligan baseball was finishing a successful 37-17 season. And finally, on p. 5B, the paper reported – albeit without a photograph – “Former Milligan student accepts Angels of Battlefield award from General Petraeus.” It was about alumni Michael Ryals (2006)) and Shannon Smith Ryals (2004).

2010    Milligan College’s women’s tennis team had received several honors after going through the regular season undefeated (6-0 against AAC competition). Jessica Rose Remegi, Halie Winfrey, Albany Kelly, Caitlyn Conley and Janie Mullins (2010) were named all-conference players. Ron Worrell (1970) was coach of the year.  Kelly Hodge, “Milligan Notes,” Johnson City Press, May 1, 2010, p. B-1.

Birthdays:  In 1672 Joseph Addison in Milston, Wiltshire, England . . . in 1851 Eberhard Nestle in Württemberg, Germany . . . in 1907 Kate Smith in Greenville, AL . . . in 1923 Joseph Heller in Brooklyn, NY . .



In 1707 England, Wales, and Scotland united to form the United Kingdom.

In 1786 Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro premiered in Vienna.

In 1868 Wilkes County, NC, hanged Tom Dula for the murder of Laura Foster. Colonel James Grayson of Trade, TN (the state’s oldest unincorporated community, located near Mountain City) had apprehended Dula and turned him over to North Carolina authorities. “Hadn’ta been for Grayson, I’da been in Tennessee.”  Carolyn Sakowski, Touring the East Tennessee Backroads (Winston-Salem: John F. Blair, 1997), pp. 23-24.

In 1931 the Empire State Building opened in New York City, NY.

In 1933 the first issue of Dorothy Day’s The Catholic Worker appeared.

In 1936 Italy invaded Ethiopia, driving Emperor Haile Selassie into exile.

In 1950 Gwendolyn Brooks received the Pulitzer Prize, a first for African-Americans.

In 1987 Pope John Paul II beatified Edith Stein, a Jewish-born nun who died in Auschwitz.


Do you know something that happened on this day in Milligan history?  Is this the birthday of a Milligan personality?  The anniversary of a Milligan event?  If so, send it to Phi Alpha Theta at