Today in Milligan History, 5/7

Today in Milligan History

an ongoing project of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

Good Day, Milligan!

Proverbs 7:4-5 – Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and to insight, “You are my relative.”  They will keep you from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words.

This is Thursday, May 7, 2015, and on this day in Milligan history . . . 

1861    In spite of the unwavering efforts of “unconditional unionist” Senator Andrew Johnson of Greeneville, TN, the Tennessee legislature passed a declaration of independence from the United States of America which was to be put before the electorate in a plebiscite on June 8. Even after Tennessee seceded from the union, Senator Johnson continued as the state’s senator in Washington, DC.  Hans L. Trefousse, Andrew Johnson: A Biography. New York: W. W. Norton, 1989, p. 141.

1882    The Atlantic Missionary of June, 1882, reported on the “closing exercises of Milligan College,” a series of events covering most of a week. President Josephus Hopwood (1843-1935; president 1881-1903, 1915-1917) preached the Sunday sermon on “The Bible, the Perfection of Literature.”  Mildred Kozsuch, Historical Reminiscences of  Carter County, Tennessee (Johnson City, TN:  The Overmountain Press, 1985), p. 61.

1896    The State Democratic Convention met in Nashville to nominate Robert Love “Our Bob” Taylor its candidate for the governorship of Tennessee. Taylor campaigned for the office against six officially registered opponents, among them Josephus Hopwood (1843-1935; Milligan College president 1881-1903, 1915-1917) of Milligan College of Johnson City, TN, who represented the Prohibition Party.  Taylor himself was an alumnus of the Buffalo Male and Female Institute, of which Hopwood had become president in 1875. Robert H. White, Messages of the Governors of Tennessee 1883-1899 (Nashville: The Tennessee Historical Commission, 1967), 632-634.

1955    Alice MacDonald (1955) of Johnson City and Dave Brady (1955) of Portsmouth, OH, reigned as Queen and King of the May at May Day exercises at Milligan College. The royal court included seniors Jim Buckles (1955), Pat Hand (1955), Pat Topping (1955), and Kitty Wert (1955); juniors Omer Hamlin (1956), Wilma Lewis (1956), Margaret Smithson (1956); and Jerry Wagner (1956); sophomores Marilyn Smith (1957) and Bobby Waites (1957); and freshmen Dick Calvert and Barbara Smith (1958). The Mill-Agenda, Vol. 5, March-April 1955.

1955    Diane Barnes (1958) starred in “Over the Rainbow,” a musical drama arranged by faculty member Ona Weimer and student Scott Bartchy (1958). The Mill-Agenda, Vol. 5, March-April 1955.

1960    Francis Gary Powers Story: Part IV: The USSR announced that Francis Gary Powers (1950) had confessed to being a CIA spy after being shot down while flying a U-2 reconnaissance plane over the Soviet Union. Powers had graduated from Milligan College with a biology major in 1950.

2010    Word reached the campus that Director of Alumni Relations Theresa Garbe (1991) had successfully defended her thesis for her Master of Divinity degree at Emmanuel School of Religion – now Emmanuel Christian Seminary.

2011    Milligan College recognized Donald R. Jeanes (1968, ΦAΘ, President 1997-2011; Chancellor 2011-2012;) and Clarinda Jeanes (1971) with its highest recognition, the Fide et Amore in recognition of their loving and faithful service to the college. President Jeanes also delivered the graduation address at the last commencement ceremony over which he would preside as the college’s fourteenth president.  Jeanes was to resign the office July 15. Milligan awarded 183 degrees at the ceremony: thirty-six Bachelors of Arts, eighty-five Bachelors of Science, thirty Bachelors of Science in Nursing, twenty Masters of Business Administration, and twelve Masters of Education. Milligan College News Release, May 3, 2011

2014    There she was, Milligan College senior Meredith Eldridge (2014), pictured on the front page of the Johnson City Press.  She was standing next to her parents who were celebrating father Dan Eldridge’s victory in the Republican primary.  He won the party’s nomination to serve a second term as mayor of Washington County, TN.  In the primary race for the Washington County Commission (Third District) Milligan alumnus Joe Wise (1992), already serving as vice chair of the Johnson City Regional Planning Commission, made the cut to face a democratic challenger in August.  It was Wise’s first run for public office.  Johnson City Press, May 7, 2014, pp. 1A, 10A.

Birthdays: In 1812 Robert Browning in London, England . . . in 1833 Johannes Brahms in Hamburg, Germany . . . in 1840 Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Votkinsk, Russia . . . in 1913 Milligan College alumna Mrs. Mabel Wolfe Acufff (1934) in Luttrell, TN (Union County). Mrs. Acuff, at 102, currently lives in Knoxville, TN . . . in 1934 NBC-TV weatherman Willard Scott in Alexandria, VA.


In 1915 a German submarine sank the Lusitania for a loss of 1153 lives.

In 1824 Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony premiered in Vienna, Austria.

In 1868, after hearing testimony against President Andrew Johnson on impeachment charges, the United States Senate adjourned to deliberate. Johnson, from nearby Greeneville, TN, had become President upon the assassination of Abraham, Lincoln.

In 1914 the United States Congress established Mother’s Day.

In 1928 the United Kingdom lowered the voting age for women from 30 to 21.

In 1943 the United States Navy launched the Liberty Ship George Washington Carver.

In 1966 “Monday Monday” by the Mommas and the Poppas was hit number one.

In 1982 IBM released PC-DOS version 1.1


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