Today in Milligan History, 6/16

Today in Milligan History

an ongoing project of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

appearing sporadically during the summer months


Good day, Milligan!

Proverbs 16:15 – When a king’s face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.

This is Tuesday, June 16, 2015, and on this slow news day in Milligan history . . . 


1910    A headline in the Johnson City Comment of June 16, 1910:

Sevier, Campbell, Shelby

Sycamore Shoals Heroes

Monument Unveiled Yesterday With Imposing

Ceremonies in Presence of Thousands of Tennesseeans


The accompanying article described the dedication of the Kings Mountain Monument which marks the site of the original Fort Watauga, the spot from which the Overmountain Men set out to engage the British in the Revolutionary War battle of Kings Mountain, SC.  The monument still stands on G Street near Gap Creek Road in Elizabethton, TN.  The monument itself, however, says “Erected September 25, 1909,” presumably to correspond to the date on which the Overmountain men assembled. Mildred Kozsuch, Historical Reminiscences of Carter County, Tennessee (Johnson City, TN:  The OvermountainPress, 1985), pp. 73-75.

1921    I.A. Briggs wrote Milligan College founder Josephus Hopwood (1843-1935) about an idea to raise “a permanent fund o[f] $50,000.00 in the next five year[s] and let the interest be used to have the old time gospel preached in the mountains of Tenn. N.C. Va. And Ky. And at the same time give large attention to encouraging young people to go to Milligan. The evangelists can turn all his [sic] collections to the employment of a real bible teacher at Milligan.” Letter from I.A. Briggs to Josephus Hopwood dated June 16, 1921, found in the Hopwood Correspondence Collection, Milligan College Archives. Submitted by Ginger Dillon (ΦAΘ, 2002).

1973    James DeForest Murch died.  Murch Hall, the “MSA” unit closest to the highway, is named for James DeForest Murch (October 23, 1892 -June 16, 1973). Born in New Vienna, OH, he was raised in a family strongly committed to the Stone-Campbell tradition, and he remained within that tradition throughout his entire life. The prominence of his father as a preacher in central Ohio permitted the young Murch to have contact with leaders within his tradition as well as those individuals who would eventually become leaders within his generation. Due to his family background, he had the necessary network of individuals to one-day became a major voice within Christian churches and churches of Christ, Milligan College’s historical constituency. Murch likewise established a Christian home, marrying Olive Cameron in August 25, 1915. He commented of his wife, “Olive has all the qualifications necessary to have built a career of her own but she chose to build one that has been of immense help to me in my life and ministry.” Murch published Christians Only (1962), The Free Church (1966), Christian Education in the Local Church (1943), and Teach or Perish (1961), the biography of B. D. Phillips (1969), and an autobiography, all reflective of his Stone-Campbell heritage.  Milligan College recognized Murch with a doctorate honoris causa in 1959. Murch is perhaps best recognized as the editor of numerous magazines and journals. The following is a list of editorial positions held by Murch with his dates of service: Something Doing, 1916-1918; The Lookout, 1918-1925; Restoration Herald, 1925-1934; Christian Endeavor Quarterly, 1925-1934; Christian Action, 1935-1945; Christian Unity Quarterly, 1941-1945; Standard Bible Teacher and Leader, 1944-1945; Christian Home Life, 1944-1945; United Evangelical Action, 1945-1958; and Christianity Today, 1958-1961. James Deforest Murch’s papers are located in the Archives of Milligan College. All of this and a lot more about him is available at

2012   The Johnson City Press reported that Google had an indoor mapping team at Milligan College to photograph floor plans for each building (excluding dormitories) so that Internet users could get “virtually” inside the campus facilities by using their Smartphones. Milligan’s Director of Marketing and Community Outreach Shannon Castillo (1996) explained, “You could look at that floor plan and say, ‘I need to go to room 105,’ and you would know where room 105 is and how to get there instead of looking lost.” Rex Barber, Johnson City Press, June 16, 2012

Birthdays: In 1895 Stan Laurel (of Laurel and Hardy) in Ulvertston, Furness, Lancashire, England . . . in 1917 Katharine Graham in New York City, NY. . . in 1951 Roberto Duran in Guarare, Panama . . . and in 1994 Milligan College alumnus David Tyler Rose.


Elsewhere . . .

In 1879 Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore debuted in New York City, NY.

In 1904 Leopold Bloom went through this day as recorded in James Joyce’s Ulysses.

In 1932 The Republican Party re-nominated Herbert Hoover for the U. S. Presidency.

In 1955 Pope Pius XII excommunicated Argentine President Juan Peron.

In 1961 NBC fired pioneering Today Show host Dave Garroway.

In 1977 Leonid Brezhnev became president of the USSR.

In 1991 Russian voters elected Boris Yeltsin President of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic.

In 2012 The United States Air Force’s robotic Boeing X-37B spaceplane returns to Earth after a classified 469-day orbital mission.



This was a slow news day in Milligan History. Do you know something that would have made today’s column more interesting? Send it to Phi Alpha Theta at