January 7, 1996

25 Years Ago

THE NATIONAL ANTHEM – The latest in the series of efforts to discredit “The Star Spangled Banner” as this country’s National Anthem has come from the Artistic Administrator of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, D. C. George London, a 50-year-old Canadian vocalist who has made a name for himself in the opera world by singing grand opera parts in the Hollywood Bowl, in San Francisco and in Vienna, Austria, and who also sang the title role in “Boris Gudunov,” in Moscow, in the U.S. S. R., has given it as his opinion that “The Star Spangled Banner” is “difficult for most people to sing.” Mr. London may be an authority on opera music, but apparently he possesses weak objections to patriotic airs. “The Star Spangled Banner” is sung by thousands of Americans in patriotic gatherings all over the country, and apparently not too many who have any talent for singing at all have difficulty in handling this number. Authorities in the type of music which stirs and stimulates the patriotic feelings, such as John Philip Sousa, the “March King,” have given it as their opinions that it is an excellent composition, well-adapted not only for singling, but also for marching music. We have no criticism of Mr. London’s ability in his field, but his field is not patriotic musical
composition. Irving Berlin, who wrote “God Bless America,” would be a more acceptable critic in this area. Millions have grown to love Francis Scott Key’s stirring version, and perhaps it is not so much the fact that the music is objectionable as it is that the words were inspired during a British abortive attack on Fort McHenry. After all Mr. London is a Canadian native, and may still have some feeling for the land of his birth, which has pretty close ties with the British Crown. Community Reporter, January 1, 1971.

50 Years Ago

Gives Going Away Party – Mr. Otha A. Fleming, of Taylorsville, gave his friends a going away party New Year’s Day before leaving for a 6 weeks’ stay in Florida. The gathering consisted of about 35 people including the old slave (Link). Mr. Wagner, his neighbor, was short 2 – 30 lb. gobblers when the party closed which started New Year’s Eve and ended the next day at twilight. It was a real Carroll county dinner. Turkey, country cured ham with trimmings, anti-pasta, imported wines, cake and nuts. Some of the folks left early to do their usual work. Democratic Advocate,January 4, 1945.

75 Years Ago

It appears that the State Roads Commission, as well as the city papers, have at lastawakened to the fact that there is still another “last toll-gate in the State,” referring to the one in Uniontown which is “still doing business at the old stand.” Chairman Mackall, after learning of this gate, announced that the road is not one of the main thoroughfares and that it will likely not become part of the State road system. The fact remains nevertheless that this toll-gate is in Maryland and that an improved highway over the route of this pike would open up decent travel between the county seat and several districts in the western part of the county which annually contribute quite liberally to the county’s treasury. Union Bridge Pilot, January 7, 1921.

100 Years Ago

Uniontown Items – New Year’s eve Miss Belle Cover entertained a company of invited guests. Games of a simple but entertaining character were indulged in. “Buzz,” “Charades,” etc., were
heartily participated in and afforded enjoyment and pleasure to all. The gentlemen chose partners for refreshments by means of “shadows.” The ladies passed by an open door where a sheet had been placed and the light having been extinguished in the room where the gentlemen were, a shadow of the lady was made on the sheet and the gentlemen in turn selected a shadow. At the refreshment table souvenir butterflies were given to each one. After waiting to see 1896 ushered in, with the departure of 1895 all said good night after having spent a pleasant evening. Those present were: Mr. and Mrs. Harry Cover, Dr. and Mrs. T. J. Shreeve, Mr. and Mrs. M. A. Zollickoffer, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Englar, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Lassell, Misses Belle, Elizabeth and Margaret Cover, Mabel Le Fevre, Julia and Marietta Lassell, Messrs. Ed. and Tommy Cover, James and Philip Lassell, Wm. R. Zollickoffer, Roy Singer and T. C. Routson. American Sentinel, January 4, 1896.