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This Week In History, 3-27-08


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The following reports are taken from The Calhoun Chronicle archives:


1932, 75 years ago


A 25 per cent decrease in the rate to be paid workmen from the funds of the Reconstruction Finance Corp. was announced by the state relief administration. The decrease, which brings the amount to be paid per hour down to 22½ cents from 30 cents, was made in order that more work may be obtained from the financial outlay.


Administration officials said the reduction would not mean any curtailment in the income of the workmen, as they would be given additional day’s work each week to bring the amount paid to the present figure.


There has been no let-up in the demand for relief, but an improvement in conditions is expected in mid-spring.




  1957, 50 years ago

This winter has been a rugged one, as was predicted by at least one famous almanac. One expert noted that sunspots indicated a return of bitter winters. It was pointed out that weather runs in 40-year cycles. The cycle toward warmer winters has just concluded, according to this theory, and we are now entering a 40-year cycle of colder and colder winters.


It seems that this winter’s weather has backed up the theory admirably--to the extent that most of Florida’s produce crops citrus crops, have been ruined by several severe freezes. The sustained freezing weather in the southeastern part of the country, and in the southwestern regions to some extent, has been unusual and abnormally harsh.


If the expert who predicted a 40-year trend toward colder and colder winters is correct, by the 1960’s we will be feeling the trend even more severely. By then, we will be experiencing weather which comes nearer the bitter winters of the 1880’s than any seen in many years.




  1982, 25 years ago


A doctoral thesis is not usually “fun” reading, but people interested in the library habits of Calhouners may find some interesting material in a volume received by Calhoun Public Library. It is “Patterns of Rural Public Library Use,” by M. Lisa deGruyter, who submitted it in August, 1982, as a dissertation to the University of Chicago Library School in candidacy for a Doctor of Philosophy Degree.


A native of Spencer, deGruyter spent a few months in Calhoun starting in May, 1981, gathering information for her study, which compares charac-teristics of library use in Calhoun with those of library users in a 1973 study of Onondaga County, N.Y.


She recruited five local interviewers, Pam Bartlett, Georgan Gregg, Rachel Kerns, Jeanette Simons and Janice Westfall, to help gather statistics.


Using the Grantsville-Arnoldsburg telephone directory, researchers selected 496 telephone numbers at random. After eliminating some of the names, they ended up with 372 cases, of which 126 were found to be library users.


The telephone survey began on May 9, 1981, and continued until May 30. Each person contacted was asked 53 questions, most of which pertained to their use of the county library.


The study found that local library users were more active in social and cultural activities than those in Onondaga. They read more, owned more books, had more schooling, and used more professional sources of help than non-users.


The reasons given by those interviewed for using and borrowing books from the library were divided equally between reading for entertainment and trying to obtain useful knowledge. Helping children was also a frequent motivation.


The study found that library users in Calhoun do not differ significantly from library users in other areas, but there are fewer of them in proportion to the population. This is probably because the characteristics that influence library use in general are not prevalent in rural populations.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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