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This Week In History, 12-25-08


Updated on Wednesday*:

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The following reports are taken from The Calhoun Chronicle archives:


1933, 75 years ago

A new river gauge is being constructed by the federal department of agriculture at the south end of the Grantsville bridge. It will consist of a concrete tower extending from below the low water mark to the level of the bridge where a recording mechanism will register the height of the water.


The reading will be telephoned to weather bureau headquarters in Parkersburg daily. Four men, Everett Hartshorn, Billy Linville, Elias Yoak, and a foreman from Pittsburgh, will be employed on the job for several weeks.




 1958, 50 years ago

The very latest in fire alarm systems is in use at Calhoun High School. It is an Edwards automatic fire alarm system, with seven stations scattered throughout the buildings. It is completely automatic and has an emergency battery power supply in case of electric power failure.


In a fire drill conducted at the school, all 575 students and teachers were out of the building in one minute and 50 seconds, in what was described as a very orderly fire drill. While outside, each teacher made a roll check to see that all pupils are accounted for. Principal Roy J. Stump complimented the pupils and teachers for their efficiency in the drill.


After an alarm bell is set off, a signal in the school office indicates which station sent in the alarm. The bell continues to ring until it is turned off in the control section. Should there be a power failure, a 20 volt battery system goes into effect and will automatically take over all functions of the system.


The school was inspected by the state fire marshal about two weeks ago, and was found to be in good condition. Only a few minor recommendations were made to school authorities, and Stump said that some had already been corrected.




 1983, 25 years ago


Dear Editor: Sunday night my six-year-old son, Joshua, after decorating our Christmas tree, asked me this question: “Mommy, will they ever drop a nuclear bomb on Grantsville?”


I was stunned since I thought I had sheltered him from anxieties that he wasn’t old enough to deal with. I didn’t think a child could understand ideas of targeted cities, fallout and radiation. I felt any explanation I attempted would only add to his fears. So I listened.


Joshua told me in our tear-filled talk that he was afraid he wasn’t going to grow up to be as big as I am because someone would drop a nuclear bomb. My response was to promise him that I and many of my friends will not let that happen. We value life and our children’s smiles and laughter too much to have them live with this threat.


Surely, since Christmas holds a real promise of hope for peace, then the pursuit of that promise will guide us away from these devastating anxieties. At least the simplicity and strength of the Christ Child’s message can bring comfort to my child.


Will we “grown-ups” also accept the comfort and hope in this message? Or will we continue to cling to the false security of weapons piled upon weapons?

What choice do we make for our children?

Laura Shaffer, Mt. Zion

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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