100 Years Ago
In 1912, the heavy rain of the past three days caused water to rise in many of the anthracite mines in Pennsylvania. This came near to resulting in the death by drowning of 20 men in the lower workings of a Reading Company colliery near Pottsville. One man who returned to get his dinner pail lost his life. The miners were warned that a large quantity of water in an abandoned mine adjoining was in danger of breaking through and they hurried to leave. The man who turned back was caught in the rush of water that came a minute or two later.
Half naked, his head and face covered with hair, armed with a club and barking like a fox when approached, Arthur Britton, 40 years old, who had been missing from his home for more than 10 years, was found this day living in a cave in the Pawling mountains near Poughkeepsie. He was committed to the Hudson River hospital and the physicians there said he was almost a veritable wild man. Britton had almost lost the art of speaking. His mind was shattered but although he was thin, he possessed the strength of a giant. He had lived in a hole in the rocks in the side of a mountain and it required four hours' work to induce him to come forth. He barked like a fox all the way to the asylum and only stopped when given a drug.
75 Years Ago
In 1937, declaring that public secondary schools had other functions "quite as important" as preparing students for college, an associate commissioner of the New York state education department, Dr. George M. Wiley, recommended several changes in regents examination requirements. The recommendations included further reduction in the number of subjects in which regents examinations were offered and that examinations should be designed so as not to interfere with the development of experimental instruction materials for pupils of superior or lower mental rank.
The antiquated can and stick method of measuring precipitation at the government weather station at Jamestown city hall had been replaced by a new weighing and recording rain and snow gauge, furnished by the United States Weather Bureau. On a slowly rotating chart a complete record would be made of the duration, intensity and total amount of continuous precipitation. Rain, snow, hail or sleet was recorded by the instrument. Once a week the chart would be replaced and any water in the collector would be emptied. The receiving bucket did not have to be emptied after each rainfall or snowfall in order to determine the amount of precipitation for any period as was the case with the old method.
50 Years Ago
In 1962, a man who spent most of World War II in English jails because of his Nazi sympathies, was to speak at the University of Buffalo this day, despite a wave of resentment from several organizations and individuals. Sir Oswald Mosley, the self-styled leader of England's Facist Party, arrived in Buffalo in response to an invitation to lecture before a student-sponsored forum at the university. A handful of young people, some of them carrying placards, witnessed Mosley's smiling arrival at Buffalo International Airport. There were no demonstrations as the 65-year-old baronet was whisked into seclusion by representatives of the student senate. The U.S. State Department's granting of a travel visa to Mosley touched off a chain of protests.
The 25th birthday of a Smethport, Pa., man - Ralph D. Hills - had a tragic ending the previous afternoon when he died at Salamanca Hospital of injuries received at 1 a.m. in a one-car accident on Route 17 near Killbuck. With Hills' death, the year's toll of highway fatalities in Cattaraugus County was raised to nine. Hills was traveling west on Route 17 when his convertible went off the right side of the road, plunged down a ditch for a distance of 120 feet and smashed into a utility pole. Hills made his home with his mother, Mrs. Esther Hills, on Farmers Valley Road in Smethport.
25 Years Ago
In 1987, the 1988 edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac was warning there would be plenty of cold weather and snow in upstate New York in the coming winter. The forecast for winter said, "Frequent cold waves in December will bring heavy snows to western and central sections and moderate amounts to the east with a major snowstorm expected across the southern portion of the region at Christmastime."
In Busti everything would be bigger at the gristmill this year - at least during the 15 annual Apple Festival. The bigger Busti Apple Harvest Festival would be held from noon till 5 p.m. on Sunday. The fairgrounds had been expanded to include twice as much area - more room for demonstrators and crafters and more room for spectators.