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Mark Simonson

December 30, 2013

ID cards, new math and construction plans made news in December 1963

Identification cards, a new kind of mathematics and plans for upcoming construction projects were all part of our local life and times of December 1963.


While issues involving identification cards for all citizens drew a lot of controversy following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, there was no controversy of the sort when Otsego County began issuing cards in December 1963.

“The first Identification Card, one of the thousands to be issued in Otsego County, was issued Friday morning to A. Bernis Musson of Morris, chairman of Otsego County Board of Supervisors,” it was reported in The Oneonta Star of Saturday, Dec. 7. 

Otsego County Sheriff Harold F. Knapp said that the ID cards were available on a voluntary basis for those who wanted them, and it was designed for improved protection of local citizens. Applications were distributed to local police organizations and schools, to be processed through the sheriff’s office in Cooperstown.


One of the old features of “Reading,’Riting and ‘Rithmetic” in Oneonta’s schools was changing. “Rithmetic” was now being called Modern Mathematics.

A community forum on Modern Mathematics was held during the first week of December, attended by about 50 local residents.

New techniques were being taught to students in the kindergarten, first and second grades of Oneonta’s public schools that fall.

If parents discovered that their children were having trouble with their arithmetic, they were advised to contact the teacher.

“You can confuse your child and put them in a worse position than he was in before if you do not understand what he is doing. You can also harm him if you try to teach him arithmetic the way you learned it,” said Wava Cuyler, a second-grade teacher at Center Street School.

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Mark Simonson

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