Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
Jan. 12, 1988
Civic leaders and church members from around Oneonta will gather on Friday, Martin Luther King Day, to honor the memory of the slain civil rights leader who would have been 59 Jan. 15.
The interfaith service will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 12 Ford Ave. It is sponsored by the Social Responsibility Committee at the church.
The group of interfaith committee organizers said there is a strong need in the community to remember Martin Luther King Jr.
“He wasn’t just for blacks. He was for humanity,” said Alice Siegfried, one of the organizers.
Steven Feuer, representing Temple Beth El, said it is important for everyone to be aware of the rights that King fought for.
Suzanne Miller, who helped coordinate the interfaith committee, said the service is, in part, “to inspire people to continue his work for racial and economic justice.”
Oneonta Mayor David Brenner will say a few words and a presentation entitled “Martin Luther King Jr. and the Afro-American Protest Tradition” will be given by Ralph Watkins, chairman of the Black and Hispanic Studies Department at State University College at Oneonta.
Also at the event will be the Rev. William Bouton of the First United Methodist Church in Oneonta who will ask people to share their joys and concerns abut King, Siegfried said. Yolanda Sharpe of SUCO’s art department will sing a solo.
50 years ago
Jan. 12, 1963
A service citation for long years of dedicated duty in education has been awarded to W. Edwin (Shorty) Long by the New York State Charities Aid Association.
The award, one of not more than three given in the state, was revealed in a letter to School Supt. Dr. Harold V. Hager, and released Friday night by School Board President Ani P. Colone.
The letter to Dr. Hager said in part:
“I am sure you will be interested to know that W. Edwin Long of your staff has been granted a state service award for outstanding work in his field.
“Only two or three people are selected each year for this citation. It comes only after devoted years of service in New York State.”
Mr. Colone said, “I have since had the occasion … since I have been on the Board to have the people in Albany voice their wonderful estimate of Shorty.”
Mr. Long is Director of Health, Physical Education and Recreation for the Oneonta school system, a post he has held since 1956.
Dr. Hager said Mr. Long has spent “about 35 years” of service in Oneonta, varying his duties among such items as a “successful” period as basketball coach; a member of the Municipal Parks Commission; the Recreation Commission, and before 1956, Director of Physical Education and Athletics.