Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
June 14, 1988
Today marks Flag Day, which since 1941 has given citizens of the United States the opportunity to display the Stars ‘n Stripes with pride while allowing us to ponder the freedom and patriotism the American flag represents.
Yet, it was only one year ago today when Congress helped kick off an entire week’s commemoration by pronouncing June 14-21, 1987 National Dairy Goat Awareness Week, giving the American public the opportunity to ponder — the dairy goat.
“Legitimate” days such as today’s Flag Day, the recent Memorial Day and the upcoming Independence Day are finding their space on calendars impinged on by commemorative days, weeks, months and even years with questionable national appeal.
Most members of Congress feel such commemorations are significant, even if only to those who propose them. Some representatives in Washington, however, are sponsoring legislation which could keep raging arguments over whether to create “National Catfish Day” off the floors of the Capitol and put them back where they belong — wherever that may be.
Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R-New Hartford) is cosponsoring a proposal by Congresswoman Claudine Schneider (R-Rhode Island) which would create a non-partisan commission to review requests for commemorative days before they ever reached the hands of congressmen and senators.
According to Dale Curtis, press secretary for Boehlert’s Washington office, such a bill has been presented in Congress “year after year” with no success, primarily because many legislators take the stance of “don’t fix the thing if it ain’t broke.”
But Curtis said many legislators, including Boehlert, are afraid continued attention to what is often referred to as “junk legislation” could help make the country go broke. Boehlert has said the cost to Congress for reviewing such legislation approaches $2 million a year.
50 years ago
June 14, 1963
Evidence of a death struggle between two vast union empires as the larger attempts to “raid” the smaller, broke into the open today in Oneonta.
Scene of the first “skirmish” of what may develop into a “hot” engagement between the Communications Workers of America and the Communications Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, was the open air of Lewis Street in front of the New York Telephone Company garage.
Key participant yesterday was vision organizer W.F. Bowers of Atlanta, Ga., who appeared in front of the telephone company plant to pass out Teamster literature to telephone workers as they filed in and out of the building.
The youthful and personable southerner engaged in joking give-and-take conversations with company personnel during his stay but the half-laughing repartee only thinly covered the obvious intent of the Teamsters (and Mr. Bowers) to take over the membership of the CWA, in Oneonta as elsewhere.
A grim reminder that this was all for real came when a Telephone Company official, Thomas Hebert, warned the organizer not to try to stop trucks coming out of the building, saying, “… I’d hate to have somebody run over you …”
“Ah can’t help it if they stop by themselves,” retorted the organizer, and, grinning, said, “If Ah got to be run ovah by a truck it might as well be a Bell truck.”