Saturday, June 16, 2018

Three Little Boys, Free to Good Homes, 1916

"Special Notices,” from the June 16, 1916 issue of The Monroe Journal.

Wanted—Homes for three little boys. Father dead and mother unable to make living. The boys are 3, 5 and 7 years of age. Only good Christian homes desired, where children will be cared for and properly reared. Miss Nealie Robinson, Wingate, N.C. Phone 82.

Our Community Needs a Public Library, Says Mrs. Phifer, 1916

“The Need of a Public Library” by Mrs. Roscoe Phifer, from the June 16, 1916 issue of The Monroe Journal.

Any consideration of a public library project is complimentary to a community, showing, as it does, a sense of civic responsibility and a desire for future progress, which are commendable. There are few communities which would not provide for a public library if its advantages were appreciated, for it is a remedy for many ills and is all embracing in its scope. It is an educational institution, it vitalizes school work, and continues the pupil’s education throughout life. It is a home missionary sending its messengers, the books, into every home and shop. It not only sends help, but opens its doors to every man, woman and child.
In most towns there are scores of young men and boys whose evenings are spent in loafing about the streets, and to these, the library offers an attractive meeting place where the time may be spent with jolly wise friends in the books. It provides a wholesome substitute for vicious shows and other questionable amusements, it substitutes better for poorer reading, and provides story hours for the children who are eager to hear before they are able to read. It also increases the earning capacity of people by supplying information and advice on the work they are doing. One of the most important services a library can render is the industrial service. If the librarian and trustees desire to help the people, their first duty is to study the industries of the city and find out just what literature will be of service to those people. After finding out what sort of work the people are doing, they will get the books on the trades, arts, mechanics, etc., and advertise them. The librarian will also issue lists of books on carpentry and distribute them to men who would be interested in such books. Lists of books on horticulture will go to the florist, lists of books on poultry to the poultryman and lists of books on textiles to the textile workers and designers. Such a course has been successfully carried out as is shown in the case of a young man who borrowed from the library three books on machinery. His salary increased to $2.50 per day and he said, “Three months hence when I have mastered these books, I will get $3.50 per day and I shall be worth it too.” A young fellow in a textile mill, who frequented the library invented and patented three loom devices and was promoted to assistant superintendent.
So you see the old idea of a library as a placid storehouse of books used only by scholars, or those who cared enough for reading to pay for the privilege, has given way to a new idea—that of a live, active institution, aiming to supply the books needed by the community, supported, not by a few, but by the entire community, and for the free use of any responsible person. It is for use of all ages, from the little tot, who wants picture books and first readers, to the old man and woman who find a taste for reading a great pleasure. It is for all classes, the workman, the farmer, the plumber, the business man, as well as the lawyer, the doctor or the minister. The library has been well called “the true university of the people,” for its usefulness as an educational force is only limited by its resources and the capacity of its librarian to put what it contains at the command of the public.
Again the library can be made to exert a great civic force. In the small town especially it is true that the library with its rooms for meetings of various kinds is made a sort of civic center. The children are taught to care for public property by keeping the books clean, and to have clean hands when using them; also to respect the rights of others by keeping quiet when in the building.
No feature of modern library development is more important than work with the children. Librarians who work for the intellectual growth of mankind must devote their energies toward instilling the “library habit” in the child, who is the most important factor in the community. The children will be effective friends of the library in their homes now, and as men and women they will have a deep interest in it which shall be for all time. The taste for reading of a man or woman is already formed, but the child, as a rule, is ready to read anything you suggest. He does not clamor for something new, his mind is open to receive any influence that may be brought to bear upon it. If the child’s reading is controlled by the co-operation of parent, teacher and librarian, he will have little pleasure in reading some of our modern fiction.
The public libraries are doing a large work for the recreation and pleasure of the people, too, and this is by no means to be counted a small contribution. But the spreading of information, the encouragement of city betterment, the development of patriotism, giving an opportunity for the increasing of intelligence, enabling one to act wisely upon public questions, furnishing material for the formation of independent opinion upon political and social conditions of our own day, these are some of the functions of the public library that are of the highest value.
                                --Mrs. Roscoe Phifer

Friday, June 15, 2018

Finally Getting Control of Typhoid In North Carolina, 1934

“Typhoid Fever Has Been Greatly Reduced,” from the Rocky Mount Herald, Friday, June 15, 1934

It is only occasionally that we take time to attempt to inform the public of changes which have taken place over a period of time. To most of us changes are so gradual, so non-interesting, that the average person is not impressed, though the significance may be far reaching.

In checking our records of deaths from typhoid fever we find that in 1892 when Raleigh had a population of 12,870, there were 23 deaths from the disease, 10 white and 13 colored. That was the peak year of typhoid fever deaths in the City of Raleigh, according to death certificates filed since 1887. According to the estimate of a few years ago that 10 cases occurred to every one death, this means that there were probably 230 cases of typhoid fever in Raleigh for that year. At the present time it is estimated that only about seven cases occur to one death, but perhaps 10 is more accurate for the year 1892.

The next peak year occurred in 1907 with 20 deaths, 10 white and 10 colored, when the population of Raleigh was 17,549. This means that no so many years ago there must have been 200 cases of typhoid fever in Raleigh in one year. In 1914 there was another peak year with 13 deaths, 7 white and 6 colored, the population of Raleigh being 21,298. After that year there was a rapid decline until 1918 when not a single death occurred in the City of Raleigh from typhoid fever. But that was too good a record to maintain, but since that time there has not occurred in any one year more than six deaths, and in 1931 there was only one.

In the State of North Carolina in 1914 there were 839 deaths from typhoid fever; in 1932 there were 158; and the provisional figures for 1033 give only 129 deaths for that year. In the United States a recent report from 87 cities for 1910, with a total population of 22,500,000, shows that there were 4,637 deaths from typhoid fever in that year, or a rate of 20.54 per 100,000.

The public holds in its hands the control measures to eradicate typhoid fever, and from these figures it appears that these measures are being reasonably used. What are they? Very simple. Safe water supply, some approved type of sewage disposal, screens to keep out flies and other insects, safe wholesome milk, the control of food handlers who may be carriers, and typhoid fever vaccine.

Typhoid vaccine is worth all that authorities have claimed for it, but it stands to reason that it is impossible to vaccinate everybody. So to control typhoid fever we must improve our sanitary conditions and food supply. These things combined will eventually eradicate typhoid fever.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Our Flag Floats Over Battlefields in Europe, Fighting Hordes of the Autocracy, 1918

From the front page of the Chattanooga News, June 14, 1918
The Flag, Our Flag, the Oldest Flag That Flies
One hundred and forty-one years ago there appeared on the face of the globe a new flag. It was the flag of a new nation, a state dedicated to freedom, liberty and justice. It floated over a people at war in a country undeveloped but rich in hope and purpose. It floats today over the sons and daughters of those peoples and over all the other human beings who have sought safety and freedom beneath its folds.
It is the Stars and Stripes, floating on this anniversary of its birth over millions of homes from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada’s border to the gulf, and—what is newest and so superbly grand—it floats this day on the battlefields of Europe where the hosts of democracy are fighting the hordes of autocracy!
Our flag has a history rich in deeds and glorious in hope. It is the oldest of all the flags that now fly in the whole world. The flags of our allies are younger. The present tricolor of France appeared in 1794, fully 17 years after Old Glory had come into existence. Italy’s flag was born in 1870, the British flag in 1801, Portugal in 1815, Belgium, 1831, and our South American allies even later. The flags of Japan and China of today are not as old as the Stars and Stripes.
But it is not because our flag is the oldest of all flags that we love it so well and honor it so truly. Our flag stands for the things we love and admire and hope to attain in the most wonderful measure. Our flag is the emblem of the highest ideals any nation has set out to reach. There is something great and good back of our flag: liberty, justice humanity and equality. However, let us not be misunderstood. It is not he cloth of which our national emblem is made that we love and for which our sons gladly storm the heights of fame and death. We honor and respect it and died for it because—
“A thoughtful mind, when it sees a nation’s flag, sees not the flag, but the nation itself,” said that great preacher and American, Henry Ward Beecher. “And whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the government, the principles, the truths, the history, that belong to the natin that sets it forth. The American flag has been a symbol of liberty, and men rejoiced in it.
“The stars upon it were like the bright morning stars of God, and the stripes upon it were beams of morning light. As at early dawn the stars shine forth even while it grows light, and then as the sun advances that light breaks into banks and streaming lines of color, the glowing red and intense white striving together, and ribbing the horizon with bars effulgent, so, on the American flag, stars and beams of many colored lights shine out together. And wherever this flag comes and men behold it they see in its sacred emblazony no embattled castles or insignia of imperial authority; they see the symbols of light. It is the banner of dawn.”
And today, on this anniversary of our flag’s birth, the Stars and Stripes float in France—the banner of dawn to the peoples whom the iron heel of German military might seeks to crush into cruel and heartless slavery as it demolishes their homes, ignores their rights and destroys their lives.
All along the battleline, from the channel to the Alps, this flag—Our Flag—is the flag of hope and promise, the emblem which adds strength to the arm and courage to the heart of liberty’s fighters. God speed the day when we make good this hope and promise. For until that day has arrived the power of the Huns cannot be overcome and civilization will continue struggling in the grasp of her worst enemies, the Teuton and the Turk.
We Americans ourselves must carry that banner of dawn to the trenches “over there.” To do this means carrying the heaviest portion of the war burden in the battlefields “over there” and in the homes and fields and shops here at home. We must not only fight but we must help our allies to carry on their end of the war. It is a wonderfully large piece of war we have set out upon, greater than that attempted before by any nation, but we can do it if we concentrate our war so that all business, all pleasures, all hopes shall meet in the one undertaking—War—winning the war!
We must win or our flag ceases to be the Banner of Dawn.
We can only win by putting every ounce of our energy and our every thought into the fight. Any effort less than that places our flag, our country, ourselves in peril.
“Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Happy Flag Day, June 14th

President Woodrow Wilson signed a presidential proclamation in 1916 establishing June 14 as Flag Day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

To Lower Taxes on Average North Carolinian, Raise Taxes on State Employees, Investors, 1934

“Income for Sales Tax,” from the Chatham News, as reprinted in the Rocky Mount Herald, Friday, June 15, 1934

It has been figured out that a man and wife with three or four children pays about 30 cents a week sales tax. This amounts to about $15 per year, more than a week’s pay for many men in this state. This amount would doubtless pay for the greater part of the clothing that man or his wife purchase in a year, and the same amount would almost feed the family for a month. While it is true that the average government might desire a contribution from each of its citizens, we cannot come to believe that it is quite fair to take the bread of life out of the mounts of a family of four or five and still allow other men and women with much larger incomes to “get by” with practically the same amount of tax as the poor chap with a $12 per week income.

The point has been made that there are a large number of men and women who are earning between $1,200 and $2,500 per year who are paying nothing to the state government and for that reason the sales tax is necessary in order to make then pay their just share, but it does seem as if there might be a way to devise to collect from them without putting too heavy a burden on the poor who are earning $400 to $700 a year.

We believe that this could be accomplished by the means of the income tax. If the exemptions that are allowed under this tax were changed and it was made to apply to all, no matter from what source they derived their income, it would help a lot. Just because a man or woman derives their income from working for the government is no reason why they should not pay an income tax. We are willing to bet a cookie that the job they hold did not come seeking them. We bet another cookie that most of them pulled every wire they knew to land the job. Most of them have had a far more secure living than the man or woman who works in a factory or who owns a small business. There is no reason why they should not pay as do all others.

There should be no exempt bonds issued by any governmental division. There is no reason for it. If the bonds are good they will sell as well without the tax-exemption clause as they do with it and the government would derive the dollars from a tax that should be collected.

There is no question but what the schools should furnish an education to all who want it, and that it should be of the highest type possible to give. Where a man has children in a school and is earning enough to pay something toward their support eh would be required to do so, and an income tax is the best means we know of to accomplish this object. This, we believe, was one of the reasons given for the enactment of the sales tax that has done so much to injure business in North Carolina.

A just income tax will not drive business to another state as has the sales tax. It will not prove a burden to business in its collection as has the sales tax. The amount collected will be the amount set by the legislature and not many times that amount. The sales tax is supposed to be 3 percent ax, but if one makes several small purchases they find that they have paid as high as 10 percent sales tax, instead of 3 percent. The sales tax should be eliminated at the next session of the legislature.