Archive for Wednesday, February 22, 2012

100 years ago: Lawrence celebrates Washington’s 180th birthday

February 22, 2012


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 22, 1912:

  • "One hundred and eighty years ago today George Washington was born. A long time that, and yet there is no other man who occupies the same place in the minds of the people of the United States, especially the children, as does George Washington, 'The Father of Their Country.'... Today is not a legal holiday in Kansas. That state has only four such events: Decoration Day, Christmas, Labor Day and Columbus Day, the latter of which has just been set aside officially by the last session of the legislature. Washington's birthday is observed, however. The post office and all county offices were closed today as were the banks. while no school was held either at the University or in the city schools. Flags floated from various poles about town and everyone knew that it was February 22 -- Washington's birthday.... Pinckney school has received a picture, appropriate for school children. The title is 'Washington crossing the Delaware.' The picture was presented to the third grade room by Mrs. Francis Jaedicke as her son Frederick is a pupil in that room."
  • "A long distance call from the state penitentiary at Lansing this afternoon warned the local sheriff's office that a convict had escaped from the pen this noon and that it was believed he was on his way to Lawrence. A description of the man was given the Lawrence officers who will endeavor to make a capture if the man is seen around here."
  • "A school without pupils is the condition at the Hazel Dell school house, eight miles southeast of Emporia. Only four pupils are enrolled, and these are the children of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Miller. Last week, Miss Blanch Bullock, the teacher, punished one of the children for impudence and the others are being kept out of school by the parents. Miss Bullock opens up the school house each morning and stays out the job during the day. The truancy law may be used to compel the children to attend school."
  • "Woodrow Wilson will arrive here at 8:30 tomorrow to remain until 9:30 at the University. The Journal-World received this news at 4 o'clock this afternoon."


Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 7 months ago

Miss Blanch Bullock? Is she related to Mrs. O. F. Bullock, the lady that boarded the train Sept. 5, 1911, but didn't arrive in Springfield Missouri?

I guess she showed up later, because Olivia Frances Woodward Bullock (March 3, 1833 - August 11, 1920), was buried in Clinton Cemetery.

Sarah St. John 5 years, 7 months ago

Yep -- if you look at the last comment (mine!) on the original Mrs. O. F. Bullock story that you linked to, you'll see that not only did we find her grave, but also that about five years before that (1915) she was living with her daughter Maggie, so she must have eventually found her way back from that train trip.

I guess Blanch isn't a relative, at least not a close one. Mrs. Bullock's only surviving children were Maggie and Minnie. (Maggie's children, by the way, were named Myrtle, Mabel, and Myra.)

Sarah St. John 5 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for stepping up, Flint! Busy morning..... Yes, Decoration Day started after the Civil War, when it was literally for decorating the graves. The change to calling it "Memorial Day" appears to have happened rather gradually. There are probably lots of Lawrence folks who still remember it under the old name. Here's a nice old Decoration Day story from last spring:

Don't forget to take a look at the 40 Years Ago today. I was amused by it.

And now I must eat lunch......

Flap Doodle 5 years, 7 months ago

In some rural parts of the country, each small cemetery had its own decoration day in May or June. This wasn't specifically intended to honor veterans. It was also a general cleanup day for the cemeteries that didn't have regular groundskeepers. This tradition was kept up at least into the 1970s. It may still be observed in some places.

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