A bad spell in the good ol’ days

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 3, 2007

Apparently, the Salisbury Post isn’t the only newspaper that sometimes has readers claiming the paper was so much better way back when. And it’s interesting how news from here was making the rounds a half century ago.
J. Todd Foster, managing editor of the Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier, writes that “to hear some of our readers tell it, this newspaper was a journalistic icon back in the ’50s ó the Appalachia version of The New York Times … without the liberal politics.”
He says that more than one reader has told him of reading the Herald Courier for 50 years, “and it was a lot better back then.”
He went to see for himself, and spent an afternoon poring over microfilm from July of 1957. On one front page from a half-century ago, he found a brief on a local beauty queen sandwiched between stories of a fatal car accident, a drowning, a Navy bomber hitting a mountain and killing nine ó and a Klan rally datelined “SALISBURY, N.C.” The article read in part: “Several thousand persons gathered here Saturday night in the glow of a flaming 15-foot cross to hear the grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan denounce racial integration.”
Foster pointed out it was a pity that some copy editor back then didn’t have a Klu: It’s Ku Klux Klan, without the first “l.”
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Who said it? “I don’t know exactly where I got that cash. I have always had cash on hand.” (Answer below)
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Well-titled author: The Harry Potter saga may be over, but J.K. Rowling will continue to have more money than the queen. Of the top 15 books on the USA Today bestseller list released on Aug. 2, Harry Potter takes up seven places:
1. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
2. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”
3. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
4. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”
6. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”
8. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
12. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
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Dogging Vick: Count N.C. Congressman Walter Jones among those who don’t think the NFL should wait for a guilty verdict before sacking quarterback Michael Vick, at least temporarily.
Jones and fellow Republican Rep. Ed Whitefield of Kentucky wrote a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell supporting suspension of Vick, who faces multiple charges involving illegal dogfighting on property he owns in Virginia.
“We have read in horror the federal indictment of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick,” the letter states. “In it, multiple witnesses allege that Mr. Vick barbarically gambled on dogfights on his 15-acre property, in which animals were tortured and then ordered executed … Unless and until Mr. Vick can clear his name in what can only be classified as a disgraceful and sadistic criminal pursuit, he should be suspended from play in the NFL.”
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Who said it: The quote is from former House Speaker Jim Black, suffering one of several memory lapses during a sentencing hearing as he testifed about giving $10,000 in cash to former state Rep. Michael Decker.