This column is a revitalized weekly addition to the paper. The following moments in history are selected, researched, and edited by Skaneateles High School students enrolled in Kate Hardy’s 10th grade Honors English class. For the next school year they hope to celebrate the past and remember the days from years ago. Thank you to the Skaneateles Library and the Historical Society for providing the Press archives.
20 Years Ago
… The Skaneateles Press published an article about the Science Olympiad that was held at LeMoyne College. A team of students from Driver Middle School competed in events designed to test recall of knowledge, manipulation of equipment, and problem solving ability. Olympic style awards were given out to recognize those who performed the best. The Science Olympiad still exists today and has grown to become a nationwide competition. According to the New York State Science Olympiad website, the event’s intent remains the same, to strengthen public perception of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), increase STEM involvement, and advance STEM interests. These goals reflect the growing emphasis that educators are placing on STEM fields.
40 Years Ago
… the Skaneateles Press praised the participation of the Widger family in a local Blood Drive. Dr. Bruce Widger, a veterinarian, donated blood for the 80th time, placing him at the ten gallon milestone for total amount of blood donated. The entire Widger family was very passionate about donating blood, including Dr. Widger’s wife Mary, who reached a total of eight gallons, and their two sons who had each donated a few gallons themselves. On Feb. 28, Skaneateles High School hosted their annual blood drive. The drive typically sees around 40-60 participants, many of which are students and faculty. This year, the school’s blood drive was renamed in honor of Sam Ciraolo, a former Skaneateles High School health teacher who advocated for participation in the blood drive. The school encourages the donation of blood, because each pint donated can save up to three lives!
60 Years Ago
… nearly 2,500 books were collected and distributed to patients of the Auburn Memorial Hospital in Auburn, New York. The idea behind this was to give the patients something relaxing and enjoyable to do during their stay. This program was arranged by Auburn Memorial Hospital’s Auxiliary, and was extremely successful! While Auburn Memorial Hospital no longer circulates books to its patients, Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse, New York has an always-running drive for books, toys, stuffed animals, and cards that can help to give the children at the hospital something comforting during their occasionally stressful stay. The full list of donation requests is available on their website and we encourage you to check it out and perhaps make your own contribution. Although book drives are rarer than they once were, modern book services, such as the popular company Amazon, now give people the opportunity to order books online and receive them in the mail a few days later, or even use an app to read them right away. Other services such as MyBookBox allow people to list their preferred genres and receive two books and a special prize in the mail monthly.
80 Years Ago
… an article was published in the Skaneateles Press discussing the ability of dogs to understand words. According to the article, average non-performing dogs can understand about 60 human words, while performing dogs can understand 250 words. Recent studies by Dr. Stanley Coren have shown that the average dog actually knows about 165 words. There are several factors that contribute to how easily words can be understood. One of these factors is the type of sounds and letters involved. According to Animal Planet, dogs respond better to words with hard consonants, like R or T, as opposed to words with soft consonants like S or F. Along with understanding simpler words, dogs can also decipher human communications through body language. The breed of the dog also impacts the learning capacity and intelligence. For example, Border Collies tend to be more intelligent than other breeds due to genetics. When adopting, naming, and training a new dog, keep these facts in mind for ease of communication.
100 Years Ago
An advertisement in the Press 100 years ago publicized movies at the local theater at Legg Hall in Skaneateles. At the time, the movies played included, “The Winning Girl” and “The Village Chestnut”, both were silent films with a playing time of under one hour. According to filmsite.org the movies we currently watch known as ‘talkies’ didn’t come to theatres until 1927. While Legg Hall no longer serves its purposes as a movie theater today, many people go to Movie Tavern at Township 5. According to the Movie Tavern, movies can range from over an hour to two and a half hours. As a sweet deal, on Tuesdays moviegoers can purchase tickets for $5 which includes a free popcorn.