1868, 150 years ago

Seymour speaks

Horatio Seymour, the Utican who is one of the Democratic Party’s national leaders, is no great friend of President of Andrew Johnson, but he opposes his impeachment and the Republican Party’s attempt to remove him from office.

Seymour — mayor of Utica in 1842, governor of New York in the 1850s and again in the 1860s during the Civil War — says, “I have no political prejudices in favor of Mr. Johnson. I have never seen him. He is not one I helped place into office, nor have I advised him or been consulted by him as to his policy. I know he has been cheated and betrayed by those about him, who plotted his destruction from the outset … they will chisel on his tombstone that he was a man who loved his country and was hated by the corrupt and treasonable … and was impeached by the House of Representatives and condemned by the Senate.”

In a talk in Bridgeport, Connecticut, this week, Seymour criticizes Radical Republicans in Congress for leading the fight to impeach Johnson and convict him in the Senate. He accuses them of destroying the Constitution and the country.

He says putting the president on trial has demoralized Americans and “diminishes … the respect for the maxims of government which Americans hold sacred.” He concludes: “What the Republicans are doing is worse than merely violating the Constitution, for the Constitution can be rewritten and a new government formed. But when you destroy in the minds of people the respect for the fundamental principles of civil liberty … then you inflict upon the country an evil of immense magnitude and duration.”

 

1918, 100 years ago

Elks install

William Foley is installed as exalted ruler of Utica Lodge No. 33, B.P.O Elks. T. William Arthur is treasurer.

 

1943, 75 years ago

Future soldiers

With World War II raging, nearly 100 high school students in Ilion are drilling weekly in anticipation of their induction into the army after graduation. Capt. Earl Palmer of Mohawk, who is with the state National Guard, heads the drill program, which is voluntary and held outside regular school hours.

 

1968, 50 years ago

Comets win

More than 300 fans of the Clinton Comets — champions of the Eastern Hockey League — honor the players at a dinner in Trinkaus Manor. Player-coach Pat Kelly says, “This has to be the greatest, most satisfying season ever for me since I was 15 and starting out in hockey.” Red Wittig is honored as “No. 1 Comets Fan.” Among those at the dinner are Ed Stanley, Comets’ business manager, and Borden Smith, leading scorer in Clinton’s four-game sweep of the Charlotte Checkers in the playoff finals for the Walker Cup.

Renna Goldstone of St. Luke’s-Memorial Hospital is elected president of the newly formed Mohawk Valley Chapter of Nurses. Other officers: Betty Barnes of St. Elizabeth, vice president; Ann Brady of Faxton, treasurer; and Helen Nahumck of Faxton, secretary.

Russell V. Stephenson is named president of Mohawk Airlines. He succeeds Robert E. Peach, who now is chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer. Last year, Mohawk carried 2 million passengers and had total assets of $92 million.

 

1993, 25 years ago

Floods

Rising waters at Oneida Lake and Fish Creek force more than 100 families in Sylvan Beach to flee their homes. Flooding continues to plague other communities along the lake.

In high school baseball, Herkimer beats Hamilton 13-0 behind the hitting and pitching of Garrett Blust. He allows only three hits, strikes out 11 and has two hits and three runs batted in. Alan Nasypany has three hits for the winners and Ron Wiernicki and Todd Scalise each have two.

Jill Breckel, an American history teacher at Whitesboro Senior High, is named Observer-Dispatch “All-Star Teacher of the Year.” Runners-up are: Anita Hutton, fifth grade, Adirondack Central; Debbie Smalden, English teacher at Rome Free Academy; Mary Stronach, Spanish teacher at Whitesboro Senior High; and Peg Waterman, fifth grade at Utica’s Martin Luther King School.

 

2008, 10 years ago

Medical staff

Dr. Christopher C. Max is the new president of the medical staff at Faxton-St. Luke’s Heathcare.

Ilion volunteer firefighter John Janicki is honored for 52 years of service with the department. He is presented a proclamation by village Mayor Mark Cushman. Jeff Jones is now president of the department.

 

Trivia quiz

This U.S. president’s wife was born in the Bronx. She attended Smith College. Her father, Marvin Pierce, published two popular magazines. She was a distant cousin of Franklin Pierce, 14th president of the United States from 1853-57. And this first lady also wrote books, including “C. Fred’s Story” and “Millie’s Book.” Name her. (a) Julia Grant, (b) Ida McKinley, (c) Lady Bird Johnson or (d) Barbara Bush. (Answer will appear here next week.)

Answer to last week’s question: Dwight D. Eisenhower was president when the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959. Martin Van Buren was president when Victoria became queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on June 20, 1837. Harry Truman was in office when Elizabeth II became queen of Great Britain in 1952. Woodrow Wilson was president when the United States purchased the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million. Theodore Roosevelt was president when Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful flight of a power-driven, heavier-than-air machine at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.

 

This Week in History is researched and written by Frank Tomaino. Email him at ftomaino@uticaod.com.