This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of March 6

2020-03-06 TWIR Image-Oleomargarine

March 3, 1870 150 Years Ago
Rockland County Messenger

MARK OF ILL BREEDING  There is no better test of ill-breeding than the practice of interacting another in conversation, by speaking or commencing a remark before another has fully closed, no well-bred person ever does it, or continues conversation long with one who does. The latter finds an interesting a conversation abruptly waived, closed or declined by the former, without suspecting the cause. A well-bred person will not even interrupt one who is in respects greatly inferior. It is amusing to see persons priding themselves on the gentility of manners and putting forth all their efforts to appear to advantage in many other respects, so readily betray all in this respect.

BEHAVIOR IN CHURCH  We may classify the petty incivilities of church life thus:
     1. Smells. — Violent perfumes, especially those containing musk, are disagreeable to most persons, and to some positively distressing. There is no smell so universally pleasing as no smell. Never scent yourself when going into a crowded assembly. The same is true of the residuary smell of tobacco which hangs about the garments and afflicts the breath of those who habitually smoke. But tobacco almost invariably makes men self-indulgent and regardless of other’s convenience. More brutal yet are they who go to church reeking like a Dutchman’s soup, with the smell of onions. They are scores of people who have lost all profit of a Sunday service by the sickening smells which surrounded them.
     2. Sounds. — Whispering in church during the service is an affront to politeness. Much of the coughing which goes on in churches arises from the poisonous gases and personal effluvia which exist in unventilated churches. But the power of the will over the muscles which do the coughing is very great. A heedless person will cough twice as much as needful—will cough at the worst time possible, will cough plumb upon the necks of those before him, instead of embalming the sound in his handkerchief as, with a little skill and politeness, he might easily do. We would not forbid men who cannot sing to “make a joyful noise”—but it should be a softly noise. In all cases—when it is a man’s duty to sleep in church, it is his duty also to snore with the soft pedal down.
     [3.] Sight. — Everyone likes to see the minister. It cannot be done through your body. True, you cannot help being before somebody, unless you are on the back seat. But, with a little thought, you may very much help those behind you. Any conduct which shall divert the attention of others from the service, such as ostentatious playing with a watch, or opening and shutting it, reading books or papers, looking about inquisitively, is impolite. Many churches have the Ten Commandments set up upon the wall, in sight of the whole congregation, although not one of the sins reprobated is likely to be committed in church time. Would it not be well to have another tablet, enumerating the sins which men are prone to commit in church time?

March 4, 1920 100 YEARS AGO
The Nyack Evening Journal

HOUSEWIVES MUST COLOR THEIR OLEOMARGARINE  Housewives who purchase oleomargarine have to do their own coloring of it.  It is against the law for manufacturers to use coloring matter, so with each block of “oleo” goes a pellet of coloring matter for the housewife, with much trouble and effort to mix through the product.
     Dairy interests have done everything in their power to strangle the oleomargarine industry and at their behest, unjust and discriminating regulations have been adopted by Congress and legislature.  Apparently, it is nothing to the dairymen that millions of families in this country are unable to purchase butter and must perforce use oleomargarine.  If the dairymen had their way, everyone who could not buy butter would have to go without any substance for spreading on their bread.
     As oleomargarine is proving a wholesome and satisfactory substitute for butter and its use cannot be barred, various petty restrictions, ostensibly to prevent fraud but really to discourage business, are imposed in its manufacture and sale and, so far as public eating places are concerned, its use.

March 7, 1970 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

CLARKSTOWN SECRETARIES SEEK RECOGNITION  When Clarkstown's school office workers, all women and most of them married, get together these days, it isn't merely for a cup of tea and chatter. Words like the Taylor Law, bargaining table, wage scales and the like ring around the gavel of Mrs. Annette Raetz of Congers, President of the Clarkstown Educational Secretaries Association.
     While Mrs. Raetz, secretary to the principal of Lakewood Elementary School in Congers, may joke about her spot with remarks like: "I resent being called the James Hoffa of the Clarkstown secretaries," she's dead serious about the some 95 school office workers' need for representation when wages and working conditions come up at budget time.
     Have conditions improved for the women since they organized in June 1968? "They may not be ideal," says Mrs. Raetz, "but they're certainly much better than they've ever been before." She said the Taylor Act, a State law giving public employees the right to bargain, gave the group official recognition.
     "It seemed to us that if it wasn't unladylike or unprofessional for teachers to bargain, it was all right for us to make demands, too," she said. "Our primary reason for organizing was to be recognized at the bargaining table. Not only for better wages but, also, to be sure everyone was treated equally and that grievances were given fair consideration."
     Mrs. Raetz also noted that the Clarkstown contract has a clause saying that the administration must give Association members two weeks' notice of transfer and, if requested, they must also give the employee verbal or written reasons for the transfer.
     Now that the Association is on its feet, members are widening horizons socially and seriously. For fun, there's a Christmas party and a June end of-the-year party. On the serious side? "We decided to establish a scholarship for business students at Clarkstown High," said Mrs. Raetz. In order to get the fund on its feet, the Association is holding a "Summer Fantasy" fashion show, April 14 at the Little Tor School in New City, with all proceeds going to the fund.
     "Any clerical employee of Clarkstown Central School District Number 1 is eligible for membership in the Clarkstown Educational Secretaries Association," said Mrs. Raetz. That includes clerks, typists, library aides, teacher aides, as well as the top-notch niches embracing secretaries to principals, to superintendents and to the supervisor. Dues are $5 a year.

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. To learn about the HSRC's mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


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