This week in Island history
The news of 10 and 15 years ago is from the
Jamestown Press. The news of 100 years ago came from the collection of the Newport Historical Society.
By John A. Murphy
As an institution, the United States Supreme Court has a profound impact upon our country and its citizens. Its nine justices, appointed for life, but with no power to tax, to legislate, and limited power to enforce their decisions, must rely upon their persuasive powers, and the consent of the governed, to carry out their critically important mission.
. . .
One little understood tool used to accomplish that task is the writing of dissenting opinions. A knowledgeable author has recently opined that dissents from the majority (ruling) opinion serve three important purposes: first, they play a role in the dialogue that the justices have among themselves. Second, a dissent can play a critical role in the ongoing dialogue the Court has with the executive and legislative branches of the national government. Third, a dissent are an important part of the dialogue the Court has with all of us, that is, the citizenry of this nation.
. . .
Dissents have, in a number of important instances, become precursors of majority opinions rendered years after the dissent. In these cases, the lonely dissenter, initially viewed as a voice crying out all alone, later becomes seen as prescient, a true visionary of what our constitutionally protected freedoms can do for each and every citizen.
. . .
Homework assignment: name a biographical fact that the first Portuguese American justice, the first African American justice, the first Italian American justice, and the first Hispanic American justice, have in common.
100 years ago
From the Newport Journal, June 16, 1911
Mr. George B. Wakes has the record for the big tautog of the season thus far, having taken one weighing 10 pounds at Ferry wharf recently.
The fleet of small boats off the shore is being increased daily. Already there are quite a number in commission and more are being put in readiness to launch.
75 years ago
From the Newport Daily News, June 16, 1936
A gala day was held at the Beaver Tail Country Club Sunday, when a buffet luncheon was tendered by Audley Clarke to the men who have been working at the club for the past few weeks getting it in readiness for the opening day, June 26.
From the Newport Daily News, June 19, 1936
The flag was raised on the Conanicut Yacht Club Thursday morning, although the official opening and the first races of the season will be held July 4. U.S. Gooby, in charge of the club, reported W.W. Watson’s Cape Cod knockabout, “Teen,” and Slingluff’s Marconi “Panther,” moored off the club’s pier. Miss Marguerite Levey’s yacht, “Wild Duck,” is expected to arrive today.
50 years ago
From the Newport Daily News, June 13, 1961
The Jamestown police department is preparing for the heavy traffic expected during the June 30-July 3 Music at Newport Festival weekend. Arthur Meyers, chief of the ferry division, asked the [town] council to giver special police status to the [ferry] pursers. He felt that they ”run into situ- ations when a badge is necessary.” From the Newport Daily News,
June 14, 1961
Joseph W. Walsh, Jamestown school committee chairman, proposed changes in the curriculum and in school policies last night at the School Committee meeting.
1. Science should be taught by a science teacher in all grades, beginning with the first grade.
2. We are considering the possibility of children changing rooms for some subjects studied.
3. We are going to study the possibility of Group teaching such as first aid, health and safety, R.I. history, and music and use the allpurpose room for these classes.
4. We are going to make a study of homework policy.
5. We wish to see more done in all grades to emphasize creative thinking, writing, and speaking.
6. We intend to investigate the marking system this summer to evaluate it in terms of what areas it does not cover and what might be done to improve it.
25 years ago From the Newport Daily News,
June 11, 1986
More than $100,000 in repairs are needed on the piers and under the deck of the Jamestown Bridge before the new span is completed. The bridge will remain open through out the project, but some of the time traffic will have to be restricted to a single lane. From the Newport Daily News,
June 12, 1986
Save the Bay’s directors want some of the Jamestown Bridge saved as a fishing pier and for “passive” public recreational use. From the Newport Daily News,
June 16, 1986
The R.I. Parks Association will celebrate the Tall Ships “Parade of Sail” with two days of special events at Beavertail and Fort Wetherill State Parks, June 30 and July 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds from the celebration will benefit the renovation of the assistant keeper’s house at Beavertail Light.
15 years ago
From the Jamestown Press,
June 13, 1986
For the first time in many years, Jamestown may have its own Fourth of July fireworks, but they would be a little early – on July 2. The Town Council Monday voted to grant Community Chorus leader B.J. Whitehouse and Community Band drummer Fred Brome use of the town beach at Mackerel Cove as the staging area for a public fireworks display.
Plans were unveiled this week for a new Veterans’ Memorial at East Ferry. The 10 wars or confl icts in which Jamestowners have served are represented on new granite markers inscribed individually the set flush within the brick.
10 years ago
From the Jamestown Press,
June 14, 2001
Last Friday, Gov. Lincoln Almond’s office released a report to the state General Assembly requesting that the legislature appropriate $2.5 million in the year’s budget to begin a lengthy permitting process to determine the economic and environmental feasibility of putting a container port at Quonset Point.
The island’s windmill will be the centerpiece of an event that is guaranteed to draw crowds of all ages to celebrate its re-opening this Saturday in a day being called “1895 on Windmill Hill.”