2017-10-26 / Island History


The schools no longer will celebrate Halloween unless it is taught within the context of the curriculum, The Jamestown Press reported Oct. 30, 1997.

Frances Gallo, superintendent of schools, said the mission of the district isn’t to celebrate holidays, but to teach them. For example, she said, the Spanish teacher will discuss the Day of the Dead because the Mexican holiday is part of the subject’s lesson plan.

Gallo sent a memo home to parents saying there would be no costume party “out of consideration for all beliefs and religions.” Also, when the winter arrives, the schools will not be decorated with Christmas trees, Advent wreaths or menorahs, she said.

100 years ago — Oct. 25, 1917 (Newport Daily News)

Central Baptist Church set Nov. 4 as donation day for its parsonage fund.

A letter was sent to every home in the parish, presenting the need and urging all to do their part toward aiding the project. It included a list of materials needed to build the home and the labor required with corresponding costs. They were:

100 feet of sheathing: $4.50

Barrel of lime: $2.45

Length of sewer pipe: $0.35

A day of carpenter’s work: $4/ man or $6 for a team.

75 years ago — Oct. 30, 1942 (Newport Mercury)

Pvt. Edward J. Lyons, a Jamestown soldier deployed with the U.S. Army in England, witnessed a mobile canteen serving sandwiches and coffee in a British town. That vehicle, along with a nearby ambulance, was donated by Newport residents to its European allies. Lyons was dispatched to England after he completed training at Camp Lee in Virginia.

50 years ago — Nov. 1, 1967 (Newport Daily News)

Lt. Truxton Umsted, 30, died of a heart attack in Hilton Head, S.C., where he was stationed with the U.S. Navy.

Umsted, a member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church and the Conanicut Yacht Club, graduated from the Thomas H. Clarke School before enrolling at the U.S. Naval Academy. He had just returned from a six-month cruise in the Mediterranean as operations officer aboard the USS MacDonough. His duties included antisubmarine warfare.

25 years ago — Oct. 29, 1991 (The Jamestown Press)

To the delight of unsuspecting sightseers, a bald eagle made a visit to the East Ferry docks to survey the harbor from atop pilings.

According to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the bird is an endangered species that roams southward in winter to feed on fish and ducks along the coast. There are roughly a dozen sightings annually in the Ocean State, although spotting the spectacular bird can be problematic because it’s unpredictable.

“They show up in the most unusual places,” biologist Chris Raithel said.

10 years ago — Nov. 1, 2007 (The Jamestown Press)

A painting by John Austin Sands Monks that hangs in the town hall council chambers was rededicated more than three decades after it was donated.

The painting is a bucolic depiction of grazing sheep that was given to the town by the Hutchinson family in the 1970s, more than a half century after the artist’s death in 1917. Monks was a summer resident with a studio in the north end.

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