Wednesday morning was frosty cold, wrote Herald Editor Phillip Mullen in the Nov. 12, 1942 issue. The flags were out up and down Main. The banks and the City Hall were closed. It was some kind of a holiday.
It was Armistice Day, 1942.
Crowds gathered at the bank corner, but there was no speech making and no parades. Except for the straggling parading of 77 men up and down the stairs of the draft board office, or back and forth, chillingly nervous, across the street and around the big bus.
Yalobusha County’s largest contingent of men was leaving for the physical examinations in the draft of World War II.
The scene was the same that had been enacted once or twice a month. But, there was more drama this time. There were more wives to see husbands off. There were more old men; more men cutting loose from established lives and businesses.
Still, so much different was this Armistice Day in 1942. W. A. Nolen, local historian, let his memory run back to this day in 1918. It was three o’clock in the morning when all the whistles began to blow and the church bells rang. No effort was made to do business that day; everyone was celebrating.
Soon the Yalobusha boys would be home again.
And the world was safe for democracy.
• 5 years ago, Nov. 15, 2007 – Once again city aldermen were unable to vote on a proposed land deal for 2.7 acres behind the Big Yank building because there wasn’t a quorum. For more than a month a combination of absent alderman and meddling from outside the board thwarted a potential deal to sell the property to Carothers Construction Co.
Wayne Redwine was pictured lowering the flag at the Veterans’ Monument downtown to half-staff during the annual Veterans Day observance.
The Blue Devils lost their basketball season opener to Coffeeville, 62-49.
Among the winners in the Salute to America essay contest were Jasmine Polk, Megan May, Noah Smith, Callie Trusty, Montez Hairston, Khadjisha Pomlee, Allyson Avant, Deontavis Jones and Brian Fox.
Ethel Morgan was honored for her work with the American Cancer Society by being selected as Mississippi Advocacy Lifer Saver volunteer of the year.
• 10 years ago, Nov. 14, 2002 – The Blue Devils won a first-round playoff victory over Leland in a game haunted by mistakes. Junior fullback/linebacker Cory Williamson suffered a broken leg during the game.
The late W. C. Allen was honored at the annual Veterans Day observance for his service during three wars. Also honored was the late Joe Lynn Avant, who was killed in Vietnam.
Tiffany Hooks of Water Valley was crowned Northwest Community College Homecoming Queen during halftime ceremonies.
Pictured with band director Stanley Crow preparing for the upcoming Community Band Christmas Concert were the “Sartain sisters” Julie Sartain McCullar of Water Valley, Lynda Sartain Pulley of Hernando and Carol Sartain Shields of Horn Lake.
New members of the Garden Club of Water Valley were Anna Koshenina and Libby Kuchta.
• 20 years ago, Nov. 12, 1992 – The Blue Devils finished their regular season with a 34-6 win over Caledonia.
Margaret Eubanks was inducted into the Mississippi Association of Student Nurses Hall of Fame.
The Corps of Engineers honored Linda Cox with the Commanders Award for Public Service for her efforts to save the life of Heather Walton who was injured in an automobile accident on the Sardis Lower Lake.
Perry Hawkins, an Ole Miss senior, was elected to the Campus Senate, the law-making body of the Associated Student Body.
Valery White was among the 65 members of the Mississippi College Marching Band.
• 30 years ago, Nov. 18, 1982 – The Water Valley Junior High School Devilettes basketball team won second place in the Charleston Invitational Tournament defeating West Tallahatchie, 23-22.
Dr. Joe Walker and Dr. Blair Fraser were going to “take the pledge” to quit smoking (at least for a day) for the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke Out.
Sergeant First Class John D. Watson retired from the Army National Guard after 31 years of service.
• 40 years ago, Nov. 23, 1972 – The Devils and Devilettes lost their opening basketball games to Lafayette.
Ricky Suratt was one of four Northwest Mississippi Junior College football players chosen for the Mississippi Junior College All-Star Game.
WV Elementary School students performing for the District II Music Teacher’s Conference in Senatobia included Michael Newman, Ivy Rucker, Sharon Hill, Maudie Jenkins, Jackie Hill, Miriam Childress, Glenn Bryan, Paul Forsyth, Missy Clements and Benjy Gurner.
• 50 years ago, Nov. 15, 1962 – The Blue Devils had “a most successful season” finishing second place in the Chickasaw Conference. They defeated the Holly Springs Tigers in their final game, 20-14. The Herald writer attributed much of their success to their early training under jr. high coach Bobby Clark.
Fred Vaughn was pictured with the hide of a seven foot “highland moccasin” he found near the Enid backwaters. He captured the snake alive, but killed it at the request of Mrs. Vaughn. He planned to make a belt from the hide.
Jamie Green was a member of the Northwest Mississippi Junior College Basketball Team, who were set to play Northeast’s Tigers in the new Water Valley Gym.
Blue Devil basketball teams were set to open their season in the brand new gym on Markette Street.
• 60 years ago, Nov. 13, 1952 – A shotgun blast was fired into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Horace Upchurch who live near the Anchor Church in Lafayette County. Mrs. Upchurch is a non-striking worker at the Rice-Stix plant here. The home of J. C. Davis was broken into and damaged as well as the home of Roy Barbee.
Nails continue to be found in the driveways of homes of non-striking workers as well as at the homes of others in the community who have spoken out about the strike.
Mrs. Gonnie S. (Mable) Dorris wrote a letter to the Editor explaining why she voted for the union. She described the “domination, unfairness and prejudice that exists at Rice-Stix.”
Mrs. Water Valley Mrs. Rodney Childress was pictured with a bale of cotton and Ross Ingram at the B&B Gin.
The Blue Devils finished their season by defeating Olive Branch, 19-13. The junior high was winless dropping their latest outing to Oxford, 35-20.
Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Wright were notified of the death of their son, 2nd Lt. H. F. Wright, who was killed in action in Korea Oct. 21.
• 70 years ago, Nov. 12, 1942 – All three members of the local draft board resigned saying that the worsening strain of their health was the cause. Leonard Addington, chairman, James Moore of Oakland and Wilton Carmichael of Coffeeville said they will serve until replacements are appointed.
Herald Editor Phillip Mullen gave advice to future members of the board in an editorial: “You’ll have plenty of hard decisions to make. After giving careful consideration to each case, ‘call them fast, walk away tough’ and don’t let unfounded criticism bother you.
Mullen’s quote about calling them fast was from a big-league umpire who said that was the only way to be successful in his highly controversial work.
Mullen added that after the story got out a local wisecracker said that it might become necessary to draft some members for the board.
William Sissell, 17, was named one of the five highest scoring 4-H Club boys in the entire state.