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Looking back at thoughts from the 1935 New Year’s editorial

December 26, 2013
Lake Placid News

(Editor's note: As we look forward to a new year, we wondered what was on the minds of past Lake Placid News editors as they faced a new year that included an Olympic Winter Games. In 2014, we'll see local athletes compete in Sochi, Russia. This region also sent Olympic athletes to Germany in 1936. The editor did not mention this in his editorial published on Dec. 27, 1935, yet there were some other interesting items on his mind. Here is most of it.)

Festivals in celebration of the beginning of a new year have been traced back as far as 3,000 B.C. to ancient Babylon. They may have been held long before that. Throughout the ages various people have observed various days as New Year's Day.

In view of the many calendars which have been employed to mark the passage of time, much confusion has resulted. Different peoples have counted the years from some real or imaginary event, and the length of the year itself has varied according to the calendar used.

The Mohammedan year, for example, is governed by the moon, instead of the sun, and consists of 12 lunar months, or only 354 clays. The Hebrew calendar also consists of 354 days ordinarily, but an extra month is inserted once in 19 years, making 384 days in those embolismic years, as they are called.

The ancient Egyptian year had 12 months of 30 days each, but five supplementary days were added at the end, making 365 days. Similar peculiarities marked the year of various peoples. At one time or another every day in the year has been considered New Year's Day according to some calendar or other.

Our present calendar is a modification of that established by Julius Caesar in the year 46 B.C. Augustus made some rearrangement of the number of days in the various months, so that August, named for him, might have as many days as July, named for Julius, for originally August had only 30 days. The calendar we now use was established by Pope Gregory in 1582.

So, when we observe New Year's Day we may understand that it does not mean anything in particular, except that it is the first day of a year arbitrarily established as a convenient means of reckoning the flight of time.

Regardless of the origin of the annual date of festivity or its meaning, the fellowship shown at New Year's and the friendship expressed in the spontaneous greetings really make the day. And may the heartiest of these go forth to our readers and linger throughout the coming year.

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Every week the list of those who have agreed to cooperate in clearing up local radio interference by placing filters on the devices now causing trouble and published currently in the NEWS grows longer. It is splendid of community spirit by the people of our village.

Yet it but signifies that the work to eradicate this unpopular condition has just begun. A thorough check of the village will be made with the Tobe Deutchmann noise-detector purchased last spring by the village board, and this will take several weeks; the individuals or businesses who are (in the most part, unconscious) violators will have to be interviewed, the nature of the experiment explained, and their signatures obtained as consent to cooperate; the filters purchased; and agreement reached with the village board to install the filters as its part of the crusade.

That this is a practical method of combating radio interference has been demonstrated by a set of filters (which vary in construction and price according to their size) purchased by a member of the village electrical department and tried on noise-making devises in Lake Placid.

It is sincerely hoped by those who visualize a village, for their own benefit as well as for our great influx of guests, free of nervewracking noises that now disturb the ether waves, that all of the above objective will meet with success quickly and without undue opposition on the part of various individuals who might be inclined to view the procedure purely from the selfish angle.

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The hole made by a truck falling through the ice near the Mirror Lake Rink might better, for the safety of little children, be roped off instead of just posted with barrels, the significance of which will be recognized by adults but not by the little tots.

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Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy a lot of fun.



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