Blasts from the past: May 4

Compiled by Benjamin Pontz, News Editor

This week in 1912, a letter to the editor ran in The Gettysburgian expressing vehement opposition to a proposed merger between it and Mercury, another student publication on campus. The writer, a graduate from the class of 1906, argued that the art and literary submissions to Mercury should be separate from the news function of The Gettysburgian. Ultimately, that view held out, and both publications exist to this day.

This week in 1957, the faculty of Gettysburg College ratified a student proposal to institute an honor commission despite some objections that “the system is not broad enough.” Nevertheless, a committee was established to review student petitions to serve on what would be the inaugural Honor Commission.

This week in 1978, prominent consumer advocate and eventual presidential candidate Ralph Nader spoke at Gettysburg College. He asserted that, in addition to the government, corporations hold immense power over individuals in America, and he blamed such corporations for deteriorating environmental conditions across the country, urging students to take action to fight these trends.

This week in 1986, The Gettysburgian led with a story that profiled student and faculty reactions to news that the United States had conducted in air raid in Tripoli, Libya, against President Muammar Gadhafi in response to acts of terrorism allegedly perpetrated by the regime. Many professors noted how complicated fighting terrorism can be and the possibility of civilian casualties happening in raids designed to kill terrorists.

This week in 2010, the college announced that it had completed implementation of its plan to reduce the teaching course load for tenured and tenure-track faculty from six courses per year to five, which James White, Acting Provost, said would allow for greater opportunities for faculty to collaborate with students on research and creative projects and engage in additional scholarly activity. The plan was accomplished through the hiring of additional faculty members rather than a reduction in course offerings to avoid increasing class sizes.

These archived “blasts from the past” were compiled by news editor Benjamin Pontz thanks to the digitized Special Collections in Musselman Library. 

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Author: Benjamin Pontz

Benjamin Pontz '20 serves as managing news editor of The Gettysburgian, a position he has held since the middle of his first year. In four semesters, he has written more than 100 articles on topics ranging from student activism on campus to sports. Ben previously served as the event coverage and social media coordinator and led the paper's inaugural efforts using Facebook Live and live tweeting events on campus. Aside from The Gettysburgian, he is a peer research mentor in Musselman Library, a research assistant in the political science department, and drum major of the Bullets Marching Band. He is a political science and public policy double major with a minor in music, and he reads up to seven newspapers daily. Follow him on Twitter @benpontz.

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