From the archives: 1970s headlines

(McDaniel Free Press staff).

Headlines are, of course, the first text our readers see when they pick up a copy of the newspaper. Writers at the Gold Bug, Western Maryland College’s name for its student-run newspaper from 1925-1975, certainly had several attention-grabbing headlines for their readers in the 1970s.

March 8, 1971

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The “truth” about Rouzer Hall — which was, at the time, an all-men’s dorm — is less ominous than this headline makes it seem. This article profiles the “practical joke season” that took place in the residence hall. Most of the pranks students played on each other involved throwing darts: they threw them at doorknobs, bulletin boards, and at the occasional resident (the writer reported no injuries). The reporter attributed the behavior in Rouzer to boredom, as it “causes one to do weird things…and you will find guys [in Rouzer] doing weird things. That is because they are bored.”

Nov. 20, 1973

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This Gold Bug sports writer wasn’t being snide when she titled her article about Western Maryland’s cross-country team — she was quoting the coach. After the team finished its season with a 4-9 record, Coach Mick Mekkelson attributed the losses simply to people not running fast enough, which was “[logical] enough,” according to the writer. While disappointed — “we planned on doing better” — Mekkelson said he was looking forward to the next season.

April 11, 1974

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While this staff writer gave no hints about his mysterious use of the ellipses, he detailed the “extremely good time” that Western Maryland students had at the student-written play, “Oh No, My Igloo Is Melting.” This winter-themed play created by the Class of 1975 included original songs and dance numbers. The play was a success, and according to one of the lead cast members, it brought the class together, which “[hadn’t] been this close since freshmen [sic] year.”

Sept. 26, 1974

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Despite the health-related title, this article is about potential curriculum changes. The writer began with a quote by a Western Maryland professor: “Liberal learning has always been a ‘Moveable Feast.'” That professor, Dr. John, had proposed several new ideas regarding educational reform at the College. These included dropping the freshman English course requirement, making gym classes optional, and introducing an interdisciplinary studies course. By nixing a number of requirements, Dr. John said he did not want to “terrorize students with new freedoms,” but, according to the writer, “to make the Moveable Feast as rich as possible,” as students would have more opportunities to choose courses that interested them.