Appalachian State University Historical Photographs

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For questions about the ASU Historical Photographs, please contact Pam Mitchem.

Phone: 828.262.7422


Appalachian State University Historical Timelines
General Events: 1940-1949


1940: A flood washes out the tracks of the Tweetsie Railroad between Cranberry, NC, and Boone, NC. Company decides not to rebuild and switches the remaining line between Cranberry and Elizabethton, TN, to freight travel. No other railroad is built to reach Boone.

1940: First "Leap Week" held, where girls ask boys for dates and pay all expenses.  Annual event is later known as "S.P." week.

1940: Catherine Morris is elected the first student body president in April.

1940-41: Enrollment reaches 1,212.

1941: Incoming students given tuberculosis tests and smallpox inoculations for $10 each.

1941: United States enters World War II.

1941: In December, American Red Cross asks Watauga County to raise $1,500 for the war effort by Christmas.

1942: Two members of the wrestling team drafted.

1942: Appalachian Professor Cleone Hodges teaches Red Cross sponsored training courses in first aid to Watauga County teachers and citizens as part of the governor’s plan to adjust North Carolina public education to aid defense programs.

1942: Librarian Emma Moore is in charge of Boone drive to collect book donations for the armed forces, part of a nation-wide program to collect a total of ten million books.

1942: Forum Club holds war discussion, primarily consisting of the war situations in the Pacific, Europe, and North Africa, and the speeding up of American war production.

1942: US food costs rise 29%. On January 30, school announces Cafeteria is implementing defense regulations in regard to rationing. Sugar allotments are cut in half (from 850-1,100 lbs a week to 425-550 lbs per week), and if student consumption exceeds this amount, sugar would then only be made available for breakfast. No sugar is to be made available on snowy days due to the tendency of students to make “snow cream,” using sixty percent more sugar than average. In addition, the cost of cafeteria theft, with rising food costs, causes school to threaten students with maximum punishment allowable. In a five day period, the cafeteria calculated that they had lost 300 pint bottles, 600 half-pint bottles, 25 trays, 50 coffee cups, 25 glasses, 4 dozen forks, 3 dozen spoons, 2 dozen knives, and 1 dozen sugar bowls, totaling a loss of $139.90. School threatens to raise food costs to cover the monetary losses.

1942: Students in colleges and universities allowed to join naval reserve and remain on inactive duty until the completion of their current scholastic year.

1942: Sugar rationing regulations announced in Cafeteria: students allowed only one teaspoon of sugar in one cup of coffee, refills have to be unsweetened, and only one teaspoon of sugar is allowed in a bowl of cereal. Sugar was a primary ingredient in explosive shells, approximately 2,600 lbs used in each 16 inch cannon shell, or 125,000 spoonfuls.

1942: The War Time Act on January 20 institutes a year-long daylight savings time to save electricity until September 30, 1945. In February Appalachian students blame the government for their inability to apply makeup in the dark mornings and having to eat breakfast and lunch an hour earlier to accommodate the earlier classes.

1942: Graduate courses leading to a graduate degree first offered during the summer. Graduate degrees were obtained through the University of North Carolina.

1942: On Monday, March 3, a blizzard hits Boone, which sees a total of 18 inches of snowfall with drifts up to ten feet deep, causing classes to be called off Tuesday and businesses to close. School resumes next day. No mail or traffic moves in Boone for the rest of the week.

1942: Home Economics textiles and tailoring classes perform fashion show and skit, "Gossip in the Grandstand," during chapel period in March.

1942: In March students form defense squads for Watauga County, including fire protection, utilities repair, and fire watchers squads.

1942: In September, Appalachian High School Association discontinues competitive basketball tournaments between high schools.

1942: College Library collection reaches 28,892 volumes.

1942: Gasoline rationing starts in July. Non-essential driving limited to 2,880 miles a year. Civilian drivers are issued "A" coupon books allowing the purchase of 32 gallons of gasoline over a two-month period. Rubber tycoon William M. Jeffers calls for a nation-wide 35 mile per hour speed limit.

1942: Future Teachers Club forms in November.

1942: Appalachian State accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

1943: Appalachian applies for pre-naval training unit, which would use available Appalachian State facilities for educating naval reserve students.

1943: In January, students filed five grievances with administration, including displeasure at the ban on dancing and bridge, the lack of a student voice in determining dormitory and campus policies, the library closing too early, the unfairness of Human Behavior grades, and the discriminatory management of the cafeteria. Between 200 to 400 students walked out for one day and the strike was called off that night. Administration allowed the playing of parlor games, prohibited gambling, extended library hours to seven p.m., allowed the student council to determine and define new behavior grades, allowed a new student constitution, and asked that in the future, students use the methods outlined in their own constitution to address grievances.

1943: Flying Fish swim team organizes.

1943: Fall enrollment drops by 200 from previous fall, to 348. There are 38 male students. Seven faculty members are on leave for terms in the armed services.

1943: On Saturday, September 25, a Red Cross War Bond Drive was held on campus.

1943: Homecoming football game replaced with Girls’ Play Day, including a pursuit relay, potato race, All-up Indian Club Relay, tug of war, skin the snake, and the three-legged relay.

1943: 450 enrolled total for year.

1944: Fall enrollment rose above 400, with ten percent of the student population male.

1944: Girls’ Chorus organizes in October.

1945: First Founder’s Day held on May 8.

1945: By September, thirty-two Appalachian State students have been reported killed in the war.

1945: Appalachian State resumes football competition with Francis Hoover as coach.

1945: Lyceum speaker Rabbi Phillip Frankel of Charlotte, NC, gives a speech on "Judaism and the Democratic Processes" in October.

1945: Library Science Club and Business Education Club organize in October. The History Club organizes in November.

1945: Student Council amends constitution to allow vets with no class status to be eligible to run for office. The amendment would be valid for two years.

1945: Cold War begins.

1946-47: Approximately 80% of enrolled freshmen are veterans on G.I. Bill. Because of low salaries, Appalachian State loses four department heads and three faculty members.

1946: Male students outnumber female students for the first time.

1946: Annual Homecoming football game reinstated.

1946: Student Council approves women students to attend the 7 p.m. movie showing, after obtaining permission from parents or guardians. To be eligible, students had to achieve high grades for the first six weeks of the fall semester, and were expected to check back in at their dormitories by 9:20 p.m.

1946: Fire destroys Watauga Academy and Science Hall buildings on November 22. Watauga Academy, the first campus building, was serving as the music building, and the Science Building served as the fine arts building. The fire was reported at 2 a.m. by the college night watchman and was reported to have begun in the second floor of Watauga Academy.

1947: In February, the International Relations Club sponsors a talk on Atomic Destruction by Dr. Reynolds, who focused on false assumptions and false security that could lead to the destruction of the human race.

1947-48: Lambda Zeta chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, national honorary dramatic society, is founded. Members are elected from the Playcrafters organization.

1947: Yosef becomes official mascot.

1948: 1100 students enrolled, including 65 faculty and 23 graduate students.

1948: Cratis Williams crowned Homecoming Queen

1948: College expands its graduate program to offer graduate work leading to a degree from Appalachian State starting in the summer. 271 graduate students enrolled.

1948: Appalachian State’s first master’s degree awarded to Harold C. Quincy, who received a Master of Arts in Education.

1949: Lyceum Series features atomic bomb scientist Dr. Luther Gable. Dr. Gable was one of the first six chemical engineers to commercially refine radium in America and made the first radium-powered illuminated watch dials.

1949: In March, a referendum in Boone abolishes the sale of beer and wine within the city limits.

1949: Watauga County Hospital holds a tonsil clinic. The approximate cost of the operation to remove the tonsils is $12.

1949: The first college infirmary is opened. Mary S. Shook hired as the first full-time nurse; no doctor is on staff.

1949: Summer school contains 586 graduate students (338 in M.A. program, 248 for certification renewal).




Project made possible by North Carolina: Preserving Cultural Heritage Online (NCECHO) through funds from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS).