100 years ago: Professor urges rural families to let children have more free time

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for March 3, 1914:

  • "Prof. W. A. McKeever in an address before Grant Township folks in the White School House last night urged the country folks to pay more attention to the social side of their life, to pay more attention to the matter of recreation for the young folks of the community. Prof. McKeever was enthusiastically received by the folks of this community and much interest was taken in the discussion.... 'We are approaching the time when we will no longer say "It is my child and I'll do as I please with it." The child belongs to the community. The community is responsible for the success or failure of every child.... Parents have no right to sacrifice the interest of the child for their own material gain. No right to keep the child from school to work in order that the parent may accumulate land and stock.... A boy will do more work in five and one-half days than he will in six if he knows that he may have one-half day each week to use as his own. Boys hunger for associates. It is good for the boy to have time to play baseball. He should work, but the continual grind of plowing corn six days in the week is not good.'"
  • "Believing in the old saying, 'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again,' the south siders presented a petition before the board of education in their meeting last night for a new school building somewhere south of Seventeenth street. This is the second time the people of the south side have tried for a school building. The first time the bonds for that purpose were voted down. The board thought it advisable to have a school in that end of town so they instructed the committee on buildings and grounds to investigate the proposition and find out the cost of a suitable lot and a six room building. The objection was brought up that another petition from the Lincoln school was ahead of this one but it was thought advisable to investigate both propositions.... Along with the many things wanted [from the school board] came a request from the girls for a basketball coach. The board voted to hire Miss Crawford to act in that capacity for the remainder of the year. Mr. Smith said that there were over one hundred and twenty-five girls in school who wished to play basketball."
  • "Stringent legislation to stop the use of tobacco by minors in the city of Lawrence was enacted by the city fathers last night.... The city dads decided that it was proper time that Lawrence have an ordinance in conformity with the laws of the State of Kansas. That portion of the state law regarding the sale of cigarettes has been more or less enforced in Lawrence for some time but the new ordinance affects the smokers and will no doubt result in a police crusade against the use of tobacco by minors."
  • "John Roller, 435 Illinois Street, appeared before the council last night asking that an ordinance prohibiting roller skating on the sidewalks be passed by the council. Mr. Roller said that this form of amusement in his neighborhood was becoming a nuisance and required police regulation. The council took no action on the case."


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