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Clippings raced a barge crew from the frigate HMS Hussar for the princely sum of $1,000. That was a ton of money in those days ~ and thousands more dollars were wagered privately on the event. (I am pleased to report that the Americans won.) So we were hardly first. Still, it is nice to know that the Eastern Shore was into competitive high-class collegiate-style rowing from the earliest days ~ even before Harvard and Yale. NEW TALBOT SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT OF P.E. The recent (and somewhat acrimonious) campaigns for seats on the Talbot County Council, stoked by controversy over funding for the schools, among other things, makes this tidbit from 1898 seem almost modern. It seems that the Talbot Board of School Commissioners cooked up the preposterous idea that an organized program of physical education ought to be part of the school curriculum. To oversee this new element of “manual training and physical culture,” the board proposed creating a new supervisory position at $600 per year. In this Baltimore Sun commentary, the reporter is skeptical of the need for this new position. He points out that the cost of supervision is rising faster than teacher salaries. Moreover, the supervisor

of manual education (the “shop” prog ra m s i n woodwork i ng a nd metal-working) gets only $200 per year. Here’s the article: T he f i n a l p a r a g r aph c au g ht my eye. Apparently, Rev. Wesley Chaires, the pastor of Tilghman Met hodist Church (1897-1900), objected to physical education and rallied like-minded persons to attend meetings of the School Commissioners to oppose the plan. One can only imagine why he opposed P.E. Was it on academic grounds, that school time and money shouldn’t be wasted on it? Or was it, as I suppose, on moral grounds? Would physical education classes bring the sexes into too-close contact? Did he object to girls being encouraged to exercise or play sports? Perhaps he objec ted to t hem

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Profile for Tidewater Times

Tidewater Times  

January 2019

Tidewater Times  

January 2019