title

Archive 1940-49

 

< Back to Historical Archives main page

 

Summary of 1940 through 1949

 

Oratory, but no debate

It is no surprise that forensics was placed on hiatus during the Second World War, but that Western did not compete in debate at all this decade is perplexing. It may be reasonable that the poor showing in 1937 and 1938 had made the school shy of spending good money after bad, but a decade is still a very long absence. Competition in oratory, however–still coached by J. Reid Sterrett–continued from its 1934 origins. It is worth noting that, unlike before, oratorical contestants in the 1940s routinely competed multiple years in a row.

Interestingly, although the student body decreased dramatically from 1930, the representation of women at Western increased to more than three-quarters of the student body. Despite this, the decade shows no indication of Western women competing in either debate or oratory.

 

 

Annual Subsections: 1940 – 1949

 

1939-40

Forensics

Paul Rutledge, 1939-40 Kentucky state oratorical winner Paul Rutledge, left, placed second at the Kentucky Intercollegiate Oratorical Association contest at Centre College.1 Frank A. Bechtel won the 11th annual Kentucky Intercollegiate Peace Oratorical contest on 29 November 1939, in Berea.2 Although the tournament functioned much like the KIOA state tournament, the two are not to be confused. It was instead part of a different national program, which allowed state oratorical winners an additional national contest in speech writing. Bechtel also later won the Robinson Declamation Contest, noted below.

[Link to 1940 Results Archive]

 

Campus oratory

Ogden: Lester Helm Spalding; Robinson: Frank A. Bechtel

Shortly before Christmas of 1940, Superintendent of Schools James R. Newman wrote a letter to the editor of the College Heights Herald claiming the benefits of having been a member of the Congress Debating Club. He is listed in these archives as having debated for the Teacher’s College his senior year, in 1926. Note that the congressional Representative mentioned was Mr. Beverly Mills Vincent, who had that year struck Ohio Rep. Sweeney on the House floor. Vincent had been Western Kentucky Teachers College two-year graduate from 1913. That letter can be found at the WKU Digital Archives at the following URL: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/stu_alum_papers/92/

 

1940 Congress Debating Club

Congress Debating Club

Sponsor: Dr. James P. Cornette
Howard Adkins, Frank A. Bechtel, John Ed Brown, Thomas Butler, Glenn Carwell, Robert Cochran, Ed Cooley, Malcolm Crawford, James Denny, Russ Ernst, Robert Forbes, Belmont Forsythe, W.C. Frogale, Richard Gower, T.T. Johnstone, Adrian Jones, Douglas Keach, Vernon Lee, Homer Losey, Field McChesney, William McCulloch, David Matthews, Drayton Meredith, Edgar Mills, James Pace, Robert Pay, Barney Peveler, Gayle Pettit, Ray Preston, Bob Quinn, D.N. Robertson, John Searcy, T.C. Spaulding, Sam Steger, Joe Swift, Elbert Taggert, William Wilder, David White

 

 

1940-41

Forensics

Paul Rutledge won the 12th annual Kentucky Intercollegiate Peace Oratorical contest on 27 November, in Berea.3 He also represented Western at the Kentucky Intercollegiate Oratorical Association contest at Transylvania University, but no record has been found of his placement. There is also no indication of having advanced to the inter-state contest.

[Link to 1941 Results Archive]

 

Campus oratory

Ogden: William Russell, Jr; Robinson: Ervin I. Baer

 

1941 Congress Debating Club

Congress Debating Club

Sponsor: Dr. James P. Cornette
Curtis Brooks, Glenn Carwell, Ludy Cherwak, Joe Covington, Paul Cox, Rodger Earls, Clayton Gooden, Carl Granzow, Henry Griffin, Carlos Johnson, James Johnstone, Raymond Kittinger, David Matthews, William Orr, James Patton, D. Carl Perguson, Bob Quinn, John Searcy, Lester Spalding, Sam Steger, James Stickles, Bill Stucky, Vernon Twyford, Marion Vance, Raymond Vincent, Donald Washburn, Warren Watwood, Chester White

 

 

1941-42

Forensics

Kenneth Murphy represented Western at the Kentucky Intercollegiate Oratorical Association contest, but records of his results remain elusive.4 That later articles detailing the Ogden and Robinson contests did not recall Western’s activity at the state tournament–previously a common approach–suggests to this author that Mr. Murphy did not advance to the final round.

 

Campus oratory

Ogden: Nolan M. Fallahay; Robinson: Tom Calvin Venable

 

Congress Debating Club

1942 Congress Debating Club
Sponsor: Dr. James P. Cornette
Chappell Aldridge, Fred Baker, William J. Corman, Glenn Carwell, John Espy, Arthur Fox, Ray H. Garrison, Martel Hale, Lindsey Horn, Raymond Kittinger, George T. Lilly, Donald Poole Newsom, Takeichi “James” Oshiro, James T. Pace, Clemons Rich, John W. Searcy, Sam Steger, James Stickles, William F. Stucky, Damon Wedding, Oscar Willey

During the 1941-42 school year, new CDC member Takeichi “James” Oshiro faced racial discrimination, and even a possible threat on his life. Thankfully, university President Paul L. Garrett offered James both a job and a residence in the president’s own home. He graduated in 1943.

 

 

1942-43

Forensics

An elimination tournament to decide Western’s representative for the 6 March state oratorical contest may have been scuppered. There were no follow-up articles for results, nor for the state tournament.

 

Congress Debating Club

1943 Congress Debating Club
Sponsor: Dr. James P. Cornette
Chappell Aldridge, William J. Corman, John Espy, Arthur Fox, Martel Hale, Lindsey Horn, Raymond Kittinger, George T. Lilly, John J. Lindsey, Don P. Newmsom, William Orr, Wallace Rose, James Stickles, William Stucky, Damon Wedding, Oscar Willey

On 4 February 1943, immediately after the above photo was taken, Congress Debating Club voted to dissolve due to low membership.5 The CDC would not to return until 1948. The university’s theatrical troupe, known as the Western Players, was also cancelled for the same period.

Campus oratory

1943 Ogden and Robinson Oratorical Competition winners: George Riggs and Charles Loudermilk, Jr.
Ogden: George Riggs; Robinson: Charles Loudermilk, Jr.

 

 

1943-44

Campus oratory

Ogden: Harold D. Vaughn; Robinson: Robert Dixon Fox

 

War!

The student body had shrunk dramatically in the previous two years, and several campus groups dissolved. The campus became part training center for the armed forces, and all eyes looked across the seas. The opening spread of the 1944 WKU Talisman perhaps makes clear the more immediate concern.

1944 WKU Talisman opening spread: bombers in flight

 

 

1944-45

Campus oratory?

The lack of records for Ogden and Robinson oratorical competitions in 1945 suggests that the contests were not held.

 

 

1945-46

Forensics

Western hosted a two-man elimination contest to select a representative for the men’s division KIOA oratorical state tournament, but the lack of a follow-up article may indicate that Western opted not to go.6 Note that Western’s student body was roughly 75% women.

Campus oratory

1946 Robinson Oratorical Competition winner: Robert Proctor
Robinson: Robert Proctor

 

 

1946-47

Congress Debating Club

On 31 April 1947, the two standing CDC members, Chappel Aldrich and Jack Corman, voted in twenty new members: Ralph Allen, Glen Babb, Philip Ball, Frank Bartlett, Pete Bennett, Hugh Daugherty, Kenneth Goff, J.R. Head, C.H. Johnson, Bill Lewis, C.P. McClain, William O’Conner, Aron F. Overfelt, Harold Ricketts, Steve Roemer, Richard Shelly, Thomas P. Spain, John R. Stillwell, Drover C. Trail, John Wyatt

Campus oratory

1947 Ogden and Robinson Oratorical Competition winners: Charles Loudermilk Jr. and Nick Diachenko
Ogden: Charles Loudermilk Jr.; Robinson: Nick Diachenko

 

 

1947-48

Congress Debating Club

1948 Congress Debating Club
Kenneth H. Goff (pres), Johnson S. Townley (vp), Robert G. Hill (sec), James N. Rose (sgt-at-arms)
Ralph M. Allen, Frank Cole, Kermit W. Cook, Hugh L. Dougherty, Bill Dolan, James P. Fulton, Jr., Robert Hill, Warren Howard, Charles H. Johnson, Patrick F. McNeil, Aaron F. Overfelt, Herbert H. Palmer, Newton M. Ray, C. Steve Roemer, Jr., James Ross, Robert Simmons, Troy E. Spear, John Stillwell, Leonard Townley, Grover C. Trail, Edgar Vance, and William O. Wilson

Campus oratory

1948 Ogden and Robinson Oratorical Competition winners: Ogden: Nick Diachenko; Robinson: Billy Workman
Ogden: Nick Diachenko; Robinson: Billy Workman

 

Archival Documents

The following URL provides a PDF of a 1947-48 scrapbook which includes content for the above oratorical contests (e.g.: page 77): http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/stu_org/82. This is an sample of a larger collection of scrapbooks more thoroughly addressed in the 1950-59 archive page.

 

 

1948-49

Congress Debating Club

1949 Congress Debating Club
Sponsor: N.H. Barbre
Lee Troutman, George B. Simpson, Aaron F. Overfelt, Alva Ray Thomas, Evan M. Shelby, Larry A. Dewese, Robert D. Simmons, Hugh A. Noffsinger, James G. Nichols, Ralph M. Allen, Norman K. Cohen, Herbert H. Palmer

Campus oratory

1949 Ogden and Robinson Oratorical Competition winners: Ogden: Ben Sanders; Robinson: Douglas Hensgen
Ogden: Ben Sanders; Robinson: Douglas Hensgen

 

Archival Documents

The following URL provides a PDF of a 1948-49 scrapbook which includes content for the above oratorical contests (e.g.: page 82): http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/stu_org/87. This is an sample of a larger collection of scrapbooks more thoroughly addressed in the 1950-59 archive page.

 

 


 

 

 

1. WKU Student Affairs, “UA12/2/1 College Heights Herald, Vol. XVI, No. 10” (1940). WKU Archives Records. Paper 3824. http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3824

2. WKU Student Affairs, “UA12/2/1 College Heights Herald, Vol. XVI, No. 5” (1939). WKU Archives Records. Paper 3821. http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3821

3. WKU Student Affairs, “UA12/2/1 College Heights Herald, Vol. 17, No. 5” (1940). WKU Archives Records. Paper 3833. http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3833

4. WKU Student Affairs, “UA12/2/1 College Heights Herald, Vol. 18, No. 16” (1942). WKU Archives Records. Paper 4432. http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/4432

5. “Congress Debating Club History is Reviewed.” College Heights Herald, Vol. 20, No. 2-Z242. Western Kentucky State Teacher’s College. 22 October 1943.

6. “Preliminary Orations Held for State Contest.” College Heights Herald, Vol. 22, No. 13-Z242. Western Kentucky State Teacher’s College. 26 April 1946.

< Back to Historical Archives main page