Ohio History Journal

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Annual Report for 1958

Annual Report for 1958




FOR A DOZEN YEARS OR MORE the annual report of this Society has

regularly recorded significant advancements in our operations.* Since

World War II we have acquired nine properties, including Adena,

Glendower, Fort Meigs, and the W. P. Snyder, Jr.; visitation to the

State Memorials has increased by over 1,000,000; collections have

expanded; and the educational, research, publication, exhibit, library,

and other services have recorded growing programs.

The year 1958, for which I now make an accounting, however, has

been somewhat of a period of frustration for us. While our efforts to

preserve the records and artifacts of the state's history and to make

them available to the people have not diminished, the accomplishments

unquestionably have declined relatively. I am reminded here of an

anecdote of the Civil War, the centennial of which we are soon to mark

in this state and nationally. In the last days of the conflict, as the

Confederate forces were falling back on Richmond, a lady of the city

asked her servant if he had picked up any news of the fighting. "Yes,

ma'am," he replied tactfully, "As I understand it, those Yankees are

retreating forward, while our forces are advancing backward." This year,

to be frank, we must admit to some "advancing backward."

In this movement we have not marched alone. We have been accom-

panied by the other departments of state government, which felt the

depressing shock of declining revenues, and by many businesses and

other organizations and persons who suffered from the effects of the

economic recession. In a sense we have been like the Baptist Church

in a small community back in the 1930's. The announcement of one of

its regular functions ran: "The annual First Baptist Church Strawberry

Festival will be held next Saturday. On account of the depression,

prunes will be served." We had to serve some prunes instead of straw-

berries last year, but we did our best to provide choice ones.

The facts of the matter are these: Our appropriations for the bien-

nium 1957-59 were reduced by executive action more than ten percent.


* The annual report was read by Erwin C. Zepp, director, at the Society's

annual meeting on April 17, 1959.