Monday, January 4, 2016

A Golden Moment of Oratory in Hudson

On this day, January 4, a hundred years ago, Hudson's new high school at 401 State Street was dedicated with much pomp and hoopla. In the end, the building which suffered a major collapse during construction, cost $100,000, but on the day its dedication Mayor William Wortman declared: "The citizens of Hudson can indeed congratulate themselves upon the addition of this new educational building to the school properties of this city and especially so when we consider the many difficulties which had to be surmounted, and which were surmounted, in order to make it an actual fact."

On hand for the dedication was the State Commissioner of Education, Dr. John H. Finley, who was one of the many dignitaries who delivered speeches on that momentous occasion. According to Edward Griffin Parker, who wrote a book on the subject in 1857, the golden age of American oratory was long past in 1916, but the words with which Finley dedicated Hudson's new high school are evidence that elaborate and flowery oratory lived on. It is for its ornate and exalted language that Gossips reproduces Finley's speech, as it appeared the next day in the Hudson Evening Register.


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