LC in History: The Great War

Dr. Clifton W. Potter Jr., LC History Professor~

During spring break I received several pieces of mail dealing with the commemoration of the centennial of the end of World War I, which will take place on November 11, 2018. Even one of my favorite television programs, “Timeless,” marked its return to primetime with an episode dealing with the Great War.  All this brought to mind one of my fondest memories of my years at Lynchburg College. In the spring of 1966, Robert Hailey directed R.C. Sheriff’s award-winning drama Journey’s End. First produced in London in 1928, the play is set in a British army dugout near Saint-Quentin, Aisne, France in late March 1918.  Hailey was finishing his doctorate, and this production was one of the final projects required for the completion of his degree at Case-Western Reserve University. Read More

LC in History: Celebrating Black History

Dr. Clifton W. Potter, LC History Professor~

In 1921, Irving Berlin, one of America’s most popular composers, had a string of hits including “Say It With Music,” and that is exactly what the Lynchburg College Wind Symphony and Orchestra with the Community Big Band did last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. It was the latest installment in the annual series, “A Night at the Movies.”  It is one of the few bright spots in the gloomy winter days that form the first half of the second semester, and “To Tame the Perilous Skies: Aviation in Film” did not disappoint. Sydnor Performance Hall was decorated with posters and memorabilia from World Wars I and II, and a number of the participants were in uniform. As the program progressed from one of my favorite pieces of cinematic nonsense, “Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines” to the moving “Tuskegee Airmen Suite” I realized that in a very special way our music department was bringing to a close the annual commemoration of Black History Month. Read More

LC in History: A Lasting Impact

Dr. Clifton W. Potter Jr., LC History Professor~

It was both with relief and trepidation I learned that because of my performance on the entrance exams I could satisfy the first-year English requirement by taking an accelerated three-hour course, instead of the regular six-hour sequence. I felt relief that I would have a three-hour elective and trepidation that covering a year’s work in a semester might prove daunting. I decided to accept the challenge. Thus, I met Dr. Ellis Shorb, who taught at Lynchburg College from 1954 to 1963; in that short time he left a lasting positive impression on hundreds of students, because he was not only a master teacher, but also a remarkable man who had led a very adventurous life. Read More

LC in History: The Match Factory

Dr. Clifton W. Potter, LC History Professor~

In 1903, the year that Josephus and Sarah LaRue Hopwood founded Virginia Christian College—now Lynchburg College and soon to be the University of Lynchburg—most of the institutions of higher learning in the United States were single sex.  However, a public distrust of coeducation did not deter Dr. Hopwood from pursuing what he considered “God’s divine plan,” but numerous barriers were in place on campus to deflect Cupid’s arrows. Read More

LC in History: Germans in LC

Dr. Clifton W. Potter, LC History Professor

Recently, a friend asked me if I could translate a chapter in a book which contained information that they needed to complete a presentation they were preparing.  The work in question was only available in German; I did not hesitate.  It was a challenge, but it was also mentally invigorating. My study of the German language began while I was a student at Lynchburg College, and it continues to this very day. Except for a very brief period in the 1990s, the study of the German language and literature has been an important part of our curriculum since 1903. Even during the two world wars classes in German were on our campus. Read More

LC in History: Clothespin Confusion

Dr. Clifton W. Potter Jr., LC History Professor~

Last week, I received an e-mail from the registrar’s office that one of my advisees had made another change in their class schedule. I gave my assent without even talking with the student; we corresponded via e-mail. Soon the schedule for next year will be provided to everyone. Then all I must do is send a code to each advisee, and they perform the rest. If anyone has a problem I am available to give advice. Needless to say, I am grateful that the old system of pre-registration and final registration no longer exists. Read More

LC in History: Racism in the ‘Burg

Dr. Clifton W. Potter Jr., LC History Professor~

Did racism exist in Lynchburg after the Civil War and Reconstruction?  Of course it did – and in every other city and town on either side of the Mason-Dixon Line.  Was the Klu Klux Klan active in the Lynchburg area? Yes, but not as much as klaverns in the Mid-West.  How extensive was racism in central Virginia, and how intrusive was it in Lynchburg? Read More