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The Normal Echo- Dec. 1912

Dear Friends,

The Normal Echo began publication in 1909.  Unlike The Echo, The Normal Echo was more of a literary magazine than it was a newspaper or news magazine.  It was 6.5 x 9.75 inches in size and published short stories, poems and humorous anecdotes, editorials, information about Arkansas State Normal School (ASNS) and was written primarily by ASNS students with an occasional contributing faculty writer.

In the December 1912 edition of The Normal Echo, there was news about the Normal’s four literary societies, three stories about Normal sports, one article on education, four poems and short stories and one editorial.

The editorial was expressing concern about the low graduation rate of Normal students.  According to The Normal Echo, “More than twelve hundred students have been enrolled in the State Normal since its establishment, and their value to the communities into which they have gone as teachers, or to which they have returned for the time, is beyond estimate.  It is to be regretted that, of this number, only ninety attended sufficiently long to complete the course and receive their diplomas, the number now in attendance being excepted.”

The  editorial pointed out the great demand for properly trained teachers in Arkansas and that some states do not permit the employment of teachers who have not graduated from a normal school.  The rest of the editorial discussed the importance of literary societies, President Howard Taft and how nobly he had accepted defeat, and that the ASNS students were looking forward to Thanksgiving.

One of the more interesting short stories published in The Normal Echo was “An Odd Marriage” authored by Ethel Smith, a freshman in 1912.  I made a PDF out of Ms. Smith’s story and it is attached to this email.  I hope you enjoy it.

Sincerely,
Jimmy