The Walk and Talk Man, unnamed other than by his Chautauqua Assembly Herald byline, walked the grounds and talked with residents and lecturers during the 1890s. He referred to himself in the third person.
On July 25, 1893, an editorial in the Chautauqua Assembly Herald reported that the Institution would offer a number of economic lectures in that season, showing “how earnestly we are devoting ourselves to these questions.”
The year 1892 marked four centuries since “a sailor, adventurous, studious, credulous, ambitious, eager, dreamed of another world hidden behind the mists of the Atlantic.” The Chautauqua Assembly Herald reported that the Rev. J.B. Young of Kansas City, Missouri, was speaking of Christopher Columbus.
In the opening July 22 issue of the 1891 season, the Chautauqua Assembly Herald ran an editorial that reported, “The ASSEMBLY HERALD is printed this morning on two steam presses in the new brick building on Bowman Avenue near the public road. The Herald has thus the second brick building at Chautauqua. These signs of permanence are gladly welcomed by all who are interested in the growth and prosperity of this, the parent Assembly and place of origin of the C.L.S.C.”
In the summer of 1953, Chautauqua Institution was in its 80th year, prompting some reflection on its origin — a material representation of which was published in The Chautauquan Daily in two parts on July 7 and July 10, titled “Early Days of Chautauqua,” by Kate P. Bruch.
The opening week of the 1959 Season took for its lecture theme “Aging With a Future.” Planned by Chautauqua Institution in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare’s Special Staff on Aging, the program would include four 10:45 a.m. morning lectures, one evening Amphitheater lecture, a series of three separate workshops on gerontology and a concluding symposium that would preview the White House Conference on Aging.
Page 5 of the July 4, 1957, issue of The Chautauquan Daily features a cartoon titled “The Changing Scene.” There are two panels, the first of which depicts a scene from 1907 — a family of six is about to sit down to dinner: a maw, a paw, one daughter and three sons. But the heat is unbearable, and a general air of disarray characterizes the scene.
The Chautauquan Daily introduced the 1957 Season as it does all seasons: with familiar optimism and joy. W. Walter Braham, Chautauqua Institution president at the time, and Ralph McCallister, the vice president in charge of program and education at the Institution, outlined why they anticipated a “Summer Assembly Of ‘Extraordinary Success.’ ” There would be a full religious program and a gala event heralding the art association’s opening.
“Dr. Kershaw, Of TV Fame, Speaks Today,” a front-page headline announced. The article went on to explain that A.L. Kershaw was an Episcopal minister “who attained national prominence on the $64,000 Question TV program” and “will return to the Chautauqua platform today at 10:45 A.M. when he inaugurates the morning lecture series in the Amphitheater.” [CLICK "READ MORE" BELOW OR THE HEADLINE ABOVE TO WATCH THE VIDEO]
To read The Chautauquan Daily in July 1956, a little bit here, a little bit there, might unfold something like this: “Last month was the wettest June since 1951, according to City Weather Bureau reports. A total of 4.44 inches of rain fell.” [CLICK "READ MORE" BELOW OR THE HEADLINE ABOVE TO WATCH THE VIDEO]
In spite of a Syracuse University program that offered summer-school courses for college credit; a bevy of Amphitheater speakers who examined issues such as the United Nations and the Korean War; a new ballet program; and the sound of New Orleans Jazz, 1950s Chautauqua was, in writer Jeffrey Simpson’s words, a time “when complacency and conservatism were the order of the day, and Chautauqua, in its life on the Grounds, was in an especially conservative mode.” [CLICK "READ MORE" BELOW OR THE HEADLINE ABOVE TO WATCH THE VIDEO]