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MBLC Celebrates 125 Years


Channing L. Bete, new commissioner in 1955, founder of Channing Bete Company publisher

Channing L. Bete, founder of the Channing Bete publishing company, was appointed to the Board in 1955.1

In February 1955, Governor Christian A. Herter appointed an Administrative Commission to study the financial needs of public libraries. Along with newly-appointed commissioner Channing L. Bete of Greenfield and chairman Dr. Paul H. Buck, director of libraries at Harvard University, library directors and administrators from noteworthy institutions met to collect "factual and statistical data on state-wide public library service and the activities of the state library extension agency."1

Commissioner Bete founded the Channing Bete Company, a publisher of education and other non-profit outreach books that continues to operate in Deerfield to this day. On its website, the company states its mission is "to strengthen individuals, families, and communities by reinforcing healthy behaviors and commitment to positive social values."

What else happened in 1955?

  • February 12: President Eisenhower sent the first military advisors to South Vietnam.3
  • WGBH TV Channel 2 in Boston began broadcasting out of a converted skating rink at 84 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge.4
  • July 18: Disneyland opened to the public in Anaheim, California.5
  • December 1: Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person.6

1. [link].
2. Sixty-sixth Annual Report of the Board of Library Commissioners for the Year Ending June 30, 1955.
3. [link].
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