York historical community will miss Carl Hatch
The York County historical community lost a major contributor with the death this week of Carl Hatch. http://www.legacy.com/york/Obituaries.asp?Page=Lifestory&PersonId=19051493
The former York College professor, who produced books of a national scope, also made several contributions to York County history.
For example, he produced indexes, by topic and date, for The York Dispatch for the 1930s and 1940s. Researchers can look for topics in the Dispatch as a key to possible additional articles in its competitor, The Gazette and Daily.
Hatch and co-author G.A. Mellander also traced county presidential voting patterns from the 1800s to 1968. They attacked conventional wisdom by concluding that York County voters avoided candidates from either extreme… .
Exhibit A came in 1964 when the county heavily backed Democrat Lyndon Johnson vs. the perceived extremism of Republican Barry Goldwater, after backing GOP candidates in previous elections.
After the first switch of voting patterns from Federalism to anti-Federalism in the early 1800s because the former party reminded voters of King George III’s policies, Hatch and Mellander wrote:
“And this first reversal provides clues to York’s voting trends from that time to present, because all future voting pattern changes would have essentially the same reason or characteristics behind them, namely, (1) a bent for practicality rather than dogma and (2) a penchant for moderation rather than excess. “
The authors quoted a local voter discussing the 1972 election: “We Yorkers like common sense in a President, and we like a man who won’t go overboard in his policies.”
It was refreshing to see an academic do so much for county-level historical research. Hatch was arguably academia’s biggest direct contributor to the study of York County history.