Bayswater's Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor Blog

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

And First Prize Goes To...

     This week’s discovery on our used book floor came pressed inside of the front cover of the 1950 first edition book, “The Outlander”.  No, this is not an early version of author Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” that is a current bestselling series and popular TV show.  This “Outlander” was written by Germaine Guevremont and published over 40 years before the 1991 time traveling Gabaldon book was written.

     Our unique find is a small certificate from the Editors of TIME Magazine that awarded a member of the junior class at Alexander High School (NY) with the “First Section Junior Class Prize” for the TIME Current Affairs Contest in 1950.  Never heard of this contest?  We hadn’t, either.  We discovered that in 1935, TIME asked two young college professors to draft a current affairs test for use in high schools and colleges across the United States.  The questions were based on stories that were heavily covered in TIME magazine and major U.S. newspapers for a six month period of time (Jan-June and July-Dec).  It eventually became known as the Cooperative Contemporary Affairs Test for the American Council on Education.

     Shirley Brown, the national 1950 First Section Junior Class Prize winner from Alexander, New York, was awarded the new, (at the time) first edition “Outlander” book as a prize.  Ms. Brown must have taken the test that encompassed events from Jan-June 1950, as the book was published in late spring of that year.  We figure that Ms. Brown may have been tested about events such as President Truman’s report on how to handle the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Senator McCarthy’s beginnings of Communist persecutions, and the issuing of the first credit cards.  It made us wonder: how many of us would pass a current affairs test covering the first half of 2017 if it were given today?

     If you are interested in owning the 1950 copy of “The Outlander,” (complete with award certificate) it is for sale here at Bayswater for the price of $15.99 – and you do not have to take a quiz in order to purchase it!  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at and on facebook, or stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!

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