This Week in Toledo History Week of 7/5/2021

Lou Hebert

July 4
1887 - Much of Bowling Green’s business district lost to flames, two acres of buildings destroyed.
1888 - First baseball game played at Speranga Field at Cherry and Franklin.
1868 - Cornerstone of first Wood County courthouse at Bowling Green is laid.
1894 - Commemoration of the new and current Wood County courthouse is held in Bowling Green. A Mr. A.B. Murphy delivered some of the oratory and declared that "Wood County is the garden of Ohio."
1896 - Large fire destroys much of Maumee’s downtown area.
1907 - New street car service opens from downtown to Toledo Beach amusement park. It is reported that 14,000 people take the scenic ride on that day.
1919 - Single greatest sports event held in Toledo on this day as boxing's Heavyweight Championship Title was decided in a contest between Jack Dempsey and Jess Willard. The fight was held at a newly built wooden arena at Bay View Park drawing thousands of fans who paid between $10 and $60 a ticket to witness the spectacle in which challenger Jack Dempsey won the heavyweight crown.
1929 Vandals cut breach into the Miami and Erie Canal at Waterville and water from canal flows freely into Maumee River, effectively draining the nearly century-old water route.
1946- The world famous “prison” museum ship, the “Success,” burns and sinks in harbor near Port Clinton.

July 5
1854 - Cholera epidemic spreads through Toledo area and Northwest Ohio, hundreds die in the ensuing weeks.
1914 - Park Board officials want a plain-clothes detective to keep watch on animal exhibits at the zoo to arrest the “jokers” who are spitting tobacco juice in the eyes of monkeys and feeding stones to animals.
1920 - More than 1,500 people gather for the re-dedication of the statue of Gen. James Blair Steedman in Riverside Park.
1926 - Toledo Zoo animal keeper Louis Scherer is recovering from flesh wounds to the buttocks after being bitten by a black bear while cleaning the cage.
1935 - The Toledo Industrial Peace Board meets for first time to help settle labor disputes.
1949 - Three young men plead guilty to throwing firecrackers at animals in cages at the Toledo Zoo.
1952 - Tom Henricks, future space shuttle astronaut, born in Williams County. His family moved later to Woodville where he grew up.
1969 - Major rain and windstorm derecho rake Toledo area. One of the worst in history. Thousands of trees down, damage to buildings, power outages and flooding reported.

July 6
1921 - Heat wave continues in Toledo. One downtown lemonade seller reports sales of over 10,000 glasses in one day.
1923 - Los Angeles firemen who are touring the nation write letter to Toledo fire chief telling him that “Toledo has the most beautiful women in the country.”
1929 - Official ceremonies are held in South Toledo to celebrate the closing and draining of the Miami and Erie Canal. This event marks the start of planning and preparation for what would become the Anthony Wayne Trail.
1950 - Ground is broken for the Toth Elementary School in Perrysburg.
1973 - Holgate, Ohio native and actor-comedian Joe E. Brown dies at the age of 71. Brown, a Tony award winner, began his career as a vaudeville tumbler and baseball player before becoming a comedian.
1981 - Major excavation underway by University of Toledo researchers of ancient Indian village near Rossford. Village believed to be about 10 acres in size and has revealed many artifacts of a 16th century Indian culture.

July 7
1922 - Residents near Libbey High School stage protest against the stench and smoke-filled dump along Swan Creek at Hawley Street, where spoiled food and other debris burn constantly and are a health menace to children.
1928 - Charles Hoppe pleads guilty to being the notorious “Toledo Slugger” serial killer. He pleads guilty to death of one woman and a seven-year-old girl. It was later determined that Hoppe did kill these victims, but was not the notorious “slugger.”
1933 - Local well-known bootlegger Jackie Kennedy gunned down near his home in Point Place by hit men sent by the Yonnie Licavoli gang who were rival bootleggers in Toledo’s continuing Prohibition gang war.
1937 - Strike violence continues in Toledo against the Federal Creosote plant at Hill and Byrne, as strikers hurl rocks at a small army of guards brought in to keep the peace.
1939 - The last street car in East Toledo, the “Starr Avenue Line,” makes final run. Hundreds of Toledoans turn out to watch and take the last ride.
1985 - Major fire and chlorine gas leak destroys a Willis Day warehouse in North Toledo, sending 65 fire and policemen to hospitals and triggering 600 evacuations from nearby neighborhoods.
July 8
1890 - Major fire levels buildings in Bairdstown in Wood County.
1924 - Council votes to tear down the Alhambra Theater at Summit and Madison to make way for a five-story clothing store.
1932 - Marshal Jay Davis, a North Baltimore Police officer is shot dead by armed robbers on village street. The gunmen then embark on wild crime spree in Toledo, shooting a physician, and then kidnapping a man and his son.
1953 - Toledo Safety Director William Kirk orders Toledo Police morals squad to start removing all contraceptive machines from local bars after complaints from the Catholic Chronicle.
1983 - Toledo-based Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) begins historic march on Campbell headquarters in New Jersey to demand union recognition.

July 9
1896 - Two Toledo men set transcontinental bike racing record, riding from New York City to San Francisco in 37 days, 14 hours and 30 minutes.
1901 - Round trip steamer passage from Toledo to Mackinaw Island advertised in local papers for eight dollars a person.
1917 - Michael Schilling of Tiffin returns from the dead. Schilling tells the Seneca County Coroner that he is alive and well, despite a body buried identified as Schilling that had been buried the year before.
1925 - Fort Meigs Hotel opens to guests in downtown Toledo on N. St. Clair Street. It had 220 rooms and featured the Purple Cow lounge.
1938 - Sunningdale Golf Course in Toledo plays host to Ohio Public Links Tournament.
1950 - The first official “Music Under the Stars” concert debuts at the Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre with the Toledo Symphony.

July 10
1862 - Bloody riots reported between Irish and “negro” stevedores on Toledo docks after Irish attack negro workers.
1925 - Toledo radio listeners are tuning in to WGN radio in Chicago to hear the first major live broadcast of national significance. The famous " Scopes Monkey Trial" is riveting the nation's attention in which a teacher is on trial for teaching evolution in Dayton Tennessee. The lawyers are Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryant.
1934 - All beaches in Toledo along Maumee River and Bay are closed by health department because of typhoid bacteria.
1935 - Perrysburg man Irving Van Gunten arrested for working on his truck at home in violation of the town’s “Blue Laws” forbidding Sunday labor. From his jail cell, Van Gunten vows to fight the town of Perrysburg over these laws.
1940 - Ringling Brothers Circus in Toledo at Stickney Avenue Fairgrounds.
1949 - The annual Aquarama Festival underway in Toledo as more than 25,000 people crowd the downtown streets to watch the opening parade.
1979 - Most rainfall – 4.49 inches – in recorded history in Wood County.


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