This Week In Toledo History

Lou Hebert

March 24-30

March 24
1913 - More than 20 people die in Tiffin when the Sandusky River reached record flood levels, causing worst disaster in that town’s history. Some of the worst flooding in Ohio and parts of Midwest is recorded.
1924 - Toledo police arrest an aging and legless man who had come to town from Los Angeles. Police say “Knuckles” was found in a little red wagon pulled by two goats. He sold cigars and other items to make a living. Police, for unknown reasons, put him and his goats in jail.
1931 - Hollywood actress and singer, June MacCloy, a 21-year-old Toledo native and Scott High School graduate, files for divorce from her second husband. The youthful and talented MacCloy starred in numerous popular motion pictures in the 1930's after a brief stint on Broadway. The attractive blonde was considered one of Hollywood first “glamour girls.”
1984 - BGSU hockey team wins the National Hockey Championship at Lake Placid, New York defeating Minnesota-Duluth. 5-4 in 3 periods and 4 overtimes.
March 25
1907 - Toledo developer, Abraham Detwiler is indicted in San Francisco for charges of bribery in securing rights to a telephone company there. He is later acquitted.
1923 - News Bee reports that many Toledoans are getting baby alligators from friends and family who have been vacationing in Florida.
1924 - Farmers in Fremont say they saw a large eagle pick up a 25-pound pig and fly off with it in its talons. The pig managed to escape and drop to the ground.
1934 - Future feminist and writer, Gloria Steinem is born in Toledo. She graduates from Waite High School and goes on to become a nationally famous writer and advocate for women's rights in the U.S.

March 26
1905 - News Bee reports that more than 300 immigrants from Hungary have arrived in Toledo in the past week and most are settling in Birmingham neighborhood of East Toledo.
1912 - Toledo Zoo says it has collected enough money from area residents to buy “Babe,” a giant male Indian elephant from a zoo in Missouri. Babe would later become one of the zoo’s most popular animal attractions.
1957 - A state investigation reveals that four gambling casinos in Lucas County are being run by the Detroit crime syndicate. Those clubs, including the Old Dix Inn and the New Benore Club are raided and padlocked.

March 27
1924 - In little Harbor View in Lucas County, Mayor L.H. Shovar and four deputies are arrested by federal agents and charged with selling beer they confiscated from area bootleggers. The court affidavits allege that the mayor was selling beer from his courtroom.
1925- Toledo’s annual marbles (or “mibs”) tournament for boys is underway and covered extensively by press.
1930 - Two U.S. Coast Guardsmen from Port Clinton and Marblehead seize three rum boats in Lake Erie. The bootleggers managed to escape through a marshy area on foot, but the boats and their cargo of 20 cases of liquor were found and confiscated.
1995 - Owens Corning Corp and civic leaders break ground for new World Headquarters building on the old Middle Grounds area along Toledo’s riverfront. The new building will replace the former headquarters in the Fiberglas Tower in downtown Toledo.

March 28
1905 -Toledo Police begin a crusade to prohibit the sale of cigarettes to boys under 16 years of age.
1915 - Selma Newman is born in Toledo. The Scott High graduate became Selma Rubin through marriage and moved to Santa Barbara, California where she was an influential environmental activist. She is considered the co-founder of Earth Day in 1970.
1920 -Two Genoa women are killed when deadly Palm Sunday tornadoes move across Northwest Ohio. Genoa becomes a disaster area as numerous homes are torn to shreds. As many as 19 people are reported to have perished in the storms throughout region.

March 29

1919 - Toledo soldiers begin arriving back on U.S. soil, returning from the European front of World War I. They arrive in Virginia aboard the battleship Vermont. A Toledo welcoming party is there to greet them. Other troops arrive at Hoboken New Jersey where Toledo Mayor John O'Dwyer is there to welcome them home.
1928 - Ohio Citizens Bank in Toledo is now open to customers.
1933 - At the Park Lane Hotel in Toledo, the night clerk, John McLaughlin, is gunned down by two gangsters in a revenge shooting. One of the gangsters had been kicked out of the hotel two days before. Both men would later pay the price for their deeds in the electric chair.
1956 - Middleweight boxer Wilbert "Skeeter" McClure of Toledo is named to a spot in the Pan American Games in September. He would go on to win a gold medal in the 1960 Olympics.

March 30
1837 - The town of Gilead in Wood County is renamed as Grand Rapids.
1919 - Riots erupt in downtown Toledo as supporters of socialist leader Eugene V. Debs storm Memorial Hall where Debs was prohibited from speaking. Mobs spill onto streets and 75 people are arrested.
1921 - At a shop on Ontario Street, a live concert is heard from Pittsburgh on a “wireless telephone” (radio). The News Bee opines that these new instruments may become popular in the future.
1973 - With grocery prices starting to rise sharply, housewives in Toledo rally to urge that consumers begin a boycott of high meat prices.

Lou’s notes: This week will mark the 104th anniversary of Genoa's killer tornado on March 28th, 1920. It was to my knowledge the single most devastating weather event in Genoa's history. The path of the twister put the north end and western edge of the village in its direct path. In a coming edition I'll try to provide you a lengthier story about that terrible day. Any family anecdotes or recollections would be most welcome.


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