This Week In Toledo History Week of 7/19/2021

Lou Hebert

This Week in Toledo History

July 18-24

July 18
1910 - Boaters and swimmers in the Maumee River near Walbridge Park are being advised to keep an eye out for the female seal that escaped from its pool at the Toledo Zoo. One man reported seeing it splash around in the river water but was hesitant to report it for fear that his sobriety would be questioned.
1911- Mayor Brand Whitlock publicly honors Toledo Police Inspector Edward O’Dwyer for 40 years of continuous and honorable service.
1914 - Well-known banker and Toledo businessman Col. John Parsons is crushed to death in an elevator accident in the Nasby building.
1920 - The Avro Flying Service opens in downtown Toledo, selling small three-seater airplanes to the public with the stated goal to “Make Toledo a Flying City.”
1927 - At Fort Miami Race Track in Maumee, a “masked driver” is handcuffed to the wheel of a bus to begin a 144-hour endurance run to test the durability of the vehicle.
1929 - Toledo zookeeper Charles Connor was attacked by a zebra. He suffers serious injuries and zoo takes steps to prevent other keepers from becoming trapped inside an animal pen in the event of an attack.
1950 - Reverend George Rehring becomes the fourth Bishop of Toledo Catholic Diocese.
1955 -Toledo Port Authority is formed. It is the first port authority in the state.
1983 - Lung Association in Lucas County begins first in the nation to make efforts to legally restrict smoking in Toledo restaurants.

July 19
1889 - Electric streetcars make their first test runs on streets of downtown Toledo and thousands turn out to watch.
1894 - Toledo Police assign six of the department's best marksmen for "dog shooting" duty as they are assigned every summer to shoot stray dogs running loose.
1897 - It’s reported that “June bugs,” or Mayflies, are so thick in the area that the ladies bicycle races at the Toledo Casino had to be postponed until the next day.
1910 -E.F. Shoemaker of Henry Township in Wood County claims to have unearthed more than 30 old Spanish coins while hoeing in cornfield. He says the dates on the coins date back to 1773.
1917 - Five orphans receive donations at Toledo Beach from the Toledo Auto Club, including sacks of peanuts, watermelons, ice cream cones and crates of candy.
1935 - Benny Goodman plays at a club in Luna Pier, Mich.
1937 - Ohio Bell reports there are now 56,370 phone numbers listed in the Toledo directory, up by more than 15,000 since the very worst years of the Depression.

July 20
1854 - First time a train makes a run from Toledo to Chicago.
1854 - Cholera epidemic begins in Perrysburg. One-hundred-seventeen will die before it subsides.
1905 - Toledo School Board gives Toledo Central High School teachers a raise. The top teachers will make $1600 per year, while the bottom tier of salaries will be just $800 a year.
1914 - An unnamed Toledo police officer is suspended for trading his service revolver and $15 for a motorcycle while he was patrolling a neighborhood at 2 in the morning. The cop thought it was a good trade. Chief Murphy did not, and suspended him. The motorcycle was later found to be stolen.
1931 - Goodyear blimp makes pass over Oak Grove Cemetery in Bowling Green in honor of BG native Goodyear pilot, Charles Brannigan. He was killed in a blimp accident in Kansas City when his airship, the Mayflower was ripped from its mooring by high winds and slammed into power lines and caught fire.
1933 - Audrey Ralls, the woman with bootlegger Jack Kennedy the night he was murdered in Point Place, attends line up of potential suspects to identify his killers.
1984 - Serial killer Alton Coleman arrested in Chicago, charged with murderous crime spree in Toledo and elsewhere in Midwest.

July 21
1893 - Fire levels downtown business district of Edgerton in Williams County.
1915 - Toledo Housewives Leagues protests the demolition of the farmer's market on Superior Street.
1921 - Heat wave continues with temperatures in the 90s. Two more people fall dead from heat, others fall ill. A riot breaks out between rival youth groups at Highland Park pool.
1927 - Bowling Green dancer and musician Fritzi Bigelow danced to the “Black Bottom” on a wing of a large airplane flying over Toledo’s Maumee River. She was accompanied by her family's musical group, which usually plays at the Bayshore Inn.
1933 - Mrs. Stella Todd of McComb in Hancock County reports that she crawled into bed only to find a five-foot black snake under the sheets with her. When she screamed, the snake slithered off and disappeared into the carpet.

1934 - Hottest day in Ohio history. Gallipolis, Ohio records 113 degrees. Defiance reaches 109 degrees. The next week brings numerous deaths from heat and humidity throughout the Buckeye State. Many deaths in Northwest Ohio.
1971 - Fire destroys the Harborview village hall and tavern.
1983 - Jobless rate in Lucas County hits 12.8 percent.

July 22
1830 - First murder case recorded in area as tavern owner at Waterville is killed near Roche De Boeuf.
1842 - Author Charles Dickens travels through Northwest Ohio’s “Black Swamp” and later writes about his miserable time in the area.
1864 - Major General James McPherson of Clyde is killed at the Battle of Atlanta. He was the highest ranking Union officer killed in the Civil War.
1922 - So many cars are parking in downtown Toledo that first commercial parking lot opens for business at Michigan and Jackson. The Huebner's Auto Park charges 25 cents a day or a dollar per week.
1931 - Two salesmen from Cleveland while fishing in Sandusky Bay land an "18-foot-long sea serpent." Later identified as an Indian Python it was soon learned that the men actually were carnival promoters and planted a large dead snake in the lake for a publicity stunt.
1925 - Former leader of the Ku Klux Klan holds rally of 700 people and says the Klan is dying and won’t last much longer. Bill Cahill claims that just a year before, there were 7,000 members in Toledo.
1932 -The Toledo News Bee reports that two rattlesnakes are killed at a home near Angola and King roads. The larger snake bit and killed the family dog before it was killed by a woman with a clothesline prop pole.
1955 - Workers tear down the original Toledo Police station and jail, built in 1872, at Washington and Superior Streets. Workers find dozens of old cannonballs lodged in the walls and foundation that were used to deter escape attempts.
1971 - Toledo’s second indoor mall, the Franklin Park Mall at Talmadge and Monroe, opens for business.
1983 - Seneca County jail shut down by court order because of treatment of inmates. Prisoners are ordered to be sent to other facilities.

July 23
1933 - Toledo's Ice House Quarter, with 40 members, performs in Chicago on NBC radio.
1941 - Ringling Brothers Circus arrives in Toledo for performances at Stickney Avenue Fairgrounds.
1942 - Residents of a one-square-mile area of West Toledo become ill and panicked after rolling clouds of sulfur gas escape from a chemical factory and blanket much of the area around Eleanor and Lewis Avenues. Many residents report coughing and burning sensations in their lungs.
1963 - Lucas County Fairgrounds opens in Maumee for first time.
1980 - Toledo native Shannon Mohr Davis dies in “horse riding accident" in Hillsdale County. The case was later ruled a homicide, caused by a rare muscle relaxant and her husband, David Davis, vanishes. After a story on a national TV show, her husband is arrested in American Samoa ten years later, and is eventually convicted and died in prison.

July 24
1877 - Civil War hero and local civic leader Gen. James Blair Steedman takes populist stand and urges Toledo’s citizens to stage a general strike for higher wages.
1899 - Million-dollar grain elevator fire erupts in East Toledo along the riverfront as 900,000 bushels of grain are destroyed.
1911 - Toledo firemen continue to pour water on a massive factory blaze at the Stevens plant in downtown Toledo on Erie Street. That fire destroyed several buildings and injured six firemen.
1941 - The “unsafe” steel highway bridge over the Maumee River at Waterville collapses, sending a milk truck into the waters below. The driver and helper receive minor injuries. Local residents had been warning the state for years that the bridge needed to be replaced. The river ran white with milk for hours.
1967 - Major race riots break out on the streets of Detroit. Five people are killed and a thousand injured in a widening melee of civil unrest, looting and arson. Tensions build in Toledo and other cities.


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