Back in the Day: A Fortnight in History

Thursday, August 4th, 2011 at 10:20 AM
Back in the Day: A Fortnight in History by Dan Kubacki
R.C. Maxwell Company

July 27

1957 – A tip from an Erie resident leads Humane Society agents to an injured rabbit from a garage. The rabbit seemed no worse for the wear, despite suffering an arrow completely through the mid-section.

Although pest control has varied over the years, playing “Robin Hood” seems a bit medieval.

July 28
1914 – City Street Director Eisenhorn introduces a new ordinance prohibiting littering on city streets. Specifically, the ordinance reads, “No person may throw anything excepting dust into the streets.”

If caught, offenders could face a fine ranging from $1 to $10 or one to five days in jail.

July 29
1966 – A police chase ends with no serious injury after the suspect, William Shorts, took a bullet to the temple area of his head. Hospital aides said Shorts was in good condition, and he even removed the bullet himself before walking into the ER.

The security guard who shot Shorts believed Shorts was an intruder at the Norfolk and Western Railroad plant, when in fact Shorts was an employee of the plant.

July 30
1937 – After a one-day strike, 23 drivers from the Yellow Cab Co. returned to work. The drivers left their cabs in the garage after the firm refused to increase their pay to $20 a week from $13.50 a week.

The strike was the first ever to occur in the taxicab business of Erie.

July 31
1944 – An Erie resident, Mary B. Liebel, receives a letter from Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower thanking her for her monthly newsletter, “The Corn Blossom,” that she sends to Erie serviceman overseas.

The message, in which Eisenhower thanks Liebel for her spirit in “furthering the war effort,” is the first commendation of an Erie civilian by a ranking general of the military.

August 1
1931 – Erie County Commissioner Charles R. Davis introduces a new street plan that will join West 12th Street to West Lake Road at Asbury Chapel Road.

The road would pass straight by the airport instead of another proposal which would have West 12th curve around the airport before meeting West Lake Road.

August 2

1982 – Four people are charged in a conspiracy scheme at Commodore Downs racetrack in Fairview in connection to a winning horse – Dark Salt. In horse racing, after the race has been completed, blood and urine samples are taken from the winning horse to ensure no foul play was involved.

Two of the employees of the horse’s trainer were caught trying to steal this post game sample. Dark Salt tested positive for diclofenac sodium. Does this mean Dark Salt won’t be admitted into the Hall of Fame?

August 3
1870 – The earliest form of a traveling circus comes to Erie in the form of Adam Forepaugh’s Great Zoological and Equestrian Aggregation. Part zoo and part circus, Forepaugh’s show boasts 30 cages of animals, including a herd of animals, and three elephants.

Too bad the traveling zoo business has all but been monopolized by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.

August 4
1989 – Nine people were injured by a pellet gun shooter in 16 different area shootings within three hours along upper Peach Street.

A suspect was arrested in possession of a .22-caliber pump air gun with pellets in his car.

August 5
1966 – Presque Isle Park Superintendent Michael E. Wargo announces that in light of an inconclusive investigation of a UFO landing at Beach 6, patrons can use the beach as they normally would. Two teenage witnesses saw the UFO shortly after dusk not far from the Park Administration Building.

Wargo insisted that nothing had happened that would prevent patrons from using the park as normal. No abductions had been reported, yet.

August 6
1975 – Curators of the Flagship Niagara seem to be taking one step forward and two steps back in the restoration of the Brig. Although the ship has been closed to tourists for several months, teenage vandals have been hampering the restoration effort.

Beer cans and pizza boxes were found near the Niagara and workers also discovered signs torn down or missing. Shipkeeper Bill Dudenhoeffer says the vandalism is the worst he’s seen in his 14 years as shipkeeper. Those kids and their fads.

August 7
1957 – The Erie Zoo receives a telegram from a Mr. O. Carlyle Brock, owner of Sanitary Dairy in East Africa. Brock’s message reads, “Obtain formal approval.”

Before sending any kind of animal, Brock would require permission from the zoo and the city. But the mystery of his delivery still stirs up enough intrigue, especially when considering Brock’s former contributions, which included a tiger.

August 8
1928 – The last of 40 Erie National guardsmen, who suffered food poisoning by eating tainted sandwiches, was released from St Vincent’s Hospital. Suffice to say the marine’s first meal after leaving the hospital was not a sandwich.

August 9
1992 – The Lake Erie College of Ostepathic Medicine opens its doors for the first time. Its first class? Microbiology at 9 a.m., with over 60 students in attendance. Some students even arrived two hours early in anticipation.

LECOM is the first medical school to be opened in the country in over 10 years.

Information Gathered From: Erie Dispatch-Herald, Erie Morning News, and the Erie Times-News newspaper records. Records accessed through microfilm slides at the Raymond M. Blasco, M.D. Memorial Library.  

Erie Reader: Vol. 4, No. 25
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