This Week In Toledo History

Lou Hebert

April 2
1908 - The new stone interurban bridge at Waterville is nearing completion after lengthy controversy about its placement near a rock outcropping known as Roche De Boeuf.
1920 - Tiedtke’s Department Store says it expects to sell more than 1,000 bunny rabbits during Easter this year.
1933- Man described as “drug crazed maniac” wanted for stabbing several people in wanton attacks in Toledo.
1943 - Toledo Rockets basketball team loses NIT championship game to St. Johns 47-27 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
1977 - Kenny Rogers' hit song Lucille, which takes place in a "bar room in Toledo" reaches number one on the record charts. The song was a collaboration between Kenny Rogers and song writer Hal Bynum and was not written originally in Toledo, as one urban legend explains it. Bynum says he first wrote the lyrics in Norfolk, Virginia.

April 3
1910 - Toledo police plan to begin a “clean up” of the area of the city known as “the Bronx”. This is Canton Avenue near downtown where a disturbance and fight ended with the beating of a policeman and the shooting of a gang member.
1921 - At E.J. Smith's Grocery on Starr Avenue, a tumbler of apple butter is now just 10 cents, hamburg steak was just 22 cents a pound and 2 pounds of fresh roasted coffee is 45 cents.
1924 - Canton Avenue druggist Meyer Selzman and three clerks arrested for manslaughter in the deaths of 18 men, who died in one week from poisoned alcohol they consumed from Selzman’s drugstore. Selzman is later convicted and sentenced to four years in prison.
1957 - Flame and smoke snuffs out lives of 27 race horses in a barn at the Fort Miami Racetrack at Maumee. Sixty other frightened horses had to be let out allowed to run free, only to be rounded up later. The early morning fire was discovered by a passing motorist.
1984 - Last edition of the popular East Toledo Sun is published.

April 4
1831 First election day is held in Weston Township, Wood County.
1908 The 524-foot lake freighter “Fred Hartwell” is launched at Toledo Shipbuilding Company.
1915 -The Niagara Hotel in 300 block of Summit Street destroyed by fire. A newlywed couple from Adrian, Michigan is killed in the blaze. It was later rebuilt and renamed as “The Waldorf”.
1920 - Safecrackers break into safe at Grace Smith’s cafeteria in downtown Toledo, getting away with at least $1,000 in cash.
1955 - Future film and TV actor Casey Biggs born in Toledo. The Central Catholic graduate attends Julliard School in New York and goes on to stars in a variety of TV shows and movies, including as Damar in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

April 5
1867 - Ohio legislature creates a full time police force in Toledo and released city marshals from their duties.
1897 - Samuel “Golden Rule” Jones, one of Toledo’s most colorful and controversial mayors, is elected to office. The Welsh born self-made millionaire was an ardent social reformer and is considered one of the most influential mayors in U.S. History.
1918 - Grace Doyle, 20, school teacher near Perrysburg hailed as a hero for flagging down a troop train at Roachton Road that was about to hit a saboteur's barricade of a spiked plank across the tracks.
1957 - Lake Freighter Champlain ripped loose from its moorings on Maumee River by 90 mph winds and crashes into Fassett Street Bridge in South Toledo. The bridge is never rebuilt.
1945 - A Toledo couple is indicted for running an unlicensed boarding house for children. Charges included abuse of those children.
1968 - "Topping out" ceremonies are held for the new Fiberglas Tower under construction in Toledo at St. Clair and Jefferson Streets. It would be Toledo's tallest building when complete at 30 stories high, and will be the home of Owens Corning Fiberglas World Headquarters. The top floor featured a popular restaurant called “The Top of the Tower”.
1980 - Sister Margaret Ann Pahl murdered in Mercy Hospital chapel. The case is not brought to trial until 2006 when Catholic priest, Father Gerald Robinson was tried and convicted of the killing. Robinson always maintained his innocence and several years later, died in prison.

April 6
1906 - Construction begins at Camp Perry near Port Clinton in Ottawa County. The Army had it built to serve as a primary training center for marksmanship.
1917 - U.S. declares war on Germany and enters World War I.
1941 - Lake Erie commercial fishermen complain that raw sewage pollution being pumped into the lake is killing too many fish.
1964 - The Princess Theater is featuring Elizabeth Taylor in “Cleopatra.”
1990 - Champion Spark Plug of Toledo announces the closing of its Toledo plant after 80 years of operation.

April 7
1905 - Toledo Fire Department accepts only nine men out of 82 applicants for jobs as firemen. Most rejected for problems including varicose veins, bad noses, bad teeth, bow legs, flat feet and a husky voice.
1956 - Lucas County Sheriff forms area’s first underwater dive team.
1963 - State Historical Society is getting complaints over plans to prohibit picnics at Fort Meigs Park at Perrysburg.
1983 - Babcock Dairy of Toledo announces it is closing. Founded by Roy Babcock in 1919, it was once the largest independent dairy in the nation.

April 8
1835 - Michigan militia members storm home of Toledoan Benjamin Stickney, and arrest two visitors. The attack signals the start of the Toledo War in which both states claim a narrow strip of land which includes city of Toledo.
1911 - Fiery evangelist Billy Sunday conducts revival meeting in Toledo.
1919 - Plans are announced to widen and lengthen Welland Canal in Canada so that Toledo could someday become an ocean port. It did finally become a reality - 40 years later.
1957 - Surprise snowstorm hits Toledo, dumping nearly 10 inches. Biggest April snowfall in city’s history to that point.


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