This Week In Toledo History

Lou Hebert

April 16
1900 - Rev. H.F. MacClane of a Norwood Avenue church warns his congregants that Toledo is an immoral city and is known everywhere in America as a city that is "wide open" to every kind of vice.
1908 - Toledo Police crackdown on robberies in the so-called “tenderloin” district, which is notorious for houses of ill-repute and gambling parlors.
1928 - An ambush by a band of robbers kills Toledo police officer George Zientara and wounds his partner. Among the suspected gunmen are Fred "The Killer" Burke and Raymond "Craneneck" Nugent.
1931 - A deadly day in Bowling Green. "Billy the Killer" Miller, and his partner "two gun" Frank Mitchell, aka "Pretty Boy Floyd", get into a gun battle with Patrolman Ralph "Zeke" Castner who is shot dead, while Billy the Killer also dies in the hail of bullets. "Pretty Boy Floyd" manages to escape.

April 17
1848 - The first issue of the Toledo Blade is published.
1900 - The famous Perry Willow Tree at Put-in-Bay collapses. The tree is where six American and British officers were buried together after the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.
1916 - Ground is broken for the new six-story Mercy Hospital at Madison and 23rd Streets. It was opened in 1918 just as the Spanish Influenza pandemic was starting to spread through the Toledo area.
1965 - Baseball returns to Toledo as the Mud Hens restart their legacy in Toledo as a farm club for the New York Yankees. The new home park will be the Lucas County Stadium at the fairgrounds in Maumee.

April 18
1901 - The very first Toledo “Museum of Art” opens in an empty storeroom in downtown Toledo.
1912 - Toledo and the nation are stunned by mounting death toll of the Titanic disaster at sea. The News Bee runs a photo of 1,500 people at Swayne Field in Toledo to visually show how many people died on the giant ocean liner.
1932 - Married teachers in Toledo launch a battle with TPS over plan to fire the married women in favor of single female teachers who can be paid less.
1941 - The U.S. Navy says the Bay View Park Armory in Toledo will start a school for 2,400 sailors to train on non-combat duties.
1943 - A divorce to a couple in Toledo who didn't make it through their honeymoon. Dean and Mary Purcell of Toledo said they wanted a divorce because Mary was asthmatic and Dean couldn't stand her sneezing during their honeymoon.
1949 - The Ottawa County Co-op Elevator is destroyed by flames at Oak Harbor.

April 19
1909 - Wood County officials decry public drunkenness on electric railcars passing through their county. No more “passing of the bottle” to be allowed by passengers.
1915 - Toledo mothers protest to City Hall that vacant lots are becoming dangerous public dumps after two children die from eating spoiled foods that had been thrown into those lots.
1933 - Toledo mother and daughter Julia Fields and Evelyn Long make national news in "Ripley's Believe it or Not" as they both observed 50th wedding anniversaries on the same day.
1971 - Toledoans begin the new policy of having to carry their own garbage cans out to the street for pick up. The refuse men will no longer retrieve them for homeowners.

April 20
1864 - Toledo City Council approves budget for building of the Cherry Street Bridge.
1881 - The magnificent five masted schooner, the "David Dows" is launched from Toledo. The launch drew massive crowds to the riverfront as the Dows was considered the largest sailing vessel ever to ply the waters of the Great Lakes. The Dows would be lost in a shipwreck in Lake Michigan in 1889.
1920 - Blade publisher Robinson Locke, son of publisher David Robinson Locke, dies of heart attack at the age of 66. He was one of the early benefactors of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.
1922 - "Tony the Ape", the largest ape at the Toledo Zoo, goes on a wild attack against popular animal keeper, Louis Scherer. To stop the attack, Tony was shot to death by Toledo policeman. Zookeeper Scherer, bitten numerous times, was seriously injured and took weeks to recover.
1949 - Eight-hundred commercial fishermen from Northwest Ohio converge on the State House in Columbus to protest a bill that would ban commercial fishing in Sandusky Bay.
1979 - Two explosions and huge fire at Sun Oil refinery rock neighborhoods around the facility in Oregon. No one is injured.

April 21
1906 - News of the great San Francisco earthquake shocks the nation, News Bee reports they have located six people from Toledo among the survivors.
1910 - One of the last wooden grain elevators in Toledo burns to the ground along Miami Street and
1930 - A deadly fire erupts at the Ohio State Penitentiary in Columbus. Inmates are trapped in their cells and 322 perish. Twenty-four of the victims were inmates from Lucas County.
1937 - Campaign gets underway by some disgruntled East Toledo residents to secede from the city. Many Eastside residents complain they are not being treated fairly by the city.

April 22
1908 Eleven people in Maumee begin series of painful shots at base of the spine for “hydrophobia” after being bitten by a rabid dog.
1926 - CLA-ZEL Theater opens in Bowling Green using mash-up of the names of owners Clark and Hazel Young.
1936 - The grand gala opening of the newly renovated Mayfair nightclub at Adams and Franklin is held with seven new floor acts, nightly dancing with Mat Reams and The Melody Boys, a new menu and a full bar, plus souvenir roses for the ladies.
1947 - Toledo health authorities say there is no evidence of a rabies epidemic, although 14 rabid dogs were found in the past week.


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