Monday, December 10, 2018

Workin' In Those Oat Fields in 1918

From the August 22, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Sid Rowe, George Rowe, Wes Concidine and Fire Chief McEvoy went to the Hickey farm today to shock oats and Conidine and George Rowe had boasted of their ability to stay in the field all day and do more work than the others.

"Police Magistrate Glidden called at the Hickey farm this noon concerning the work of the men and learned that Concidine and Rowe had been given a leave of absence from the field at 11 o'clock and it was necessary to administer first aid to the two workmen.  The other two men, according to the telephone word this noon, were still in the field, working along in fine shape and all the oars that would be cut would easily be shocked by night."

Again, a wartime lack of manpower.

Who Got Bragging Rights?  --Cooter

Genoa Schoolhouse Burns Down in 1918

From the August 22, 2018, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Yesterday afternoon about three o'clock fire was discovered at the Genoa schoolhouse and before the fire department could get to work the flames were beyond control and the building was totally destroyed.

"The origin of the fire is unknown.  Reports say that it might have been started from spontaneous combustion, while others think it might have started from sparks from rubbish which the janitor was burning alongside the building."

I'm Sure the Children Were Extremely Upset.  --Cooter

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Still Looking for "Big Joe's" Mate in 1943

From the August 15, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

I first wrote about this on August 20, 2018.

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Although one effort to secure a cow buffalo for Hopkins Park brought only temporary success, the buffalo passing away shortly after arriving in DeKalb, efforts are being made within another week to secure another mate for "Big Joe" the present occupant of the tract in back of the Sanatorium."

Joe Needs a Wife.  --Cooter

The 1 Millionth Dekalb-Built Wurlitzer Piano in 1968

From the August 29,. 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1968, 60 Years Ago.

"In 1919, the DeKalb Division of the Wurlitzer Company was born, and it became the exclusive source of Wurlitzer built grand pianos, augmenting  the production of upright and player pianos at the Wurlitzer  North Tonawanda, New York Division.

"To consolidate  piano production, Wurlitzer transferred all piano manufacturing operations to DeKalb in 1935.  Since that time, Wurlitzer  pianos have come from DeKalb in a steady flow except during World War II, when the entire plant was converted to war production.

"Recently, a majestic grand piano came off the modern Wurlitzer production line with the serial number 1,000,000, the millionth piano built in DeKalb."

Play It Again, Sam.  --Cooter

Friday, December 7, 2018

Pearl Harbor Survivors

Today is the 77th anniversary of the attack which plunged the United States into World War II.  Usually, when I write about a Pearl Harbor survivor, it is to report his death.  I am always happy to write about one who sis still alive.

From the November 16, 2018, Desert Star  "Clarence Lux celebrates with fellow vets" by Jene Estrada.

Mr. Lux was celebrating his 98th birthday.

He enlisted in the Navy in 1940 and was on the USS Tennessee on that day.  He was discharged in 1946 as a petty officer.

He is one of three Pearl Harbor survivors still left in the area.  The others are Jim Donis of Palm Desert who was in the Army Air Corps and Ed Wise.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The 41st President, George H.K. Bush: Shot Down Over Chichijima

Since President Bush's burial will take place today in College Station, Texas, where his presidential and vice presidential libraries are located (as well as his vice president during his term, Dan Quayle).

From Wikipedia.


While he was president, he was called just George Bush, but after his son was elected, he was referred to as George H.W. Bush, Bush 41, or George Bush Sr..

I am writing about his World War II service in most of my blogs today.

George Bush piloted one of his torpedo squadron's Grumman TBM Avengers when they attacked Japanese installations on Chichijima on September 2, 1944.  His crew included  Radioman 2nd Class John Delaney and Lt. (jg) William White.  His aircraft was hit by flak during the attack, but Bush successfully released bombs and had several hits.

With his engines ablaze, he flew several miles from the island where he and one of the other crewmen bailed out.  The other one's parachute did not open.

Illinois Bicentennial: Welby Nall Crang of Clinton

The Crang-Bennett American Legion Post 103 in Clinton, Illinois, is named for Welby Crang and Artie Bennett, two locals who died in France in World War I.

Welby Crang was a private in the Army and was with the Signal Corps of Camp Logan, Colorado, and then with Aviation at Kelley Field in Texas.  He landed in Liverpool, England, October 29, 1917 before moving to Indrie, France, by the end of the year.

He died of pneumonia December 28, 1917, in Issodun, France.  He was the first World War I death from DeWitt County.  His funeral was held in Clinton on November 7, 1920.

Illinois Bicentennial: Artie Bennett From DeWitt County

From Crang-Bennett American Legion Post 103, Clinton, Illinois.

Crang-Bennett American Legion Post 103 is named after    Crang and Artie Bennett, two Americans from Clinton, Illinois who died in World War I.

Artie Bennett entered the Marine Corps on May 21, 1917.    He was with the 82nd Company 6th Regiment U.S. Marines and landed at Brest, France,  November 19, 1917.  On June 8, 1918, while forcing the enemy from their positions, the company encountered  much enemy gunfire.    Private Bennett was severely wounded while attacking enemy machine gun nests.  He died one hour later.

This was the first death from Dewitt County, Illinois, caused by enemy fire.  Private Bennett was later buried at American Cemetery Belleau, Aisne, France.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial: Sent More Than 350,000 To WW I-- Part 2: The American Legion

In honor of the Illinois Bicentennial of Statehood today.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a proclamation announcing that the Illinois National Guard and Chicago's Pritzker Military Museum will lead efforts to to ensure the land of Lincoln remembers its role in the Great War.

Records from the Illinois Office of the Adjutant General lists more than  351,000 Illinois men serving in the Army, Navy and Marines during the war and some 5,000 died.

The American Legion Post in Clinton is the Crang-Bennett Post 103 is named for Artie Bennett and  and Army Sgt. 1st Class  Welby Crang, who lived  a block from Bennett and died in France in 1917 from pneumonia.

This post was founded in 1919 to honor those who died but also to help those who returned.  Said Ron Devore of the post:  "Some of the guys had been gassed, their lungs were burned, they had missing limbs and disabilities; they were messed up for life, and they weren't getting anything from the government."

The Bicentennial of Illinois Statehood, December 3, 2018: World War I

From the November 4, 2018, Sauk Valley.Com.


By Tony Reid.

Artie Bennett, a Marine from Clinton, Illinois, was cut down by a hail of bullets in France.  A letter home from a fellow Marine said Bennett, age 18, had been attacking a German machine gun nest as Marines fought to stem a enemy advance that was threatening Paris in June 1918.

He lingered an hour before dying, one of the first casualties from Illinois.

The letter was typed by fellow Marine  Private John  W. Olsen, said:  "He passed away quietly, without complaint, and was laid to rest near where he fell."

Sunday, December 2, 2018

60th Anniversary of the Our Lady of the Angels Fire--Part 1: December 1, 1958

From the November 28, 2018, Hi-Liter newspaper  "Remembering the students of Our Lady of the Angels school fire" by Sandra Landen Machaj.

For students at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Grade School, Dec. 1, 1958, began as an ordinary school day.  But for these students and their families, it would not end that way.  It would be a day that changed their lives in ways that would never be forgotten.

For it was on that day that a fire broke out in the school and took the lives of 92 students and three of the nuns that taught them.  The fire with its large number of deaths was the worst school fire ever in Illinois and the third worst school fire in the nation.

In 1958, Our Lady of the Angels was one of the largest parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  The parish consisted of about 4,500 families, many of whom sent multiple children to the parish kindergarten through eighth grade school.

The school had an enrollment of approximately 1,600 students.  Located at 909 N. Avers in the Humboldt Park section of Chicago, the community at that time was a melting pot of Italian, Polish and Irish families, most of whom had lived here for several generations.

Friday, November 30, 2018

New York's Fort Wood in World War I

I have been writing about this fort in my Not So Forgotten: War of 1812  and Tattooed On Your Soul: World War II blogs.  This fort is the base of the Statue of Liberty.  You can read more about Fort Wood in these two blogs.  Click on My Blogs to the right of this blog entry.

The fort was built in 1811, and by 1904 being used by one company of Signal Corps troops and a sub depot for Signal Corps material.

On July 30, 1916, there were a series of explosions at the nearby Black Tom Wharf in Hersey City that severely damaged the post and did $100,000 damage to the Statue of Liberty.  These explosions were deemed to be an act of sabotage by German agents, even though the U.S. had not yet joined the war.  This is another reason that led to the U.S. entering the war in 1917.

During World War I, Fort Wood was used as a coastal defense fort and supply depot.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Statue of Liberty's Original Torch Removed To Museum-- Part 2

The move on Thursday, November 15 was the latest chapter for the icon that "has crossed many miles in its lifetime,"  according to Stephen Briganti.

The torch left France in 1976 and was brought to the United States where it was exhibited at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and then it went to New York City's Madison Square Park.  The torch made the trip to help raise funds to pay for the statue's pedestal.

It went back to Paris in 1882 and then returned to New York Harbor along with the other pieces of the crated statue in 1885.

The torch was held high by Lady Liberty from 1886 to 1984, but modifications to the flame changed the original design over the years.

Glad the Original Is Going Inside.  --DaCoot

Statue of Liberty's Original Torch Moved to A Museum-- Part 1

From the November 16, 2018, Northwest Herald (McHenry County, Illinois).

A photo showing the original torch of the Statue of Liberty being transported in New York City.  The torch was removed in 1984 and replaced by a replica.  It is being moved to a new museum on Liberty Island.

From the 1980s until now, the torch was at the base of the statue.  Visitors watched as its base and detached flame were slowly and carefully removed to the museum which will open next year.  The torch altogether weighs 3,600 pounds.

The new museum is about 100 yards from the statue.

Officials with the National Park Service and the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation said the torch was removed in 1984 because it was too badly damaged to restore.  In the process of taking it down, the largest free-standing scaffolding to that time was erected.

Being housed inside will help prevent further deterioration.


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Problem With Crickets in 1943

From the August 29, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Crickets and more crickets are being found throughout the city and the business section was again overrun last evening with pedestrians encountering much trouble as they walked along the main streets.

"Thousands were swept into the street as the merchants arrived to open their stores this morning, doorways and along the edges about store fronts being literally covered."


The Case of the Bubbler Loafers in 1918

From the August 29, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Of late there has been much complaint about men and young men, loafing around street corners, using the bubbling machines as resting places.

"The bubbler on Fourth  street was occupied for over a half an hour by three fellows and many people, rather than disturb the loafers, went another block for a drink of cold water.  People in the habit of doing this this should remember there are others in this world who are glad to take advantage of a bubbling fountains and not monopolize them for an hour at a time."

Drinking fountains were called bubblers back then.

--  Cooter

Monday, November 26, 2018

"Atomic Attack" At NIU in 1968

From the August 8, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1968, 50 Years Ago.

"The United States will be under 'atomic attack' for 24 hours this weekend as nearly 30 Northern Illinois  residents take shelter in a university dormitory here.

"The shelter is in the basement of the 13-story Stevenson Towers on the Northern Illinois University campus will house participants from age three to adults during a drill  conducted by NIU's disaster preparedness committee."

Better Prepared Than Sorry.  --Cootbomb