Friday, April 29, 2016

Looking Back: Knucklin' Down for Sycamore Marble Championship in 1941

From the April 20, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"Come on boys!  Knuckle down and get that shooting hand limbered up for Sycamore's Marble Tournament to be held at Central School grounds after school on Friday.    The True Republican will present a bronze plaque especially engraved for the occasion to be presented to the champion shooter of Sycamore as determined by the special elimination contest open to all boys of Sycamore schools under 14 years of age."

Wonder What Happened to All My Old Marbles.  Bet Mom Threw Them Out.  --Cooter

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Looking Back: Chief Shabbona's Family Wants Compensation for Land Unjustly Taken

From the April 20, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 years ago.

"The visit to Sycamore on January 26 last of John Shabbona, grandson of the famous Indian chief Shabbona, was followed last week by the appearance of Chief Shabbona's daughter, mother of John, and said to be 90 years of age, and Zeboquay, her nurse, and grand-daughters of Shabbona by Maud's sister.

"They again examined the records in the recorder's office, and it is understood that effort will be made to obtain from the government for Shabbona's heirs compensation for the land in the county unjustly taken from Chief Shabbona."

I Wonder How This Came Out?  --Cooter

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Tale of Two Capitols-- Part 4: The "New" One

Well, it is not so new anymore.

Ground was broken on the current Illinois statehouse in 1868, and the building's first general assembly was held there in 1877.  The highest elevation in Springfield was chosen for the capitol building, and to thsi day, no structure in Springfield is allowed to be taller than the zinc-covered dome.

It  is a majestic example of French renaissance style and serves as the center of Illinois politics and government (what there is of it with our current group).

Spectators can watch the House and Senate proceedings from public galleries, visit legislative offices and learn about the history and current use of the building on daily free guided tours.

Is There a Dome In Your Future?  --DaDomer

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Tale of Two State Capitols-- Part 3: Walk It or Guide It

From 1898-1899 it was raised and a third floor added under it.

From 1966-1969, it was completely dismantled and rebuilt.

Visitors to the Old State Capitol can take a 30-minute interpreter-conducted tour or view the rooms on their own.   Also available is a 15-minute orientation video on the building's history.

The building is fully accessible to persons with disabilities.

#1 Old State Capitol Plaza.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Tale of Two Illinois State Capitols, the Old State Capitol-- Part 2 From State Capitol to Sangamon County Courthouse.

The Old State Capitol building in Springfield served as the center of government and Illinois political life from 1839-1836 and featured prominently in the lives of President Lincoln and Senator Stephen A. Douglas.  It is here where Lincoln delivered his famous "House Divided" speech, pleaded cases before the Illinois Supreme Court (while a lawyer) 1840-1860 and announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

He used  the governors rooms as headquarters during his 1860 presidential campaign.  It was also the scene of his final laying-in-state on May 3-4, 1865 and from where his body was removed for burial.

The building soon was inadequate for government of the state and it was decided to build a new, larger one which was opened in 1876.  From 1876, the Old State Capitol served as the county courthouse of Sangamon County and over the years was extensively restructured.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Tale of Two Illinois State Capitols-- Part 1: Abe Lincoln Spoke Here

From Springfield, Illinois, 2016 Visitors Guide.

In Springfield there are two state Capitols, so if you ask for directions to the Capitol, make sure to say "new" or "old," even though the "new" one isn't all that "new" anymore.

Actually, the two Capitols in Springfield are the third and fourth ones.  Illinois became a state in 1818, and the first two capitals were at Kaskaskia and Vandalia.  Springfield became the third and final capital in 1837.

Springfield's first Capitol is a red-domed Greek Revival-style building made of local Sugar Creekmlimestone.  This is where Abraham Lincoln served in the state legislature and where he gave his famous "House Divided" speech.  It is open for tours.  (The annual Route 66 International Festival in Springfield takes place around it.)


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Looking Back: DeKalb County, Illinois, in 1889: Dealing With Deadbeats and Whisky Peoria

From the October 15, 2014, MidWeek "Looking Back."

News from October 16, 1889,:  "A subscriber who owes us a little bit said he would call last week and pay us if he was alive.  He still appears on the street, but as he did not call, it is naturally supposed that he is dead and is walking around to save funeral expense."  (Perhaps he is an early "Walking Dead?)

**  "A disorderly crowd of young hoodlums was near the Methodist Church on Monday night, but no special or regular police could be found.

**  "Peoria is a synonym for whisky.  It smells of whisky, tastes of whisky, and is built on whisky.

**  "Twelve persons have now been shot and killed in the continuance of the Hatfield-McCoy feud in West Virginia."

How Do I Get to Peoria?  --Cooter

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New Titanic Items at Auction

From the April 19, 2016 Fox News "Titanic artifact reveal gruesome discovery of tragic ship's last lifeboat" by James Rogers.

Photos and a handwritten note detailing the grisly discovery of the tragic ship's last lifeboat are to be auctioned later this week.

The phots were taken May 13, 1912, almost a month after the sinking.  It shows the RMS Oceanic's find of what is thought to be the last lifeboat to leave the doomed ship.  Inside were three decaying bodies of passengers.

This was known as "Collapsible A."

The corpse wearing a dinner jacket was first-class passenger Thomson Beattie.  A wedding was found on the boat which had belonged to Swedish passenger Elin Gerda Lindell, who briefly reached the boat but later drowned.

Always the Titanic.  --Cooter

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Borden Milk Plant in Sycamore, Illinois

From Images of America:  Sycamore.

The Borden Milk Plant opened in 1907 and was a thriving industry until 1932 when a grass fire started at the nearby Chicago and North Western Railway tracks and spread to and destroyed the facility.  The tracks were used to take the milk to Chicago and other places.

Milk was hauled from area farms in metal cans to the plant in Sycamore where it was poured into a large tube accessible by an outside ramp and then carried by gravity into the plant and then put into glass bottles.

The plant was not rebuilt after that.  But there is still a Borden Avenue in Sycamore.


A Milk Strike in Sycamore, Illinois, in 1916

From the April 6, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back"

1916, 100 years ago:

"The army of fighters representing milk producers-- a full 100 strong-- began arriving in automobiles in Sycamore this Friday morning and by evening had established an effective cordon barrier on the outskirts of town on all roads leading into Sycamore.

"The first man to appear with a load of milk was Gunard Johnson, who lives on the outskirts of Sycamore-- at the end of DeKalb Avenue.  He drove toward the Borden plant from the north when the early watchers happened to be over by the Organ residence at the other side of the plant.

"When the bunch saw Johnson approaching the plant with milk they started to run toward the plant to intercept him, but their fur coats and heavy clothing made running rather slow, and Johnson seeing the 'bunch' of 25 men or so approaching, whipped up his horses and got to the plant ahead of the men and got his milk unloaded."

I wonder what they would have done if they had caught Johnson?  --Cooter

Monday, April 18, 2016

Drunk and Disorderly in DeKalb County in 1916

From the April, 6, 2016 MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back)

1916, 100 years ago.

"It was current about the streets on Monday that 15 men had been arrested for being drunk and disorderly on Sunday evening.  The facts are that only three were arrested.

They were a couple of Russian shoemakers and a friend said to have come from Freeport.

They engaged in a fight in the rooms of some of the men upstairs in the neighborhood of the Rothengast barbershop.  One of them was seriously bruised.

Wonder if the Russians were spreading Marxist sayings?


Britain Insists Australia and New Zealand Represented in World War I Centenary Plans

From the January 1, 2014,  Global Post.

Prime Minister David Cameron said it is "completely wrong" to suggest ANZAC troops were being airbrushed out of the centenary events in favour of troops from other parts of the former empire.

Reports from Australia suggest otherwise.

From 1914 to 1918 62,000 Australian and 18,000 New Zealand troops died.

These ANZAC troops will be fully honoured next year on the centenary of the Gallipoli landings in Turkey.

British Spellings.  --Cooter

Friday, April 15, 2016

Death of Franklin McCain in 2014, One of the Greensboro Four

From the January 10, 2014, WBTV 3 News.

A North Carolina Civil Rights  Attended North Carolina A&T University and was best-known for his involvement at the Greensboro sit-in.

On February 1, 1960, he sat at a whites-only lunch counter at the Woolworth's on Elm Street along with Ezell Blair Jr., Joseph McNeill and David Richmore.  This extremely brave move on their part started a nationwide movement.  The next day they were joined by 25 other A&T and other Greensboro school students.

The movement gained momentum.  By the end of the month there were similar demonstrations in 250 other cities across the country.

Mr. McCain once said:  "One of two things was gonna happen to me.  I was going to jail for a long time or I was gonna have my head split open in a pine box.  That was it, those were the only two options."

It took an incredible amount of heroism to right a horrible wrong, but he did it.

Quite the Hero.

Lost in 2014: Jim Fregosi and the Eisenhower Tree

JIM FREGOSI.  Died February 14, 2014.  Age 71.

Baseball player 1961-1973 with Los Angeles/California Angels, shortstop.  Was part of an amazing double play combination with Bobby Knoop, regarded as the American League's top hitting shortstops.

Also played with the New York Mets, Texas Rangers and Pirates.

At age 36, he managed the California Angels.  Also with the Chicago White Sox from 1986-1988.


A 100-125 year-old loblolly pine tree at Augusta National Golf Club.  In the 1950s, President Dwight Eisenhower lobbied to have it taken down because it interfered with his golf game.

Eisenhower, a member, hit it many times.  The tree was finally taken down because of severe ice damage.

Further Research on the Seventh HMS Looe

I just spent about an hour doing further research on the seventh HMS Looe, the one that was a Bangor-class minesweeper, laid down in 1941 in Hong Kong, renamed HMS Lyemun while on the stocks, but captured by the Japanese at the fall of Hong Kong Dec. 25, 1941.

It was later completed as the Nan Yo and used as a Japanese navy ship until sunk later that year.

I found some material which will be posted later today on my World War II blog, "Tattooed On Your Soul."


Interesting Histories to Former Ships By the Name HMS Looe

From Wikipedia.

There were seven ships in the British Navy of this name.  Of them, were wrecked, two became breakwaters, one was a former privateer and one was captured by the Japanese in 1941 and became a Japanese ship.

1st:  32-gun fifth rate launched 1696, wrecked 1697

2nd:  32-gun fifth rate launched 1697, wrecked 1705

3rd:  42-gun fifth rate launched 1707, reduced to harbor service 1735, sunk as breakwater 1737

4th:  44-gun fifth rate launched 1741, wrecked 1744  (Our HMS Looe)

5th:  44-gun fifth rate launched in 1745, sunk as breakwater 1759

6th:  30-gun fifth rate, formerly privateer Liverpool, purchased 1759, sold 1763

7th:  To have been a Bangor-class minesweeper.  Laid down 1941, renamed HMS Lyemun while still on stocks, but captured that year by the Japanese who completed it and launched it as the Nan Yo in 1943, lost later that year.

Wreck Me, Break Me.  --Cooter

Thursday, April 14, 2016

HMS Looe-- Part 2: Runs Aground

In 1743, Captain Ashby Utting took command.  It was lost in the early morning of 5 February 1744 after having captured a Spanish merchant ship just after midnight when it struck a reef, soon followed by the merchant ship.

The crew had to escape in three small boats and were worried about being captured by a Spanish warship.  The three boats were unable to save the entire crew.  Just as things were looking particularly bleak, they spotted a nearby Spanish sloop and captured it.

The two grounded ships were salvaged of provisions and then set afire.  .  the crew escaped in the small boats and sloop.  The sloop got to Port Royal, South Carolina and two of the boats made it to safety.  Utting was court-martailled, but acquitted.

The key was named after the Looe and the wreck is now part of the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary.