Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Looking Back to 1916: A War Tax on Telephone Calls and Telegrams

From the October 12, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"You will notice on your telephone and telegraph bills nowadays that an extra penny is not added, and although a penny is the smallest denomination of American money, with some business concerns that added penny for war tax amounted to considerable in a month.

"Telephone calls that went over a fifteen cent charge were taxed a penny, while telegrams of all kinds, way bills, etc., were also taxed.  The penny can now go towards the high cost of living instead of the war fund."

And, We Weren't Even At War Then.  --Cooter

Monday, February 27, 2017

Fargo Theaters in Illinois

From Cinema site.

FARGO THEATRE.  Opened in DeKalb on December 7, 1929 on Lincoln Highway on east side of town.  Closed in 1952.  After that became a skating rink.  Today is a retail store, auditorium and warehouse at 621-649 East Lincoln Highway.

It had sister theater in Geneva, Illinois, called the Fargo Theatre, now the Geneva Theater.

Both were built and owned by Judge Fargo.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Looking Back to 1941: A New Theater for DeKalb

From the October 19, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"Plans for the erection of a new motion picture theatre in this city, to be located on North Third Street, are being completed by Fred Anderson of Morris, operator of the DeKalb Egyptian and DeKalb Fargo Theatres.

"It is understood that Mr. Anderson plans to bring an architect to DeKalb next week to go over the site and prepare the plans for the movie house."

I imagine the DeKalb Fargo Theatre was the one in Sycamore.  The Egyptian Theatre is in DeKalb and the one planned would have been the DeKalb Theatre.

Pass the Popcorn.  --Cooter

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Looking Back to 1941: Progress on the DeKalb Garden Street Project

From the August 17, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

This has to do with roads and the coming of World War II.

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"Crews of DeKalb city workmen have been engaged on the Garden Street project during the past few weeks and are rapidly nearing the end of the project on this one street.  It is expected that the work will be completed by the end of the week.

"The project was originally opened with WPA help, but when the federal government withdrew all help of this nature the city carried on the work with the aid of day labor.  Splendid progress has been reported and it is believed the gutter and curbing details will be completed within a short time, and should make possible the blacktopping operations that are planned."

Of course, the WPA was ramping down at this time as the workmen were needed in the military as war impended.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What's in the News February 20, 1972: Why, the Vietnam War and Nixon's Visit to China

A reprint in the February 19, 2017, Panama City (Florida) News-Herald of their front page from 1972.


They had been shot down during bombing raids over North Vietnam.  The Pentagon had reported the five men as missing.  These five men were of the six who had shot down during 29-hours of raids last Wednesday and Thursday.


The command had no comment on this story


The Chinese foreign ministry denounced American bombing raids, just one day before President Nixon's arrival in Peking.


President Nixon landed on Guam for his final rest stop before becoming the first U.S. president to visit China.

Aren't We Glad These Days Are Over.  --Cooter

Monday, February 20, 2017

Final Goodbye: Notable Deaths of 2016-- Part 6: Glenn to Reynolds


John Glenn, 95.  First U.S. astronaut to orbit Earth and U.S. senator.  Dec. 8.  A real hero in every sense of the word.

Alan Thicke, 69.  Versatile performer.  Dec. 11.

Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99.  Dahling.  Dec. 18.

George Michael, 53.  Dec.25.

Carrie Fisher, 60.  Princess Leia in "Star Wars."  Dec. 27.

Debbie Reynolds, 84.  Dec. 28.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Final Goodbye: Notable Deaths in 2016-- Part 5: Adulyadej to Castro


King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88.  World's longest reigning monarch in Thailand.  Oct. 13.

Junko Tabei, 77.  The first woman to climb Mt. Everest.  Oct. 20.

Tom Hayden, 76.  Antiwar activist.  Oct. 23.


Janet Reno, 78.  First woman to serve as US attorney general.  Nov. 7.

Leonard Cohen, 82.  Canadian singer-songwriter.  Nov. 7.

Gwen Ifill, 61.  Co-anchor of PBS' "News Hour."  Nov. 14.

Florence Henderson, 82.  Mom on "The Brady Bunch."  Nov. 24.

Fidel Castro, 90.  I thought this guy was going to kill me back in 1962.  Nov. 25.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Final Goodbye: Notable Deaths of 2016-- Part 4: McLaughlin to Peres


John McLaughlin, 89.  Conservative political commentator and television host.  August 16.

Sonia Rykiel, 86.  French designer.  August 25.

Gene Wilder, 83.  Way too funny.  Aug. 28.

Juan Gabriel, 66.  Mexican songwriter and singer.  Aug. 28.


Phyllis Schlafly, 92.  Conservative activist who helped defeat  the Equal Rights Amendment.  sept. 5.

Rose Mofford, 94.  Arizona's first female governor.  Sept. 15.

Edward Albee, 88.  Pulitzer Prize-winning plsaywright, Sept. 16.

Arnold Palmer, 87.  Golfing great.  Sept. 25.

Shimon Peres, 93.  Former Israeli president and prime minister.  Nobel peace Prize-winner.  Sept. 28.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Final Goodbye: Notable Deaths of 2016-- Part 3: Ali to Dimitri


Muhammad Ali, 74.  Died June 3.

Gordie Howe, 88.  NHL star.  June 10.

Anton Yelchin, 27.  Actor.  June 19.

Pat Summitt, 64.  Winningest coach in Division I college basketball history.  Women's basketball.  June 28.


Elie Wiesel, 87.  Holocaust survivor and author about it.  July 2.

Michael Cimino, 77.  Oscar-winning director.  July 2.

Clown Dimitri, 80.  Swiss clown and mime.  July 19.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Final Goodbye: Notable Deaths in 2016-- Part 2: Conroy to Safer


Pat Conroy, 70.  Author of "The Great Santini" and other best sellers.  March 4.

Nancy Reagan, 94.  Wife of former President Ronald Reagan.  March 6.

Phife Dawg, 45.  Member of hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest.  March 22.

Garry Shandling, 66.  Actor and comedian.  March 24.

Patty Duke, 69.  Actress.  March 29.


Merle Haggard, 79.  Country music.  April 6.

Doris Roberts, 90. Actress.   Mother on "Everybody Loves Raymond."  April 17.

Dwayne "Pearl" Washington, 52.  Basketball star.  April 20.

Prince, 57.  April 21.

Tommy Kono, 85.  Olympic weightlifter.  April 24.


Morley Safer, 84.  Journalist.  "60 Minutes."  May 19.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Final Goodbye: Notable Deaths of 2016-- Part 1: Boulez to Eco

From the December 30, 2016, Chicago Tribune by Bernard McGhee, AP.

A month by month breakdown.


Pierre Boulez, 90.  New York Philharmonic, Jan. 5.

Otis Clay, 73,  Hall of Fame R&B aerist,  Jan. 8

David Bowie, 69. Jan. 10.

Alan Rickman, 69.  Actor.  Professor Snape in "Harry Potter".  Jan. 14

Glenn Frey, 67.  Jan. 18

Abe Vigoda, 94.  Actor.  "Barney Miller" and "Godfather."


Maurice White, 74.  Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire.  Feb. 3.

Antonin Scalia, 79.  U.S. Supreme Court.  Feb. 13.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 93.  Egyptian diplomat and U.N. Secretary General.

Harper Lee, 89.  Author "To Kill a Mockingbird."  Feb. 19.

Umberto Eco, 84.  Italian author.  Feb. 19.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse and the Lusitania-- Part 3: U-boat Skipper Gets Captured Later in the War Near the Same Site

Interestingly enough, after the U-boat which sank the Lusitania returned to Germany, the man who had captained it, Raimund Weisbach, returned to the sea and, in 1917 off the southwest coast of Ireland near Fastnet Lighthouse, was captured by the British after one of their submarines had torpedoed his new submarine, the U-81.

Turnabout's fair Play. --Cooter

Friday, February 10, 2017

Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse and the Lusitania-- Part 2

When the German captain sent a torpedo into the unsuspecting ship, it sank and over eleven hundred people lost their lives.  This tragedy helped galvanize American opinion to enter the war against Germany.

The principal keeper of the lighthouse reported the sinking of the Lusitania to the admiral in charge at Queenstown (Cobh), who mobilized rescue boats to save as many as possible.

Today, you can see in casement square of Cobh a memorial to the Lusitania's victims, many of whom are buried at the old church cemetery in Kinsale.

The liner lies in the sea about twelve miles south of the lighthouse in 320 feet of water.

Irish Lighthouse in World War I-- Part 1: Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse and the Lusitania

From  Lighthouses of Ireland by Kevin M. McCarthy.

I have been writing about the lighthouses of Ireland and their role in World War II in my Tattooed On Your Soul World War II bloh.

The captain of the Lusitania maneuvered his Cunard liner close to Ireland's Old Head of Kinsale peninsula in order to take his bearings, although being that close to the Irish coast was not safe in May of 1915.

On May 7, 1915, the Lusitania, on her way from the United States to England, sailed nearer to the Irish coast than was safe, but the captain was determined to find out exactly where where he was by taking a bearing on the Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse.

When the officers sighted the three-mile-long peninsula and reassuring lighthouse, they knew that the port of Quenstown (now Cobh) was only thirty miles away.  They felt much safer, but lurking beneath the water was a German U-boat.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Looking Back to 1916: Thanks to Corey & Evans

From the August 10, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Corey & Evans have earned the gratitude of the military aid people.  The well-known transfer firm has donated the use of its big motor truck to haul the band to and from the ice cream social at Sycamore on Wednesday night."

More for the war effort.


Looking Back to 1916: Soldier's "Housewives"

From the August 10, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"The good sense of the DeKalb women who made a number of 'housewives' for the soldier boys, equipped with threads, pins, etc. which were given to the boys when they went away has been vindicated.

"Word from the front was to the effect that the 'housewives' had proven some of the best equipment the boys possessed and the request was made that a lot more of them be prepared and sent down so that there would be enough for the entire company and the band."

Obvious that this was in preparation for World War I, but, "front" would probably be the training camp.

Also called the Soldier's Housewife.

Patch That Hole in Your Pants.  --Cooter

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Looking Back to 1966: Mr. Lincoln's Whiskey

From the August 17, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"An ancient bottle of whiskey presented by Abraham Lincoln more than a century ago was found when authorities opened the cornerstone of the Illinois Capitol."

Was It Still Drinkable?  --DaCoot

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Looking Back to 1941: Heat Wave Strikes

From the August 17, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"The crew cleaning the interior and exterior of the Sycamore city water tower were stopped by the heat yesterday.  Early hours were not so bad, but the mid-day sun which bounced its heat waves off the steel on the tower tank was too much for the workmen.

"They had to give up."

A Hot Time In the Old Town Today.  --Coothot

A Heartbreaking Year for Celebrity Deaths-- Part 8: Professor Snape to John Glenn


Alan Rickman (Professor Serverus Snape in the "Harry Potter" movies.
Gene Wilder
Curtis Hanson
Michael Cimino


Harper Lee
Umberto Eco
Elie Wiesel
Gloria Naylor
Alvin Roffler

JOHN GLENN  If we ever had a hero, this would be the guy.

Muhammed Ali

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Heartbreaking Year for Celebrity Deaths-- Part 7: Politics

Other 2016 deaths:


Shimon Peres, former president and prime minister of Israel.

Former Attorney General Janet Reno.

Phyllis Schlafly, conservative activist whose opposition to feminism created a hero for the political right.


Phil Chess, whose Chess Records on South Michigan Avenue was so big for blues, recording such acts as Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf and many others.


NFL defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan whose fabled "46" defense (named after Doug Plank's number) gave the '85 Bears their only team Championship in Super Bowl XX.  We just saw that game again this past weekend.


A Heartbreaking Year for Celebrity Deaths-- Part 6 Big Macs to Zsa Zsa

Even Miss Cleo, whose psychic hotlines was a staple of late-night TV in the 1990s, died.

Jim Delligatti, 98, inventor of the Big Mac.

Peng Chang-kuei, 98,  created General Tso's chicken.

Rose Evansky, 94, invented blow-dry styling.

Kenny baker whose 3-foot-8-inch height gave life to R2-D2.

Michu Meszaros, billed as the "Smallest Man in the World" in the Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus, stood 2-foot-9-inches

Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99


Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Heartbreaking Year for Celebrity Deaths-- Part 5: TV

These are some of the TV giants who died in 2016:

Grant Tinker:  "Mary Tyler Moore," "Cheers,"  "Miami Vice."
Garry Shandling:  "The Larry Sanders Show"

Garry Marshall:  "Happy Days," "Mork & Mindy" and the first "Odd Couple."
Ron Glass and Abe Vigoda of "Barney Miller"

Florence Henderson:  Mrs. Brady on "The Brady Bunch."
Robert Vaughan:  "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."

Dan Haggerty as Grizzly Adams
Pat Harrington Jr.:  Schneider on "One Day At a Time"

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Heartbreaking Year for Celebrity Deaths-- Part 4: Music

Music was particularly hard hit:

David Bowie
Leonard Cohen
Maurice White of Earth Wind & Fire

Bernie Worrell of Parliament-Funkadelic
George Michael
Glenn Frey

George Martin
Ralph Stanley
Bobby Hutcherson

Mose Allison
Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane
Alan Vega of Suicide

Merle Haggard
Leon Russell

Next, TV--  Cooter

Friday, February 3, 2017

A Heartbreaking Year for Celebrity Deaths-- Part 3: Scalia to Adams

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 79

Promising young actor Anton Yelchin, 27.

George Kennedy

Nancy Reagan

Patty Duke

Carrie Fisher  She was saved in Chicago while filming "The Blues Brothers" by Dan Aykroyd when she was choking on a Brussels sprout and he applied a fairly new lifesaving technique called the Heimlich Maneuver.

Henry Heimlich, its inventor, also died at age 96 in 2016 of an heart attack.

Debbie Reynolds, 84.  Died one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher.

Anna Dewdney, author of children's book "Llama, Llama."

Richard Adams who wrote "Watership Down."

Architect Zaha Hadid

Not Finished Yet.

Looking Back to 1941: A New Barbed Wire in DeKalb

From the September 28, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"Henry A. Nelson, president of Central States Industrial Engineering of DeKalb, has been granted a patent on an improved type of barbed wire.

"The barbed wire which Mr. Nelson has perfected has what is described as a reverse twist of the two strands of wire being the center, between two barbs."

They don't call DeKalb the Barbed City for nothing.

It's a Sticking Situation.  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: The Problem With Garbage

From the September 21, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"This is an unsavory story -- it is the old one again about garbage.  Even with the new garbage arrangement, there is complaint about garbage disposal or rather non-disposal.

"Many people throw refuse on the ground instead of keeping it covered until the collector comes.  In the meantime it breeds millions of flies and causes all sorts of things to be said because of the terrible odors.

"Flies are recognized as the spreader of typhoid fever, summer complaints, malaria, infantile paralysis and dozens of other sicknesses, so why in the name of common sense don't people take a little precaution when it could so easily be done."

And, We Take Garbage Collection for Granted.  --Cooter

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Heartbreaking Year for Celebrity Deaths-- Part 2: Bowie to Michael

At the top of the article is a row of pictures of some of those who died:

David Bowie
Gene Wilder
Sharon Jones
Patty Duke
Muhammad Ali
Leonard Cohen
Gwen Ifill
Zsa Zsa Gabor
George Michael

A Heartbreaking Year for Celebrity Deaths-- Part 1: From Cole to Reynolds

From the December 30, 2016, Chicago Tribune by Christopher Borrelli.

"By July, the possibility that 2016 was officially 'the worst year ever', became an internet meme.  By September, every famous name that trended on Twitter carried a whiff of dread.

"The year was defined by loss."

It kicked off even a day early with the death of Natalie Cole on New Year's Eve 2015 and by January 8, so too was David Bowie, dead at age 69.

Twelve months later so was Cuban leader Fidel Castro and two of the three members of the famous band Emerson, Lake & Palmer:  Keith Emerson and Greg Lake.

Looking Back to 1941: Cashing In on the 1933 National Banking Moratorium

From the September 28, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"The force of the DeKalb Trust and Savings Bank has been working overtime the past several days preparing the checks which will be delivered to approximately 1,400 persons who waived, by a depositor's agreement, a portion of the amount on deposit at the time of the National Banking Moratorium in 1933.

"These checks, totalling $10,338.82 are now ready for shipping."

Have wa Little Faith.  --Cooter

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Looking Back to 1941: DeKalb World War I Last Man's Club Buys Hearse

From the August 24, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"Although they deny that the vehicle was purchased as originally intended, a group of DeKalb World War veterans (remember, this date before World War I for the U.S.) all of whom are members of the Last Man's Club, recently purchased an old hearse.

"The hearse, of early vintage insofar as automobiles are concerned, was purchased from Emil Johnson of Sycamore."

For the Last Man?  ----Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: A New Factory Opening in DeKalb

From the September 7, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"One of DeKalb's promising industries has been lying idle for some time is soon to be again placed in operation according to a well authenticated report.

"The plant is that of the defunct DeKalb Cereal Company which was put up for the purpose of making the great cereal food, Bix Six."


Ten Largely Astonishing Accounts of the Old American West-- Part 2: Banditos

5.  Banditos

4.  Pueblo Revolt

3.  Battle at Picacho Peak--  Civil War, fought 1862

2.  Mountain Meadows Massacre 1857, reportedly by the Mormons

1.  1838 Smallpox


Ten Astonishing Accounts of the Old American West-- Part 1

From the September 3, 2016, Listverse by Adam R. Ramos.

Remember, more written for each item at the site.  I am just listing them.

10.  Ghost Dance

9.  A Failed Revolution  Nacodoches, Texas, Republic of Fredonia.

8.  Levi's Jeans

7.  Trail of Tears

6.  Bleeding Kansas

More.  --Cooter