In Years Past

  • In 1913, a towering shaft of white marble, erected in commemoration of Commodore Oliver Hazzard Perry’s victory in the battle of Lake Erie and the one hundred years of peace between the United States and Great Britain, was formally dedicated this day by Former President William Howard Taft, inaugurating the dedication ceremonies. A cannon boomed at the hour of the firing of the opening gun of the famous battle fought 100 years ago this day within view of the shores of Put-In Bay, Ohio where the ceremony took place.
  • Early risers this morning found that the temperature had dropped during the night until in many places throughout the city of Jamestown and vicinity, a severe white frost was in evidence. Not much damage was reported among the city gardens, due no doubt to the proximity of houses, trees, etc., and the steeper slopes of the hills in the city but even here, tender vegetation was cut in places quite severely. Reports from the surrounding country showed that in some sections the frost damage was quite heavy. The most severe frost reported was from the Watts Flats and Niobe sections and from Dewittville.
  • In 1938, mothers of school children in Salamanca’s east end in the vicinity of the Prospect Avenue school were taking over the roles of traffic police to see that the youngsters got safely across dangerous street crossings near the school. Last year they had demanded and had been promised, that traffic lights would be installed at points they deemed especially dangerous. But pleading lack of funds, city officials had not installed the lights.
  • Jamestown and vicinity diamond addicts (and there were many) who hoped the Pittsburgh Pirates could win their way into the 1938 World Series, were beginning to fear that, like the Pirates of 1927, the last winning Pittsburgh combination, the current edition had faded at the end of the season and would be extremely fortunate to last. If the Buccaneers came down in front in the National League it would only be because they had nothing to beat. The Cubs should be out in front by 10 games but like the others, did not appear to want the flag.
  • In 1963, a massive power failure, caused by a freak car accident, hit the Jamestown area shortly before the rush hour the previous afternoon, cutting off electricity everywhere in the city and most of its environs. The hour and 35 minute “blackout” which affected the entire area served by the municipal electric system, including Jamestown, Celoron and portions of Falconer and the Town of Ellicott, was caused when an automobile snapped a guy wire on a utility pole at the old stone quarry on Allen Street Extension. The guy wire snapped like a rubber band and one end lashed across a pair of 13,200-volt high tension “tie-in” lines connecting the city system with its Dow Street sub-station. Driver of the car was Wayne Shelley, 19 of Celoron. He told police the accelerator pedal jammed. To avoid on-coming traffic, he swerved into the stone quarry and in the process hit the guy wire. He was not injured.
  • Some eight or nine persons stayed “calm and collected” despite a 20-minute ordeal in a Hotel Jamestown elevator stalled by a citywide power failure. The hotel’s office elevator stopped between the mezzanine and second floor about 5 p.m. Gene Buck, hotel manager, said the passengers took the blackout “like veterans.” Three or four of the passengers were rescued with a ladder before power returned, Mr. Buck said – but none fainted or got panicky.
  • In 1988, they didn’t speak English but they kissed cheeks well. Four officials from Jamestown’s sister city, Cantu, Italy, 11 students and a chaperone arrived in Jamestown at about 9 p.m. Friday. “Prima, prima, prima,” Cantu’s Secretary General Vito Andresini said when asked if this was his first visit to the United States. He, with the rest of the group, landed in New York City Tuesday. “I don’t speak English, only French and Italian,” Cantu’s Mayor, Martino Gaffuri, said for himself. Thereafter, his remarks were translated through an Italian student, Luca Motta. “He likes the city but he just got here and it’s dark,” Motta translated for the Mayor.
  • There were 1-900 phone numbers for almost any subject under the sun. With a quick punch of the buttons it was easy to get information on sports results, stock market trends, weather conditions, children’s stories and even a number to see if Elvis Presley was alive. But people should be prepared to pay. Unlike the 1-800 numbers, which were toll-free, 1-900 numbers could be expensive. The typical cost was $2 for the first minute and 45 cents for each additional minute. If a teenager called three times a week for a half-hour per call this would total $342.60 for a month.