In Years Past

In 1914, the big garden party given by the pupils and teachers of the East Second Street Grammar School in Jamestown for the benefit of the Hundred Acre lot was conducted on the grammar school and high school lawns the previous afternoon and bid fair to be one of the biggest affairs of its kind ever given in the city. The attendance was very large as about 7,000 tickets had been sold. The lawns presented a gala appearance, having been beautifully decorated by an army of workers under the direction of Jack Bartlett. Strung across the lawns were hundreds of American flags and the grammar school building had been draped in blue and white streamers, the colors of the school. At various points, huge Japanese umbrellas were placed, under which were tables and chairs. The high school orchestra furnished music throughout the afternoon.

Officer Louis W. Droege, of the Dunkirk police force, was the victim of a freak shooting accident at the Park Avenue hotel. Droege had been sent to the hotel on a business matter by Police Chief P.W. Quandt. He was sitting in a chair in the office when his automatic revolver dropped from his hip pocket. The hammer struck the floor, exploding the cartridge. The bullet struck a billy club in his left hip pocket, was deflected and passed through the muscles of his left upper arm, just missing the bone. But for the billy, the bullet would have entered his body. A doctor was called and the wound dressed after which Droege finished the business he was one and then reported back to police headquarters.

In 1939, insisting he was headed for Mars, Cheston L. Eshelman, 22-year-old student flier from Carlisle, Pa., returned to dry land only to be arrested for larceny of the airplane which sank when he was fished from the Atlantic, 175 miles from shore, the previous day. “My only destination was Mars – the planet Mars,” Eshelman told reporters aboard the police boat which took him from the trawler Villanova in the Boston harbor. “I had no intention of flying to Europe.” “What were you going to do there?” he was asked. “You’ve got me there. I wouldn’t know what to do on Mars,” Eshelman replied. Police said Eshelman had only 55 cents in cash on his person and that his food supply consisted of two chocolate bars and a few sandwiches.

Clare A. Pickard, president of the Civic Music Association received word that Marian Anderson, the celebrated Negro contralto, would keep her concert engagement at Jamestown the following Monday evening, June 12, the final artist in the season’s repertoire. Anderson’s concert had been twice deferred by sudden illness but officials had definite assurance that she would be in the city on Monday next to sing in the high school auditorium. It was expected that the same program which had been announced twice previously would be presented. After Anderson’s second cancellation, the Metropolitan soprano, Grace Moore, was engaged but she too was suddenly stricken ill. The patience of the 1,600 Civic Music members in so graciously accepting the conflicting bulletins which were issued, would be rewarded by Anderson’s own appearance. Anderson would sing at the White House Thursday for King George and Queen Elizabeth of England.

In 1989, the SkyDome in Toronto wasn’t just a new stadium, it was the future of baseball. Like it or not, the SkyDome was the prototype for future stadiums – a baseball resort. When the Toronto Blue Jays arrived for Monday’s inaugural game against Milwaukee, the $100 million retractable roof was being rolled back just as the sun slipped through the clouds. If it rained, the roof would be closed. If it started raining during a game, the roof would take about 20 minutes to be put into place. Most of the Blue Jays and Brewers spent the time before the game inspecting the outer limits of the SkyDome. It was a first look for Toronto manager Cito Gaston. “What a place,” Gaston said. “I’m glad that I waited until today just to come into see this place. That’s the way I planned it. I wanted to walk in and see it all at once.”

-A State University at Fredonia professor and part of his family might be on the way home from Beijing this day. Relatives received word that philosophy professor Morton L. Schagrin and his family were on their way home but no confirmation that they had left could be obtained. The U.S. Embassy ordered the mandatory evacuation of dependents of diplomatic personnel from Beijing and many other countries took similar steps. The Bush administration said the situation was so chaotic in the world’s most populous country that it could not tell who was in charge and that it appeared likely China’s top leaders had left the city.