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Friday, January 1, 1999

Cincinnati's Century of Change
Looking back at the events and the people that have shaped the Tristate during the 20th century. Each part of this series is posted on


        Jan. 2, 1900: Mill Creek Valley Electric Street Railway completes plans for building of through line from Hamilton to Chester Park.

        Jan. 15, 1901: Remodeling of Sangerfest Hall begins.

        Jan. 11, 1904: International Union of Shoe Workers holds sixth annual convention in Cincinnati at Odd Fellows Hall.

Early railway car
        Jan. 5, 1907: Campaign against saloons open on Sundays launched by Law and Order League.

        1908: Escape artist Harry Houdini performs week of Jan. 12 at Cincinnati's Columbia Theater.


        Jan. 3, 1911: First rehearsal in new Emery Theater held by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

        Jan. 7, 1911: Samuel Hannaford, famed Cincinnati architect of City Hall and Music Hall, dies.

        Jan. 3, 1919: Cincinnati artist Frank Duveneck dies.


        Jan. 1, 1920: Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits the sale, manufacture and distribution of alcohol, goes into effect.

        1920: There are more than 32,000 automobiles registered in Hamilton County.

        Jan. 1, 1926: Murray Seasongood is named first reform mayor of Cincinnati.

        Jan. 23, 1927: Cincinnati Masonic Temple dedicated.

        Jan. 14, 1929: Cincinnatian Myers Y. Cooper is sworn in as 47th governor of Ohio.


'37 flood
        Jan. 8, 1930: Construction of Carew Tower begins.

        Jan. 28, 1931: Netherland Plaza Hotel opens.

        1935: About 42,000 people are unemployed in Hamilton County because of the Great Depression.

        1937: Great flood devastates Cincinnati and other Ohio River communities.

        1938: Lunkenheimer Co. agrees not to oppose unionization of its work force by the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC).


Greater Cincinnati Airport
        Jan. 14, 1942: Office of Civil Defense established; Hamilton County is divided into five Civilian Defense zones.

        1944: Fourth War Loan Drive begins; Hamilton County's goal is to sell $22 million E Bonds.

        Jan. 22, 1944: Allied forces land at Anzio and Nettunto, establish a beach head in Italy.

        Jan. 21, 1945: Alfred Bettman, chair of the Cincinnati City Planning Commission (1930-45) and father of the 1948 Master Plan, dies.

        Jan. 10, 1947: First airplane lands at Greater Cincinnati Airport.


[james brown]
James Brown
        Jan. 5, 1952: Cincinnati Enquirer publisher Roger Ferger announces deal that the newspaper would be purchased by the Times-Star. That deal never went through. Later that year, Enquirer employees bought the Enquirer for $7.6 million.

        Jan. 4, 1954: NCAA holds its annual conference in Cincinnati at the Netherland Plaza.

        1954: Coney Island and the Urban League begin discussions about desegregating the local amusement park; desegregation occurs in 1955, except for pool and dance hall.

        Jan. 23, 1956: Cincinnati's Federal Records, a division of King Records, signs R&B artist James Brown to a recording contract.


[ruth lyons]
Ruth Lyons
        Jan. 23, 1967: Bob Howsam hired as general manager of the Cincinnati Reds. He develops the team that becomes the Big Red Machine.

        Jan. 27, 1967: Television personality Ruth Lyons retires.

        Jan. 29, 1968: First Cincinnati Teacher's strike begins.


[paul brown]
Paul Brown
        Jan. 11, 1971: Cincinnati native John Gilligan is sworn in as governor of Ohio.

        Jan. 11, 1971: Black Catholic Caucus of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is formed.

        Jan. 7, 1973: Voters in Campbell and Kenton counties are the first to approve Sunday liquor sales in Kentucky.

        Jan. 1, 1976: Paul Brown announces his retirement as coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.

        1977: Winter is one of the most severe on record.


[boomer esiason]
Boomer Esiason
        Jan. 20, 1981: Iran released 52 Americans it had held hostage for 444 days, minutes after the presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan. Meanwhile, the weather holds the Tristate's attention as the temperature drops to 21 below zero.

        Jan. 24, 1982: Bengals make their first Super Bowl appearance, losing to San Francisco, 26-21, at the Pontiac Silverdome.

        1986: Fernald residents begin the new year by learning that 200,000 pounds of radioactive material had escaped the uranium processing plant in the last 31 years.

        Jan. 28, 1986: Tristate schoolchildren watch on television when the space shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, killing all seven crew members. The crew includes Christa McAuliffe, a civilian teacher.

        Jan. 1, 1988: Cincinnati's year-long bicentennial celebration begins with Countdown '88 on Fountain Square.

        Jan. 22, 1989: Bengals lose their second Super Bowl appearance, to San Francisco, 20-16, at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami.


[pete rose]
Pete Rose
        Jan. 17, 1991: The U.S.-led Persian Gulf War against Iraq begins. A New Richmond native, Lance Cpl. James Lumpkins, 21, is the first Ohioan to die in the war.

        1991: Former Reds player and manager Pete Rose completes a five-month prison sentence for income tax evasion in Marion, Ill., and moves into a Mount Auburn halfway house, where he lives while serving 1,000 hours of community service.

        Jan. 8, 1993: The NAACP, the National Urban League, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a group of professional athletes call for “immediate and appropriate action” against Reds general partner Marge Schott for alleged racially insensitive remarks attributed to her.

        Jan. 9, 1997: A Comair plane en route from Cincinnati plunges into a snow-covered field as it approaches Detroit Metro Airport, killing all 26 passengers and three crew members as it exploded into a fireball. A three-member Tristate-based flight crew and one local man, a passenger, were aboard.