Wednesday, December 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


        Dec. 13, 1900: Fire destroys the Lane & Bodley Machine Foundry plant at John and Water streets, causing $250,000 damage.

        Dec. 17. 1903: Two Dayton brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright, make the first heavier-than-air flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C.

        Dec. 17, 1904: Hebrew Union College announces plans to relocate its campus from Sixth Street to a site closer to the University of Cincinnati, so the colleges can become more closely affiliated.

        Dec. 25, 1907: Holy Name Church in Mount Auburn is dedicated. It is designed by Hannaford & Sons.

        Dec. 19, 1909: The Orpheum Theater opens at 240 W. Fifth St. Its dedication is held the next night, because many religious groups protest a dedication on the Sabbath.


        Dec. 1, 1912: The Royal Union Improvement Co. agrees to allow the Cincinnati Colored Girls Home to construct a large home on the company's California, Ohio, land.

        Dec. 18, 1912: Clara Baur, founder of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, dies at 77.

        Dec. 13, 1915: Cincinnati Mayor Frederick Spiegel signs an ordinance to extend the Suspension Bridge to the south side of Third Street, about midway between Vine and Walnut streets.

        Dec. 2, 1916: The Cincinnati Elks Lodge approves construction of a temple at Fourth and Walnut streets, on top of the Dixie Arcade and Terminal.


        Dec. 13, 1920: The USS Cincinnati, a steel cruiser built in 1892 at the New York Navy Yard, is auctioned for $122,500.

        Dec. 7, 1922: Ground is broken at Hebrew Union College for a new dormitory and the Freilberg Memorial Gymnasium.

        Dec. 29, 1925: Murray Seasongood is chosen mayor of Cincinnati by city charter committee councilmen.

        Dec. 24, 1927: The Albee Theater opens on Fifth Street between Vine and Walnut streets. William J. Wood is master of ceremonies and director of the performance.


        Dec. 9, 1932: The Taft Museum opens.

        Dec. 17, 1933: A new $250,000 wing is approved for the Cincinnati Art Museum. It will be funded by the estate of Eleanor C.U. Alms.

        Dec. 4, 1935: Ninety-five percent of employable men in the Hamilton County relief program begin work on Works Progress Administration projects, which is part of President Roosevelt's New Deal.

        Dec. 1, 1936: Cincinnati Street Railway buys its first fleet of 17 trolley buses for $13,500 each. The first route is Clark Street Route 5.

        Dec. 10, 1938: Dr. Paul I. Hoxworth founds Hoxworth Blood Center in Cincinnati, one of the nation's first community blood centers.

        Dec. 12, 1938: The Women's Club sponsors a Race Relations Institute to understand problems faced by blacks and to devise solutions.


        Dec. 26, 1940: The Metropolitan Housing Authority begins relocating 1,332 families displaced by the Lincoln Court housing projects in the West End.

        Dec. 8, 1941: A day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declares war on Japan, sparking the highest armed-services recruitment day in Cincinnati since 1917.

        Dec. 29, 1943: Raymond S. Bennett is appointed director of the Black Health Work of the Anti-Tuberculosis League, which aims to eradicate the disease among area African-Americans.

        Dec. 2, 1944: The Cincinnati Women's Council of the Navy League presents a mobile canteen to the Salvation Army. The canteen will comfort men in the armed services who are in the area.

        Dec. 22, 1948: Cincinnati City Council adopts a master plan for city development. (Although the plan was never fully realized, later riverfront improvements were based on the plan.)


        Dec. 26, 1950: Frederick McKinley Jones of Cincinnati receives a patent for a prefabricated refrigerator system. (By the time he died in 1961, he had 60 patents, 40 for refrigeration equipment.)

        Dec. 2, 1953: The Federal Communication Commission awards a permit to the Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation to operate TV Channel 48.

        Dec. 4, 1955: Robert A. Taft Senior High School, named for the late U.S. senator from Cincinnati, is dedicated.

        Dec. 20, 1956: The Navy announces plans for electronic tracking of a man-made space satellite. Project Vanguard will be headed by Paul Herget, director of the Cincinnati Observatory and professor of astronomy at the University of Cincinnati.

        Dec. 15, 1959: The Mill Creek Expressway section of Interstate 75 opens.


        Dec. 7, 1960: Cincinnati police begin investigating whether a “pass your car for a payoff” racket existed at the Municipal Automobile Testing Station at Central Parkway and Bader Street. All Cincinnati motorists are required by city ordinance to have their cars inspected twice a year.

        Dec. 18, 1961: A $150,000 improvement project begins at Greater Cincinnati Airport.

        Dec. 3, 1964: Construction begins on Husman Residence Hall at Xavier University. The dorm will cost more than $1 million and is being partly financed by a gift from the estate of the late Harry J. Husman, a Xavier alumnus and founder of Husman Potato Chip Co.

        Dec. 25, 1967: More than 200 prisoners riot in the Hamilton County Jail after the master lock mechanism jams in the men's cell block.

        Dec. 12, 1969: Black administrators and supervisors of Cincinnati Public Schools form a temporary organization to improve educational methods for black children.


        Dec. 9, 1972: Theodore Berry becomes Cincinnati's first African-American mayor.

        Dec. 29, 1973: Fourteen homeowners file suit in U.S. District Court, alleging housing discrimination by four real estate companies in Cincinnati.

        Dec. 1, 1975: Bobbie Sterne becomes Cincinnati's first woman mayor.

        Dec. 18, 1978: The Winton Place Elementary School annex is selected to house the new Cincinnati Teacher's Center, designed to sharpen skills of teachers in the city's public and private schools.

        Dec. 3, 1979: Eleven people die and many more are injured when people holding tickets for the Who concert stampede the doors at Riverfront Coliseum (now Firstar Center).

        Dec. 3, 1979: Cincinnati Public Schools re-open after being closed three weeks because of a $7.7-million budget deficit.


        Dec. 20, 1982: Hundreds of people fill Saint Peter in Chains Cathedral to see Daniel E. Pilarczyk installed as Cincinnati's eighth Roman Catholic archbishop, succeeding Joseph Bernardin, who left to become archbishop of Chicago.

        Dec. 21, 1984: Marge Schott purchases controlling interest in the Reds for an estimated $25 million. Her St. Bernard dog, Schottzie, leads her into a press conference announcing the sale.

        Dec. 17, 1985: Charles Ashcraft, 41, of Cold Spring, becomes Cincinnati's first adult heart transplant recipient. The surgery is performed at University Hospital.

        Dec. 6, 1988: The U.S. Department of Energy admits in a report that contamination at the Fernald uranium processing plant is a health threat.


        Dec. 30, 1990: The Cincinnati Bengals win the AFC Central Division Championship, thanks to a Houston victory over Pittsburgh.

        Dec. 1, 1994: Delta Air Lines dedicates its $375 million 50-gate hub expansion at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

        Dec. 25, 1996: Al Schottelkotte, a former Enquirer reporter and columnist who went on to dominate local TV news as anchorman for WCPO-TV (Channel 9), dies at age 69.

        Dec. 6, 1997: Two Cincinnati police officers, Daniel Pope and Ronald Jeter, are shot to death in Clifton Heights while trying to arrest a man wanted on domestic violence charges.

        Dec. 11, 1998: The 33-ton World Peace Bell, to be a landmark on Newport's redeveloping riverfront, is cast in Nantes, France.