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Monday, March 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


        March 1, 1902: Prince Henry of Germany visits Cincinnati, the second city on his tour of the United States.

        March 4, 1904: Fire protection in Cincinnati is to be upgraded with new engines in downtown stations; four prime engine houses at Ninth and Plum, Seventh and Sycamore, Spring Grove, and Queen City Avenue; 50 additional firefighters; and a $300,000 bond.

        March 20, 1906: Bellamy Storer of Cincinnati retires as ambassador to Austria-Hungary.

        March 2, 1907: Union Gas and Electric issues checks totaling $10,000 to three local commercial organizations: Cincinnati Industrial Bureau, the Ohio Valley Improvement Association, and the Cincinnati League, to be used in booming Cincinnati.

        March 14, 1909: Cincinnati native William Howard Taft is inaugurated as 27th president of the United States.


        March 8, 1910: Cincinnati hosts an important wage conference between the United Mine Workers and the mine operators of Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

        March 29, 1911: Commander Evangeline Booth dedicates the new Workingmen's Hotel and Industrial Home of the Salvation Army on Freeman Avenue.

        March 31, 1915: The first annual Negro Health Week begins, in which lectures and visual presentations about health are made accessible to the African-American community.

        March 11, 1917: A tornado rips through Hyde Park, causing much property damage.

        March 27, 1917: Cincinnati sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel dies. Among his works was “Ecce Homo,” a bronze bust of Jesus Christ (now on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum).”


        March 3, 1920: Cincinnati is named world headquarters for the new Cooper Rubber Corp.

        March 10, 1920: A parade held by students at the University of Cincinnati encourages citizens to help finance a $2 million endowment campaign to support the institution.

        March 10, 1921: Famed evangelist the Rev. Billy Sunday delivers a sermon at a temporary tabernacle at 12th Street and Central Avenue in front of 10,000 people. He attacks Henry Ford, among others, for criticism of Jewish people.

        March 23, 1922: WLW begins regular radio broadcasts; as part of its programming, the station reads from The Cincinnati Enquirer.

        March 12, 1923: The Federation of Churches in Cincinnati adopts a resolution prohibiting the appearance of Ku Klux Klan members in American pulpits.


        March 9, 1930: Cincinnatian William Howard Taft, former U.S. President and U.S. Supreme Court chief the Justice, dies.

        March 26, 1930: The first annual Cincinnati Aircraft Show at Music Hall displays the entire history of American transportation, from the covered wagon to the airplane.

        March 20, 1931: The Chamber of Commerce honors officials of the Starrett Companies, builders of Carew Tower.

        March 31, 1933: Union Terminal is dedicated at 2:30 p.m. when H.A. Worcester, president of the Union Terminal Co., presents a golden key to Cincinnati Mayor Russell Wilson.

        March 6, 1933: Tristate banks close after President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a national bank holiday, which reorganized the banking system in the wake of the stock market crash and Great Depression. Banks that can prove they are stable reopen on March 14.


        March 10, 1940: Grandview Hospital property on Glenway Avenue is acquired as the new home of the Cincinnati Bible Seminary.

        March 7, 1945: Cincinnati experiences severe flooding when the Ohio River reaches 69.2 feet, 17.2 feet above flood stage.

        March 15, 1945: The Fair Employment Practices Commission begins hearings in Cincinnati. They are intended to expose and break down racial barriers in local war production plants.

        March 6, 1948: The Ohio River Compact is signed to develop a sewage treatment disposal system in Cincinnati.

        March 7, 1948: A $3 million project at Lunken Airport is announced, involving construction of six buildings and installation of costly radar equipment.


        March 3, 1950: Cincinnati faces a coal shortage, a result of frigid temperatures and a strike by miners. Coal company drivers avoid the city to deliver to the highest bidders for their product.

        March 15, 1950: Cincinnatian George M. Harrison, president of the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, broadcasts over the Voice of America. His speech, translated into 28 languages, is meant to counter Communist criticism regarding shipments of American military aid to western Europe.

        March 1, 1953: Ohio is officially recognized as a state, correcting an oversight dating to 1803, when Congress misplaced the resolution for Ohio's statehood.

        March 9, 1953: Elmer C. Henlein, president of Cincinnati-based Dow Drug Co., dies.

        March 1, 1958: University of Cincinnati basketball star Oscar Robertson leads the Bearcats to their first Missouri Valley Conference championship. He scores 50 points in an 86-82 victory over Wichita.


        March 28, 1961: Powel Crosley Jr., CEO of Crosley Corp., dies. Crosley was a pioneer in radio and television broadcasting and a manufacturer of automobiles and household appliances such as refrigerators and radios.

        March 7, 1963: Severe flash floods on the Ohio and Little Miami rivers cause at least five deaths and the sinking of Showboat, a $40,000 nightclub. Hardest hit are Loveland, Foster, Morrow, Oregonia and South Lebanon.

        March 27, 1965: The Congress of Racial Equality, the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People lead a march on Cincinnati's City Hall, criticizing politicians for failing to pass a fair-housing ordinance, and for not appointing more African-American police and firefighters.

        March 16, 1967: Cincinnati's first two Kmart stores open on Springfield Pike and Beechmont Avenue.

        March 5, 1968: Sydney Nathan, founder of Cincinnati's King Records Inc., dies at age 84. Mr. Nathan's label recorded such artists as James “the Godfather of Soul” Brown, the Ink Spots and Hank Ballard.


        March 14, 1970: More than $225,000 in paintings — including some by Goya, Raphael, da Vinci and Rembrandt — are stolen from the home of Eleanor Zimmerman Edwards, widow of Cincinnati industrialist and banker E.W. Edwards.

        March 3, 1972: Cincinnati's first policewoman, Spc. Patricia Whalen, resigns from the force after a distinguished 14-year career. She was the first woman to serve as an officer in the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police and the first woman to represent the FOP at state and regional meetings.

        March 22, 1974: The Baldwin Piano Co. makes its 1 millionth piano.

        March 21, 1976: Elvis Presley performs before a screaming crowd of 17,500 at Riverfront Coliseum. It was one of the last concert tours before his death on Aug. 16, 1977.

        March 20, 1978: Mabley & Carew, a Cincinnati department store for more than 100 years, is sold by its parent, Allied Stores, to Dayton-based Elder-Beerman Department Stores.


        March 30, 1981: John Hinckley Jr. shoots and wounds President Ronald Reagan as he's leaving the Washington Hilton Hotel after a speech. Mr. Reagan's press secretary, James Brady, is wounded and left paralyzed.

        March 9, 1985: Cincinnati-based Home State Savings Bank closes its doors, which leads to runs on other savings and loans insured by the private Ohio Deposit Guarantee Fund. A statewide bank holiday — the first since the Depression — follows for 69 other thrifts insured by the fund.

        March 2, 1987: After a 15-week trial — the longest in Hamilton County history — a jury returns guilty verdicts for former Home State Savings Bank owner Marvin Warner and former executives Burton M. Bongard and David J. Schiebel in connection with the collapse of the savings and loan.

        March 9, 1988: Citing poor sales, L.S. Ayres & Co. announces it will close its Cincinnati store at Fifth and Vine streets, ending more than 100 years of downtown retailing by the company and its predecessor store, H.& S. Pogue Co.

        March 1, 1989: Forest Fair Mall, a $200 million shopping hub near the Forest Park exit off Interstate 275, opens to thousands of shoppers. Less than seven months later the mall is put up for sale.


        March 1, 1993: Reds president and CEO Marge Schott begins a one-year suspension from day-to-day running of the club as punishment for uttering racial and ethnic slurs.

        March 5, 1993: A federal judge adopts a new system for electing judges to the Hamilton County Municipal Court. The plan, designed to ensure more African-American representation, divides the county into seven districts, each of which will elect two judges.

        April 11, 1993: Ohio's longest and bloodiest prison uprising begins when a cell block is seized by 446 inmates at the maximum security Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. One corrections officer and seven inmates are dead by the time prisoners surrender 11 days later.

        March 19, 1996: One of the most contentious ballot issues in Hamilton County history ends with voters approving — 61 percent to 39 percent — a half-cent sales tax increase to build stadiums for the Bengals and Reds.

        March 1997: Heavy rains send rivers sweeping into homes and businesses in the Tristate. Falmouth, Ky. — a little town on the Licking River — is hit hardest. The Ohio River crests at 64.7 feet on March 5 — the highest mark since 1964. Flooding accounts for more than a dozen deaths in Kentucky and Ohio. Special Section: Flood of '97