Thursday, April 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


        April 15, 1900: The Dumas House, a station of the Underground Railroad on McAllister Street in Cincinnati, is restored by the Douglass League, named after noted African-American abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

        April 17, 1902: The Palace of the Fans, the new Reds ballpark, opens at the corner of Findlay Street and Western Avenue.

        April 29, 1903: The Cincinnati Superior Court rules as unconstitutional the Curative Act (whereby the Ohio General Assembly can grant or regrant money to street railway companies, bypassing municipal agencies) and Rogers Law (which granted a 50-year franchise to street railway companies), causing many streetcar franchises to be offered at public sale.

        April 8, 1904: Warrants are issued for the arrest of Dr. Chase Ferris and Dr. Charles Ferris stemming from allegations by Charles Weissmann, who operates two downtown drugstores. Weissmann believes the doctors poisoned his beer with cocaine. After the warrants are issued, Mr. Weissmann leaves for Europe.

        April 11, 1908: The labor unions of Cincinnati and the Personal Liberty League wage a systematic war on the prohibition movement, which would outlaw the manufacture or sale of alcohol. The movement threatens the livelihoods of many local workers, from brewery and distillery workers to wagon makers and those in the building trades.


        April 11, 1912: Redland Field, later known as Crosley Field, opens. It replaces the Palace of the Fans at the corner of Findlay Street and Western Avenue. The Reds defeat the Chicago Cubs, 10-6.

        April 14, 1912: The RMS Titanic collides with an iceberg in the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. Among the survivors is Mrs. Josephine Stone of Cincinnati, who escapes with her maid in a lifeboat. Mrs. Stone says she plugged a drainage hole in the boat with her shawl and stood on it for six to eight hours until they were rescued by the Carpathia. She is the widow of Capt. George Stone, who was a director of the Cincinnati Street and Railway Co. and Cincinnati Gas, Light and Coke Co.

        April 8, 1915: Mrs. Laura Ogden Whaling, a Cincinnati native, leaves $200,000 to Miami University to erect a dormitory named in honor of her father, Dr. George C. Ogden. In addition, half the proceeds from the sale of her estate will go to Miami University and half to the Cincinnati Museum Association.

        April 6, 1917: The United States enters World War I. About 25,000 Tristate men eventually serve in the armed forces.

        April 9, 1917: Cincinnati City Council votes to Anglicize the names of 13 German-named streets in reaction to the United States' entry into World War I. Among the changes: Berlin becomes Woodrow; Bremen becomes Republic.


        April 10, 1920: The College of Mount St. Joseph, is founded by the Sisters of Charity order of Roman Catholic nuns.

        April 23, 1923: Construction of Mariemont, the area's first planned community, begins. Its development is sponsored by Mary Emery, widow of local industrialist and philanthropist Thomas J. Emery.

        April 5, 1925: Two Cincinnati policemen and four federal agents plead guilty to charges of bribery and violation of the Volstead Act (which provided for enforcement of Prohibition). They will be witnesses in the trials of 71 bootleggers and cafe owners.

        April 8, 1928: The first plane completed in Cincinnati by International Aircraft Corp. is displayed at Watson Field.

        April 27, 1928: The Co-operative Club of the University of Cincinnati has its first annual “Co-op Day.”


        April 4, 1930: The Daughters of the American Revolution unveil a tablet at the entrance to the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in honor of the achievements of George Rogers Clark, Revolutionary War soldier and fighter in frontier wars.

        April 30, 1932: Maria Longworth Nichols Storer, founder of Rookwood Pottery, dies at age 83.

        April 1, 1933: Krohn Conservatory opens.

        April 7, 1933: The Cincinnati branch of the Ohio State Liquor Control Commission announces the granting of 138 beer permits, ending the 13-year period of Prohibition.

        April 27, 1939: The Ohio Senate, along with legislators from eight other Ohio Valley states, passes an anti-pollution bill to clean up the Ohio River. The bill exempts coal mine drainage from the jurisdiction of the Ohio Health Department unless it can be proven that the waste from coal mines carries enough bacteria to spread disease.


        April 27, 1940: The Cincinnati Zoo begins work on a $100,000 modern home for the zoo's deer, replacing their 60-year-old hillside home. The funds are provided by the Works Progress Administration.

        April 14, 1941: Delta Air Lines begins air transportation service at Lunken Airport, linking Cincinnati to South American countries.

        April 7, 1944: The Acme Radiator Shields Plant, a war plant on Vine Street, catches fire, causing more than $100,000 in damage.

        April 7, 1947: Members of the Communication Workers Union go on strike, forcing the Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Co. to meet wage rates and working conditions demanded by the National Federation of Telephone Workers.

        April 23, 1949: Mary Becker Greene, the only licensed female steamboat captain and pilot on the Mississippi-Ohio River systems, dies at age 80 aboard the Delta Queen, docked in Cincinnati.


        April 4, 1950: The House Committee on Un-American Activities grants the request of five Cincinnati businesses to investigate reports that their plants are among those marked for Communist sabotage. They are: the Formica Co., Arco Manufacturing Corp., Lodge and Shipley Co., Lunkenheimer Co., and the William Powell Co.

        April 29, 1951: The last trolley in Cincinnati, the No. 18 North Fairmount streetcar, makes its final run.

        April 1, 1953: Members of the Produce, Frozen Food and Cannery Workers Union go on strike. Avco's Crosley Division and the General Electric jet engine plant are also on strike.

        April 7, 1955: Theda Bara, the Cincinnati-born silent movie actress known as “The Vamp,” dies at age 70.

        April 2, 1957: The city of Cincinnati files a motion in Common Pleas Court to authorize police to seize a pinball machine that violates Ohio gambling laws.


        April 24, 1960: The first mass distribution of Dr. Albert Sabin's oral polio vaccine is held in Cincinnati, his hometown. Some 20,000 children receive the vaccine at no cost. Unlike Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine, which consisted of dead polio viruses administered by injection, Dr. Sabin's oral vaccine uses live polio viruses.

        April 8, 1963: Pete Rose makes his Major League Baseball debut as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.

        April 20, 1965: Navy Lt. Kenneth Juergens and Marine Corps Lt. Carl Yung, both of Cincinnati, complete 34 days of simulated space flight in Philadelphia.

        April 1, 1967: Joe Nuxhall retires from the Cincinnati Reds and immediately joins the Wiedemann Brewing Co. broadcast team as an announcer.

        April 30, 1969: Reds pitcher Jim Maloney pitches the last no-hitter at Crosley Field, defeating Houston, 10-0.


        April 6, 1970: The Reds play their last season opener at Crosley Field, defeating Montreal 5-1.

        April 29, 1972: Kings Island opens for the first time.

        April 3, 1974: The largest outbreak of tornadoes in history kills more than 300 and injures more than 6,000 in 11 states. Five people die in Hamilton County; severe damage occurs in Sayler Park, Green Township and Butler County.

        April 22, 1975: Cincinnati's first quintuplets are born to Mark and Pamela Levy. Mrs. Levy had taken fertility drugs.

        April 3, 1977: Two thousand of 3,100 Cincinnati teachers go on strike after the board of education breaks its promise of a 3 percent pay increase.

        April 5, 1979: Union Light, Heat and Power Co. contributes $5.75 million in an out-of-court settlement in the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire litigation. The club was destroyed May 28, 1977.


        April 2, 1981: An explosion in a Newport garage being used to make fireworks kills two men, injures 25 and causes several million dollars in damage.

        April 12, 1981: Space shuttle Columbia,the first reusable spacecraft, roars into space from Cape Canaveral, Fla., with two astronauts aboard.

        April 21, 1983: U.S. Sen. John Glenn announces his presidential candidacy in his hometown, New Concord, Ohio.

        April 9, 1984: Ground is broken for a $52 million expansion of the Albert B. Sabin Convention Center.

        April 1, 1987: Steven Newman, 32, treks into his hometown of Bethel, Ohio, completing a four-year, 22,000-mile walk around the world.

        April 16, 1987: Cincinnati police officer Clifford George, 40, responds to a domestic disturbance in Fairview Heights and is shot to death by a paroled felon.


        April 6, 1990: About 4,000 people attend the opening of Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Momentat the Contemporary Arts Center. The next day, a Hamilton County grand jury says some photos are obscene. In October, a jury acquits the CAC and director Dennis Barrie of obscenity charges.

        April 20, 1990: Pete Rose, baseball's all-time hits leader, pleads guilty to two counts of filing false income tax returns.

        April 25, 1995: The televised arrest of teen Pharon Crosby on Sixth Street in downtown Cincinnati sparks accusations of racism and police brutality. Mr. Crosby, a Northside resident, is later convicted of charges stemming from his arrest; police officers are disciplined.

        April 1, 1996: Opening Day for the Reds turns tragic whe umpire John McSherry, 51, collapses in the first inning. He is pronounced dead less than an hour later; the game is postponed a day.

        April 16, 1996: Ground is broken for Fountain Place, on Fifth Street between Vine and Race, in downtown Cincinnati.

        April 25, 1998: Ground is officially broken for the Bengals' new Paul Brown Stadium on the riverfront.