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Thursday, July 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


        July 21, 1900: The village council of Hyde Park approves the construction of Kilgour Fountain in the Hyde Park Public Square. The fountain is a gift from Charles H. Kilgour, a street railway engineer in Cincinnati.

        July 10, 1903: High temperatures prompt the Board of Public Services to announce that it will keep three public parks Hopkins, Washington and Lincoln - open all night for people in the hot tenement low-income districts who need relief from the heat.

        July 11, 1906: John R. McClean, publisher of The Cincinnati Enquirer, begins distributing ice to the city's poor. District physicians will issue tickets to citizens who may obtain the ice from the ice delivery company.

        July 6, 1907: Lytle Park is dedicated. The dedication ceremonies are presided over by Cincinnati Mayor Edward J. Dempsy.

        July 1, 1909: The Union Co. begins supplying Cincinnati with natural gas service, which causes the artificial gas plants to close, leaving 650 unemployed.


        July 14, 1910: The Cincinnati Receivers and Shippers Association files suit against the Interstate Commerce Commission in order to lower rates between Cincinnati and Chattanooga. The current rate of 76 cents per 100 pounds allows the railroad a 44.7 percent profit. In an earlier case, a court ruled that 67 cents per 100 pounds was a reasonable rate.

        July 18, 1913: The New Courthouse Building Commission selects Rankin, Kellogg, and Crane of Philadelphia as architects for Hamilton County's new $2.5 million courthouse. Their design was chosen from 15 that were submitted.

        July 28, 1914: World War I begins in Europe. After the U.S. enters the war in 1917, a wave of anti-German sentiment sweeps the country, including Cincinnati. This leads to such measures as removing German language books from libraries, the cessation of teaching of German in the schools, and the changing of German street names.

        July 12, 1917: The Department of Social Welfare is created to manage several municipal homes and hospitals and to study and research the causes of poverty, disease, delinquency, crime and other social problems.

        July 16, 1919: The Cincinnati District Ordnance Department finishes its wartime activities through the salvage board, which will sell $150 million worth of government buildings, equipment, and materials left over from the suspension of contracts at the close of World War I.


        July 1, 1921: Cincinnati native William Howard Taft is appointed chief justice of the United States. He is the only person to serve as both as president and chief justice.

        July 20, 1923: Arthur Murray, Cincinnatian and state prohibition officer, is arrested on a charge of possession of liquor. A bottle and a 5-gallon jug of moonshine are found in Mr. Murray's room. He says the liquor was seized from a bootlegger.

        July 11, 1924: Frank M. Smustein, founder of the first taxi cab service in Cincinnati, dies at age 87.

        July 24, 1925: Cincinnati native DeHart Hubbard wins the gold medal in the long jump at the Olympics in Paris.

        July 19, 1926: Norwood City Council passes an ordinance authorizing a 10-year contract with the Union Gas and Electric Co. for construction and maintenance of traffic lights in Norwood, which are modeled after Cincinnati's.

        July 12, 1928: Construction on the $200,000 river-rail terminal located at Front and and John streets, begins. It will accommodate the increase in freight shipments by the river. The terminal will be the finest and most up-to-date along the Ohio River.


        July 23, 1930: Frank J. Dorger and Clarence A. Dorger are arrested and charged with embezzlement at the Cosmopolitan Bank and Trust Co., Cincinnati. The bank closed on June 11 after violations of the Ohio Banking law were discovered. A total of $2 million was embezzled.

        July 2, 1935: Music Hall trustees announce they will open Music Hall to the "general amusement field," which includes expositions and trade shows.

        July 3, 1936: Jennie D. Porter, one of Cincinnati's leading educators and the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati, dies at the age of 60.

        July 13, 1938: Federal investigators come to Cincinnati to investigate the Democratic primary in Ohio. Allegations have been made that party members instructed highway workers and recipients of old-age pensions to vote for certain primary candidates.


        July 4, 1940: The National Guard begins to recruit on Fountain Square, after the War Department orders that the Guard be at full strength. African-American men are excluded from joining.

        July 27, 1941: John P. Jennings of Cincinnati, the founder of Jennings Drayage Co. and the Cincinnati Motor Truck Club, dies at the age of 64.

        July 16, 1944: Plans are announced for a modern indoor stadium at Second and Main streets in Cincinnati that will host events, circuses, ice shows and conventions.

        July 7, 1946: Engineers of the Crosley Corp. conduct an FM radio test from Mason, by sending FM waves toward Cincinnati. The engineers have a license to experiment with FM radio service. Crosley examines the possibility of adding FM as an additional service.

        July 16, 1949: Cincinnati begins mapping the city and county region. The project will cost $1 million and is the first area in the United States to be entirely recorded through aerial topography.


        July, 13, 1950: The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) begins an investigation into Communism in the Cincinnati area. The investigation is based on evidence uncovered by James Ratliff, an Enquirer reporter.

        July 31, 1953: U.S. Sen. Robert A. Taft of Cincinnati, known as "Mr. Republican," dies at age 67.

        July 16, 1954: WCET, the first educational station in Ohio, the seventh PBS station in the country and the first educational station officially licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, begins broadcasting.

        July 1, 1956: The Rev. John J. Benson announces the closing of St. Xavier elementary parochial school because of lack of enrollment. The school, 520 Sycamore St., had been in existence for more than 100 years.

        July 23, 1957: Wahoo Sam Crawford, a former Cincinnati Red outfielder, is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.


        July 25, 1961: WCKY begins new radio programming in Cincinnati by providing more daytime talk. From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., the station will broadcast 30 minutes of talk to 30 minutes of music, excluding commercials.

        July 3, 1962: Plans for a $17 million community of 900 homes in Anderson Township are revealed. Summit Estates will be a 246-acre community north of Beechmont Avenue on both sides of Eight Mile Road. Two acres are set aside for recreation areas and a school.

        July 16, 1965: Agreements are signed for the city of Cincinnati's purchase of Block A, property bounded by Fifth, Sixth, Walnut and Vine streets and costing $2.2 million. The land is a part of a downtown renewal project and will be redeveloped with office towers, garages, and retail businesses.

        July 4, 1967: Cincinnati joins an experiment designed to test the feasibility of carting garbage away from big cities in trains to desolate areas where the waste would be used to improve land quality. The city contributes $4,900 to the three-year test, which is being conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service, the American Public Works Administration, New York Central Railway and many other American cities.

        July 17, 1968: City Council authorizes the annexation of Kenwood to Cincinnati.


        July 11, 1970: Riverfront Stadium is dedicated.

        July 14, 1970: The Major League Baseball All-Star game is played at Riverfront Stadium. The game is won by the National League, as it had every time the game was played in Cincinnati.

        July 3, 1973: Showcase Cinemas 1, 2, 3 and 4 open in Cincinnati. These are the first of the local Redstone Theaters to be indoors.

        July 6, 1976: Yeatman's Cove Park is dedicated.

        July 18, 1979: The Rev. James W. Jones, chairman of the Coalition for Racial Justice and Equality, calls for an African-American boycott of downtown businesses. He wants business leaders to push City Council to rescind permission for city police to carry .357-caliber Magnums; he also wants a commitment to hire more African-Americans on the police force.


        July 10, 1982: Cincinnati Archbishop Joseph L. Bernardin is appointed by Pope John Paul II to succeed late Cardinal John Cody as leader of Chicago's 2.4 million Roman Catholics.

        July 6, 1984: Joseph A. Steger, a 47-year-old psychologist, scholar and former business executive, is named president of the University of Cincinnati. Mr. Steger had been UC's provost.

        July 15, 1985: A federal jury in Kentucky rules that faulty aluminum wiring was the cause of the May 28, 1977, Beverly Hills Supper Club fire that killed 165.

        July 1, 1987: Despite some objections from community leaders in Clifton and Corryville, Cincinnati City Council renames Dixmyth, St. Clair and Melish avenues in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


        July 15, 1993: Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble Co. announces a corporate restructuring that will cut 13,000 of its 106,000 jobs worldwide and close 30 of its 147 plants in the next three years. Locally, 2,000 of 13,000 non-manufacturing jobs would be cut.

        July 23, 1996: The Tristate is well represented in Atlanta when the U.S. women's gymnastics squad captures its first team Olympic gold medal. The team includes local gymnasts Amanda Borden and Jaycie Phelps, and assistant coach Mary Lee Tracy. Swimmer Joe Hudepohl of Finneytown also earns a gold medal during the Games.

        July 1, 1998: Hamilton County and the Cincinnati Reds announce a deal to build a $235 million riverfront ballpark by 2003.

        July 2, 1998: Officials mark the official kickoff for the $146.9 million reconstruction of Fort Washington Way in downtown Cincinnati.

        July 9, 1998: Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks becomes the first recipient of the International Freedom Conductor Award, bestowed by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.