Years Ago

Today is Friday, April 12, the 102nd day of 2013. There are 263 days left in the year.


On this date in:

1861: The American Civil War begins as Confederate forces open fire on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

1877: The catcher’s mask is first used in a baseball game by James Tyng of Harvard in a game against the Lynn Live Oaks.

1912: Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, dies in Glen Echo, Md., at age 90.

1945: President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Ga., at age 63; he is succeeded by Vice President Harry S. Truman.

1955: The Salk vaccine against polio is declared safe and effective.

1961: Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man to fly in space, orbiting the earth once before making a safe landing.

1963: Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested and jailed in Birmingham, Ala., charged with contempt of court and parading without a permit. (During his time behind bars, King writes his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”; he is released on bond on April 20.)

1981: Former world heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis dies in Las Vegas, Nev., at age 66.

1983: Chicagoans elect Harold Washington the city’s first black mayor.

1985: Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, becomes the first sitting member of Congress to fly in space as the shuttle Discovery lifts off.


1988: The House Armed Services Committee authorizes eight new C-130H transport planes for the Youngstown Air Base in Vienna Township. The planes will cost $150 million. U. S. Rep. James A. Traficant says, “this is certainly good news for our area.”

The first annual Thomas Murphy Memorial Award, named for a former Vindicator reporter who was a founder of the Niles Interfaith dinner in 1967, will be presented at the 22nd Niles Interfaith banquet.

1973: The Western Reserve Transit Authority and the Downtown Board of Trade report a 474-passenger increase in the number of cash customers on the first 10-cent Saturday ride program.

Detectives are questioning two men in the savage pistol-whipping of Youngstown Patrolman David Bole, 47, who was attacked by a man he attempted to arrest for firing a pistol in a wooded area off McGuffey Road.

1963: Twenty-three pinball machines confiscated by the Mahoning County sheriff’s office in raids in Campbell and Struthers are earmarked for destruction.

Mayor Harry Savasten signs an ordinance increasing the fee for a parking ticket from $1 to $2, which will become $5 if not paid within 30 days.

Youngstown detectives go to Mercer, Pa., to serve a warrant for arson in the $1 million Youngstown Club fire against Frank Palermo Jr. of Philadelphia, said to be the ringleader of a three-man gang that set the Feb. 2 fire.

1938: Youngstown City Council votes unanimously to install 570 parking meters in the downtown district for a nine-month trial period.

John Gates of Youngstown, former Communist Party leader in the Valley, is reported to have been in command of the Lincoln-Washington battalion in Spain that was badly beaten by insurgents at Gandesa, Spain.

Guns taken from three men indicted for first-degree murder of Roy “Happy” Marion, Youngstown racketeer, will be checked against bullets taken from his body and that of James Tesone, Youngstown beer garden operator.

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