Years Ago

Today is Saturday, April 12, the 102nd day of 2014. There are 263 days left in the year.


On this date in:

1606: England’s King James I decrees the design of the Union Flag, which combines flags of England and Scotland.

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

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

1934: “Tender Is the Night,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is first published in book form after being serialized in Scribner’s Magazine.

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.

1963: Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested and jailed in Birmingham, Ala., charged with contempt of court. (During his time behind bars, King wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”)

1981: Space shuttle Columbia blasts off from Cape Canaveral on its first flight.

2004: A federal judge allows a nationwide ban on dietary supplements containing ephedra to take effect, turning aside a plea from two manufacturers.


1989: Lawrence County District Attorney William Panella says he will ask Pennsylvania State Police to investigate the latest breakout at the county jail, and Lawrence County Commissioner Frank Vitril says he wants guards at the jail to take lie detector tests.

Weathersfield Township trustees are urging residents complaining about noxious fumes emanating from a Mahoning County sewage-treatment plant located in the township to band together and file a class-action lawsuit against Mahoning County commissioners.

After an 11-month investigation, U.S. postal investigators file charges against five postal employees and two spouses, accusing them of trafficking in cocaine and marijuana, including sales made at the post office.

1974: A 14-year-old Warren boy, John Hibbs, drowns in the Mahoning River near the Summit Street Bridge after slipping into a large hole leading to the river, while playing with two other Turner Junior High students at the old Ohio Edison power plant.

Two people are injured, one seriously, and five houses in the 100 block of S. Belle Vista Avenue are evacuated after a car slammed into two houses, rupturing a natural gas line.

Common Pleas Judge Sidney Rigel-haupt rules that Youngstown Police Chief Donald G. Baker cannot use seniority in rank rather than length of service as the criterion for granting choice vacation periods.

1964: Public and private developments totaling $150 million in the Youngstown metropolitan area have brought the community to the verge of what may be its biggest building boom in history.

Catherine Freda Gabriel of Youngs-town, a junior in the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing, is chosen Ohio’s Student Nurse of the Year by the Student Nurses’ Association.

Some 700 retired workers and their wives, meeting at USW Local 1331 Hall , hear U.S. Rep. Michael Kirwan urge them to support the political fight for Medicare, reminding them of what Social Security has meant to them.

1939: William DeWitt, vice president of the St. Louis Browns, owners of the Youngstown Browns baseball team, promises Youngstown will get a “square deal” while speaking at the South Side Civic and Merchants’ Association stag and baseball rally at the Heidelberg Gardens.

Stephen Petrillo, 55, charged with first degree murder of Mamie Richards on Dec. 15, denies any knowledge of her death as he testifies in his defense in Mahoning Common Pleas Court.

Grant M. Cook, amateur ornithologist, reports spotting a western meadowlark in a field near New Buffalo. The species hasn’t been reported in the Youngstown area for several years.

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