The Journal Gazette
 
 
Sunday, January 26, 2020 6:00 am

History Journal indexed by decade

Journal Gazette

A chronological index of History Journal features and other stories of historical interest. Click dates to see stories and photos.

To suggest dates or subjects, email Corey McMaken at cmcmaken@jg.net. Last updated Jan. 20, 2022. 

 

1880s

February 1882 – Oscar Wilde lectures in city: Oscar Wilde was on a lecture tour of the United States when he stopped at Fort Wayne in February 1882. He spoke at the St. Augustine Academy on Feb. 16.

 

1900s

December 1903 – The 1903 murder trial of John W. Terrell in Bluffton captivated not just the area, but made headlines across the nation. 

Sept. 1, 1909Crowds gather for 'Fort Wayne day': Between 6,000 and 7,000 local residents gathered at Robison Park for the event.

 

1910s

1916 and 1917 – Journal Gazette picture pages: In the early 1900s, The Journal Gazette published a weekly page of pictures every Sunday. Anything from car accidents and construction projects to family reunions and fishermen showing off their catch.

1916 Leonard and Geller's Grocer: This otherwise undated photo shows two men at the grocery at Broadway and Taylor Street. 

 

1920s

Summer 1921A 'dream' of riverfront parks: In the summer of 1921, local candy company Heit-Miller-Lau put up a billboard on Calhoun Street that showed what it called “Just A Dream”: A riverfront park extending from Wells Street east to the confluence of the city's three rivers.

July 7, 1921 – Beer raid during Prohibition: After a number of complaints, police raided a home and found 22 cases of "good quality" home brewed beer and about 5,000 unused bottle tops. 

Jan. 24, 1925 – Sun's tryst with moon dazzles earthly beings: A story following a solar eclipse over the city.

Aug. 10, 1927 – Charles Lindbergh flies over city: The pilot circled downtown Fort Wayne in his Spirit of St. Louis monoplane and dropped a greeting to the city before heading off toward Detroit without landing.

May 14, 1928 – Happy 90th, Embassy: A feature on Embassy Theatre's 90th anniversary includes a downloadable PDF of the 14-page special section about its opening from May 1928. The archive pages include stories about its construction and the people that brought it to life.

 

1930s

Nov. 16, 1930 – Lincoln Bank Tower opens: People lined up down the block as a crowd of 38,289 visited the tower in 13 hours on its opening day.

1938 – An aerial photograph dated 1938 showing the area of Coldwater Road and North Clinton Street as farmland. Target and Glenbrook Square are among the businesses that stand there now.

 

1940s

October 18, 1944 – A review of Fort Wayne Philharmonic's first performance.

April 14, 1947 – Business women showing off fun hats: Members of the Business and Professional Women's Club showed off their fun hats at a "Hollywood Party."

July 16, 1947 – Hard rain dumped more than an inch of rain on the area in a three-hour period. causing flash flooding throughout the city. 

July 18, 1947 – Making microfilm of JG archives: In the summer of 1947, The Journal-Gazette was converting all of its archived editions to microfilm, which was then a new technology.

July 25, 1947 – Freight train, switch engine collide: A freight train collided with a Nickel Plate Railroad switch engine at the Van Buren Street crossing. Two railroad workers leaped from the engine to escape injury.

July 31, 1947 – Boston Braves scouts teach baseball school in city

Aug. 10, 1947 Sunny fun at the country club: Young people have fun in the sun at the Fort Wayne Country Club.

Aug. 20, 1947 Eight injured as coach hits truck: Eight people, including the driver, were injured Aug. 20, 1947, when a trolley coach hit a truck carrying 11 tons of steel on Main Street.

Aug. 28, 1947 – Kids' Day in Portland: The day's activities included bands, a pet parade, a circus and soap box race before kids went back to school.

Aug. 28, 1947 – Strauss announced as Coliseum architect: County commissioners announced that A.M. Strauss had been chosen as architect for Memorial Coliseum.

Oct. 7, 1947 – Three people died and more than a dozen were injured when a passenger train struck a 26-ton earth mover. 

Oct. 17, 1947 – A tractor-trailer rig hit a bridge support on US Highway 427, causing the bridge floor to fall about 12 feet to the creek bed below. 

Nov. 26, 1947 – Judo demonstration for deputies: FBI special agent Harry Howard demonstrates a judo move with his partner, special agent Manley Hawks, during a training session for sheriff deputies.

December 1947 – Santa visits St. Joseph Hospital: He brought gifts for patients.

March 6, 1948 – More than 200 girls and women attended an all-day 4-H "Charm School." 

March 17, 1948 – Easter Bunny arrives: The Easter Bunny was to preside over the Easter bazaar at Fort Wayne Art School.

April 1, 1948 – He saved 8,000 dimes to buy a car: Ed Adreon saved up his dimes for two years with the intention of buying a new car.

May 1948 – Memorial Day parade: A shot of the Memorial Day parade in Fort Wayne in May 1948.

May 22, 1948 – Seniors take first plane ride: A grandson convinced his grandfather to take his first plane ride at 82. The grandfather also convinced a friend to go up. 

June 22, 1948 Couple gets married in plane: Love was in the air for this couple when they got married above Allen County.

July 1948 – First Allen County 4-H 'Apron Revue': This was the first "Apron Revue" for 4-H girls, which was held as part of the Allen County 4-H dress revue and demonstrations.

Aug. 30, 1948 – Draft registration begins: Draft registration of men between 18 and 25 from Fort Wayne and Allen County began Aug. 30, 1948. About 8,000 men from the county were expected to register before the deadline of Sept. 18.

Sept. 7, 1948 – Inspecting Wells Street Bridge: A structural engineer examines the bridge for defects.

Nov. 1, 1948 – Holiday turkey prices in 1948: A 10% shortage of turkeys in the fall of 1948 had some people bracing for premium prices for their holiday meals. 

Nov. 1 and Dec. 7, 1948 – First local women Army and Air Force enlistees sworn in for permanent, regular service.

March 1949 – Railroad treats boys for finding broken track: A pair of local boys were playing baseball when they discovered a broken rail track in 1949.

Sept. 24 to Oct. 2, 1949 – Snapshots of the news from this week in 1949 include funding for the construction of Memorial Coliseum, a worker trapped in a trench collapse and letters to Santa arriving early. 

Oct. 12, 1949 – Steeplejack works atop Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

 

1950s

Nov. 25, 1950 – At least three people died as a snowstorm with 30-mile-an-hour winds brought the area to a halt.

December 1950 – Mail workers finish Christmas rush: The city's mail carriers were enjoying some much needed rest on Christmas Eve 1950 – a Sunday – after moving the holiday mail the night before.

December 1950 – Displaying doll collection: Mrs. J.A. Stover had a collection of 20 dolls dressed in 18th and 19th century clothing. 

Dec. 4, 1950 – Clogged intake slows water in city.

April 24, 1951 – Retired streetcars rust in local junkyard. 

1950 to 1952 – Construction of Memorial Coliseum: Ground was broken for Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 24, 1950. There was nothing but farms in the area, but community leaders were optimistic the arena would become a prime destination. It was dedicated Sept. 28, 1952.

March 26, 1952 – The Harlan-area home of Oliver Repp was surrounded – and filled – with statues. 

June 1952 – Hunting for a giant snake: A huge snake was reported on June 13, 1952, which led to a multi-day hunt that included a mounted posse. Also, one of the men behind the prank shares his story here

June 29, 1952 – Dedicating airport terminal: More than 15,000 people visited the airport for activities and displays in connection with the dedication of the new Air Terminal and Administration Building. 

Nov. 4, 1953 – Sonic gun battle: Brothers play with ray guns while wearing space helmets and goggles in a toy store. Story includes reader-suggested captions. 

Jan. 1, 1954 – Polar Bear plunge: The St. Joseph River was covered by several inches of ice that had to be broken up before the swimsuit-clad men made their plunge.

March 3 to 7, 1954 – Northeastern Indiana Automobile Show: It featured cars for the 1954 model-year, as well as experimental automobiles, a variety show with singing and dancing, and even a visit from Miss America. This feature includes a PDF of the 16-page preview section the JG published ahead of the show. 

March 13, 1954 'Too Fond Of Both Wives, He's Held As Bigamist': "I'm glad this thing is over. I was running out of excuses." That's what a Fort Wayne man said when it was discovered he was splitting his time between two wives in 1954.

March 22, 1954 – Unloading 100-foot trees at Coliseum: They were to be used in demonstrations by world champion tree climbers. 

June 1954 – Rescue Home and Mission gets face lift: In the spring of 1954, the Fort Wayne Rescue Home and Mission was undergoing a face lift, inside and out.

June 1954 Woodburn prepares for new dial system: Woodburn was preparing to get a new dial system, replacing the switchboard and operator system that had been in place for the Woodburn Home Telephone Co.'s 470 subscribers.

June 1954 – A busy week: When skimming the archive, several items from the week of June 13 stuck out including a simulated air raid, strike and Perfection Biscuit Co., work on the Cedarville Dam and a blood drawing for a polio test. 

June 14, 1954 Pet crow stolen, and other stories: There were several fun stories on the local cover this day.

June 22, 1954 – Capturing squirrel that bit boy: When 6-year-old Bill Leming was bitten by a squirrel, police were called. The squirrel needed to be arrested ... well, captured, at least, to make sure it didn't have rabies.

June 24, 1954 Men display captured turtles: Three men collected 19 turtles in the Eel River. Story includes reader suggested captions.

June 28, 1954 Lad learns red box can call firemen: A curious little boy got quite a surprise!

July 20, 1954 – Storm's wind causes major damage: A storm with high winds left one person dead, dozens injured and damage across the city including downed power lines and fallen trees. 

Oct. 8, 1954 – High school football city opener: The North Side High School Redskins beat the Central High School Tigers 19-12.

Oct. 26, 1954 – Central Catholic Irish secure 3rd City Series title: The Central Catholic Irish beat the North Side Redskins at Northrop Field to secure the City Series title.

Oct. 27, 1954 – Voting procedure instruction: Here, William F. Walt and his wife get a lesson from North Side High School junior Mike McLaughlin.  

Nov. 24, 1954 – Downtown prepares to unveil Christmas decorations: The six-foot-tall trees were perched on 88 new light poles.

Oct. 4, 1955 – Construction and dedication of the Nickel Plate Railroad elevation: The Nickel Plate railroad elevation was dedicated Oct. 4, 1955, at the Calhoun Street crossing downtown.

Sept. 15, 1955 – Charlton Heston visits city: The actor visited for several personal appearances at showings of his new movie, "The Private War of Major Benson," which was showing at Embassy Theatre.

Aug. 10, 1956 – Taking down an elm tree: Amid an outbreak of Dutch elm disease, city workers remove a dead tree on Nuttman Avenue. 

November 1956 – Backstage with Eva Gabor and Richard Arlen: The actor and actress, who had starred together in 1941's "Forced Landing," were in town for separate stage productions and met up to say hello.

1957 – Changes at Barr Street Market: The pavilions at the downtown market were removed in 1957. 

Feb. 19, 1957 – Fire guts downtown building: Nearly 100 firefighters battled a blaze downtown in frigid temperatures for six hours at the corner of Jefferson and Calhoun.

March 30, 1957 – Screams greet Elvis at Coliseum: Memorial Coliseum was filled with 10,000 people when Elvis Presley stepped on stage.

March 31, 1957 – Rescuing a stuck duck: About 55 feet above the ground in the Spy Run Creek park area, a duck was caught on a kite string that was strung between two trees.

Sept. 3, 1957 – Wait For Walk: A program was aimed at educating the city's pedestrians about traffic issues.

Oct. 18, 1957 – Witness to bank robbery: In the first bank robbery in Fort Wayne since 1930, two armed men robbed the Rudisill-Clinton branch of the Lincoln National Bank & Trust Co. on Oct. 18, 1957, and got away with $50,100. A former Journal Gazette managing editor was in the bank and gave a first-hand account of the event.

Oct. 20, 1957 – Youngsters examine work at art museum

Oct. 30, 1957 – Honoring inventor Philo T. Farnsworth: Farnsworth, whose inventions included electronic television, manufactured televisions and other devices in the city.

Nov. 27, 1957 – Downtown Christmas lights lit

January 1958 Battling birds downtown: Stuffed owls were among tactics being used in 1958 to convince pigeons and starlings to stay clear of the Allen County Courthouse and some other downtown buildings.

Jan. 21, 1958 – Crowning a giraffe: Mayor Robert E. Meyers crowned a giraffe the "Ambassador of Good Will" for the Sports, Vacation and Boat Show. 

Sept. 4, 1958 – Spy Run steel bridge torn down: The bridge had been constructed in 1888.

July 13, 1959 – Dog climbs slide: Banjo the dog stands on a slide at Fort Wayne State School Day Camp at Round Lake. Story includes reader-suggested captions. 

July 23, 1959 Deconstructing buildings on Brackenridge: Workers continue efforts to raze a two-block stretch of buildings that formerly housed shops, freight and division offices of the Pennsylvania Railroad Co.

July 30, 1959 – Sitting on a mountain of melons: A boy samples one of the 400 watermelons and 200 cantaloupes provided as a starter for Harlan Days. Story includes reader-suggested captions. 

 

1960s

July 12, 1960 House moved from path of I-69 construction.

July 21, 1960 – Road buckles in summer heat

July 27, 1960 – Bundled up for work in ice cream plant freezer

June 23, 1961 – Demolishing interior of Lyric Theater: The auditorium of the old Lyric Theater downtown was demolished as part of planned renovations. 

Jan. 1, 1962 – Sledding at Reservoir Park: Hundreds of people headed to Reservoir Park for sledding and ice skating the day before school resumed.

Jan. 27, 1962 – 'Night of Evil' premieres: Starring Lisa Gaye and William Campbell, "Night of Evil" was filmed in Fort Wayne in the summer and fall of 1960.

Feb. 10, 1962 – Wolf & Dessauer fire: Billowing clouds of smoke were rising from downtown and blocking out the sun over parts of Fort Wayne on the afternoon of Feb. 10, 1962.

March 23, 1962 – Checking out a robot: Students take a look at a robot for the Northeastern Indiana Science Fair. Story includes reader -suggested captions. 

July 1962 – Washing windows on Lincoln Tower: Ten men were responsible for washing the windows on Lincoln Tower downtown in 1962. There were knobs at the sides of the windows that they would hook their safety belts on, and then they got to work cleaning the 453 windows on the tower.

July 12, 1962 – Introducing the Drivotron: The Aetna Drivotron was a device to evaluate driving skill. Story includes readers-suggested captions. 

July 19, 1962 – 3D aerial photographers stop in city. 

Aug. 2, 1962 – Fire damages market, ruins stock at the Maloley Brothers grocery store. 

Aug. 7, 1962 – The great cake caper: 3-year-old holds tight to baking entry at 4-H Fair

Aug. 2, 1963 Bluffton couple raises peacocks for fun: The Irvins discovered peafowl were harder to raise than chickens. Story includes reader-suggested captions.

Oct. 9, 1963 – Astronauts visit area for boats: Gordon Cooper and Virgil “Gus” Grissom snuck away while visiting Fort Wayne on Oct. 9, 1963, to test a boat built in Harlan. A few years later, they returned to help build a boat they intended to race.

June 26, 1965 – Laying tile sidewalk on the Landing: The tile workers along with a group of bricklayers worked for weeks on the project without charge.

July 3, 1965 – Fort Wayne Children's Zoo opens: Under sunny skies, about 6,000 guests toured the zoo. Some were amazed to find there were no cages.

Aug. 13, 1965 – Waterballing match outside Courthouse: Six teams of firefighters took part in the state championship matches for waterballing.

Aug. 13, 1965 – Worker freed at ice plant: It took five firefighters about 20 minutes to dig a worker free of bags of ice that fell on him.

Oct. 26, 1965 – Rescue Mission on Superior nears completion: The Fort Wayne Rescue Home and Mission was still under construction when it was used for the first time as the site of a lunch meeting of area church women.

February 1966 – Showgirls for Civic Guild follies: Women dressed up as showgirls for the Civic Guild's Ya-Hoo Follies Revue. 

April 8, 1966 – Dog nurses kittens: Lisa, a 1 1/2-year-old Skye Terrier, gave some help to a new mother when she began nursing newborn kittens.

April 13, 1966 – Wapakoneta celebrates Armstrong's homecoming: Neil Armstrong got a hero's welcome when visiting his hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio, a few weeks after the Gemini 8 mission.

June 5, 1966 JG spelling champ heads to national bee: Ralph Banasiak left from Baer Field after being sent off by neighbors, friends, family and classmates.

June 17, 1966 – Swimming lessons go from fear to fun.

July 23, 1966 – Covering snake story: JG reporter Sandy Thorn gives a humorous recounting of visiting a reptile trailer with a bunch of – gulp – SNAKES. 

July 23 and 24, 1966 – Testing a jet-powered train: The train was a jet-powered experiment of the New York Central Railroad which tested its speed on a stretch of track between Butler and Bryan, Ohio. 

Aug. 17, 1966 – Lunch with a view: A construction worker eats his lunch on the edge of the 12th floor of a building under construction.

Aug. 23, 1966 Phelps Dodge office explosion: Around noon Aug. 23, 1966, an explosion turned the administration office of Phelps Dodge Copper Products Corp. into rubble, killing five people.

Jan. 18, 1967 – Girl's finger stuck in jack-in-the-box: Sharon Seabold was playing with a jack-in-the-box, but "Jack" was too quick for the 6-year-old and her finger got stuck in the box.

April 28, 1967 – Fishing from a crane: A workman spent his lunch hour fishing from the bucket of a crane at the confluence of the city's rivers.

June 23, 1967 – Scottish Rite Cathedral razed on Washington Boulevard

July 21, 1967 – Water ballet rehearsal: Swimmers rehearse for the Park Board's annual water ballet.

Sept 22, 1967 – Civic Theatre installs sign: This was when Civic Theatre was based in the Palace Theatre (renamed the Civic Playhouse) on East Washington Boulevard.

Dec. 2, 1967 – Bob Hope's son marries in Defiance: Hundreds of fans came out on a rainy day in Defiance, Ohio, for the wedding of Bob Hope's son on Dec. 2, 1967.

April 7, 1968 – Local tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.: A few days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., more than 3,000 people gathered outside the Allen County Courthouse to pay tribute to the civil rights leader.

May 1968 – Visit by a vampire: Jonathan Frid, who stared as Barnabas Collins in the gothic soap opera "Dark Shadows," visited Glenbrook Shopping Center and was greeted by a crowd of young screaming fans. 

May 23, 1968 – A pet lion: The 70-pound lion was housebroken and lived (where else?) in the den.

May 27, 1968 – Fort Wayne Army Reserve Unit 890 Transportation Co. departs Baer Field: The unit was called to active duty during the Vietnam War. Also, a reunion reconnects the men – read here

July 1969 – Preparing for first Three Rivers Festival: The festival was intended to show off Fort Wayne to people coming from out-of-town and to residents that maybe didn't know what all the city had to offer.

July 3, 1969 – Crews were adding facing to the new City-County Building in downtown Fort Wayne. 

July 16 to 19, 1969 – Neil Armstrong's parents react during Apollo 11: Stephen and Viola Armstrong talked to news reporters camped out at their house during the launch and moonwalk. Also, readers share their memories of Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong – read here

Sept. 17, 1969 – Construction underway on the Fort Wayne National Bank Building (now known as PNC Center) downtown.

 

1970s

May 1, 1970 – Selling liquor bottles for school trip: Students took home liquor bottles they collected during a clean-up project and decorated them to raise money. 

May 4, 1970 – Fixing flagpole atop Lincoln Tower: A maintenance man climbed to the top of Lincoln Tower's flagpole to replace the pulley.

July 22, 1970 – Processing books for FWCS: Fort Wayne Community Schools' Library Services department was processing tens of thousands of books.

July 26 to Aug. 1, 1970 – A week in the area included stories about protests on paid parking at local hospitals, a profile of a woman taxi driver and a so-called "Tombstone Ordinance" that would require drive-in theaters to block free viewing of X-rated movies.

Aug. 17, 1971 – Palace Theater undergoing demolition: The interior can be seen peeking out through a destroyed wall.

September 1971 – Bill Blass returns to city for fashion show: After he graduated from South Side High School, Bill Blass moved to New York to pursue fashion. In 1971, he returned to his hometown for the first time in 25 years ahead of a fashion show that included his latest looks. Also, a local man tries to verify that his sketches are genuine – read here

March 19, 1972 – Sonny and Cher perform at Memorial Coliseum. 

July 10, 1972 – Dog parade on The Landing: Dog owners paraded their furry friends down The Landing in downtown Fort Wayne during the Three Rivers Festival

Sept. 6, 1972 – In the fall of 1972, work was underway to remove the Anthony Boulevard bridge over the Maumee River next to the river dam. 

1973 – Construction and opening of Freimann Square: Freimann Square was dedicated on Sept. 27, 1973, when several hundred people turned out in downtown Fort Wayne to see the fountains in action.

May 10, 1973 – Tornado destroys New Haven home: Four funnel clouds were seen in the skies over Fort Wayne, with at least one hanging stationary several minutes near downtown before it moved away.

June 4, 1973 'Get-Away Vehicle Just Won't Get': Lesson learned! If you're going to try and make a quick get-away, make sure your car has enough gas.

June 7, 1973 Anthony Wayne statue moved: The equestrian statue of Anthony Wayne was originally placed in Hayden Park. But on June 7, 1973, the bronze statue of Anthony Wayne was moved into position at Freimann Square, which would be dedicated Sept. 27 of that year. Story includes reader-suggested captions. 

January 13, 1974 / Oct. 20, 1974 – Explosive demolitions of Van Orman, Keenan hotels: The downtown hotels were reduced to rubble to become parking lots.

July 16, 1974 Coaching kids at clown clinic: Children learned about how to be a clown during an all-day clinic at Lakeside Park.

Oct. 18, 1974 – Santa makes debut early: A commentary piece about how early Christmas seemed to show up at retailers.

Jan. 1, 1975 – Reporter tries polar bear splash: He found it a thrill, but a cold one.

Feb. 3 and 4, 1975 – Fires on The Landing: On the night of Feb. 3, 1975, two fires swept through buildings on The Landing. The next afternoon, a second fire in the Old Fort Draperies building drew exhausted firefighters back to site.

April 12, 1975 New Haven girl wins county bee: Molly Reddin beat more than 90 spellers at the Journal-Gazette Spelling Bee.

May 18, 1975 – Students fly a 15-foot-by-20-foot creation at the WOWO Kite Flying Contest.

Sept. 26, 1975 Cleaning up after mud slide: A slide at Johnny Appleseed Festival left participants in need of a shower from the fire department. Story includes reader-suggested captions.

Oct. 9, 1975 – 1 million bottlecaps: Math teacher Dan Sells and his sixth-grade students gathered more than 1 million bottle caps as a teaching aid and piled them in their classroom.

Oct. 28, 1975 – Destroying moonshine still near Albion: Indiana Excise Police, conservation officers and Noble County officials destroyed one of the largest stills found in Indiana in many years.

Nov. 12, 1975 – Construction of enlisted barracks at Old Fort: Construction of the Old Fort replica on Spy Run Avenue began in Summer 1975 and was well underway by November of that year.

1975 to 1976 – Construction of the Old Fort: Construction of the fort re-creation began in the summer of 1975. Work on the replica was not finished for its dedication, but several hundred people turned out for the June 1976 festivities.

June 1976 – Carving Johnny Appleseed: In June 1976, Dean Butler began chipping away at an 800-pound, 12-foot log at Glenbrook Square to sculpt Johnny Appleseed. 

Aug. 12, 1976 – Dedication of Foellinger Theatre: In August 1976, more than 3,000 people squeezed into Foellinger Theatre for a dedication ceremony and entertainment from Ronald Rogers, Richard Otto and the Dukes of Dixieland.

January 1978 – The Blizzard of '78: A snowstorm left Fort Wayne buried under a record 17 inches of snow in January 1978.  

Jan. 1, 1978 – Polar Bear Club's New Year's Day swim: More than 60 people joined the Polar Bear Club's 39th annual New Year's Day dip in the St. Joseph River.

Dec. 20, 1979 – Santas hope to overlook worst gifts: A fun story and set of photos from 1979 about terrible gifts. 

Late 1970s – Fond memories of Santa display include path to restoration: The history of the downtown Santa display and its restoration in the 1970s and '80s.

 

1980s

June 18, 1980 – Sandblasting the library: A worker sandblasts Allen County Public Library in an outfit worthy of "Star Wars."

July 1980 – Defying heights during Summit Square construction: "I think my editors are trying to get rid of me," former JG staff writer Nelson Price wrote in a humorous story. 

July 12, 1980 – Show Us Your Tan Contest: An estimated 10,000 people gathered at Southtown Mall for a "Show Us Your Tan" contest the featured 100 men and women. 

Sept. 20, 1980 – Domino Wizard at Southtown Mall: Robert Speca, known as the Domino Wizard, created a piece at Southtown Mall. 

December 1980 – Santa display lit together for first time since '50s: The holiday season of 1980 was the first time the entire display had been hung and lit up since the late 1950s.

1982 to 1983 – Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory construction, opening: The gardens opened Nov. 20, 1983.

July 17, 1982 – The Great newsPaper Airplane Championships: Thousands of people threw airplanes at a car, hoping to win it and other prizes. Also, the winner shares his memories – read here

July 17, 1982 – Pilot Jim Martin gets a kiss from his wife, Bunny, before a hot air balloon race that was part of Three Rivers Festival. 

Sept. 17, 1982 Students rappel at stadium: Concordia students rappelled the side of Zollner Stadium under the direction of an ROTC instructor.

Sept. 23, 1982 Dog pulls baby cart: Larry Schohl got creative with leftover lawnmower parts, some tubing and a child's chair to make this cart so the family's dog, Brandy, could pull his 3-month-old daughter, Kira. Story includes reader-suggested captions.

Feb. 28, 1983 Gathering to watch 'M.A.S.H.' finale: A viewing party at the Sheraton Inn drew about 300 people, many of whom were dressed in military garb.

1982 to 1984 – Fort Wayne Museum of Art construction, opening: The current building opened on April 15, 1984.

July 15, 1983 – Last truck rolls off line at Harvester plant: On a Friday afternoon in mid-July 1983, a green Model 4200 International Harvester truck rolled off the assembly line at the Fort Wayne International Harvester plant. It was the 1,527,299th truck built since the plant opened in 1923 – and its last.

Oct. 30, 1988 – Truck spill blocks road: A truck on its way to market overturned, spilling 500 bushels of soybeans. 

Oct. 31, 1989 – Students in Halloween parade at Weisser Park

 

1990s

Sept. 2, 1993 – St. Mary's Church Fire: “St. Mary's burns.” That was the headline the morning after a blaze destroyed the downtown Catholic church on Sept. 2, 1993.

1995 to 1999 – Construction of Headwaters Park: More than 100 people attended the grand opening of the first phase of Headwaters Park on Sept. 10, 1995. See the park at various stages of construction. 

Nov. 5, 1995 Opening of Science Central: The science museum in the old City Light and Power plant opened to a crowd of about 2,000 people.

Nov. 14, 1995 – Giving fall leaves a kick: A city resident kicks leaves away from a street gutter.

June 1, 1997 – Glenbrook Square ice rink closes: Renovations at Glenbrook Square spelled the end of an era as the mall shut down its indoor ice rink on June 1, 1997. A second story is here.

Nov. 15, 1997 – Rolling a giant snowball: A group of friends rolled a huge snowball in an empty lot on Fairfield Avenue. 

Feb. 11, 1998 – Preparing flowers for Valentine's Day: The florist shop was expecting to process about 12,000 flowers during the Valentine's Day rush that year.

June 1998 – Toppled toilets as school year ends: Students pushed over portable toilets being used after a water main broke.

July 6, 1998 – A firehouse wedding: Ken Burson and Elizabeth Clegg Burson were married by the Rev. Victor Kolch on July 6, 1998, in a ceremony in the bucket of a hook and ladder fire truck above the Aboite Township fire station.

1998 to 1999 – Creation of Courthouse Green: With its half-moon walkways, benches, fountains and almost an acre of grass in the heart of downtown, the Courthouse Green was dedicated Oct. 15, 1999, after a three-year project that cost about $3 million.

 

2000s

Feb. 14, 2000 – A classroom valentine: Kindergartner Shaquek Cotton reads a valentine that she received from a classmate at South Wayne Elementary School.

July 11, 2001 Lottery decides area will switch to 260 area code: Cards were pulled from a large fish bowl to decide which two areas in Northeast Indiana would lose the 219 code.

July 18, 2001 James Earl Jones visits Fort Wayne Wizards: Actor James Earl Jones came to Fort Wayne to do a dramatic reading for children and recite the national anthem at a Wizards baseball game.

Aug. 2, 2002 – Raising the roof of Memorial Coliseum: The 43,680-square-foot roof of Memorial Coliseum was raised 41 feet and 10 inches. It took almost five hours.

Oct. 18, 2005 – Cleaning out a pumpkin: A Franke Park Elementary student cleans out a pumpkin.

2007 to 2009 – Construction of Parkview Field: The TinCaps' first game was played downtown April 16, 2009.  

June 12, 2008 – Demolition work on site of Haunted Castle: The former site of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church at Wallen and Old Auburn roads had been the home of the Haunted Castle for about 30 years.

Oct. 2008 to Oct. 2019 – A Zombie Walk down memory lane: Gallery of photos from Zombie Walks in downtown Fort Wayne.

May 12, 2019 Mother's Day downtown: The day stood in sharp contrast to what was experienced a year later during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Multiple eras

106 degrees – City's hottest days – The record was set on July 22, 1934, and repeated on July 14, 1936, and June 25, 1988. Most recently, the mercury spiked that high on June 28, 2012. 

Gourd times in patches of the past A photo gallery of kids enjoying pumpkin patches through the years.

Halloween through the years A look at Halloween costumes and celebrations. 

Dracula and other Halloween creatures Vignettes include "Dracula" arriving in the city and a Beast of 'Busco couples costume.

Miss Liberty The statue has come down from its perch atop the Allen County Courthouse more than once for repairs. The first time was in 1947.

Toboggan run – The Toboggan run at Pokagon State Park through the years.

Eye-catching headlines – Read stories with a collection of unusual headlines that catch the eye.

Visits by presidential hopefuls – Dwight Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama are among presidential nominees that have visited the area ahead of general elections.

Catching some winter air Shots of airborne sledders, sliders and tubers enjoying the snow.

Elm disease consumed city trees – For decades, the city's forestry workers battled Dutch elm disease with projects to spraying healthy trees and removing dead or diseased trees.


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