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Historical Timeline from 1900 through 1970







The historical time presented first in 1999 has been re-created here, combining the original information and years with a new timeline module.

Timeline, 1900-1970


Toledo's Population is 131,822.

Toledo's Mayor is Samuel "Golden Rule" Jones, formerly a Republican but now independent of the GOP.

Picture of Mayor Samuel Jones.

Building permits are required in the city for the first time. Lozier-Pope Company introduces its steam-powered passenger car named "The Toledo."

Picture of the Toledo Steamer

The Toledo Public Zoo began with a single animal, a lone woodchuck.


Toledo's Mayor is Samuel "Golden Rule" Jones, formerly a Republican but now independent of the GOP.

A popular Toledo lakefront resort, "The Casino" is destroyed by fire.

Walk looking from Casino towards Park

Cresceus, a trotting horse bred in Toledo by one of the city's most famous industrialists, George H. Ketcham, broke the world's record by trotting a mile in 2 minutes, 2 and a quarter seconds at a Columbus race track. Cresceus ended his career undefeated.

St. Patrick's and St. Hedwig's Catholic Churches were completed.

The last competition in mass transit ended in Toledo as all remaining streetcar lines were consolidated into the Toledo Railway and Light Company.

After a long and bitter fight, Toledo's natural gas production plant was voted to be sold by the City Council.


Toledo's Mayor was Samuel "Golden Rule" Jones.

The Lozier-Pope company ends production of its steam-powered automobile, "The Toledo" and begins production of a gas-powered luxury town car, the "Pope-Toledo".

Daniel Rosenbecker was sentenced to twenty years in the Ohio penitentiary for killing a child. Daniel Rosenbecker was only twelve years old.

Toledo's first speed limit went into effect. Drivers of the new automobiles were now limited to motoring their machines at no more than ten miles per hour.

Tiedtke Department Store moves into vastly larger rooms on on the 200 block of Summit street. At this time, as well as offering a large line of home furnishings, clothing, and commercial goods, Tiedtke's specialized in marine provisions and was the chief supplier for a large number of boats and ships that ported in Toledo.

The cornerstone of the new Synagogue B'nai Jacob is laid.


Toledo's Mayor was Samuel "Golden Rule" Jones.

The Scottwood apartments, later known as the Plaza Hotel, opened.

The Magyar Reformed Church was built in East Toledo.

The Owens Bottle Machine Company which owned the patent on the revolutionary automatic glass-blowing machine, was organized.

A pension fund was established for the city's police and firemen.

Jefferson Avenue was closed to all traffic for a day to hold snow horse races.

Strobel's grandstand at Armory Park burns to the ground.


Robert M. Finch, a Republican, takes over as mayor.

Picture of Mayor Robert M. Finch.

Horse blankets go for seventy-five cents at W.L. Milner and Co.

Toledo's most famous mayor, Samuel "Golden Rule" Jones, dies in office on July 12.

Notre Dame Academy opens.

Libbey Glass Company erected a large pavilion at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis which featured artisans cutting fine glass pieces for the public.

Toledo Terminal Railroad Station opens.

Toledo opens its first juvenile court.

The Fassett Street Bridge is destroyed by ice.

Chicken thieves plague the Old West End.

Mayor Finch announces a crusade to stamp out vice in Toledo. He fails.

National headquarters of the American Flint Glass Workers Union is moved from Pittsburgh to Toledo.


Toledo's Mayor is the Robert Finch, a Republican appointed after the death of Samuel Jones.

The Central YMCA was dedicated.

Roy Knabenshue flies his homemade airship over the city and lands atop the Spitzer Building winning his bet with a friend.

Roy Knabenshue's airship

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers No. 245 founded.

Toledo's Molders organize Local Union No. 425.


Toledo's mayor is Brand Whitlock, an independent.

Brand Whitlock

Fifty cents will purchase a day's excursion across Lake Erie to Sugar Island on the steamer Greyhound.

250 machinists go on strike at the Pope Automobile Company.

Our Lady of the Rosary, as Slovak Catholic Church is organized on Front Street.

Harry Houdini performs his illusions and escapes at the Valentine Theater.

Toledo adopts an official city song, "Our Toledo."


Toledo's Mayor is Brand Whitlock, an independent.

A new home in the Glenwood area sells for $2,400.

The Pope Motor Car Company declares bankruptcy.

The Toledo Railway and Light Company begins running an interurban trolley to its private park at "Toledo Beach".

St. Adelbert's Parish is organized on Lagrange St.

The first Toledo Auto Show is held.

The Majestic Apartments on Cherry street open.

The first (former) Ohio Building is completed.

The 17 story Nichols Building opens on Madison street.

The City Council approves funds to build a new bridge on Cherry St.

The City issues license plates to automobiles for the first time.

Harry Houdini escapes from a zinc-lined box that is locked and chained shut and thrown in the Maumee River.

Toledo United Association of Journeymen Plumbers, Gas and Steam Fitters No. 406 is organized.


Toledo's Mayor is Brand Whitlock, an independent.

A pair of false teeth cost $2.50 at American Painless Dentists.

Porch rockers on sale at Johnson's for $1.58.

The Secor Hotel opened.

The Cherry St. Bridge was destroyed by a runaway steam ship.

25,000 veterans of the Civil War converge on Toledo for the national convention of the Grand Army of the Republic.

The new YMCA opens on Jefferson Avenue.

The Toledo Blade publishes its first comic strip section.

The Toledo District Nurse Association is formed.


Toledo's mayor is Brand Whitlock, an independent.

A Kodak Brownie Camera costs two dollars at Gross and Tracy.

Tiedtke's Department Store moves into its new six-story store on the corner of Adams and Summit street.

The Pope automobile factory is purchased by John Willys for four hundred thousand dollars.

The Ohio Electric Company begins production of its "Ohio Electric" electric-powered automobile.

The Newsboys Building, the first such structure devoted to the needs of newsboys in the world, is opened on 618 Superior St.

Swayne Field, a major league baseball park, is built and the last baseball game is played in old Armory Park.

The Mardi Gras spirit ruled in Toledo in August as Toledo threw one of its largest parties ever. The festival was named after King Wamba of Spain and the chief event, besides a huge parade, a riverfront flotilla, and a huge masked Spanish ball, was the coronation of Toledo's own King (Robert Hixon) and Queen (Ethel Chesbrough).

The first wireless radio message is sent from Toledo.

The "American Flint" the official journal of the American Flint Glass Workers Union begins publication in Toledo.


Toledo's population is 168,497.

The speed limit in Toledo is 8 m.p.h.

Toledo's Mayor is Brand Whitlock, an independent

The Roman Catholic diocese of Toledo was established and Joseph M. Schrembs was named the first Bishop of Toledo.

The Champion Spark Plug Company moves its operations to Toledo.

St. Michael's Greek Church is organized in the Toledo neighborhood of Birmingham.

Blanche Stuart White becomes the first woman to drive from coast to coast across the United States. She performs her feat in a Toledo-made Overland automobile.

The city approves a $300,000 bond issue to acquire property for the purpose of building a City Hall. Toledo's city government then occupied the first floors of the Valentine Theatre. The proposed building was never built and Toledo managed without its own government building for many more years.

Fire severely damages Toledo's Robinwood Hospital.


Toledo's Mayor is Brand Whitlock, and independent.

Toledo-made Yale motorcycles sell for two hundred dollars.

Water wings are on sale at Milner's for eighteen cents.

Brass beds sell for $9.75 at Globe Dept. store.

Willys-Overland begins production of automobiles in Toledo.

Kinsey Manufacturing Co., a supplier of sheet metal parts for Willys-Overland, is organized.

Mather Spring Co., soon to be the chief manufacturer of automotive springs begins operations in Toledo.

In September, seven city officials drown when their yacht, the Nemo, is struck by the freighter Philip Minch near the Toledo Yacht Club.

The city begins construction of swimming pools at Riverside, Navarre, and City Parks.

The new central Post Office building at Jefferson and Thirteenth streets opened in December. At the time the site chosen for the Post Office was much criticized for being too far away from downtown.

Evangelist Billy Sunday opens his mass crusade in Toledo. A large pavilion is built downtown to accommodate his audience of thousands and he rails against Toledo's taste for the fast life.

Keith's Theatre opens.

Toledo's stagehands unionize.

An extended heat wave causes a shortage of ice in the city. Food shortages are feared.


Toledo's mayor is Brand Whitlock, an independent.

A panama hat costs $3.75 at John Mockett haberdashery.

Fifteen pounds of potatoes can be had at Miller's grocery for 29 cents.

Willys-Overland encourages one of its chief parts suppliers, Warner Gear Co. to move to Toledo to be closer to its own operations.

The 22 story Toledo Trust building is completed.

The Toledo Museum of Art opened in October. President William Taft was one of the guests at its dedication.

The City appropriates funds to motorize the fire department.

The Toledo Industrial Exposition opens.

Toledo teamsters strike for higher wages.

Theodore Roosevelt speaks at Terminal Hall on May 16.

On May 17, President Taft visits the city.

The Toledo City Mission opened on St. Clair St.

A Toledo landmark, the Grace Smith Cafeteria, opens.


Toledo's mayor is Brand Whitlock, and independent.

Steamer trunks are on sale at Wilmington and Co. for eleven dollars.

Huebner Brewery will deliver a case of beer to your door for a dollar fifty.

Charles Knight invents the "sleeve valve motor", an innovation that will be a chief selling point for Willys-Overland automobiles.

J.W. Scott High School opens.

The city purchases a massive lighted sign with seven thousand lightbulbs and places it atop its offices in the Valentine Building. For years Toledoans will remember the bright blinking display reading: "You Will Do Better in Toledo."

The City Council passes an ordinance requiring Toledo's transit monopoly to charge no more than three cents fare.

Brand Whitlock leaves the mayors office to take up duties as minister to Belgium. Carl Keller, is elected mayor, the first member of either major parties to be elected Toledo's mayor in sixteen years.

Several architects submit designs for the proposed city hall. None of them are ever built.

Toledo's ice handlers go on strike.

A new outdoor market opens on Superior Street.


Toledo's mayor is Carl H. Keller, a Republican.

The average cost of a new home in Toledo was $2,055.

A man's union suit costs 69 cents at Tiedtke's department store.

The Milburn Wagon Company, for years the largest industry in town but declining due to the coming of the internal combustion engine, attempts to revive its former glory by entering the automobile market. However, it chooses an unpopular platform and begins production of an electric car, the "Milburn Electric" that sells for the relatively high price of $1,485.

Willys-Overland organizes yet another automotive supplier in Toledo, the Tillotson Carburetor Company.

St. Stephen's Hungarian parish completes its new church.

Morrison Waite High School opens.

The first cars, wagons, and walkers traverse the new Cherry Street bridge. Though costing 1.2 million dollars, the bridge was completed without many of its envisioned architectural details, including four grand columns that would have served as the city's gateway to the world.

A higher court strikes down the city law that limited transit fares to three cents.

A new city charter is ratified that fundamentally restructures the democratic governance of the city.

Col. W. F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody brings his wild west show to Toledo.

Tragedy strikes the Toledo zoo as Babe the elephant rampages and kills his keeper.

Toledo's Tuberculosis Hospital admits its first patients.

Toledo's Elevator Operators unionize.


Toledo's mayor is Carl H. Keller, a republican.

Toledo's mayor is Carl H. Keller, a republican.

Bread prices rise to 6 cents.

Player Piano rolls on sale at Lion Store for 25 cents apiece.

Leather football helmets cost a dollar and a half at Toledo Rubber Co.

A refrigerator, complete with five hundred pounds of free ice costs $17.95 at Kings.

Willys-Overland surpasses all its rivals but Ford to become the second largest automobile maker in the United States.

St. Michael's Greek Church is completed.

The remains of the old Cherry St. bridge are reconstructed downriver as the new Ash-Consaul bridge.

West Toledo is annexed to Toledo. It was originally known as Tremainsville and it boasted of having a post office ten years before Toledo did a century before.

In the midst of a national recession, the city borrows fifty thousand dollars from local banks to furnish public work for the unemployed during the hard winter months.

In accordance with its new city charter, Toledo holds its first "non-partisan" election for mayor. For the next four years the dreams of Toledo's progressives to break the grip of party machines over the nomination of candidates will seemingly be realized, though the party's soon regained their traditional powers through other means.

The first traffic semaphores are installed in downtown Toledo.

The Niagara Hotels burns.

Burt's Theare, a downtown vaudeville house, closes and is replaced by United Garage Co.

Mayor Keller bans the use of police billy clubs.


Toledo's mayor is Charles Milroy, a Republican.

One-third of all wage earners in Toledo work in the automotive industry.

The new city charter requiring that all municipal franchises go before the voters took effect on January first.

Toledo's last fire horse is put to pasture.

Toledo's trolley car drivers organize a union and strike for better working conditions.

Toledo's war hawks sponsor "prepardness" parades to pressure Wilson to enter the war in Europe.

An epidemic of polio sweeps the city and forces the closing of all city schools through September. Before the disease had run its course, seventeen children had died and seventy-nine were paralyzed or otherwise maimed.

Workers at Willys-Overland enjoy the eight hour day for the first time.

A "human fly" scales the walls of the Nicholas Building.

Asbestos Workers Toledo Local Union No. 45 is organized.


Toledo mayor is Charles Milroy, a Republican.

Lasalle and Koch Department Store moves to its new "skyscraper store" at the corner of Adams and Huron.Gunckel School opened.

A 78 acre tract was purchased for a Boy Scout Camp west of Toledo. It would later become the 200 acre Camp Miakonda.

The city bought a large parcel of land near Whitehouse to build its new "Welfare Farm."

A city commission is empaneled to investigate charges of tainted milk being distributed in the city.

On June 5 all Toledo men between the ages of twenty-one and thirty were required to register for the draft. By the end of the summer the first contingent of 2,454 men were compelled to join the army. In September sixteen nurses from Toledo left for service with the Red Cross overseas.

Horse drawn taxi cabs trot down Toledo's streets for the last time.

All ships under construction at the Toledo Ship Building Company are assumed by the federal government for war duty.

Many Toledo industries convert to war goods. Willys-Overland begins converting a portion of its factory to produce airplane parts and artillery shells.

The first of five "Liberty Loan" bond drives to finance the war kick off in Toledo. By the end of the war Toledoans will have bought over seventy-two million dollars in war bonds.

Toledo's Public Library system opens five new branch libraries. Funds for the buildings were donated by Andrew Carnegie, the great benefactor of libraries in America at this time.

Toledo brewery workers organize Brewery Workers Local Union No. 237.

The trustees of the University of Toledo vote to fire Prof. Scott Nearing for his outspoken radical and pacifistic views.

In June the Central Labor Union demands that the city move to end "the importation of negro laborers" a sentiment that threatens the livelihoods and safety of the entire Toledo African-American community.


Toledo's mayor is Cornell Schreiber, a Democrat.

A razor strop costs 69 cents at Star Hardware.

Milk prices rise to fourteen cents per quart.

Willys-Overland continues to expand and becomes the largest automobile factory in the world at hat time.

Toledo elects its first Democrat, Cornell Schreiber, as mayor in forty years.

Toledo University buildings are erected as a war measure on vacant land on Nebraska Ave.

Wartime food shortages hit the area and local bakeries begin selling "Victory Bread" that contained little sugar or milk and used substitutes for a portion of the wheat. Grocers imposed their own form of rationing and the city turned over unused lots to citizens for garden plots.

The U.S. government begins construction of a massive nitrate plant in East Toledo.

November 11, the armistice is announced ending the war. Toledo's share of the tragedy was 330 dead and thousands injured and maimed.

Ohio voters pass a prohibition ordinance that had failed at three previous referendums. By the next year many of Toledo's saloons are forced to close and all four Toledo breweries discontinue production of their primary product.

The Spanish flu ravages the country. In October city health officials order all public laces to close to prevent the transmission of the virus. Schools, bars, theatres and even churches in the city remained shuttered for nearly a month. By winter Toledo had lost 242 people to the epidemic.

Mercy Hospital accepts its first patients.

Toledo machinists organize Local 1210.


Toledo's mayor is Cornell Schreiber.

The amount of capital invested in Toledo's industries doubled over the previous five years.

Toledoans express outrage when egg prices soar to 80 cents per dozen.

A tree honoring the city's war dead is planted on the Lucas County Court House grounds.

The Frederick Douglass Community Association is founded.

King Albert of war-torn Belgium visits Toledo.

Thirty-six thousand women in Toledo register to ote for the first time after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution confirming women's right to vote.

As part of its long-running dispute with H. L. Doherty, Toledo's transit mogul, over the price of fares, Toledo's city council orders Doherty to remove all 370 of his streetcars from the streets of Toledo. Doherty complies and sends them all over the state line to Michigan. Toledo was without streetcar service from Nov. 9 to Dec. 5. The following spring the dispute was settled when a newly formed company, the Community Traction Co., assumed control of the streetcar system. Doherty's old company became the Toledo Edison Company.

Tens of thousands of workers at Willys-Overland go on strike to protest the companies attempt to force them to work three extra hours per week (a forty-eight hour week). The strike would last half the year. In June a crowd of striking workers clash with deputized police leaving Stanley Balzrzak dead and six others injured.

In June the city of Toledo passes a law jailing anyone on the street who "is unable to give a . . . satisfactory account of himself."Jack Dempsey, the world's most famous heavyweight prizefighter, beats his opponent Willard in the fourth round at an arena built especially for the match near Toledo's Bay View Park.

Hod Carriers Union No. 500 organized.

2,600 white employees of the Toledo Shipbuilding Company go on strike demanding that the company bar all African-American workers from the shop. The company ends the strike by agreeing to hire only white workers.


Toledo's mayor is Cornell Schreiber, a Democrat.

Toledo's population is 243,164.

Folger's brand lard costs twenty-five cents a pound at Collingwood Market.

Jane Addams, the famous progressive reformer and founder of the social settlement movement, spoke at Scott High School. Her talk was sponsored by the city's district nurses association.

The National Open Golf Championship was held at the Inverness Club in Toledo. Ted Ray won with a score of 295.

The voters of Toledo turned down a proposal for the city to begin operation of a municipal street railway system, long the dream of progressive reformers in the city.

Prohibition begins and Toledo soon becomes the headquarters for rum-runners and booze smugglers of all sorts.

The Automotive Corporation begins building tractors on Oakdale Ave.

Immaculate Conception Church burns.

Portions of Toledo are destroyed by a tornado on Palm Sunday.

Toledo's last livery stable closes.

The last strikers still holding out in the strike against the Willys-Overland Company from the previous year are arrested as they attempt to walk a picket line around the plant.


Toledo's mayor is Cornell Schreiber, a Democrat.

The city's central Post Office is robbed by six armed men who make off with over a million dollars.

Federal agents seize six million gallons of smuggled liquor in Toledo.

Toledo's "non-partisan" charter that had been in effect since 1916 and was an attempt to remove the political party machines from power, is subverted as the Republican Party endorses a slate of candidates. This marks the end of the Progressive era in Toledo.

Toledo's first commercial radio station, WTAL, begins broadcasting. (It will later change its call letters to WSPD).


Toledo's mayor is Bernard F. Brough, a Republican.

The city purchases the abandoned bed of the Miami and Erie canal. It plans to eventually construct a wide boulevard cutting along the river to the heart of Toledo. A decade later this plan will be realized with the help of the Works Progress Administration. The boulevard is known today as the Anthony Wayne Trail.

The city issues 420,000 dollars in bonds to build a new Public Office Building and Police Station. Toledo still does not have a city hall of its own.


Toledo's mayor is Bernard F. Brough, a Republican.

A new home in the upscale suburban subdivision of Westmoreland costs $12,500.

A huge freak blizzard buries the city on May 9.

Toledo opens its third high school, named after industrialist Edward Drummond Libbey, in South Toledo.

A serial bomber strikes at the homes of city officials.


Toledo's mayor is Bernard F. Brough, a Republican.

A gallon of gas costs 15 cents.

The city issues bonds in the amount of three million dollars to begin work on the Anthony Wayne bridge.

Scott High School wins the national football championship.

Two thousand members of the Ku Klux Klan parade down Central Avenue.

Woolworth's opens its first five and dime store in Toledo.

St. Paul's Lutheran Parish house is dedicated.

McKinley Elementary School opens.

Carpenter's Local Union No. 1957 formed.

Electrical Workers Local No. 1047 is organized.

Sheet Metal Workers Local 6 is organized.


Toledo's mayor is Bernard F. Brough, a Republican.

Willys-Overland alone accounts for forty-one percent of the total payroll in Toledo.

A man's Palm Beach Suit costs $16.50 at Bond's.

Spectacular fires destroy two Toledo institutions. The Paragon Oil Company is destroyed by fire in January and the Terminal auditorium burns in May.

The Owens Bottle Company collects hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties from the Soviet Union in exchange for the rights to use their patent on the Graham bottle machine.

Harry Houdini returns to Toledo to debunk Toledo's nationally famous spiritualist medium, Ada Bessinet.

Ground is broken for the Our Lady Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral. Construction will continue on the structure for nearly twenty years.

The Park Lane Apartment Hotel and the Lorraine Hotel open.


Toledo's mayor is Fred J. Mery, a Republican.

Toledo's city government finally moves into its own building, the so-called "Safety Building".

The renovated and expanded Toledo Art Museum is rededicated.


Toledo's mayor is Fred J. Mery, a Republican.

An Atwater Kent radio runs $129.60 at the J.W. Greene Co.

The Toledo Mud Hens, managed by the legendary Casey Stengel, win the American Association pennant and later the "Jr. World Series."

Yet another major auto parts supplier, the Surface Combustion Company, moves to Toledo.

The Commodore Perry Hotel opens.

Municipal Airport (now part of the planned site for the new Jeep factory) opened on Stickney Avenue.

The new Toledo Blade Building opens.


Toledo's mayor is William T. Jackson, a Republican.

A Willys-Knight Six costs $995.

Victrola record players cost $117.50 at Lion department store.

Willys-Overland reaches its peak of production. Willys-Overland's twenty-three thousand workers built 314,437 cars this year alone.

Toledo's fourth high school, Calvin M. Woodward High, opens in North Toledo with 1,500 students.

The first sound movie, "The Jazz Singer" starring Al Jolson, plays in Toledo at the Vita-Temple theater.

The first air mail packages are sent from Toledo.


Toledo's mayor is William T. Jackson, a Republican.

An entire block of buildings fronting Main street are moved backwards ten feet in a single day to accommodate increasing traffic.

The Paramount Theatre, Toledo's largest movie palace, opens at he corner of Adams and Huron.

Toledo's "Transcontinental Airport" is dedicated as a crowd of 35,000 watch stunt planes swoop overhead.

Central Catholic High School opens on Collingwood Avenue.

Owens Bottle Company purchases its chief rival, the Illinois Glass Company of Alton, Illinois and forms the Owens-Illinois Company.

Spicer Manufacturing Company moves its headquarters from New Jersey to Toledo.

The Hillcrest Hotel opens.

In April, Willys-Overland, saddled with a huge unsold inventory of cars, begins laying off thousands of workers. This marks the beginning of the Great Depression in Toledo. When the stock market crashes in New York on October 29, over ten thousand workers in Toledo had already long felt the pain of unemployment.

Construction begins on the Anthony Wayne suspension bridge.

Toledo's famous Boody Hotel, once regarded as the finest hotel between New York and Chicago and host to numerous presidents and famous personages, is demolished to make way for the twenty-five story Ohio Savings Bank and Trust Company building, Toledo's tallest. Less than one year after the structure is completed Ohio Savings Bank and Trust will declare bankruptcy.


Toledo's population is 290,718.

Toledo's mayor is William T. Jackson, a Republican.

Over 18,000 workers in Toledo are unemployed.

A pound of coffee at Teidtke's costs 33 cents.

The Libbey-Owens Glass Company merges with the Edward Ford Plate Glass Company to form the giant Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company. The new company was the largest producer of sheet glass in the world.

The Hocking Valley Railroad completes construction of its modernized coal and iron dock facilities on Presque Isle in the Maumee Bay.

Groundbreaking ceremonies are held at the eight-acre site on Bancroft avenue purchased by the city for Toledo University. A short time later work begins on the gothic University Hall and its two-hundred foot tower.

Thousands cheer and watch as Toledo's decrepit Union Railroad Station burns to the ground.

Toledo's Unemployed Council opens offices on Monroe Street and fights against vagrancy laws and evictions. In January they organize a march of over one thousand, five hundred persons to the Safety Building to demand work or wages from Mayor Jackson. Mayor Jackson does not come out to discuss this pressing issue with hem as he is vacationing in Havana, Cuba at the time.

Unemployed worker Elmer Tilton and his Louis are shot dead for trespassing while gleaning potatoes from a harvested field in East Toledo.


Toledo's mayor is William T. Jackson, a Republican.

Toledo's unemployed now represent nearly fifty percent of the workforce.

The Anthony Wayne suspension bridge, built at a cost of three million dollars, opens to traffic.

Our Lady Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral was dedicated.

Thomas A. DeVilbiss High School on Upton Avenue opens and accepts its first freshman class.

The 269 bed Lucas County hospital opened in May.

Classes are held for the first time in the newly built University Hall at Toledo University.

The Security-Home Trust Bank locks its doors and sparks a run on Toledo's other banks. Toledo's other major banks declare a sixty-day moratorium on withdrawals to reorganize, though none of Toledo's major banks will reopen until the intervention of federal authorities years later. Later investigations will reveal that in the days before some of these banks closed their directors looted the cash reserves to liquidate the accounts of business associates, relatives and cronies.


Toledo's mayor is Addison Q. Thacher, a Republican.

More than 13,000 Toledoans apply for city welfare in December.

Libbey Glass Company, begins converting from the production of fine hand cut-glass to machine-made glassware.


Toledo's mayor was Addison Q. Thacher, a Republican.

72,689 destitute people now depend on food from city warehouses.

The Toledo Museum of Art debuts its recent addition, the 1,500 seat Peristyle concert hall with concert by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.

The Civil Works Administration, one of the earliest New Deal programs, begins work on the filling of the Miami and Erie Canal and the construction of the Anthony Wayne Trail, then called "Canal Boulevard."

Toledo voters elect Solon T. Klotz, a Socialist, mayor of the city.

Toledo prosecutor Frazier Reams declares war on gangs and gambling.

Congress ends Prohibition and orders begin to pour into Owens-Illinois Glass Company for beer bottles.

The Central Labor Union attempts to take advantage of the recent passage of the National Industrial Recovery Act and launches a mass membership drive that includes giving speeches between the innings of Mud Hens games at Swayne Field.

Toledo's Unemployed League pickets the city's central warehouse to protest the meager rations given out for food assistant to the city's hungry.


Toledo's mayor is Solon T. Klotz, a Socialist.

Voters, fed up with machine politics, approve yet another revision of the city charter, this time establishing a city manager form of government. This means that citizens will no longer have the opportunity to vote for their mayor directly, a system that will take this power out of citizens hand for the next thirty years.

In February, Workers at Toledo City Auto Stamping force management to sign one of the first contracts of any U.S. firm with the UAW.

In April workers at the Electric Auto-Lite Company, angered at management's attempts to bust their newly formed union, went on strike. Their cause soon became the center point of a mass civil rebellion against the depression and the entrenched industrial interests in the city. Thousands of workers and citizens converged on the plant to prevent the replacement of striking workers. Neither the private company police or the city's own police forces were able to contain the protests and Ohio's governor called in the National Guard to put down the rebellion. Two protestors were shot and killed by guardsmen on May 24.

Toledo's Armory, located at the corner of Spielbusch and Orange streets, is destroyed by fire.

The German-American Club opens its new Turner Hall on Collingwood Ave.


Toledo's mayor is Solon T. Klotz, a Socialist.

The new YMCA building is dedicated.

Over two thousand workers strike Chevrolet's motor plant in Toledo. They will eventually win the first UAW union contract with one of the big automakers.

Owens-Illinois purchased the struggling Libbey Glass company, one of Toledo's most famous corporations for five million dollars.

John N. Edy, Toledo's first city manager is selected.

City Auto Stamping refuses to renew the workers contracts. Five hundred UAW employees strike and eventually win the forty hour week, overtime pay, and wage increases.

Five waitresses who organized Waitresses Local Union No. 335 are fired at Grace Smith's Cafeteria. The Central Labor Union proclaims a boycott and establishes pickets around the restaurant.


The city council votes to approve the application of residents of Point Place in Washington Township to be annexed by Toledo.

Workers at the Toledo Shipbuilding Company go out on a three month strike that began as a sit-down strike. After six weeks the company recognizes the union and agrees to a wage increase that ranges from twelve to thirty-eight percent.

Police break up a meeting of the Workers Alliance with tear gas.

Local 12 of the United Auto Workers is chartered in Toledo.

In July six hundred Owens-Illinois workers strike for two months to force the company to recognize their union. In retaliation for organizing a union in its main factory, Owens-Illinois fires 109 workers including all forty-three charter members of Flint Glass Workers Union Local 28.

A three week general strike against all Toledo dry cleaning firms ends in victory for the newly organized Cleaners, Pressers, and Dyers Union.


Toledo celebrates its centennial with a gala festival that included a mass dinner in the Naval Armory, street dances, parades and fireworks in September.

Seven thousand workers of the Libbey-Owens-Ford Corporation go on strike in Toledo.

Several thousand Toledo UAW members drive to Flint, Michigan, to man the picket lines thrown up around the GM factories there. Toledo UAW Local 14 President Robert Travis is dispatched to Flint to help plot strike strategy. Toledo UAW Local 12 donates five thousand dollars to the Flint strikers, an amount equal to fifteen percent of its total treasury.


Toledo's Owens-Illinois formed a partnership with the Corning Glass Works of Corning, New York to produce the revolutionary new product called fiber glass. Their new company was named the Owens-Corning-Fiberglass Company.

The Fassett Street Bridge reopened in December after being closed since it collapsed in1935.

One of Toledo's long-running daily newspapers passes from the scene when the last issue of the News-Bee hits the streets on August 2.


Toledo begins work on its new nine million dollar water purification system with substantial help from the New Deal Public Works Administration. The new system transferred the source of Toledo's drinking water from the Maumee River to Lake Erie.

The workers represented by the Building Service Employees Union strike the Toledo Women's and Children's Hospital in an attempt to win the first union hospital contract in the city.


Toledo's population stands at 282,349, a net loss of 8,369 over the previous decade.

War department orders begin to pour in to Toledo industries. The Toledo Machine and Tool Company, Champion Spark Plug, the Willys-Overland, and the Hettrick Manufacturing Company all begin expanding their facilities to meet the millions of dollars worth of new orders.

Toledo's educational facilities mobilize as well. Toledo's Board of Education turned over part of its six high schools to the training of skilled machinists and mechanics for the defense effort. This was not pure patriotism, it was also that this would swing more defense contracts Toledo's way.

The first peacetime draft snared its first six hundred Toledoans who were sent to Camp Shelby in Mississippi.

The Toledo-Detroit highway strains under the traffic of twelve thousand vehicles a day. It is the second most heavily traveled road in America.

The Toledo Symphony Orchestra gives it first concert on May 6.


After Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, Toledo, with its many defense industries and railroad hubs was tightly patrolled. Within a week over seven hundred Toledoans volunteered for civil defense work such as watching for air raids, fires, policing blackout regulations, and neighborhood patrols.

Most Toledoans who were inducted into the army served with the Thirty-Seventh "Buckeye" Division. Hundreds of men from Toledo would serve in the 148th Infantry Regiment composed of Ohio guard units from Northwest Ohio. The Thirty-Seventh was sent to battle in the Pacific islands campaign, culminating its tour by liberating half of Manila in the Philippines.

War contracts continue to pour into Toledo. In January a delegation of officials returned from Washington to boastfully announce that some forty-six local companies could expect war work. The expanding industrial base began to cut into Toledo's high unemployment rate which was cut in half from the year before. Toledo's factories finally employ as many men and women as they did before the Depression began twelve years before.

Toledo landed its biggest wartime contract in February when it was announced that the Willys-Overland Company would take the lead in the production of quarter-ton reconnaissance cars for the army. These durable machines would later acquire the nickname, Jeep.

Toledo's first shopping center, the Colony, opens.


Toledo is designated by the War Department as one of thirty-two strategic inland defense areas in the United States. Deemed vulnerable to enemy bombers due to its easily identifiable position on the confluence of two water major waterways and strategic due to its many war plants and major transportation facilities, the city became accustomed to air raid drills and blackouts.

As many women take up jobs in Toledo's defense industries, public nurseries are established in the city to care for their children during their work shifts.

Sugar rationing began in May and coffee and fuel oil rationing ensued in the fall.

The first of seven wartime government bond drives was held in Toledo.

Toledo's boy scouts begin collecting scrap metal, fat, rubber and paper to recycle for the war effort. In one huge drive the total required three hundred trucks to haul away.

The Willard Hotel was converted into a USO rest and relaxation center.


The first of eighty-six dogs from Northwest Ohio donated for war service left for training in the K-9 corps. Most would return to their owners after the war.

A slight earthquake is felt in Toledo on March 9.

The Toledo Country Club, a portion of whose golf course had been plowed under in aid of the war effort, reaps a bumper hay harvest.

The first female bus driver begins her daily routes.

Toledo's last surviving veteran of the Civil War dies.


In this year:

The 200,000 jeep made in Toledo rolls off the assembly line.

Toledo's war contracts approach one billion dollars.

A multi plant strike of the Mechanics Educational Society of America is broken when the government seizes seven Toledo war factories.


On August 14, tens of thousands of Toledo residents pour into the streets to celebrate the announcement that Japan had surrendered and the war was over. The celebration carried on for several days. In the final tragic tally, 1,195 men and women from Toledo had been killed in the nation's service.

A proposed master plan, called "Toledo Tomorrow," for the growth of Toledo was unveiled to the public at the Toledo Zoo. The large scale model, created by noted industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes, envisioned a Toledo laced with modern expressways, sprawling outwards like a doughnut from its massive new downtown airport.

Toledo becomes the largest soft coal port in the world.

In February Toledo Public Schools are closed due to a lack of coal.


Facing a severe housing shortage caused by the wartime building moratorium and the mass return of more than 16,000 Lucas County veterans, the city begins a public housing project at many locations around the city. Temporary structures, often rebuilt army barracks shipped from camps around the country, were assembled on city sites, including Waite High School and Woodlawn Cemetery, to accommodate the returning vets and their families.

Private developers respond to the housing shortage as well building 1,178 homes this year and a record 2,422 in 1947. Federal housing loan programs underwrote this building boom.

Many Toledo industries return to peacetime civilian production. Willys-Overland prepares to market a civilian version of its military jeep, a model that would prove especially popular with farmers due to its four-wheel drive and durability.

The Labor-Management-Citizen's Committee, a city agency that attempted to forestall strikes and industrial disputes in the Toledo area, is formed as the city's unions return to collective bargaining with their employers.

Toledo establishes a Board of Community Relations to alleviate racial tensions in the city.

In spite of vocal opposition from the C.I.O., Toledo voters approve a one percent city payroll tax.

A strike by auto mechanics shut down thirty-three garages in Toledo for two weeks.


Toledo hospitals report a record number of births, 9,303, this year.

Toledo Sports Arena opens.


Toledo's first television station, WSPD channel 13, begins broadcasting in July. It was the twenty-eighth television station to operate in the U.S. At the time there were only about 500 televisions in the Toledo viewing area. One year later there were ten times that number.

The Cleveland Browns play the Baltimore Colts in the Scott High School stadium.

Workers at National Castings on Toledo's East Side organize UAW Local 48 and quickly win a five percent raise.


Chuck roast sells for 49 cents per pound at Tiedtke's.

The last of the city's streetcars, "Old 838", makes its final run down Monroe Street, marking the end of a force that had decisively shaped the geography and politics of the city over the past three-quarters of a century.

Hundred pack into the Commodore Perry Hotel for a town hall meeting on the "Dangers of Communism in Her Own Country and the World."

UAW Vice-President Richard Gosser announces his controversial plan to establish a regional pension plan for UAW workers in Northwest Ohio.


Toledo's population rebounds after dropping during the Depression decade, increasing to 303,616.

Automobile registrations soar to a total of 130,633 in the county. This number would grow another twenty percent in the next five years.

Toledo dedicates its new Union Station. A five million dollar replacement for the miserable aging structure that had burned in 1930 to the cheers of Toledoans angry with the New York Central Railroad for its neglect of the building.

The automobile boom begins to alter the city's landscape in a decisive way. The city planning commission lays plans to substantially rework the face of the downtown to accommodate the more than 60,000 vehicles that pour into the area each working day competing for an estimated 15,000 parking spaces.

Toledo again marches to war. Young men are again drafted in September. By the end of the year 48 men from Toledo had lost their lives in the Korean War.

Housing developments continued to expand to meet the exploding demand for housing supported by federal mortgage programs. Kenwood Gardens, the city's first large apartment complex, opened with 72 buildings on the west side.

Toledo expands its population by 10,000 individuals by annexing portions of West Toledo.

The first outdoor phone booths are installed giving Clark Kent somewhere to change.

Toledo's Swartsbaugh Manufacturing Company announces that it will close its plant rather than concede a pension plan to its three hundred workers.


Toledo takes the first step in dealing with its parking problem by requiring all business of more than four thousand square feet to provide parking for their customers. This law sparks a wave of downtown demolition as large store owners buy out their smaller neighbors to tear down their buildings for parking lots. With little regard for historical or architectural preservation Toledo's businesses, encouraged by the city, will rip away some of Toledo's most memorable landmarks.

Toledo is named the nation's foremost "All-American City" by the National Municipal League.

By the end of the year 48 men from Toledo had lost their lives in the Korean War. Fifteen Toledoans were prisoners in North Korean prison camps.

War contracts continue to buoy Toledo's industries. Willys-Overland alone reaps more than one hundred million dollars in war work in 1951 and double that amount the next.

Toledo's shipbuilding industry, killed during the depression, revives somewhat with the laying of the keel of the 647 foot freighter, the Edward B. Greene.

The invaluable originals of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution preserved in the Library of Congress are sealed in Thermopane glass made in Toledo by the Libbey-Owens-Ford company.


The construction of expressways around Toledo begins in earnest. Hundreds of homes, businesses, and even churches around the city are razed to clear the way. One hundred and sixty more Toledoans are killed in the orean War.

Just as a decade before, civil defense spotters again take up their around the clock sky watch for enemy bombers over Toledo.

Due to the popularity of its "Aero" model, Willys-Overland's auto sales boom to a record of three hundred million dollars.

City officials call for an "Anti-Soviet Skywatch" but no volunteers step forward to man the around the clock vigil.


Toledo voters approve three and one half million dollars in tax expenditures to build a new Toledo airport in Monclova County.

The Korean War ends with a final sad loss of 253 from Lucas County.

Willys-Overland, the pillar of Toledo industry, is sold for sixty-two million dollars to the Kaiser-Frazer Company. Willys-Overland stockholders had not received a dividend on their shares for seventeen years and were eager to sell out.

Work on Toledo's first mosque is begun.

St. Charles Hospital opens.


The first segment of Toledo's expressways opens near Woodville Road.

Toledo dedicates its new airport with a gala airshow.


The frenzy of building demolition and parking lot construction continues in the downtown. In just a few months six new large parking lots and structures open.

Expressway building continues as the Ohio Turnpike opens in October.

As the automobile continues to take over the city, shopping centers spring up around the area.

B60Parkway Plaza and Miracle Mile open this year. Kenwood Shopping center and De Veaux Village open the next while Swayne Field, Great Eastern, and Westgate open in 1957.

The first Toledo school children are inoculated with the new Sauk polio vaccine.

St. Francis de Sales High School, a Catholic school for boys, opens.

A soon-to-be familiar Toledo landmark, the massive lighted "O-I" sign is erected atop the Owens-Illinois headquarters on Madison Avenue, Toledo's tallest building.

The Toledo Port Authority is organized. Beginning the following year it will have an independent operating levy for its operations.


Byrne Road becomes the first four lane divided highway in Lucas County after a three year reconstruction. Commuters were delighted with the road's new overpass that allowed them to no longer make the tense traverse across the ten tracks of the NY Central Railroad.

Historic Swayne Field, once home to the Mud Hens, is demolished to make way for a shopping center.

Controversy erupts as the city begins to fluoridate its water supply.

Toledo's city government forms the Neighborhood Improvement Association whose charge is to eliminate urban blight through selective demolitions and redevelopment. In the end this program fails at it proves far more competent in demolishing than in redeveloping.


The Robert Craig expressway bridge over the Maumee River is dedicated. It is named for Toledo's Congressional Medal of Honor hero, Lieutenant Robert Craig who was killed in action in Sicily in 1943.Toledo voters approve a referendum that allowed annexed territories to maintain their own school districts. In this way the city sowed the seeds of the future problems caused by disparities in the region's public school systems.

A lake freighter broke free of its moorings on the Maumee River and smashed into the Fassett Street bridge, completely destroying a six hundred foot span. Local lore has it that the freighter needed only a little superficial paint work afterwards.

Toledo zoo gets its first gorilla, Togo.


Former Toledo mayor Michael V. DisSalle is elected governor of Ohio.

McAuley High School, a Catholic school for girls, opens.

WGTE television, the first public station in the area, begins broadcasting from the campus of the University of Toledo.

The American Shipbuilding Company sends the 710 foot John Sherwin, the largest ship ever built in the area, down the races.

A vigorous lobbying campaign by the AFL-CIO defeats the Republican Ohio Assembly's bid to pass a "Right to Work" amendment to the Ohio constitution.


B64The sixty-five million dollar Detroit to Toledo expressway opens to traffic.

The Dutch Elm disease continues to cut a swath through Toledo's neighborhoods. Seven magnificent trees are felled due to the disease on the grounds of the courthouse. Within three years the disease that first struck a decade earlier will have killed 23,000 of the 30,000 Elm trees in the city.

St. Ursula Academy, a Catholic girls school, opens.

Faced with the depopulation of downtown and the flight of shoppers to the suburban malls, downtown businesses push the city to experiment with closing off streets and creating pedestrian malls. Two blocks of Adams and two blocks of Madison Avenues are turned into parks this year, complete with potted plants and even loaned zoo animals. The experiment, one of the first of its kind in America, attracted widespread national media interest but proved a failure at stemming the tide of the downtown's decline.

The first ocean ship to pass through the newly completed St. Lawrence seaway docks at the Toledo Marine Terminal.

oledo becomes one of the chief American entry points for the Volkswagen. Over the next twenty years over 600,000 of the vehicles will pass through the city's port.vUnder the banner of "urban renewal" the city begins its "Gunckel Project," demolishing scores of homes and businesses in the Nebraska Avenue area.


Toledo's population grows to 318,003.The massive Whitmer High School, in the separate Washington Local School District, opens.

Toledo is designated as the Great Lakes first foreign trade zone.

Under the banner of "urban renewal" the city begins demolishing scores of homes and businesses the city begins demolition of the Ironville, East Toledo neighborhood. 189 families, 10 small businesses, 2 churches and the local school were flattened to make room for a proposed industrial park.

In order to fight off annexation, Sylvania incorporates as a city.


Under the banner of "urban redevelopment" the city begins demolishing scores of homes and businesses in the Chase Park area of North Toledo. Demolition would continue on and off for the next ten years in this area.

A gasoline truck explodes on Anthony Wayne Trail taking the lives of four Toledo firemen.

AFSCME launches a drive to organize workers at the University of Toledo.


E.L. Bowsher High School and Roy C. Start High School open to accommodate the growing baby boom population of Toledo teenagers.

Toledo's first mega-mall, Southland Center, opens.

Toledo's port vastly expands its loading and unloading capabilities with the construction of the mammoth 313 ton gantry crane nicknamed "Big Lucas." This year 428 ships from 19 countries will make Toledo their port of call.

Local UAW leader and vice-president of the national UAW, Richard Gosser, is convicted of labor racketeering and serves one year in federal prison.


The Michael Disalle bridge, the replacement for the sixty-one year old Fassett street bridge is opened.

Toledo's jeep factory is renames Willy's Motors as the Kaiser Jeep Corporation.

A group of Toledoans charter a bus to join the March in Washington called by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Toledo's voters change the city's charter to allow for the direct election of the mayor.


Toledo's unemployment rate falls to an all-time low of 2.8 percent.

St. John's High School, a Catholic school for boys, opens.

On Palm Sunday, April 11, a tornado crashes into northern Toledo killing fourteen people, injuring one hundred and seventy and demolishing three hundred and fifty homes.

Officials warn that unrestricted dumping and industrial effluents was turning Lake Erie into a "vast silted-in septic tank."

The Toledo N.A.A.C.P. celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. Rally's are held in downtown Toledo demanding an end to racial discrimination in concert with the march on Selma, Alabama.

Toledoans vote for their mayor directly for the first time since 1935.

Under the banner of "urban renewal" the city begins its "Vistula Meadows Project" demolishing scores of homes and businesses the city embarks on the demolishing nearly one hundred acres of homes and businesses in the Summit and Cherry Street neighborhood.

The city begins demolition work on businesses in the former heart of the business district, the Jefferson-Madison-St. Clair blocks, to make room for the new "Riverview" park. The area was never made into a park as promised, but became the site for the new Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corporations thirty-story headquarters, the new seventeen-story corporate headquarters of the Toledo Edison corporation, and the new nineteen-story Holiday Inn hotel.

Toledo's grandest theater, the downtown Paramount, is demolished to make room for a parking lot.


Anger over police brutality and racial inequality led to three nights of rioting in the predominately African-American neighborhood along Dorr Street.

Workers at the Toledo Blade go on strike.


Under the banner of "urban renewal" the city begins demolishing scores of homes and businesses the city embarks on the demolition of scores of homes and businesses in the Door and Detroit neighborhood, the epicenter of the previous years urban riot.

The newly empaneled Landmarks Commission holds its first meeting on October 22.


The era of Toledo's indoor mega-malls begins with the completion of the Woodville Mall, the groundbreaking of the Franklin Park Mall, and the planning of the Southwyck Mall.

American Motors Corporation purchases the Kaiser Jeep Corporation for seventy million dollars.

The Masonic Complex on Heatherdowns Boulevard opens.

Owens-Corning begins work on its new thirty-story corporate headquarters, the "Fiberglass Tower" in downtown Toledo.


On paper Toledo's population showed a significant increase from 318,003 a decade before to 383,818 in 1970. But all of the growth was due to the city's aggressive suburban annexations in the 1960s. When these are factored out the city's population actually declined to 298,514, a six percent loss and a number close to the population of the geographically smaller city in 1930.

One thousand students, faculty, and community members march from the University to Gesu Catholic church in protest against the escalating Vietnam War.

By this time one hundred and fifteen Toledoans had died in the conflict.

B91By this year about one-fifth of the city's land area was being or had been cleared and redeveloped in the name of urban renewal.