March 14 – Middletown 366

1799

The Deaths of Comfort and Sarah Sage

Beginning at the Battle of Lexington, when he marched his militia troops to Boston, Comfort Sage (1731–1799) served with the Colonial army during the first years of the Revolutionary War. Later, he was elected a representative to the Connecticut General Assembly and, in 1784, he became brigadier general of the 2nd Brigade. Comfort Sage’s service also included being stationed with George Washington at Valley Forge. The wife of Gen. Comfort Sage, Sarah Sage (1730–1799), is best known for the time she protected the two small sons of Benedict Arnold in her Cherry Street home. It was 1780, and the story of Arnold’s traitorous acts was spreading through Connecticut. When a crowd of townspeople rioted in Middletown and hanged Arnold in effigy, Sarah made sure that the boys were protected from the mob and that they were not made aware of the reason for the violent protests. When her husband died on March 14, 1799, his body was laid out on his bed. Sarah Sage entered the room and lay down next to him. Sometime later, family members went into the room and found her dead. They believed that her death was caused by a broken heart.

The Mortimer Cemetery mausoleum holding the remains of Comfort and Sarah.
The Mortimer Cemetery mausoleum holding the remains of Comfort and Sarah.

Story contributed by Deborah Shapiro.


 1914

New Buildings Planned

Wesleyan University Will Expend a Million Dollars This Year.

(By Associated Press.)

Middletown, Conn., March 14.–At Wesleyan university it was announced that the board of trustees have voted to build an astronomical observatory, a new dormitory, a new library, a new chemical laboratory and a fraternity house. The buildings call for an expenditures of about one million dollars.

From the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin), March 14, 1914.

 1937

Labor Board Rules in Union Fight

Remington Rand, Inc., Ordered To Take Back 4,000 Employes In Strike Last May

Strike Still Continues

(By The Associated Press)

Washington, March 14.–The Labor Relations board ordered Remington Rand, Inc., today to take back 4,000 employees the board said had lost their jobs in a strike that started last May in six of the office equipment company’s plants.

After recounting, in a 100-page decision, developments in the strike that the American Federation of Labor says still continues, the board said:

“From the thousands of pages of testimony in this proceeding, there may be distilled two very plain facts: The unwavering refusal of the respondent (Remington Rand) to bargain collectively with its employees and the cold, deliberate ruthlessness with which it fought the strike which its refusal to bargain had precipitated.”

The Board’s decision followed closely an invitation from Secretary Perkins to James H. Rand, Jr., company president, to meet her here Thursday to consider renewal of negotiations with an A. F. of L. union. A company official said Rand would be glad to talk with her.

Yesterday, John P. Frey, president of the A. F. of L. metal trades department, criticized the Social Security board for awarding a $57,500 contract to Remington Rand.

Arthur Altimeter, chairman of the Social Security board, said in a statement today that Frey was “correct in his understanding that it is the policy of the Social Security board to avoid making purchases from the Remington Rand company so long as it engages in practices” charged by the labor board.

“As regards the contract for photographic records,” Altimeter said, “the Social Security board was advised by its technicians and its lawyers that under federal regulations governing purchases had no other choice in the matter.

“However, the Social Security board has directed that the entire question be reconsidered for purposes of determining whether any other course is now open to the board.”

In its decision, the board said that if the provisions of the Wagner National Labor Relations Act “ever required justification, one need go no further than the facts in this case.” It added:

“Over 6,000 employees, with their families and dependents, are subjected to the miseries of a prolonged strike, the people of six communities experience the economic hardships that inevitably result when an accustomed source of income is suddenly withdrawn, these same communities are turned into warring camps and unreasoning hatreds are created that lead to abuses alien to a sane civilization–all because the respondent refused to recognize the rights of 6,000 employees.

“In the language of the average person, the respondent, through Rand, its president, has exhibited a callous, imperturbable disregard of the rights of its employees that is medieval in its assumption of power over the lives of men and shocking in its concept of the status of the modern industrial worker.”

The board said the strikes involved in its decision occurred in plants at Syracuse, Ilion and Tonawanda, N. Y.; Middletown, Conn., and Norwood and Marietta, Ohio.

Remington Rand protestors
Strike-breakers at Remington Rand

1964

No Beatles

Middletown, Conn.–Barbers have served notice that the Beatle haircut is out.

They said, “We tolerate ‘ducktails’ and ‘Detroits,’ but this Beatle is too far out.”

From The Times (San Mateo, California), March 14, 1964.
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