1894: Marie Tempest Quite Ill

The Comic Opera Prima Donna Threatened With Pneumonia.

Marie_TempestMiddletown, Conn., May 31.–Marie Tempest is very ill here and cannot sit up. She played here in the “Fencing Master” on Tuesday night, and only sang out of courtesy to Reginald De Koven, who is a native of this city and was directing that night. Mr.De Koven asked the indulgence of the audience for Miss Tempest before the curtain went up.

In the first act her “Will o’ Wisp” song had to be cut, and at the end of the second act she was so ill that she had to be helped from the stage. In the last act a duet was omitted. Yesterday she was suffering from pains in the lungs, and was obliged to have a physician in constant attendance. Her maid is at her bedside at all time. Dr. Edgerton, who is attending her, says he does not think the case will develop into pneumonia, but she will not be able to leave her bed for several days.

Miss Tempest was advertised to play in New London last night and expected to sail for Europe next week.

From the Scranton Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Friday, June 1, 1894.


May 30 – Middletown 366


No Mercy For Erring Sisters

Middletown, Conn., May 30.–Two women from this city whose daily visits to Portland have been distasteful to the good women of that place were summarily punished Saturday. As usual, they paid an afternoon visit to the Portland quarries and met some men in a grove. The women reformers of Portland were hiding behind some trees. They assailed the Middletown women with a volley of stones and crippled one of them. Both women were able, however, to make their escape to this city, where their wounds were dressed. The Portland quarrymen who witnessed the assault only laughed at the distress of their former companions.

From The Evening Times (Washington, D. C.), Tuesday, May 30, 1899.


Welcome Home, Doughboys!

On May 30, 1919, the community honored the sacrifices of the soldiers of World War I in Middletown’s Welcome Home Parade. Schoolgirls marched through Middletown with servicemen looking on. The Washington Green dedicated a World War I monument listing 37 soldiers from Middletown who died in the service during 1917-1918.

The gentleman on the white horse is Samuel Russell, Jr.
The gentleman on the white horse is Samuel Russell, Jr.
Story contributed by Kimberly Singh.


Police Radio in Movies

Police calls of Middletown’s (Conn.) new police radio system recently crept into the sound system of a movie house, near headquarters. Experts finally fixed it.

From The Daily Herald (Chicago, Illinois), Friday, May 30, 1941.


1940: Elmira May Get Typewriter Work

Buffalo, N. Y., May 29.–(UP)–Remington-Rand, Inc., announced today that the working force in its Middletown, Conn., plant will be reduced at once, and it was reported reliably that the plant operations would be transferred to other plants at Elmira and Illion, N. Y.

Some of the approximately 1,000 Middletown employees will be transferred to the Elmira and Illion plants, it was said. Additional local employment may result at those two cities, a spokesman said.

The Middletown plant has been production center for noiseless typewriters.

From The Evening Times (Sayre, Pennsylvania), Wednesday, May 29, 1940.

1911: Cannon Balls

Were Rolled Down Incline on Sidewalk By Wesleyan Freshies.

Special Dispatch to the Enquirer.

Middletown, Conn., May 28.–Eight Wesleyan freshmen returning from their annual class banquet were arrested to-day and kept in the city lockup with a number of “common drunks” for almost 10 hours, as the result of an escapade in which 60 of their class participated.

On arriving in town the students entered the grounds of the Russell Library, where a large stack of Revolutionary cannon balls are kept. Each student seized a cannon ball and climbing to the top of College street hill, rolled them down the incline on the sidewalk.

They will appear in the City Court, tomorrow to answer to the charge of a breach of the peace.

From the Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio), Monday, May 29, 1911.

1895: Struck By a Train

Middletown, Conn., May 27.–Annie Madison, a stenographer in the Eastern Tinware Company’s shop in Portland, while coming down the railroad track on her way to the ferry, was struck by a train tonight and died this evening from her injuries.

From the Boston Post (Boston, Massachusetts), Tuesday, May 28, 1895.

1974: Stewart Alsop Dies

Washington (UPI)--The “beast” of cancer has overtaken columnist Stewart J. O. Alsop, who since 1971 had stoically and eloquently recounted for readers his battle against acute myeloblastic leukemia, a rare blood disease.

Alsop, 60, died Sunday afternoon at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., near here. Pneumonia was the immediate cause of death, according to Joseph Alsop, his brother and one-time writing colleague.

“A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep,” Stewart Alsop wrote in a recently published book “Stay of Execution,” “and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist.”

Alsop, for the past six years a columnist for Newsweekly magazine, first wrote that he had the disease in a column Sept. 6, 1971.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday at St. John’s Church in Lafayette Square near the White House.

Alsop will be buried at Indian Hill cemetery in Middletown, Conn.

From The Daily Intelligencer (Doylestown, Pennsylvania), Monday, May 27, 1974.

1891: Risked His Life For a Child

Middletown, Conn., May 25.–Brakeman C. D. Armstrong heroically rescued a little child in the freight yard last night. He was on a car which was “kicked” into a siding at a lively rate, and was almost on to a little girl who was playing on a track before he saw her. He shouted to her, but the little one did not seem to hear him, or else was unable to move through fear. Armstrong set the brake of his car hard and jumped. He succeeded in snatching the little one and threw her to one side, saving her life. Before he could recover from the exertion sufficiently to save himself the car was on him and he was struck a severe blow in the shoulder. It knocked him a distance of ten feet, but he escaped serious injury.

From the Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, Kansas), Tuesday, May 26, 1891.

May 24 – Middletown 366


Colonel Meig’s Raid

On this day, Middletown resident Col. Return Jonathan Meigs staged a raid on British forces stationed at Sag Harbor, Long Island. Meigs commanded 13 whaleboats with 220 men. Crossing Long Island Sound, they surprised the enemy at night, burned 12 British ships, and captured 90 prisoners without a loss of American life. Earlier in the war, he had been captured in Benedict Arnold’s raid on Canada, but was paroled and returned to service. After the war, he was one of the founders of Ohio and a federal agent to the Native Americans in Tennessee.

Story contributed by Kimberly Singh.


Joseph Thomas Logano is Born

Joseph Thomas “Joey” Logano was born in Middletown, CT on May 24, 1990 to Deborah and Thomas Logano. He began his racing career at age six in the quarter midget race in Connecticut in 1996. Logano is now a professional stock car racing driver. He became the youngest driver to win a NASCAR Nationwide Series when at 18 years old, 21 months, he won the Meijer 300 at the Kentucky Speedway in the 2008 Nationwide Series. This was just his third start. Logano also became the youngest winner in the Sprint Cup Series in its history. He won the 2009 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway at 19 years, 35 days old.

Currently, Logano is the youngest winner in two of three of NASCAR’s top divisions.

Story contributed by Kimberly Singh.

1941: Colleges Urged to Serve More

James L. McConaughy
James L. McConaughy

Middletown, Conn., May 23–The federal government is bound to play a larger part than ever before in education, believes Dr. James L. McConaughy, president of Wesleyan university.

He warned that if colleges do not do more to provide educational opportunities for boys in the lower income classes the government may assert its right to the college properties.

McConaughy said that whatever the result of the war, colleges are certain to be tremendously affected. Those with no state aid or control are going to be tested as never before. Many sources of their income, he went on, will dry up; and gifts to colleges will shrink. The state no longer will give freedom from taxation unless citizens are convinced that these independent institutions are serving the public welfare.

Dr. McConaughy said that a majority of American families have incomes of less than $2,000 a year; a child in such a home has one chance in 10 of going to college, despite the fact that he may show as great intellectual promise as a child in a wealthy home.

Said McConaughy:

“We must to more in the way of providing an educational opportunity for boys from these lower income groups, from those homes where no member has previously attended college. If we do not the state may assert its right to our property, perhaps through confiscatory taxation, in order that higher education in America may be truly democratic and educational opportunities be equalized.

“If that happens, the independent school and college will vanish. … America would lose much thereby.”

From the Belvidere Daily Republican (Belvidere, Illinois), Friday, May 23, 1941.


1896: A Woman’s Skull in Court

By Telegraph.

Middletown, Conn., May 22.–The preliminary trial of Clarence E. Murphy, charged with having caused the death of his mother, Ellen Murphy, ended yesterday afternoon in Durham. Murphy was held for trial at the superior court criminal term next September, without bail. He was taken to Haddam jail. The trial was full of expert medical testimony. The defense held that death was wholly caused by epileptic fits, the result of a long spree. Murphy’s wife and two babies were with him during the trial, and the wife nearly fainted when the mother’s skull was produced and the doctors described the autopsy. Murphy never flinched or turned a shade paler.

From the Harrisburg Daily Independent (Harrisburg, Penn.), Friday, May 22, 1896.