$3 Million+ for a Comic Book?

Action-39Yesterday they sold a copy of the first issue of Action Comics which featured the first appearance of Superman. It sold for $3,207,852. I believe that sets a new record price for a comic. Part of the reason for the high price was it the best quality of that issue that has ever come on the market. This comic was the start of super heroes in comics. It became an instant hit. All the recent super hero movies owe there existence to this comic.

A portion of the profit from this sale goes to the Chris and Dana Reeve foundation. Chris was in43 Superman movies before he feel from a horse in 1995 and became a quadriplegic. Chris died in 2004 and his wife, Dana, died in 2006.

Old News – Red Cross & Students

Time again for news from the past. Two stories; one of an appeal from the Red Cross and the other about new students at Mechanics Institute (now Rochester Institute of Technology).


Rochester, NY

Tuesday, August 25, 1914

American Red Cross Sends Out Second Appeal for Relief Funds


Mayor Hiram H. Edgerton this morning received a telegram from the American Red Cross society bringing another appeal for funds to help relieve the misery and suffering which has followed in the terrible wake of European War.

The letter to the mayor explains that the society has ready the personnel and the equipment to carry a vast amount of relief, but that there are not available funds for shipping them and securing the additional supplies needed. Doctors and nurses are all ready to go, but cannot until American sympathy for the victims of war’s scourge will make it financially possible for them to reach the field of conflict.

The telegram asks that the mayor appoint a committee to work in co-operation with the local agents of the Red Cross society, and other organizations whose aid has been urgently solicited from the national office of the Red Cross.

Mayor Edgerton said this morning that he would gladly receive any gifts which sympathizers might bring and passed the message on with an urgent request that Rochesterians do everything in their power to make the appeal fruitful. Any funds left at City Hall will be promptly turned over to the society.


Mechanics Institute Advance Registration Indicates That Normal Course Will Have Banner Year.

From the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, from the heart of Maryland and from the wilds of Grand Forks, North Dakota are coming students for the normal course at Mechanics Institute. The registration so far indicates that almost every eastern state and many of the far western group will be represented at Mechanics this term. The south, too, is sending many students, the result of an advertising campaign conducted by the Institute last winter in the high schools of Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.

Rochester will of course have the largest number of students in the total registration but the majority of those who take the normal course of three years, lending to a diploma come from the state at large.

The Rochester registration later. Blanks must be filled out by the principals of the High school giving the proper credits. Prospective students usually delay having this formally effected in June and during the summer the principals are away. But from the number asking for entrance blanks it is seen that Rochester will have the usual number of students in special courses and the night classes.

It is expected that the registration will be 2,500. Classes begin September 15th.

More on the 1964 Rochester Riot

1965-eiotThe Rochester Public Library has released a new collection dealing with the Rochester riot of July 1964.

Rochester Riots of 1964, Vol. 1 (157 pages) is a scrapbook of newspaper clippings for the days during the riot (July 25 – Aug. 3). Then Volume 2 (168 pages) has newspaper articles on the aftermath of the riot up to 1969. They tell of the hearings and trials . The articles also describe rebuilding of the neighborhoods and building new relationships between people and the police.

Riots of July, 1964 is a typed report by the City Manager dated April 1965. It gives a chronology of the riot, has a breakdown of the 893 arrests and tries to describe some things that could be done to prevent future riots.


CD Longevity

cd-setPeople often ask how long their CDs will last. This recent article on NPR (National Public Radio)  addresses the problems of maintaining a CD collect. They interview people from the National Archives who are finding that some prerecorded CDs from the 1990s are already suffering from they call “CD rot.” CDs that are recorded at home are even more in danger of being unreadable in the near future. I usually record two copies on CDs and then when one copy is unreadable (and they have been), I then make a new second copy.

The NPR article is both a text webpage and also has a link to the 4 minute radio article.

Old News – 2 Water Deaths

More news from the past. This time are two local deaths in area waters.


Fairport, NY

Thursday, August 20, 1914


Charles Warren Forbes of Pittsford Sinks in Canal Waters and is Drowned Before Assistance Could Reach Him.


Pittsford, August 17.—Charles Warren Forbes of Pittsford, aged nineteen years, in company with Edward Brown of Albion, who was spending Sunday here, went to the barge canal near Bushnell’s Basin, Sunday afternoon to swim. Several other young men were near by when they arrived and it was stated that young Forbes dived into the water in the wooden flume. When he came up he cried for help, but his companion was too far away to reach him. He did not appear on the surface again and Coroner Henry Kleindienst of Rochester, was notified and will have search made for the body Monday morning, Forbes had lived in Pittsford for the last five years, most of the time being at the home of Vernon Welch, a farmer who resides on the Pittsford-Mendon road. This summer he had been in the employ of Ira Snyder, a near-by neighbor. He was a highly esteemed young man. His mother died a year ago and a step-father, W. Cummings, resides in Rochester.

The body came to the surface and was recovered, Wednesday morning.


Left Her Father’s Home, Wednesday Nigh While Despondent and Drowns Herself in Irondequoit Creek.

Penfield, Aug. 16.—Mrs Carrie Hill, daughter of John B. Fellows, a farmer who lives here, left her father’s house some time Wednesday night without being seen, and going to a foot bridge spanning Irondequoit creek near the Penfield paper mill, jumped into the creek and was drowned. Early Thursday morning her hat and veil were found on the bridge. Believing that Mrs. Hill had committed suicide, the Penfield authorities summoned Coroner Henry Kleindienst. The coroner, with Morgue Attendant All Abrams, dragged the creek under the bridge and found the body after half an hour. Mrs. Hill, who was thirty-eight years old, lived with her husband in upper Canada. She had been ill with nervous prostration for several months and four weeks ago came home for a visit. She did not seem to improve, and became despondent. Coroner Kleindienst granted a verdict of death by suicide.

Besides her husband she leaves her parents, John Fellows and wife, and two brothers, Harry and John. The funeral was held from the family residence, Saturday. Rev. Moss officiating, assisted by Rev. Park. Interment at Oakwood cemetery.

WDYTYA – Tomorrow (8/20)

kelsey-grammerKelsey Grammer who just had a son born on July 22nd (also named Kelsey) will investigate his ancestors on the next episode of Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA). Kelsey gets an eye-opening look at his beloved grandmother’s family, uncovering a woman haunted by the demons of her past. He also also learns of a connection to someone involved in the migrations across the desert in the western US. Recent tragedies in his immediate family probably gave Kelsey a reason to want to trace his ancestors.

Most people think that Kelsey got his start on Cheers but he had been acting for many years before that. Then his character was spun-off to the very successful series Frasier for which he won 4 Emmy Awards. Since then, Kelsey was in many other TV series and movies. He even has had a recurring role as the voice of Sideshow Bob on The Simpsons.

WDYTYA is on the TLC channel at 9 pm -eastern and 8 pm – central.

Top Songs of 1964; #16

Supremes-where-did-our-love-go-45coverThe next song to hit the top of the record charts in 1964 was “Where Did Our Love Go” by The Supremes. The song was written and produced by the team of Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland and Eddie Holland. They wrote and produced many songs for various Motown artists in the 1960s.

The Supremes were on tour as part of Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand Caravan of Stars,” when the song made it to number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box record charts. It would remain there for 2 weeks (Aug. 16 -29).

This was to be the first number one song by The Supremes. It was followed by four consecutive number one hits so we will see them here again in the future.

There is a well documented history of The Supremes on Wikipedia.

Download (for a small fee) songs by The Supremes from Amazon.com.

Hard Scrapbook

james-hard-1The Rochester Public Library has scanned their James Hard scrapbook of newspaper clippings (126 pages).

Mr. Hard was the last verified Union combat veteran of the Civil War. There was one other veteran to died after him but he had only been a drummer boy and nor a soldier.

James Albert Hard was born in Windsor, Broome Co., NY. He joined the Union Army in May 1861 and served in Co. E, 37th NY Volunteers. He saw action at he battles of first Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksberg, and Chancellorsville. He told the story that during the War he met President Lincoln at a White House reception shortly after joining the  Army and saw him again once later.

After the War Mr. Hard worked for a railroad, was a building contractor and a veteran’s pension attorney. He also joined the veteran’s organization, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). In that organization, he served two terms as NY State commander and was the national junior vice-commander in chief. Mr Hard was one of six at the last encampment of the GAR. in 1949.

The scrapbook shows Mr. Hard at the hospital a few times before his death on 12 March 1953 at Rochester General Hospital. He had died from complications following having his right leg being amputated from circulation problems. His funeral was held at the Masonic Temple and then a funeral procession of 1,000 people following his remains through downtown Rochester. He was buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery with military honors. It was said at the time of his death that was aged 111 years old but research through old census records, years later, found that he was only 109 years old.

The scrapbook chronicles Mr Hard from 1941 through to his funeral. It includes a series of articles of his telling of his war experiences. Only complaint is that the scrapbook pages are a little dark.

Click on pictures for a larger view.

James Hard though the years

James Hard though the years

Top Songs of 1964; #15

dean-martin-publicityDuring at a time in music that all remember as the British Invasion comes an unlikely number one hit; “Everybody Loves Somebody” by Dean Martin. The song was written by Sam Coslow, Irving Taylor and Ken Lane in 1947. It had been recorded a few times when a recording session in 1964 Lane, who was playing piano, pitched the song to Dean. It was recorded with just a quartette. Later in the year Dean recorded the familiar version with a full orchestra. The song was to become his signature song.

“Everybody Loves Somebody” would only be at the number one spot for just the week of August 9 – 15 on the both the Cash Box record chart and Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Dean Martin was born as Dino Paul Crocetti in 1917. He teamed up with Jerry Lewis in 1946. They started out in nightclubs then went to radio, TV and eventually to films. The act would break up in 1956 and that was same year that Dean had his only other number one hit; “Memories Are Made of This.”

Success of “Everybody Loves Somebody”led to a TV offer for the popular variety series The Dean Martin Show which ran from 1965 to 1974. After that he was in the specials The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast. All the time, he also kept a career in movies with sometimes serious parts, sometime comedic and even some westerns.

Dean died in 1995. On his crypt is inscribed “Everybody Loves Somebody” (see Find A Grave record and also a much longer biography on Wikipedia).

Download (for a small fee) Dean Martin music from Amazon.com.

Old News – Opening of the Panama Canal

More news from the past. This time about the opening of the Panama Canal from the same day.


Rochester, NY

Saturday, August 15, 1914


Steamship Ancon Making Passage of Isthmian Waterway To-day.


Band Plays “Star Spangled Banner”—Crowds Line Banks.

Panama, Aug. 15,–The United States war department steamship Ancon passed through the Gatun Locks without a hitch to-day in 70 minutes. The total lift at these locks is 85 feet.

SS Ancon passing through the canal

SS Ancon passing through the canal

Panama, Aug. 15. — The canal zone celebrated today the opening of the canal. The festivities, however, were but local and suggested little of the international significance of the event. With the official Panama celebration set for next spring, even the United States was not officially represented to-day except by the men who have long been in the canal zone.

The steamship Ancon, owned by the United States war department and leased to the Panama railroad for service in the New York-Colon trade, was chosen as the first big boat to be put through, signalizing the opening of the canal to all ships up to 10,000 tons register.

Shortly before8 o’clock this morning the Ancon was drawn away from her berth at Cristobal and anchored at the end of the deep water channel from the Atlantic ocean to the Gatun locks. The programme called for putting her through the locks at nine o’clock, her passage of the Culebra Cut at about noon, and her arrival at the end of the deep water channel in the Pacific at 6 o’clock this evening.

The Ancon in New Paint.

All the officers and men aboard the Ancon appeared in spotlessly white uniforms and the ship itself glistened with new paint, over which fluttered signal flags and ensigns of all nations. At the forepeak was the ensign of the Panama republic, while at the main masthead fluttered the house pennant of the Panama steamship fleet. On the jackstaff was the flag of the United States.

Invitations to the guests on this first trip had been much coveted, and the rails were lined with local canal officials and those of the Panama republic, together with their ladies as the big steamer backed away from her berth. Colonel Goethals, builder of the canal and governor of the zone, was on the bridge beside Captain Sukeforth, of the steamer, together with Captain Hugh Redman, U. S. N., superintendent of transportation, who has overseen the plans for putting the first ship through.

Other distinguished persons included President Porras, of the republic of Panama, and his staff.

The Panama National band, and the regimental band of the Tenth U. S. Infantry played the Star Spangled Banner as the ship pulled away, but the music was almost drowned by the whistles of the steamers in the harbor.

Holiday for Canal Laborers.

To assure unimpeded passage for the Ancon, all of the traffic, including the working boats in Culebra Cut, was brought to standstill from early this morning on. The several thousand canal workers enjoyed a holiday, and they, together with villagers of all types from the surrounding territory, lined the banks at various vantage points.

The Ancon was fully loaded with the regular cargo that she had brought from New York, the cargo having been purposely left on board to give the canal a full test with the ship drawing its full depth of water.

“Free and Open” to World.

Washington, Aug. 15.- With the passage through the Panama canal to-day of the war department liner Ancon, the great waterway becomes “free and open to the vessels of commerce and of war of all nations on terms of entire equality,” in accordance to the provisions of the Hay-Pauncefote treaty.

Vessels drawing not more than thirty feet of water may now make the passage. It would be possible to put some of the big American dreadnoughts through at any time. Except in cases of absolute necessity, vessels of belligerents must make uninterrupted passage through the canal. They may not coal, revictual, or embark or disembark troops in the canal zone or in the terminal waters at both ends of the canal, within a limit of three miles.

Twenty-four hours is the limit of time belligerent vessels can remain within 24 hours from the departure of a vessel of war of another belligerent. The canal is immune from attack by any belligerents. American pilots will see that no foreign vessels make observations of the canal defenses.

The principal work remaining to be done in completing the canal is the deepening and widening of the channel through Culebra Cut, as well as excavation operations at both approaches.