This week in local history

Published 10:10 am Monday, April 30, 2018

The following events occurred during the week of April 29-May 5:

1897: The newspaper reported that during the Republican primary it was necessary at 10 a.m. to give orders to stop buying votes. It had been ascertained that the votes cast, and those left over, exceeded the total voting population of Middlesboro.

1899: The first commencement of the colored schools was held at the colored Baptist church.

1910: The City Council passed an ordinance to have Cumberland Avenue paved from 17th Street to 25th and 20th Street from Chester to Edgewood.

1926: The Klu Klux Klan paraded up Cumberland Ave. with men in robes and masks and a caravan of about 200 cars. It was estimated that at least 800 men participated, most from out of town.

1923: The Kiwanis Club had a dinner in honor of Hubert Work, Secretary of Interior, who pledged to do everything in his power to secure a national park at Cumberland Gap.

1928: The Rotary Club organized with L. J. Walls as their president.

1942: Eight tons of scrap iron was collected by the Boy Scouts for the war effort.

1944: The first fatal accident occurred at the airport when a pilot from St. Louis crashed his plane right after takeoff. The crash occurred near the chicken farm of Mr. and Mrs. Romine on 34th. In addition to the pilot, 70 chickens perished.

1950: The national magazine “Newsweek” ran an article entitled “Corruption—the Middlesboro Mess.” It reported that 176 people were under indictment for offenses ranging from vote fraud and gambling to malfeasance and neglect of duty.

1954: The fifth annual Festival of the Southeastern Kentucky Music Association opened in Middlesboro with 2000 participants. The highlight of the meeting was a concert by the 150 voice all-festival chorus.

1965: 36 units marched in a Clean-up, Fix-up, Paint-up parade.

To learn more about local history, visit the Bell County Museum, located just north of the Middlesboro Post Office, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.