The Associated Press reported on January 30th of 1918 that the US government was appealing to the public to send any binoculars, spyglasses, telescopes, sextants, and chronometers by mail or express to the Navy.
On the evening of June 2nd of 1959, New Orleans police received a call from a man who claimed to have smashed a window on Bourbon Street. Five minutes later the police received another call that he had smashed another window at a nearby music store. Both times, the police responded quickly, but the man was already gone.
Just what happens when you write to the President of the United States to let him know that you have the same birthday as him? A 13-year-old girl named Anna Sklepovich did just that and the results did not turn out as she had planned.
On Sunday April 1, 1951, officer Carl Hamm pulled over a car at the corner of North Holton and East Vine Streets in Milwaukee, WI. Hamm asked the driver for his license, which identified him as Elmer Urban. The officer knew immediately that he was lying. He was certain the driver was not Elmer Urban, but instead his identical twin Alvin.
You could say that 8-year-old Edith Diane Brown was the luckiest girl on Earth way back in October of 1956. That’s when her family learned that she would be inheriting an estimated $1.8 million. That’s about $15.5 million today, adjusted for inflation.
On Sunday, August 30th of 1959 four men decided to crack the safe at the Bellevue Cooperative Bank in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. 33-year-old John J. Storis was chosen to be the lookout while the other three men worked on the safe inside the bank. Then, Storis saw a police cruiser and panicked. Perched in a tree, he fell to the ground and then ran to his car to signal the others with its headlights.
Back in 1935 a man carrying a sandwich-board sign stumbles across the find of a lifetime: A wallet containing the stocks certificates from Philips Petroleum, GE, and DuPont. Find out what the press said that he did with the certificates, what really happened, and how he killed a man simply by staring at him.
Sad news came out of Marineland, Florida on April 6th of 1957 when it was reported that an 8-year-old porpoise named Algae had accidentally swallowed a 4” (10 cm) rubber ball. It lodged in his first stomach and veterinarians did all that they could to extract it. Sadly, Algae died on the operating table.
Back in 1928, Clarence Frechette made national news for a bizarre attack that he made on the pilot of an airplane that he was aboard, possibly making him the world’s first hijacker. Amazingly, he was back in the news in 1935 for an equally bizarre crime.
Redfork, Oklahoma resident Jack Van Zandt was arrested on June 24th of 1931 after getting in an argument with his mother-in-law. He was held on $2500 bail, which is about $38,000 today. The charge? Maiming.
In 1945, 42-year-old Victor Sammarco was arrested in New York City for failure to pay $1225 (nearly $16,000 today) in alimony to Mrs. Elizabeth Doyen, to whom he had apparently been married to for eleven years and later divorced. He was thrown in alimony jail, but protested his innocence. “I never saw this lady before.”