Publication: The Muncie Evening Press
Muncie, IN, United States
Chicken rustling was a
big problem facing
the county in 1933
Muncie 50 years
ago this week
By LEE GERHART
Evening Press feature writer
Chicken rustling. With a thousand chickens stolen the preceding month, poultry theft was the No. 1 crime problem of Delaware County in 1933.
Want was a daily fact of life for thousands of Muncie citizens 50 years ago, and it wasn't hard to imagine who the culprits might be. But the property rights of farmers had to come first.
Sheriff Fred W. Puckett gave shoot-first advice to the farmers: "If you catch a thief in your hen house, use your shotgun. Then send for me or the coroner.
A family dynasty prominent in Muncie for half a century disappeared with the sale of Hemingray Glass Co. to Owens-Illinois Co. of Toledo for a reported $1 million.
Owens-Illinois would run the glassworks on Macedonia Avenue for 39 years until closing it in June 1972. On coming here in 1933, Owens-Illinois said it was attracted by Hemingray's dominance in manufacture of insulators for utility poles and by its bottle business that had been revived by legal beer.
Official word coming from Indianapolis was that Lemuel A. Pittenger would be retained as president of Ball State College. Reports had been that the Democratic Paul McNutt regime would depose him.
To comply with the State Budget Committee, Ball State's tuition would be raised $5 per term, a sizeable increase from the tuition of $20 per quarter.
Poolroom proprietors were told by the state they would have to erect dividers between beer bars and the game tables, or their beer licenses would be suspended. The costs represented too much for many pool-rooms, and the Exchange on West Main, where the first beer flowed in Muncie earlier in the month, decided to let go of the beer business.
Fruit trees bloomed late in spring 1933, but orchard authorities said this augured abundant crops of peaches and apples.
May Day in Chicago was punctuated by five explosions, and police didn't know whether to blame Reds or gangsters.
Acknowledging that the steam railways still constituted the basic transportation network of America, President Roosevelt proposed a three-point program for salvation of the railroads.
Though physicians told him he could not survive, Mahatma Gandhi in India prepared for a three-week fast in his jail cell to plea for the downtrodden untouchables — and this history is reflected in the current eight Oscar-winning film vehicle, "Gandhi."
Frail in body but serene of mind, Gandhi spoke: "There is no possibility of abandoning the fast, but God or the devil, whoever that it is that possesses me, may come to the rescue and say 'no.' "
The India government, keenly aware of the consequences if the fast should end in death, released him unconditionally from the jail at Poona where he had been banished for refusing to call off his civil disobedience campaign.
Early portents of the Holocaust continued to come from Germany as the Nazis caused dismissal of 30 Jewish professors from Berlin and Cologne universities.
|Researcher:||Roger Lucas / Bob Stahr|
|Date completed:||September 6, 2009 by: Bob Stahr;|