News headlines from across the domain.
Top developments around the country and world.
Promoted by the March of Dimes, mass immunizations against polio launched was launched as a test in school children across the country. Annual number of polio cases fell from 35,000 in 1953 to 5,600 in 1957. By 1961, only 161 cases were reported in the United States.
Alaska (3 January) and Hawaii (21 August) become new states of the United States of America.
Headlines that have impact across the entirety of the domain.
It was not until 1953 that a pattern of killings was detected, though authorities now believe the first murders began in 1949. One to three Iowa State University students per year have been found dead in Cerro Gordo County. All of the students had been traveling via train to Clear Lake, Mason City, or surrounding cities. Many of the students had lived in the area and were traveling to visit family.
Newspapers have dubbed the serial killer behind the murders the "Cyclone Slasher." The failure of authorities to capture the killer is partially responsible for the recently launched Mason City Chapter of The Fallen Heroes Motorcycle Club, who have vowed to protect their community and find the monster responsible for the murders.
Events transpiring within Boone County.
An elderly Boone filling station attendant was burned to death in his station shortly before dawn, apparently after he spilled gasoline on his clothes and then got too near an oil heater.
Iowa internal revenue officers are sampling Boone county to determine if a house-by-house hunt for tax delinquents in the state would be worthwhile.
Three boys drowned in the Des Moines River near Boone despite efforts to save them by onlookers.
A 26-year-old switchman for the North Western railroad at boon lost both legs in an accident at the Boone yards. He was working alone at the time and evidently fell under the wheels of a train.
A rainmaking outfit threw in the towel--sopping wet. The North American Weather Consultants announced it had turned off its iodine generators in Boone county and will keep them off until July 1. The reason--nature has done the firm's work for it. The area has been drenched in soaking rains in recent weeks.
With solemnity not due to the surroundings, police slipped quietly into a Boone funeral chapel and arrested 9 men. The men were allegedly playing dice alongside a candle-decked altar.
Mamie Eisenhower stopped off in her native Iowa and visited her Aunt, Mrs. Joel Carlson, who is ill. Mrs. Eisenhower arrived by private railroad car, before going by car to Boone, where Mrs. Carlson is hospitalized.
Events transpiring within Cerro Gordo County.
Camp Gaywood – A parcel of land, 9 ½ acres located on Clear Lake’s south shore was purchased by the Mason City Kiwanis Club to be used as a camp for Girl Scouts. The work was done mostly by volunteers. The camp lodge was built on a hill overlooking the area.
Old Surf Ballroom burned down. It was rebuilt a year later across the street at a cost of $350,000 by owner, Carl Fox. During the late 40’s and 50s many famous celebrities and bands played the ballroom. They included Guy Lombard, Lawrence Welk, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey along with many others. Pat Boone, the Crew Cuts, the Diamonds, Bill Haley and the Comets and many other name entertainers were also booked and played to full houses.
Clear Lake Centennial Celebration – This was held on July 14 & 15. A centennial coin was designed by student Neil Slocum. There was a free pageant held at the Lions’ Field. There were also displays of old time farm machinery & equipment, antique displays, Indian villages, balloon ascension and other entertainment. A time capsule was buried in the southeast corner of City Park covered by a replica of the centennial coin. It contained copies of Mirror-Reporter, 1951 phone book, 1951 city directory, seed corn, beans, seed oats, and many pictures. Congratulations were received from Lt. Gov. W.H. Nicholas, IA Senator Hickenlooper, Cong HR Gross and Arthur Godfrey.
Burglars stole $1,000 in cash from the Mason City Warehouse Corporation and company records were put to the torch.
Bayside Roller Coaster – The infamous Bayside roller coaster located on the south shore of Clear Lake in the Bayside Amusement Park was sold to Roy Law for salvage. The roller coaster had been rebuilt by owners Howard O’Leary and Jack Shea after a tornado had damaged it in 1942 . This officially ended the Bayside Amusement Park which had at one time been a landmark for family entertainment in the area. The land was then sold to Mason City realtors for what is now a lakeside housing development.
Rock and roll star, Buddy Holly killed in a plane crash after leaving the Mason City – Clear Lake airport. On a wintry night in early February, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) who had just finished their performance at the Surf Ballroom were heading for a play date in South Dakota took off from the local airport. Their plane crashed just north of the airport killing all on board including the local pilot, Roger Peterson. A marker is displayed in the rural area where the plane crashed which is visited yearly during the February Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom.
"The Fallen" pledge community protection and service.
Events transpiring within Marshall County.
Fire swept through eight business establishments in Marshalltown. Firemen say that pet monkeys who broke out of cages in the A.B.C. Refrigeration Company may have started the fire.
Ralph W. Brown is alive and recovering in Mercy hospital because alert surgical aid saved him when his heart stopped beating after an operation. Brown's wife called it a "miracle."
Brown's heart was pumped by hand for 35 minutes before it took up its normal beat again.
Officials in Marshall County investigated the death of an Indian man and the shooting of a white man in what Marshall County sheriff described as "troubles over an Indian woman."
Rumors are that another Indian was involved in the shooting, but escaped. He is being sought by investigators.
Oil-burning furnace ignited and destroyed garage and neighboring house. Multiple cars and a local company truck were destroyed in the blaze. Neighboring house burns to the ground as well.
Iowa Electric & Power Co. new Marshalltown steam plant fails, leaving the city and surrounding areas without electricity for some time.
Fisher Community Center was the vision of J.W. "Bill" Fisher, who recognized the importance of an enhanced quality of life. The facility is home to the community theater, outstanding works of art and many local clubs and organizations.
Events transpiring within Story County.
The United States Atomic Energy Commission formally announces the location of one of its major research facilities at Ames, to be known as the Ames Laboratory. Frank H. Spedding is named its first director.
The Electrical Engineering Building was constructed over a period of five years beginning in 1948. Separate contracts were drawn up for the completion of the third floor in 1950 and the auditorium and freight elevator installation in 1952. All the contracts were completed by the spring of 1953.
The new building contained a variety of labs and research facilities to keep up with rapid developments in electronics and computers. Each floor held an array of labs in machines, circuits, and electrical measurement, as well as industrial X-ray and electronics research equipment.
Just four years after the new building was finished, the department needed even more space—this time to house the new Cyclotron computer, which was near completion in 1957. An addition to the west end of the south wing of the building in 1959 solved the space problem, and the 10-by-12-foot Cyclone Computer remained there until the mid 1960s, when it was retired and replaced by a newer model.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon pranked, dead horse found on floor of Frat house with 50 live pigeons
Train use shifts to freight, depot gardens and land sold.
Ames was chosen as the site of the U.S. Animal Disease Laboratory.
Proposal for National Animal Disease Center to be built near Ames.
Lake Comar sold, became horse farm
Canning factory shut down and converted to warehousing
The university is renamed.
Events transpiring within Webster County.
In a brief, freakish storm near Fort Dodge, hailstones "larger than hen's eggs" fell, killing chickens and pigs and practically wiping out the oats crops on five farms. The storm was confined to the vicinity of Industry, about five miles northwest of Fort Dodge.
Fort Dodge has had several slaughterhouses in the 19th and 20th centuries, but the first modern one was the Tobin Packing Company plant, a hog processor that opened in Fort Dodge in 1934, bringing jobs and welcome relief to the local economy suffering from the depths of the Depression. In 1936, it processed 3,000 heads of hog and shipped 50 carloads of meat each day.
In 1954, the plant was acquired by George A. Hormel and Company, which continued to operate the plant until the 1980s. It was the largest and highest-paying employer.
Source: Fort Dodge: 1850 – 1970 by Roger B. Natte (pg. 58)
Returning Korean War vets bolster ranks.
Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Anderson were shot to death by Dillard Brown, who admitted responsibility for the murders.
"It is the best day's work I have ever done - I made a promise to kill them and I never back down on my promises."
Two unheralded visitors from the Russian embassy in Washington created a stir when they stopped overnight at a Fort Dodge Hotel. FBI agents took up rooms next door.
Three buildings gutted in a fire old-timers said was "the most spectacular in the history of Fort Dodge." As many as a hundred families fled apartment buildings.