Here’s a review of the questions:
- Which notorious American gangster hid out with his gang at a house on South Second Street in Hamilton, Ohio (20 miles outside of Cincinnati), in 1933, around the time the gang broke their leader out of a Lima, Ohio jail?
- Prior to its current name, the Duke Energy Convention Center had a different name. Who was the person that the convention center was named for in 1987, and why was there a bit of controversy surrounding his name being used?
- In 1872, an organization called the Society of the Acclimatization of Birds was founded in Cincinnati. What nationally recognized Cincinnati attraction did the S.A.B. eventually become?
And here are the answers:
- John Dillinger’s life of crime was the stuff of legend and made him out to be quite the hero. The residents of Hamilton, however, suffered under the reign of numerous tough guys, all the way into the 1950s. The city has a tainted history, checkered with organized crime shakedowns, illegal booze, and suspected murderers. The Dillinger episode, of course, gets all the headlines. His escape from the Allen County Jail on October 12, 1933, made national news. Dillinger was held there after a bank robbery in Bluffton, OH and Harry Pierpont, Dillinger’s accomplice in the Michigan City, IN jailbreak (depicted in the movie “Public Enemies”) was identified as the killer of Allen County Sheriff Jess Starber. Their stay at the hideout house in Hamilton was brief – an October 16th raid of the house by police from Indiana and Ohio produced no results, as Dillinger and crew had already moved on.
- The Cincinnati Convention-Exposition Center opened in 1967. When it was expanded and remodeled in the 1980s, it was renamed the Albert B. Sabin Convention and Exposition Center. Sabin was a brilliant doctor and scientist who was best known for developing the oral polio vaccine. Released for use in 1955, while Sabin was working at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the vaccine played a key role in eradicating the disease. Makes sense, then, that city officials would want to rename Second Street after Dr. Sabin, right? Well, not really, after native son and baseball superstar Pete Rose got his 4,192d hit and surpassed Ty Cobb’s major league record in 1982. Second Street was renamed Pete Rose Way, as supporters of Sabin’s legacy became disgruntled. The street was renamed for Rose on September 13, 1985. Sabin got what many refer to as a “consolation prize” by having the convention center renamed in his hono Duke Energy’s financial contribution trumps all that, however, and the facility was renamed again in 2006.
- The Society of the Acclimatization of Birds eventually became the Zoological Society of Cincinnati, which opened the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden on September 18, 1875. The whole “bird thing” has weird origins. In 1872, caterpillars descended upon Cincinnati, supposedly The Society of the Acclimatization of Birds purchased approximately one thousand birds from Europe, shipped them to Cincinnati, and housed the birds in a building. In 1873, members of the society released the birds, hoping that the animals would devour the caterpillar population. Historians have no account of how effective the European Bird Strategy worked, but the fact that the organization eventually became the Cincinnati Zoo remains a gift to us all. Located in the Avondale neighborhood, it is the sixth oldest zoo in the United States, with over 500 animals calling it their home.
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