This Week in Dayton History: Farrah Fawcett t-shirts banned, Mike Schmidt hits 500th home run and more stories to remember

Dayton has a fascinating history, which the Dayton Daily News has been there to chronicle since 1898.

Each week, we’re going into the archives for stories both important and interesting that happened this week through the years.

Here’s a look at some stories from the week of April 14-20.

April 17, 1947: Deputies ‘hit’ jackpots on 97 slot machines — with sledges

Sheriff Ben Smith and County Prosecutor Mathias Heck were on hand as 97 slot machines were destroyed at the county jail.

Sledge hammers were used to open and destroy the machines which had been confiscated over several years.

Many interested spectators were on hand to witness the destruction.

Deputies broke the machines open in the sheriff’s residence and placed the pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters in special containers.

The machines ranged in size from the small counter size to large consoles. Original value of the machines was placed at $10,000.

Money went towards boosting the county general fund.

April 17, 1957: Everything goes wrong in Reds Opening Day

The traditional Cincinnati Reds opening day at Crosley Field was one to forget.

The Red lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 13-4 in a game played in rainy weather.

Reds manager Birdie Tebbetts had picked Johnny Klippstein as his starting pitcher, but the low-ball pitcher couldn’t get any of his pitchers besides the fastball to work.

His sinker wasn’t sinking, his curveball wasn’t curving and his slider wasn’t sliding.

Temporary seats were added in the outfield for the overflow crowd. Any ball hit into the temporary seats was considered a double.

The top hitter for the Cardinals was 36-year-old Stan Musial, who went 4-for-4 at the plate, had two RBIs and scored one run.

The second game in the Opening Day double-header was called off because of rain.

April 16, 1967: Centennial for great pioneer; a birthday for Wilbur Wright

One hundred years prior, Wilbur Wright had been born in a farm home near the little town of Millville, Indiana.

The Wright family only lived in Millville for about three years.

Fire had destroyed part of the house in 1884. It was rebuilt but again fell into disrepair and was torn down in the early 1960s.

The property (about five acres) was owned by the state of Indiana. Under consideration was turning over the land to the United States as a national memorial.

Today, the site is home to the Wilbur Wright Birthplace Museum, which is at 1525 N. Wilbur Wright Rd. The museum is open seasonally.

According the the museum website, “Along with the homestead, you’ll find exciting displays, an authentic replica of the Wright Flyer, an early research wind tunnel, replication of the Kill Devil Hills hangar, bicycle shop, historic documents and artifacts.”

April 15, 1977: Farrah Fawcett-Majors T-shirts banned

Farrah Fawcett-Majors, star of the 1970s television show “Charlie’s Angels,” was banned from Westbrook Elementary School in Brookville because she was “too sexy” for elementary students.

“The Six Million Dollar Man” and “The Fonz” (from Happy Days), however, were ruled to be OK for T-shirt displays.

Westbrook principal Harry Eastridge said it was not because he dislikes her. He thought Fawcett-Majors could be an effective “role model” and that “girls need a hero,” but “the photograph on the shirt is very revealing. It’s too sexy,” and teachers complained about it.

The T-shirt, which featured a bathing-suited color photograph of Fawcett-Majors, was a “hot seller” according to sales clerks at Rike’s and Elder Beerman in downtown Dayton.

Students wearing the shirts were told to turn them inside out for the rest of the day and to not wear them to school again.

The T-shirt was still being worn in Brookville’s junior high and high schools.

April 19, 1987: Mike Schmidt hits 500th home run

Mike Schmidt grew up on Pinecrest Drive in Dayton.

When he was five years old he climbed a tree in his backyard and grabbed a 4,000-volt powerline. The shock went through his body and grounded through the tree, allowing his hand to release the grip.

Schmidt, unconscious, fell to the ground where the impact restarted his heart.

He made the most of getting a second chance at life.

Thirty-two years later, Schmidt became the 14th player to reach the 500 home run mark in MLB history as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The home run came at during a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium. The crowd of 21,537 cheered for Schmidt at each at-bat and gave him a standing ovation as he rounded the bases after the milestone homer.

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