This Week in Dayton History: Johnny Carson at UD Arena, Daytonia Hotel sale and more stories to remember

Throughout this year, we’ll be celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Dayton Daily News with stories, photos, videos and more.

Each week, we’ll being you a selection of notable stories that happened this week in Dayton history, chronicled by the same newspaper that continues to serve the community today.

Here’s a look at some stories happening the week of Jan. 15-Jan. 21.

Jan. 21, 1924: Daytonia Hotel sale reported

Sale of the four-story Daytonia Hotel at 24 W. Second St. was reported to be pending and final negotiations would be closed. The purchase price was $250,000.

The structure was erected in 1875 by Abner L. Ross. It then changed hands and was known as the Arlington hotel. In later years Horace Fox, who at that time ran the Beckel hotel, also took over the property and named it the Cooper hotel. It was named the Daytonia hotel after Fox cut his connections there.

The building was donated for use by the Red Cross in handling its war work during World War I. Since then, it was converted into a mercantile building with just a few remaining apartments.

Jan. 15, 1946: Picket Frigidaire, Delco; Hundreds march in strike lines as work ceases

Dayton’s largest organized labor body, the United Electrical, Radio and Maintenance Workers (UE-CIO), established picket lines at plants of Frigidaire and Delco Products divisions of General Motors.

Hundreds of strikers marched in the picket lines at the plants in a mass labor demonstration unprecedented in Dayton. About 75 former servicemen, some in uniform, participated in the picketing.

In addition to picket lines at Frigidaire plants in Dayton and Moraine, and at the main Delco plant, strikers also paraded before the Lorenz Publishing Co. building on East Third St., where first-floor offices are occupied by Delco.

The union was asking for a $2-a-day increase in wages and refused to accept a $1.08-a-day increase offered by management.

Jan. 20, 1956: Masked gunmen rob café owner of $6,060

George Jarrett Jr., co-owner of Jarrett’s restaurant, 329 E. Fifth St. (the current site of Lily’s Bistro in the Oregon District), was held up and robbed of $6,060 about 10:20 a.m. by two masked, armed bandits.

They escaped on foot with the money after surprising Jarrett and his wife at the rear of the restaurant as they were returning from a bank. They were later reported seen driving a stolen car.

They told police that the two men, both about six feet tall, surprised them as the parked their car at the rear of the restaurant.

One, wearing a tan felt hat, a white shirt and a topcoat, grabbed Jarrett’s wife and put his hand over her mouth as she screamed. The other, wearing a striped coverall suit and a hunting cap, threatened Jarrett with a .38-caliber pistol and grabbed the money which was in a cloth sack.

Jan. 19, 1970: Johnny Carson proves refreshingly human

Johnny Carson performed two shows as part of the opening ceremonies for the new University of Dayton Arena on Sunday, Jan. 18, 1970.

The NBC star had never been to Dayton, and he admitted the new arena had something to do with his decision to make a rare foray into the Midwest.

“We always survey the facilities before making a personal appearance,” he said.

The arena had been set up for 9,800 concert seats.

Closing with his famous sketch of “Deputy John’s Fun Club,” Carson left the stage to an avalanche of applause.

Jan. 20, 1985: Arcade block planners ready to roll

By the mid-1980s, city officials were trying to plan for a quick and complete renovation of the block surrounding the financially troubled Arcade Square.

Developers, city officials and the city’s development consultants plan to meet and take “the first good hard crack at what might work and how to do it,” said Dick Robinson, who handled national projects for the Webb Companies of Lexington, Ky., at the time.

The city had identified nearly the entire block for possible redevelopment, saying the Arcade itself, the refurbished Chemineer Building and the vacant Commercial Building, at Fourth and Ludlow streets, are the only structures that were off limits. Officials mentioned a new office building, new retail shops, a parking garage and a new hotel as possible components.

The Arcade closed to the public in 1990 before officially reopening in 2021.

Jan. 18, 1992: UD raises undergrad costs 8.5%

Annual tuition and fees at the University of Dayton crossed the $10,000 threshold with the 1992-93 academic year.

Tuition and fees rose 8.5 percent for undergraduates, from $9,410 to $10,210. Graduate students will pay $284 per credit hour, up $22.

A full-time undergraduate who lives on campus and buys a five-day-a-week meal ticket would pay $14,140 a year. Ten years prior, in the 1982-83 school year, a student with an identical package paid $5,954.

UD lists its undergraduate costs for 2022-23 as $46,170 for tuition, $9,260 for housing and $6,130 for food.

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