This Week in Dayton History: Wright Field crash, downtown building grows 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. 22-Jan. 28

Jan. 22, 1928: Flyers escape flaming plane

A Keystone bomber developed engine trouble 2,000 feet and burst into smoke and flames at Wright Field. Officials were testing the plane for possible use in combat in the future.

The pilot landed the plane, and the civilian observer suffered from two badly sprained ankles after he jumped into a corn field about a mile north of the government field.

Jan. 22, 1939: First ‘Iron Lung’ brought to Dayton

Dayton purchased its first iron lung in January 1939, mostly with funds raised for a ball for the $1,650 price each. Officials hoped to buy three with the funds raised.

The Dayton Daily News coverage included a full history of the development of the device, and it appeared on a page with other news, including that a University of Dayton student was one of four women accepted by the medical school at Western Reserve University for the next year.

Jan. 25, 1948: Belmont pharmacist turns home into gym

In 1948, Dayton was becoming increasingly notorious for its lack of sports facilities. There were a few gyms where Golden Glovers could work out — Parkside Homes, the YMCA, the Northern A.C., the Moose Lodge — but residents wanted more.

Allen J. (Al) Menachof, who owned a drug store at the corner of Linden Avenue and Smithville Road, overheard several Golden Glovers wondering where they could possibly work out, he fixed up the basement of his home, equipping it with a ring, two light punching bags and a heavy “target” and invited Mickey MeGarr, a former professional fighter, to teach the boys.

MeGarr, who toured in the 1920s, looked over the first crop of some 20 candidates and picked five as the best.

McGarr taught nightly in the converted basement for one of the most unique facilities in Dayton.

Jan. 22, 1957: 12-Floor addition planned for Talbott Corp. Building

The Talbott Crop. announced construction plans for a 12-floor addition to the Talbott building at West First Street and Ludlow Street estimated at $3.5 million.

The build would provide 118,000 square feet of office space on 10 floors. The first two floors would be used as a parking garage with space for 150 cars, which would be an addition to the 300 cars the previous parking garage could hold.

The corporation was considering adding a restaurant on the top floor. Other features were to include air conditioning and four elevators.

Jan. 24, 1962: Bypass east of City (675) gets State OK; 4-lane highway would skirt base

The State Highway department approved preliminary engineering plans for construction of the $42.9 million Interstate 75.

The federal government was to pay 90 percent of the construction cost when plans were approved.

The new four-lane highway was set up to pass west of the Wright field area of Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Mad River Twp.

Jan. 22, 1985: Rose touts Reds during annual Media Caravan stop

Pete Rose was the centerpiece when the Cincinnati Reds made their annual winter Media Caravan stop at Suttmiller’s Restaurant.

The Reds’ player-manager gave reporters his talk “in a few thousand syllable between cheesecake bites,” according to sports writer Hal McCoy.

Comments from Rose included:

“We won’t be disgraces. We may be outmanned in some games and we may lose some games, but they won’t be embarrassing defeats. We’ll go down swinging.”

“I want to finish first. I won’t sit here and say just because we finished fifth I’d like to finish third. I like to win and I wouldn’t say I want to finish first if I didn’t think it was possible. The National League West is not the strongest division in the worl, you know.”

“Dave Parker is my right fielder and Ron Oester is my second baseman. There’s an awfully good chance Cesar Cedeno is my left fielder. It’s a good possibility Eric Davis will be in center...”

The Reds finished the 1985 season 2nd in the NL West division with a record of 89-72-1

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