March 2017


Sparta, March 1900 -  Ice had not been thick enough for harvesting in this vicinity during the winter and the Plaindealer predicted it would be necessary to import the product during the coming summer.       Mrs. Lucretia Baird of Eden, brought to the Plaindealer office a copy of the Sparta Journal of September 24, 1853.  The paper was published by J. S. Coulter.  Among the advertisers were the Thomas McClurkin Woolen Factory, the J. E. Detrich & Co. general Store, Pollock & Glenn druggists, Andrew Miller, jeweler, and the Union Academy.         The Plaindealer and the Argonaut were waging an editorial war over the fact that T. F. Alexander, editor of the Argonaut, had been "deposed" as secretary of the Southern Illinois Improvement and Loan Association.  A. A. Brown was elected to succeed Mr. Alexander as secretary.  The Plaindealer called Mr. Alexander a "salary grabber, Republican, Democrat, Populist, everything, nothing;" and said that he was "too fat and lazy to work."  What the Argonaut said about the Plaindealer was not published in the Plaindealer.     [Comment by webmaster:   Oh my!]



February 2017


February 21, 1885 -the Washington Monument was formally dedicated, and three years later it was opened to the public, who were permitted to climb to the top of the monument by stairs or elevator. The monument was the tallest structure in the world when completed and remains today, by District of Columbia law, the tallest building in the nation’s capital.  The 555-foot-high marble obelisk was first proposed in 1783, and Pierre L’Enfant left room for it in his designs for the new U.S. capital. After George Washington’s death in 1799, plans for a memorial for the “father of the country” were discussed, but none were adopted

until 1832–the centennial of Washington’s birth. Architect Robert Mills’ hollow Egyptian obelisk design was accepted for the monument, and on July 4, 1848, the cornerstone was laid. Work on the project was interrupted by political quarreling in the 1850s, and construction ceased entirely during the American Civil War. Finally, in 1876, Congress, inspired by the American centennial, passed legislation appropriating $200,000 for completion of the monument.I


At 7:12 a.m. on the morning of February 21, 1916, a shot from a German Krupp 38-centimeter long-barreled gun—one of over 1,200 such weapons set to bombard French forces along a 20-kilometer front stretching across the Meuse River—strikes a cathedral in Verdun, France, beginning the Battle of Verdun, which would stretch on for 10 months and become the longest conflict of World War I. 













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