History

A man wearing a police hat and uniform stands near the edge of the roadway where the Silver Bridge collapsed. He looks out onto the Ohio River, where a floating crane is working.

The Silver Bridge Collapse

It was a Christmastime nightmare. The 1,750-foot-long Silver Bridge soared 102 feet above the Ohio river. On Dec. 15, 1967, it was bumper-to-bumper traffic as cars and trucks hurried home from work or a day of Christmas shopping. Then, at about 5 p.m., the unthinkable happened …

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National guardsmen advance uphill through tear gas clouds toward a crowd of students at Kent State University

Monday, May 4, 1970 – The Shootings at Kent State University

Guardsmen stirred at their posts, their forms drab and bulky in the early morning mist. Dew stretched white on the Commons, awaiting the sun. On the practice football field, guardsmen sleeping under tents awoke to see the first students of the day: the dishwashers and board jobbers who worked in the university dining halls. They trudged by with hardly a glance at the young soldiers. “Think we’ll get out of here today?” a soldier asked his sergeant. “Man,” the sergeant said, “I hope so.”

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Hot Type, Cold Beer and Bad News: A Cleveland Reporter’s Journey Through the 1960s, by Michael D. Roberts. Published by Gray & Company, Publishers. Front cover of book.

The Cop House

I wanted to get the hell off the police beat before I ever got there. There were few bylines to be had out of that shabby carbuncle of an office in Central Station on Payne Avenue, where everything smelled of urine, disinfectant and stale tobacco. You were afraid to touch anything for fear of contracting a disease. In those days the police liked to …

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John Lanigan in jester costume on stage next to Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich

John Lanigan: Friends in High Places

WGAR was a 50,000-watt blowtorch. That’s radio lingo for a station that didn’t have other stations interfering, and “the friendly station” could be heard in 38 states and a big part of Canada. We gave them plenty to listen to. Every day part had a jock who put on a show like morning drive. Interviews, impressions, jingles. All the shows had comedy bits and lots of telephone calls …

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Theater of the Mind

Wayne Mack would broadcast on WDOK-AM from “the balcony radio box at the Waltz Palace, overlooking the great glistening dance floor and the huge stage” at “Northern Ohio’s oldest and most beautiful ballroom”—all made up, of course.

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The Buzzard: Inside the Glory Days of WMMS and Cleveland Rock Radio--A Memoir, a book by John Gorman and Tom Feran from Gray & Company, Publishers – front cover

Welcome to Cleveland

Fourth of July 1973. Welcome to Cleveland. There was a dead pigeon on the windowsill of my room overlooking Public Square in the Sheraton-Cleveland Hotel. Despite several calls to the front desk, the pigeon remained part of the decor for three long, hot, muggy days. It matched the desolate street scene below. Sure, this was a holiday, but still—at 10 a.m. there was not a single car or person on the street.

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