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FDR challenger drew large crowd

This week in history

99 years ago in 1921

• Thieves who evidently knew their ground and worked slowly and carefully choosing just the sort of merchandise they wanted, burglarized two South Pine street stores and carried away a large amount of clothing, shoes and other merchandise.

At M.J. Abraham’s store some time after 6 o’clock thieves jimmied open a back window using a railroad tool known as a “brake shoe key.” They thoroughly ransacked the store and carried away loot valued at more than $200 and $50 was taken from a cash register.

At a store owned by Oscar Wolkoff on South Pine street, the thieves proved their deliberate action when one stopped to try on two pairs of shoes. A size 11, which he did not want, was left on the floor and the man took a size 10 1/2. Entrance to the store was gained through a cellar window.

80 years ago in 1940

• Before a crowd estimated by police at between 20,000 and 25,000, one of the largest in the city’s history, Wendell L. Willkie, Republican presidential nominee, carried his campaign to Trumbull County with a plea to all to “join the crusade to maintain the free way of life in America.”

The Warren crowd, assembled at the Erie station, was, according to Willkie attaches on the train, one of the largest to greet the Republican standard bearer for a rear-platform talk during his campaign and exceeded in size the crowds that had greeted him at Erie and Sharon, Pa., earlier in the day.

Despite a hard day’s schedule, Willkie greeted Warrenites with a cheerful countenance, his towering stature seemed almost to take up the entire rear platform of the special 16-car train pulled by two engines that brought him to Warren from Sharon where he also gave a short talk.

His voice carried a note of sincerity as he addressed the crowd.

“This is the most critical hour in the history of our country,” said Willkie. “If you never remember anything else I say here, remember this — only the productive can be strong and only the strong can be free.”

25 years ago in 1995

• Phar-Mor Inc. filed paperwork needed to list the stock on the national exchange, the drug store said.

The company expected to be listed on the NASDAQ overall exchange once the Securities and Exchange Commission reviewed the registration statement. Company spokesman Gary Holmes said that could happen in the next month.

The chain’s stock had been traded on NASDAQ’s Small Cap market. About 12 million shares were issued when a group of investors and creditors led by Washington, D.C., businessman Robert Haft bought the old Phar-Mor out Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sept. 11.

The deep-discount drug store chain’s operating profit rose 39 percent to $48.1 million for the 52 weeks ending July 1 (1995). The company said it had an operating profit of $34.6 million for the 53 weeks that ended July 2, 1994.

Phar-Mor had improved its operating profit by eliminating a number of unprofitable product lines, repositioning other categories and boosting the overall efficiency of its operations.

10 years ago in 2010

• Government students at LaBrae High School said they had hoped the 2010 Candidate Night they had hosted would give community members a chance to meet face-to-face with some of the people seeking election on Nov. 2.

“That’s what we wanted, and I think that’s what we accomplished,” said senior Zachary Gilanyi, 17, who helped moderate a portion of the program.

“I think it gave people the chance to see the people they’re voting for and get some idea of who they really are, not just the people you see on TV or on the news.”

Students in Terry Armstrong’s government classes organized and presented the program, a first for the district.

Students chose questions for the candidates based on topics they had discussed in class, including abortion, charter schools, changes in high school graduation requirements, America’s presence in the Middle East, same sex marriage and minimum wage.

Close to 100 students, teachers and community members gathered at the high school auditorium for the event.

— Compiled from the archives of the Tribune Chronicle by Emily Earnhart

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