1868, 150 years ago
The impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson begins in the chambers of the U.S. Senate. The public is admitted by ticket only and the galleries are crowded with men and women dressed in their Sunday best. Many foreign diplomats are there, too.
The House of Representatives picks seven of its members to serve on a board of managers. They will “manage” and prosecute the case before the Senate and try to convince senators that the president is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and should be removed from office. They are: George S. Boutwell, Benjamin F. Butler, John A. Logan, Thaddeus Stevens, Thomas Williams, John A. Bingham and James F. Wilson. Stevens is so ill, he has to be carried into the chambers by two men, but he is determined to see the president found guilty.
Johnson has chosen to defend him a team made up of Republicans and Democrats. They are: former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Curtis; William Evarts, a skilled attorney from New York; Thomas A. Nelson, the president’s close friend from Tennessee; William Groesbeck, an attorney from Ohio, and Henry Stanbery, who resigned as U.S. attorney general to be part of the president’s defense team.
The defense opens the proceedings by asking Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, the presiding officer, for a 40-day delay to better prepare to answer the charges against the president. They are granted 10 days. The trial will resume on March 23.
1918, 100 years ago
One in every 18 residents of Oneida County owns a motor vehicle. The state says there are 9,156 vehicles registered in the county, a gain of 2,644 in the last 12 months. There were 5,931 in 1916.
1943, 75 years ago
Kate is here
Kate Smith, famed singer and radio star, visits Utica and Rome as part of her tour of army camps during World War II. She is paying all expenses for 60 band musicians and chorus members with her. She is greeted by several hundred fans at Utica’s Union Station and stops at the USO Lounge there to sing a few songs for the members of the military there. She then goes to the Fort Schuyler Club where she is a guest for dinner. Fifteen rooms in the Hotel Utica have been reserved for the group.
The next day, she visits the Rome Air Depot (later renamed Griffiss Air Force Base) and gives two performances for soldiers and civilians. They are attended by more than 5,000 in the operations hangar. She tells them she is pleased to see so many women working at the depot.
1968, 50 years ago
Six area men are among 80 new state troopers who graduated from the state’s Police Academy. They are: from Oriskany, Alexander C. Bitely; from Sherrill, Peter Bortle; from Richfield Springs, William Huxtable; from Whitesboro, Peter Mathy, and from Utica, Robert Malecki and Robert Sfier.
Doll Story, of Oriskany, is named “outstanding amateur athlete for 1967” by the Greater Utica Athletic Association. She won the National Junior Amateur Golf Championship last summer in California.
The Whitesboro village board approves a resolution issuing $12,500 in capital notes and $237,000 in bonds to finance the construction of a new firehouse. It will have four stalls for fire equipment and will be located on Oriskany Boulevard. Harold Rice, of Rome, submits plans and drawings for the project.
The Rev. Gerald R. Platz is installed as pastor of the Stone Presbyterian Church in Clinton. He is a native of Erie, Pennsylvania.
1993, 25 years ago
The Pentagon announces that Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome will lose most of its aircraft and more than 5,400 military and civilian jobs by 1995.The 416th Bomber Wing will be deactivated and its B-52s transferred to Minot AFB in North Dakota and Barksdale AFB in Louisiana. KC-135s will be moved to Grand Forks AFB in North Dakota.
Voters in area villages elect mayors. They include: in Herkimer, Rocco Losito; in Barneveld, William Hinge; In Camden, John P. Murray; in Clinton, Richard Williams; in Holland Patent, William Keiser; in Oriskany Falls, Norman Gaumer; in Sylvan Beach, Joseph DeFazio; in Waterville, Paul J. Carroll; in Dolgeville, Philip Dahlia; in Frankfort, Fred Pumilio; in Middleville, Leo Lynch; in West Winfield, Robert Allen.
2008, 10 years ago
What a parade!
Grand Marshal James R. Kellmurray has plenty to cheer about for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Utica is one of the biggest ever. More than 40,000 spectators line Genesee, Columbia and Varick streets to participate in the event that is sponsored this year by the Genesis Group and the Great American Irish Festival.
I’ll name the place, you name the U.S. president born there. Plymouth, Vermont; Hyde Park, New York; Kinderhook, New York; Hope, Arkansas; Waxhaw, South Carolina; Port Conway, Virginia; North Bend, Ohio. (Answer will appear here next week)
Answer to last week’s question: Few persons were better prepared to be president of the United States than was James Buchanan. He had been in public life for more than 40 years when he was elected 15th president in 1856 – a member of the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, 1821-31; minister to Russia, 1832-33; a U.S. senator, 1834-45; secretary of state in the cabinet of President James Knox Polk, 1845-49, and minister to Great Britain, 1853.
This Week in History is researched and written by Frank Tomaino. Email him at email@example.com.