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Fallout shelters sold for $595 in 1961

Updated: January 23, 2012 4:07AM

What was happening in Elgin during the month of October 100, 75, 50, 25 and 10 years ago?

October 1911

The post office opened its postal savings system. The first day’s deposits came to $578. (Since bank deposits were not insured, postal savings were considered safer.)

The Elgin National Watch Co. returned to a full six-day schedule. It was the first time in several years that the big factory ran on a 52-hour week.

The third annual firemen’s ball attracted 500 couples to the Coliseum. Harden’s 10-piece orchestra furnished the music.

The cornerstone was laid for the Larkin Home for Children’s new building.

October 1936

One of the city’s few remaining outhouses was tipped over by Halloween pranksters at 713 Buckeye St. It was a two-seater, decorated with the customary half-moon and star-shaped vents.

Elgin sculptor/medalist Trygve Rovelstad was present at the Philadelphia mint to receive the first Elgin commemorative half-dollar. Rovelstad designed the coin.

Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, the explorer of Antarctica, presented three lectures at the Crocker Theater under the auspices of the Elgin Council of Parents and Teachers.

The Milwaukee Road’s new streamliner, the Hiawatha, was exhibited at the Elgin passenger depot before beginning regular service. The experimental first run in 1935 between Chicago and Minneapolis had been clocked by the timing department of the Elgin National Watch Co. The 410-mile trip was completed in 390 minutes.

October 1961

Do-it-yourself basement fallout shelters were advertised for $595 complete with all parts and simple instructions.

The new $1.7 million YMCA was dedicated. The ceremonies were followed by a public open house.

October 1986

One of the longest strikes in Elgin history ended when the union accepted wage cuts demanded by Elgin Sweeper Co. The strike had lasted more than three months.

The basic rate for cable TV subscribers was raised from $13 to $14.95 per month.

A rare albino squirrel was making its home in Lords Park.

School District U46 released the new state-required accounting report to parents about student scores and district finances.

October 2001

Gas prices ranged around $1.60 per gallon.

An AIDS quilt was on exhibit at Elgin Community College.

The Illinois Gaming Board levied a fine against the Grand Victoria Casino and revoked the license of the casino’s security chief.

The city council rejected a proposal to create a historic district in the Lords Park area.

The PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) board was considering the purchase a site for the homeless shelter on two acres of land off South State Street between the state police district headquarters and the Secretary of State building.

School District U46 enrollment climbed to 39,441, a gain of 1,736 from the previous year.

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