Saturday, July 30, 2011

2,143 fish caught in 24 Hours

True Fish Story: World Record Set On Lake Minnetonka Saturday

Pro fisherman Jeff Kolodcinski set a Guinnes Book Of World Records mark for most fish caught from a dock by a single fisherman

Jeff Kolodcinski broke his own world record Saturday morning at Maynard's in Excelsior.

Kolodcinski baited, hooked and unhooked well over fish 2,143 fish in a 24-hour period. The world record was set from the same dock a year ago.

The official fish tally for this year's marathon was 2,649.

After fishing non-stop from 11:30 a.m. Friday, the pro fisherman from Wisconsin and his friend, Mitch Petrie (former producer of the Ron Schara television show), survived on sunshine and coffee Saturday morning.

Besides sunfish Jeff pulled in a couple of bullheads and bass.

The Fish-A-Thon event was put on by Fishing For Life, which serves youth, family and community through fishing and outdoor programs.

See more at

An Answer To Social Security

The Martha Hearn(e) Question

I frequently get asked to help people with their family tree research. One case that came up this week was from the Keith family who are looking for the lineage of a Martha Hearn(e). From what I was able to determine Martha was born 5/28/1918 to Charlie C. Hearn(e) and Edna L. McGee Hearn(e). Charlie (born 1888) died in 1919 (buried in Oddfellows in Laurel) and we assume he died from the Spanish influenza. His wife Edna remarried to Roy L. Massey in 1923. Her father was John mcGee. Roy and Edna had two sons (Raymond and an unknown name) and a daughter (Stella). However Martha is not shown with them in the 1930 census. She is in a center for youths upstate and she is 11 years old. So now the mystery is why was she put in a social service center? Certainly in the depression it was not unheard of for children to be given up for economic reasons. I have enough family trees with children listed as "taken To raise" and "Homeboy" and other descriptions for children that were given away. So any of you Hearn or Massey people out there have any suggestions?

From what I can determine Charlie Hearne's father was Alexander S. Hearne (1860 to 1933) a sawyer from the Delmar area who is buried at Smith Mill. His wife was Martha C. Ward Hearne (1857 to 1930) they had as children Charlie (1888), Benjamin F. (1894) and Thomas M. (1898). Alex Hearne's death certificate shows Jonathan Hearn as his father. Can anyone supply anymore?

Aaron Brice Francis, CSA

I was out this morning to Little Creek Primitive Baptist church looking for a gravestone when I came across this grave of Aaron B. Francis, CSA. Doing an internet search I came up with this bit of information;

Aaron Brice Francis, Color Corporal/Color Sergeant Born in New Baltimore, Fauquier Co., 5/14/42, son of Robert H. and Susannah E. Francis; removed to farm 3 1/2 miles north of Warrenton; enlisted 4/22/61, at Warrenton; Pvt., Co. K. Captured at Frazier's Farm, 6/30/62; sent to Ft. Columbus, N. Y. Harbor; and Ft. Warren, Mass.; exchanged. Detailed to Division Provost Guard. Appointed Color Corporal, 1863. Promoted to Color Sergeant, 1864. Wounded 3/31/65, at Dinwiddie C. H. Made his way to the Southside Railroad the next day and went by rail to Lynchburg, where he was hospitalized. Paroled at Lynchburg, 4/15/65. Removed to a farm in eastern Loudoun Co., in 1881, near Willard in Fairfax Co. Preached for nearly 31 yrs., serving as a pastor and evangelist in Va., Md., Del., N. J., and Pa. Member Clinton-Hatcher Camp C. V., Loudoun Co.

So the man came along ways to died in Sussex County. His father was Robert H. Francis, his mother was Susannah Bise. His first wife (Laura Pagf, born 1850,died 1897) is buried back in Loudoun County, Virginia. His second wife Mary F. was 21 years younger then him. He lived in Delmar. He is first picked up in the 1900 census as being a minister (don't know which church) with a number of daughters; Susanna, Anna, and Margaret (from the first wife). His sons were Roger and Lewis. The grave is tended so his relatives must still be in the area.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Opens Today - 1952

July 30, 1952 - Eastbound span of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened. Officially named the William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge on July 30, 1952 the bridge opened to traffic. It has a shore-to-shore length of 4.35 miles.

There is proposed toll hike to raise the toll to $5 in October 2011 and to $8 on July 1, 2013,

Friday, July 29, 2011

Art In The Park

Last night at Art In The Park the Allen Memorial Praise Band from Allen Memorial Baptist Church on Snow Hill Road played. Their music is Christian Rock which really isn't my thing but any live music is enjoyable and they were good. Interestingly the lead female singer (actually the only female in the group) said she use to sing at Red Dog's (The predecessor of Sports Nuts bar) in Delmar. It must have been a long journey from Red Dogs to christian rock music. This was the last show of the season for Art In The park.

I should point out that all the bands donated their time for free in order to make this event in Delmar happen. Chris Walter supplied his flatbed truck and spent time modifying it for the bands to set up and play from. Faith Krebs spent a lot of time organizing this event. The Delmar Historical and Arts society paid for the use of the park, electric hookup, and legal notices required by the town.

It actually cooled off and there was a slight breeze making up for the heat of the afternoon.

Several vendors were there.

One Vendor that I found interesting was Signs of Comfort. Marcia Ryan from out on Susan Beach Road, does something a little bit different in that she takes a photograph of a pet or event or person and does a little tribute and combines them into a very nice framed photograph. Very personalized. Very cheap ( framed 10x12 photo area - 5x7 photo- is $29.95 and a 12x15 area with a 8X10 is $39.95). The samples I saw were for pets that passed away, graduations, pets still alive, people still alive, anniversaries, individuals that passed away, etc. Take a look at her website but if you get to see her actual work at a fair or wherever she may set up shop I think you will be impressed.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


As we know locally we complain about illegals but in Arizona and the other border states it is an amazing war going on there. I Picked this Up from the Eastern Arizona Courier and I think it is an story that rings true. I know when I worked at the Wicomico County Jail and Immigration would come in and pick up illegals they would all be flown back to their county - not just Mexico but Europe, China, etc.

Government overspends accomplishes little
By Mike Bibb
Published on Sunday, July 24, 2011 10:49 AM MST
I'm not an economist or certified accountant, so I look at things involving money a little differently. Nor am I a lawyer, which might help to explain my complete lack of understanding of some legislation enacted by our elected representatives. Still, with all my years of accumulated ignorance, every now and then a story comes along that challenges my best efforts in even trying to comprehend it.

Usually, I fail.

Case in point. During the summer months since 2004, the federal government spent approximately $86 million taxpayer dollars to commercially fly 116,000 illegal immigrants back to Mexico. I'm assuming they must be flying first class since that works out to about $741 a ticket. When they arrive at the airport in Mexico City, they are then given free bus passes to travel the rest of the way home.

This year, another $9-$11 million will be added to the tab, or about $83,300 per day for the 120-day period.

Are you beginning to appreciate my dilemma?

Called the Mexican Interior Repatriation Program, it is a three- to four-month annual summer mission conceived as a humanitarian effort to save lives of thousands of border crossers. "Without this program, many of these migrants would perish in the desert," insists Tom Homan, ICE deputy assistant director.

"Migrants?" I thought they were a cabal of drug mules, human smugglers, gun runners, murderers, thieves, gang members and whatever else is in the mix. Sure, no doubt there are many ordinary individuals seeking to improve themselves by heading north, but I'm equally positive there is a substantial percentage whose ambitions do not include farm work, landscaping, pool maintenance or motel housekeeping.

Even more baffling is the fact that this program is voluntary. If an illegal doesn't wish to return to Mexico then he/she doesn't have to get on the plane. I suppose they can continue to reside in one of our detention centers until finally tiring of eating sandwiches and yearning for a more nutritious homemade taco.

So, how many lives have actually been saved by this program? Your guess is as good as mine because no one is keeping records. Even with the available free plane ride, border deaths in Arizona have remained fairly constant the past decade with about 200 a year perishing in the heat. A record 249 died in the desert in 2010. As of July this year, 82 bodies have been recovered.

Meanwhile, as the Border Patrol is busily apprehending one illegal, two or three more are getting away.

I realize the government is in the business of spending money, not making it, but is it too much to ask how nearly $100 million can be spent ferrying "migrants" to their casas in Mexico and no one has any idea if this is a worthwhile solution to the problem of people dying in the Arizona desert? Furthermore, by what rational logic should we continue to throw good money after bad? According to a July 2010 Government Accountability Office report, there are no measures in place to evaluate the success or failures of the plan.

If this is true, then why is MIRP allowed to continue unmonitored? Where is the government accountability? (That's an oxymoron if ever there was one.)

Here's a couple of crazy ideas I'll toss out for consideration: Since the death rate hasn't gone down in spite of the expensive repatriation flights, then I would guess that maybe the program is a bust and it's time to cut bait. Or, how about simply dividing the number of dollars spent flying folks home since 2004 (approximately $100 million) by the number of corpses found in the desert from 2004 to 2011 (around 1,500). That figures out to about $66,600 per body.

I know it's basic grade school math, but maybe these simple suggestions could give some astute government bean counter a pretty good idea of how well this boondoggle is working.

Our country is $14 trillion dollars in the hole and teetering on the brink of financial calamity, yet we routinely continue to pay for dozens of nonsensical operations like this. Unfortunately, getting rid of an established government program is almost as difficult as finding shovel ready jobs.

But for us mortals, let's look at this way — if a $1 bill was equal to one second, then 14 trillion seconds would equal about 448,000 years. If $1 bills were stacked atop each other, there would be four stacks of bills reaching to the moon, each about 240,000 miles high or a single stack 960,000 miles high. If $1 bills were laid end-to-end they would circle the earth 55,458 times. If a jet plane traveling at the speed of sound, 720 miles per hour, was spewing out a roll of $1 dollar bills, it would take 196 years before the jet used the last of the 14 trillion dollars.

As former Sen. Everett Dirksen famously quipped, "A billion here, a billion there — and pretty soon you're talking about real money." I believe that's exactly what the policy planners in Washington are thinking. Only now, it's a trillion here and a trillion there.

The Harim USA Ltd Purchase Of Allen Foods

I read where a federal bankruptcy court judge has approved the sale on Wednesday for the purchase of Allen's assets by Harim USA Ltd. The bid price at the bankruptcy auction was $48 million plus the cost of inventory. Allen filed for bankruptcy on June 9 with $83 million in debt. Harim USA Ltd is a division of Harim Holdings Co. Ltd, a South Korean poultry firm headquartered in Iksan, 230 kilometers south of Seoul.

Frankly I think it is a good deal. In the USA, Harim is a new guy and should upset the basket with different ways. Certainly Gov. Markell should be happy as he works to get foreign companies to invest in Delaware. I am sure he has a few million to give to Harim as incentives for jobs. The amount Delaware pays for job creation seem to run between $17,777 to a low of $8,617 per position. Anyway with fall approaching it is a good time for the transition as Chicken sales traditionally are down in the fall so renovations and organization changes can be made in this period.

So another company is owed by a foreign company. With the dollar having such little buying power other countries with stronger dollars are finding this place good pickings. We will once again move down the ladder another rung to a third world power known for cheap labor.

Allen is the second chicken company to enter bankruptcy liquidation in the last eight months. Townsends Inc., which also had headquarters in Delaware, filed its petition last year. Townsends subsequently was split up in sales to Omtron Ltd., a U.S. equity investor formed by Ukrainian entrepreneur Oleg Bakhmatyuk, and U.S. chicken integrator Peco Foods Inc.

Pilgrim's Pride Corp., then the largest chicken producer in the U.S., filed for bankruptcy protection due to high costs, low prices and staggering losses and exited bankruptcy after selling a majority of the company to JBS USA, the U.S. business of Brazilian meat processor JBS S.A.

Last year, Brazilian meat processor Marfrig Alimentos S.A. acquired Keystone Foods LLC, the ninth-largest chicken company in the U.S., to establish its operating platform in the U.S.

Certainly, there are enough foreign owed or controlled grocery stores in the area and what could be more Eastern Shore than Softshell crabs and Handy Seafood in Crisfield, MD was owned by Taiyo Oil Co., Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan until Terrence Conway purchased it in 2000.

Oyster Sandwiches

My wife and I drove down to the Chincoteague carnival last night for an oyster sandwich. They still have the best oyster sandwiches on the shore, however they have gone to serving them on a hamburger bun. Like a scrapple sandwich, Oyster sandwiches are best on plain white bread. Also by using a hamburger bun they get to reduce the size of the fritter. Like everything else today, a little less for your money which in Chincoteague is $7 a sandwich.

The experts cooking oysters

We normally go camping in Chincoteague for pony penning, but this year due to the heat and my arms still hurts from that fall I took, we just did not muster the enthusiasm for camping. Maybe next year.

Art In The Park Tonight

The final band of the season will be the Allen Memorial Praise Band from Allen Memorial Baptist Church in Salisbury. 6pm to 8pm. at State Street Park in Delmar - Free

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, 2011

Presidential Proclamation--National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, 2011
On June 25, 1950, the Korean peninsula erupted in conflict, becoming the front line of an intensifying Cold War. For 3 years, our Armed Forces fought to help keep Korea free, suffering bitter reversals and winning stunning victories before the Military Armistice Agreement at Panmunjom secured the border near the 38th parallel. Together, American service members and allied forces were part of a generation that, in the words inscribed at their memorial in Washington, defended "a country they never knew and a people they never met." Today, we express our unending gratitude to all who fought and died in pursuit of freedom and democracy for the Korean peninsula.

Our veterans' courage and sacrifice have enabled the Republic of Korea to flourish as a strong and prosperous nation for over half a century. In the decades following the Armistice, the American and South Korean people have maintained a warm friendship, and our alliance is stronger than ever. We remember our common values and shared suffering during the Korean War, and we continue to work together towards advancing the cause of freedom and stability in East Asia and around the world.

Today, we honor the tens of thousands of service members who gave their last full measure of devotion to protect the people of the Republic of Korea. We also pay tribute to the generations of Americans who have guarded the border since hostilities concluded. It is our sacred duty as a grateful Nation to care for all those who have served, and to provide for our veterans and their families.

We will never forget that America owes its liberty, security, and prosperity to the heroic acts of our service members. We must also remember that their selfless sacrifices have had a profound impact on the promotion of freedom across the globe. On National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, we recommit to supporting our venerable warriors and their families, and we pay our deepest respects to those who laid down their lives.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 27, 2011, as National Korean War

Veterans Armistice Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor our distinguished Korean War Veterans.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty sixth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011



“Mountaire Farms has discontinued its’ efforts to buy assets of Allen’s Family Foods at a bankruptcy auction process held on July 25, 2011. Mountaire wishes the best for the Allen family and everyone at their companies.

Mountaire Farms will continue with its plan to expand facilities. As soon as practical, the company will be adding jobs in the community under an expansion plan looking to add employees, growers and other service needs. Driven by its deep rooted commitment to quality service and value, Mountaire Farms looks forward to future business growth and strengthened ties with the communities in which it operates.”

Picked up from WGMD

New Roof

Over at the old "Bonanza" building a new roof is going on.

Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Presidential Proclamation--Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Generations of Americans with disabilities have improved our country in countless ways. Refusing to accept the world as it was, they have torn down the barriers that prohibited them from fully realizing the American dream. Their tireless efforts led to the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), one of the most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation in our Nation's history. On this day, we celebrate the 21st anniversary of the ADA and the progress we have made, and we reaffirm our commitment to ensure equal opportunity for all Americans.

Each day, people living with disabilities make immeasurable contributions to the diversity and vitality of our communities. Nearly one in five Americans lives with a disability. They are our family members and friends, neighbors and colleagues, and business and civic leaders. Since the passing of the ADA, persons with disabilities are leading fuller lives in neighborhoods that are more accessible and have greater access to new technologies. In our classrooms, young people with disabilities now enjoy the same educational opportunities as their peers and are gaining the tools necessary to reach their greatest potential.

Despite these advancements, there is more work to be done, and my Administration remains committed to ending all forms of discrimination and upholding the rights of Americans with disabilities. The Department of Justice continues to strengthen enforcement of the ADA by ensuring that persons with disabilities have access to community-based services that allow them to lead independent lives in the communities of their choosing. Under provisions of the Affordable Care Act, insurers will no longer be able to engage in the discriminatory practice of denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and Americans with disabilities will have greater control over their health care choices. And last year, I signed an Executive Order establishing the Federal Government as a model employer forindividuals with disabilities, placing a special focus onrecruitment and retention of public servants with disabilities across Federal agencies.

Through the ADA, America was the first country in the world to comprehensively declare equality for citizens with disabilities. To continue promoting these principles, we have joined in signing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. At its core, this Convention promotes equality. It seeks to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy the same rights and opportunities as all people, and are able to lead their lives as do other individuals.

Eventual ratification of this Convention would represent another important step in our forty-plus years of protecting disability rights. It would offer us a platform to encourage other countries to join and implement the Convention. Broad implementation would mean greater protections and benefits abroad for millions of Americans with disabilities, including our veterans, who travel, conduct business, study, reside, or retire overseas. In encouraging other countries to join and implement the Convention, we also could help level the playing field to the benefit of American companies, who already meet high standards under United States domestic law. Improved disabilities standards abroad would also afford American businesses increased opportunities to export innovative products and technologies, stimulating job creation at home.

Equal access, equal opportunity, and the freedom to make of our lives what we will are principles upon which our Nation was founded, and they continue to guide our efforts to perfect our Union. Together, we can ensure our country is not deprived of the full talents and contributions of the approximately 54 million Americans living with disabilities, and we will move forward with the work of providing pathways to opportunity to all of our people.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, July 26, 2011, the Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I encourage Americans across our Nation to celebrate the 21st anniversary of this civil rights law and the many contributions of individuals with disabilities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


Woody Was There!!!

The July 2011 Delmar Joint Councils meeting was held last night at 7:00PM (Over with by 9:15). Last night's missing members was Maryland Commissioner James Henderson - due to brain surgery over the weekend. My usual disclaimer is I am not part of the council and what I write is my personal views, not the minutes, of the meetings. It is also just the parts I want to comment on or write about. If you want to know the real stories go to the meeting or buy a newspaper.

Some items in no particular order:

Councilman Woody Payne was back. After a looong absence Delaware councilman Woody Payne showed up to a joint council meeting. Pleading 80 - 90 hours work weeks on the Indian River Bridge he gave his apologies. He has missed six out of the last nine council meetings.

Jobs - the Town of Delmar is looking for a policemen and a public works person.

Personnel - Heather Chandler is back from sick leave and Ed Ferro is out on Sick leave.

The attorney for Chris Mills says settlement on the "LeCates" Building will be by the end of August.

Bunting & Murray Construction in Selbyville, DE was given the low bid contract for the Delaware Avenue and First Street project. Their bid was $697,832.

Woodcreek development said 120 residents were withholding their monthly maintenance fees and putting them into an escrow account.

Due to the exceptional work of William Hardin - Community Development Coordinator for the town, the town was able to keep $65,000 left over from an open space project and will be using it for a water fountain and new ADA approved bathroom in Gordy park/Skateboard/basketball court area.

The Delmar Delaware Comprehensive Plan, the official statement of the Town Council and Planning Commission of Delmar, setting forth policies concerning desirable future growth and serving as a general guide to public and private development decisions, was approved by Delaware Gov. Markell. Yes we have a vison for Delmar.

Commissioner Karen Wells said Greg from public Works was a great help in the recent Little League Tournament and received a number of complements on his helpfulness at the sport fields.

The Delmar High school Traffic pattern changes was put on hold for this year due to start/stop time changes in the Wicomico County School system. There was also some comments as to why the Town Police could not go by the school for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon to direct traffic and the crossing guard needs to be trained in more efficient traffic flow and children crossing. The Police Chief had told Dr. Ring he couldn't spare the men to direct traffic. Due to budget cutbacks the school was unable to afford the Delaware State trooper (School Resource Officer) they kept at the school so that person will not be available for traffic control.

In the report on the police; PFC Nathan Benson is leaving the force and the Police Chief requested emergency Hiring For an officer. The request was granted. The Chief also asked to supply Wicomico County, on an emergency basis, the Delmar K-9 unit. This was also approved. Commissioner Karen Wells said she thought it was interesting that the Police couldn't pay for an officer to direct traffic for the protection of Delmar school kids at the High School for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon but we could afford to sent our K-9 unit to help Wicomico County. Commissioner Carl Anderton asked if we would be reimbursed for the pay of the officer and was told; no the town would not as Wicomico County sends the Sheriff department to Delmar Maryland when the need arrives and Delmar does not reimburse those officers. Commissioner Anderton pointed out Delmar, Maryland was in Wicomico County and the Delmar Maryland residents paid Wicomico county taxes for that service.

The Parking ordinance was tabled until next month in which time it will be rewritten. Several residents wrote letters or stood and voiced their concerns on this ordinance.

The change to the grass cutting ordinance was approved.

The abandoned Building Ordinance was approved.

The Fee schedule was approved.

On the Maryland side of town the Speed Monitoring Device was approved. Some discourse prevailed on the approval of this but like dogs fighting over a scrap of bread the town thought it was better for them to receive the money from fines from residents than Wicomico county receiving it. No real discussion on safety of the children just who and how much money they could get from this venture.

Monday, July 25, 2011

News Tidbit - 1921

Miss Carrie and Elsie Records, Oscar Sullivan of Delmar spent last Saturday evening with Miss Minnie ONeal of Laurel.

July Joint Council meeting - 2011

The Town of Delmar Joint Council will meet July 25 (Tonight) for it's regular meeting of the month. The 7:00 p.m. meeting will take place at Town Hall. You may view the full agenda documents here.

Some items are;
Parking ordinance
Grass Cutting ordinance
Abandon building Ordinance
Fee schedule
Speed Monitoring
Chesapeake Utility
Delmar High school Traffic Patterns
Municipal Building Update
Public Safety Building Update
Woodcreek Update

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Great Lake's Steamer Eastland Disaster - 1915

The priest stood on the dock and made the sign of the cross as the body came into view and his lips muttered:

"Ego te absolve a peccatis tuis, in nomine Patris, ea Filli, et Spiriti Sancti, Amen! -- I absolve you from all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen!"

and so it went for the dead from the Steamer Eastland Disaster in Chicago in 1915 as they were pulled onto the dock.

Today is the 96th anniversary of a Chicago disaster that remains largely forgotten despite the attempts of a group dedicated to keeping its history alive

On Saturday, July 24th, 1915, the Western Electric Employee Association planned their annual picnic. They had chartered four vessels to take the estimated 7,000 employees, family and friends to Michigan City, Indiana (On Lake Michigan, Michigan City, Indiana is fewer than 60 miles from downtown Chicago). One of the vessels, The Eastland, was filled to capacity (2,408 passengers and 72 crew members) and when people begin to move to one side of the vessel it simply tilted over onto it's side and sink in Chicago harbor killing 835 of them.

Well over half of the victims were single and a large percentage female. These were young, energetic factory workers. Married couples on board the Eastland were generally in their early twenties, with one or two children.

Passengers began boarding the Eastland on the south bank of the Chicago River between Clark and LaSalle Streets around 6.30 a.m., and by 7:10, the ship had reached its capacity. The ship was packed, with many passengers standing on the open upper decks, and began to list slightly to the port side (away from the wharf). The crew attempted to stabilize the ship by admitting water to its ballast tanks, but to little avail. Sometime in the next 15 minutes, a number of passengers rushed to the port side, and at 7:28, the Eastland lurched sharply to port and then rolled completely onto its side, coming to rest on the river bottom, which was only 20 feet below the surface. Many other passengers had already moved below decks on this relatively cool and damp morning to warm up before the departure. Consequently, hundreds were trapped inside by the water and the sudden rollover; others were crushed by heavy furniture, including pianos, bookcases, and tables. Although the ship was only 20 feet from the wharf, and in spite of the quick response by the crew of a nearby vessel, the Kenosha, which came alongside the hull to allow those stranded on the capsized vessel to leap to safety, a total of 844 passengers and four crew members died in the disaster. Many were young women and children.

One more unfortunate aspect or outcome of the Eastland disaster was the resulting pay-out to the victims' families as a result of this tragedy. The civil trial was not conducted and concluded until 20 years later. At that time the court determined that the chief engineer was to blame. That was the only charge that stuck. From the civil lawsuit, the chief engineer was charged with criminal negligence and not maintaining the ballast system properly. Perhaps, one of the bigger tragedies as a result of the Eastland disaster was that there was virtually nothing paid out to the families as a result of the tragedy. The civil lawsuit limited the pay-outs to the victim's families to the value of the Eastland's hull which at that time was approximately $50,000. Prior to any money going to the victims' families, however, the owners of the Eastland had to pay other claims. They had to pay the company that raised the Eastland from the Chicago River which was approximately about $35,000. They had to pay the Cole company, the concession company. All these other creditors had to be paid prior to the victim's families. So out of the $50,000 that was awarded by the civil lawsuit by the court, approximately $35,000 went to pay to raise the Eastland and the remaining $15,000 (again approximate) that was left went to pay other creditors, so essentially there was no money left to pay any of the victims' families.

The Western Electric Hawthorne Works suffered greatly as many who died were worked in this plant. The entire plant closed for funeral services on Tuesday and Wednesday. In addition, the Bell System called for a day of mourning later that week, with all but essential employees excused from work to attend memorial services in cities across the United States. The top executives of the company attended a service as a group in Chicago. In late August, nearly a month after the catastrophe, Western Electric began hiring to replace those who had perished.

Most of the dead were taken to the armory building on Washington Boulevard during the disaster. This building later became Harpo Studios (Harpo Studios is located at 1058 West Washington Blvd) the production company owned by Oprah Winfrey. It is told that the spirits from the Eastland still haunt the building and many who work there claim that the ghosts of the perished passengers are still restless in the new studios. According to reports, many employees have had strange encounters that cannot be explained, including the sighting of an apparition that has been dubbed the “Gray Lady”. In addition, staff members hear whispering voices, the laughter of children, sobbing sounds, old-time music, the clinking of phantom glasses and marching of invisible footsteps. The footsteps (which sound as though they belong to a large group) are frequently heard on the lobby staircase and nearby doors often slam shut without assistance. A large number of the staff members believe this to be a very haunted place!

The Delaware Flag

The State Flag of Delaware was adopted on July 24, 1913 and is steeped in references to the colonial era in which Delaware was one of the thirteen original colonies. In fact, Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States and that fact is proudly represented on the state flag.

A field of colonial blue is the setting for a buff colored diamond in which the coat of arms of the state is displayed. Beneath the diamond and the coat of arms is the date, December 7, 1787. This is the day that Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution and the first state of a new nation.

The colonial blue field and the buff colored diamond were said, by members of the commission established to design the state flag, to represent the colors of a uniform worn by General George Washington. And, indeed, some regiments of the Revolution wore blue coats with buff trim. The diamond is a reference to an early state nickname, the Diamond State, so given because of Delaware's small size and great value, evidenced in its geographical position on the Atlantic Ocean and its leadership contributions.

The coat of arms depicts early occupational symbols for shipping, farming, hunting and cattle ranching.