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“Picket lines at Gegner’s barber shop on Saturday afternoon extended from Gegner’s to Lowe’s Drug Store and attracted constant attendance of scores of onlookers. Yellow Springs Police patrolman Russ Cordell, above, has just untangled a traffic snarl.” The demonstration — which would escalate the following week — was centered around Gegner’s refusal to cut Black Yellow Springs resident Paul Graham’s hair. The historic moment was part of a 20-year effort to desegregate Yellow Springs. (YS News archives
March 12, 1964)

News from the Past: March 2024

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10 years ago: 2014

Officer terminated. “Greene County Sheriff Major Eric Spicer was relieved from his position with the department last week. … Spicer was one of the commanders involved in the shooting standoff that occurred in Yellow Springs on July 30 that ended with the death of villager Paul Schenck. He had been placed on paid leave since that time.”

“CMYS built on Antioch’s shoulders. — The local First Presbyterian Church sanctuary is quite lovely, but ever thought of comparing it to, say, Carnegie Hall? The same small string, wind and vocal ensembles that play under the big lights in New York City, Paris and Tokyo, also play in this little Ohio town, the improbable seat of a world-class chamber music series known as Chamber Music Yellow Springs.”

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Wellness Center. “For the past six months there’s been a gaping hole at the back of Antioch College Curl Gym, where the pool used to be. But the renovation of the 85-year old building is closing in on a completion date sometime in July. And newly hired Wellness Center Director Becky Hairston is keen to get the gym in its new digs operational.”

25 years ago: 1999

Intruder released. “A West Center College Street resident called police when she returned Monday to her locked home and found it trashed and several items broken. A police officer found the intruder hiding inside, and released the bird a short time later.”

“A resource for economic vitality. With the recent appointment of a diverse board of trustees, Community Resources, the Yellow Springs/Miami Township Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), is taking steps toward becoming a community business leader.”

Chili Cook-off. McKinney School PTO will sponsor the fifth annual Chili Cook-off Saturday, March 13. … Proceeds from the event will go toward the McKinney School camp and scholarship fund.

Letter: “Too many cars, too many people. … I suppose many of us are pleased our little town is so popular. As for me, I am not thrilled to be a sideshow in a shopping mall.” — Letter from Paul Cooper

35 years ago: 1989

Stag’s Cleaners. “Monday was William Jason Stagner Day, proclaimed by Village Mayor Jean Hudson in a proclamation issued Thursday. … Stagner became one of the first Black persons to own a [retail] business in Yellow Springs, and has contributed to making the village a good place to live.” [Stag’s, 1950–1985]

Ha Ha Pizza Ad: “This Friday, March 3, Ha Ha’s will open a new door into our expanded dining area, making it possible to accommodate over 50 hungry souls.  … So, we would all like to just say thank you, so very much, for helping us reach such an exciting pizza plateau.”

Pierce goes All-Ohio. “Alfred Pierce, a member of the boys basketball team at Yellow Springs High School during the recently completed season, has been named to the All-Ohio team selected annually by the Associated Press.”

50 years ago: 1974

Crime discussion. “A panel discussion Sunday on shoplifting, drugs and juvenile justice, open to the public, is sponsored by Girl Scout Troop 767. The program is the Troop’s contribution to Girl Scout Awareness Strategy, a national program to help Scouts become more aware of community problems and their part in helping solve them.”

Public anger. “Angry parents attending Monday night’s school board meeting charged the board (1) with ignoring permissiveness in the high school and (2) giving ‘zero support’ to sports programs.”

WYSO. “Over $5,000 was raised for WYSO in its marathon last weekend.”

60 years ago: 1964

“Hose, Tear Gas Used as 108 Are Jailed — 108 were jailed for contempt of court. Up to 200 more joined them in massive civil disobedience in the downtown business section Saturday afternoon. Hundreds more watched from the sidelines as 150 police from three counties sought to restore order. Tear gas bombs, a fire hose and a reading of the Ohio riot act were used to try to end the situation. Four hours of unruliness ended when the remaining demonstrators concluded they had made their point and went home. … The whole affair was given national newspaper, television and radio coverage.”

That historic demonstration was the most violent chapter in the years-long rally against the discriminatory practices of a downtown barber shop, owned by Lewis Gegner who refused to cut a Black man’s hair. Not long after the major confrontation, Gegner sold his shop and moved out of town. 

75 years ago: 1949

Printing press. “A new Heidelberg press on the floor of the Antioch Bookplate Co., owner of the NEWS, yesterday and today attracted printers from Xenia, Springfield and elsewhere. Demonstrations that it ‘can do almost anything, but talk’ impressed all who viewed the new machine in operation.”

Glen roller rink. “March 15 has been set as the tentative date for the opening of the new roller rink, it has been announced. The rink, in the Glen Pavilion, is for the joint use of college and village. Arrival of roller skates will determine the exact date of opening, Kenneth Hunt, Glen director, said early this week.”

Stolen taxi. “Police Chief Russell Bradley captured a stolen Dayton taxi and Robert Suel of Dayton, who had allegedly stolen the taxi in Dayton, in a wild chase shortly after 5 o’clock Sunday morning. … Suel drove the car out Limestone and Dayton streets in an effort to escape, but surrendered on the Dayton Pike 3½ to 4 miles west of town when Chief Bradley sent a few warning shots in his direction.”

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