On Jan. 5, 2013, Luella Birks celebrated her 100th birthday. A long-time resident of Moline, both she and her husband, Ralph (now deceased), spent their working days serving the city of Moline; Luella as director of the Senior Citizen Center and Ralph as the first superintendent of parks and recreation. Luella has been a resident at Bickford Cottage for the past five years. Thank you, Luella, for all your contributions, generosity and love that you have given throughout the years at your work, at your church (a member for 70 years at Riverside United Methodist Church), and in the many service organizations that you were a member. Many lives, both young and old, have been blessed by knowing "Lu" Birks. Congratulations on becoming a Centenarian, Lu. We all love you!
Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet. 1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.