Day in history for December 21, 2003

1853 -- 150 years ago
Eighty acres of land about two miles back of town was sold at public auction at the courthouse Saturday. Most of our solid money men were present and bidding was brisk. George Mixter was the buyer, at $27 per acre, cash down. (This land sold was in the neighborhood of the present Rock Island High School.)

1878 -- 125 years ago
Thomas Saulpaugh of Rock Island was robbed of a pocketbook containing $800 on a train between here and New York.

1903 -- 100 years ago
Fred Burnison, 21, of Walker Station (East Moline), was shot and killed accidently by a companion while they were hunting rabbits.

1928 -- 75 years ago
President Coolidge today signed a bill for an irrigation, flood control and power project on the Colorado River to be known as Boulder Dam.

1953 -- 50 years ago
A 5-year-old East Moline boy, who strums a violincello and sings western songs, may become a national television star. That is the hope of Mr. and Mrs. Roscoe Neighbours for their son Lennie Allen. In order to make their dream come true, the Neighbours have staked their savings and will leave for New York City Jan. 4.

1978 -- 25 years ago
Fifty-five years ago, Jack ``Bud'' Downing was a 5-year-old boy playing in the brand-new dairy at 2268 24th St., Rock Island, that bore his family's name. Early today, his 60th birthday, he watched orange flames consume the landmark his family operated for four generations.

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