Day in history for December 4, 2003

1853 -- 150 years ago
Winslow S. Pierce, a resident of Rock Island until he left for the gold fields and became wealthy, plans to run for the United States Senate from California. He is at present comptroller of California.

1878 -- 125 years ago
The Harper Opera House opened last night for the first time. Marie Roza, soprano, was the attraction. Only 210 seats were sold, owing to improper promotion of the grand opening.

1903 -- 100 years ago
U.G. Simpson won a silver loving cup for securing the most members in the YMCA campaign.

1928 -- 75 years ago
The Rev. J. Vincent Nordgren was installed as pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church.

1953 -- 50 years ago
Birtman Electric Company, Rock Island, is adding to America's arsenal of defense. A special assembly line in its plant at 1533 1st St. is turning out 3.5 inch rocket launchers in quantity. This is the weapon that on July 20, 1950, knocked out seven out of seven Communist tanks in its first Korean test, according to an announcement by Gen. Douglas MacArthur's public information officer.

1978 -- 25 years ago
International Harvester will not renew its manufacturing contract with Steiger Tractor Co., bolstering reports the Rock Island Farmall Plant is gearing up for production of giant four-wheel drive tractors. Plant sources have told the Dispatch IH soon plans to begin making new 3388 and 3588 4WD articulated (jointed) tractors.

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