Day in history for July 24, 2004

1854 -- 150 years ago
Those who have received the contract for removing tree snags and rocks and for otherwise improving navigation in the Rock Island rapids are going to start work at last. At least, they are advertising for workmen.

1879 -- 125 years ago
W.O. Hall, a Mississippi river pilot for 30 years, died in his home on the outskirts of Davenport.

1904 -- 100 years ago
Meeting at the Rock Island Club, businessmen last night considered forming a stock company to put on an annual fair at the 9th Street grounds.

1929 -- 75 years ago
Spencer Theater will reopen tomorrow equipped to show sound films. The first talkie there will star Al Jolson in ''The Jazz Singer.''

1954 -- 50 years ago
Rock Island's Douglas Park will be the scene of frenzied activity beginning Saturday morning as work is begun in earnest to install 10 90-foot poles, complete with lights, for the statewide Babe Ruth baseball tourney which opens Sunday night. City as well as tournament officials had been sweating out the arrival of the poles after it first was learned delivery would be delayed.

1979 -- 25 years ago
Two fishermen caught a live mortar shell today while angling in the Rock River, then accidentally activated it. The shell didn't explode, though, and a bomb squad was summoned to defuse it. Officials were not immediately able to determine how the shell got in the river.

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