Day in history for December 23, 2004

1854 -- 150 years ago
The ferry now is crossing to VanSant's shipyards, instead of to the ferry landing, so that if the ferry gets frozen in during the night, it will be at the yards for the winter.

1879 -- 125 years ago
Grape growing is one of the chief agricultural enterprises in Bowling Township, Rock Island County. The biggest vineyards of the township are concentrated within an area of four square miles.

1904 -- 100 years ago
Fifty years ago in 1854, Richard Crampton sold books, stationery and similar goods in Rock Island, just as he is doing now in 1904. In the early years of his half century on 2nd Avenue, customers came to him from afar and during the Christmas season his sales would run as high as $2,000 a day.

1929 -- 75 years ago
The Playcrafters scored a hit with ''The Best People,'' with Stanley Nothstein and Doris Larkin in the leading roles.

1954 -- 50 years ago
Santa Claus, carrying 5,000 bags of candy, is scheduled to arrive by helicopter at the Eagle Food Shopping Center, 23rd Avenue and 41st Street, Moline, at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

1979 -- 25 years ago
The NRC and the FBI are investigating what an NRC official called a ''deliberate closing'' of two valves that go into the emergency cooling system of the core reactor at the Quad-Cities Nuclear Generating Station.

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