Day in history for March 12, 2006

1856 -- 150 years ago
A dispatch from Washington states that the Secretary of the Navy has determined to order the new frigate Merrimac to the gulf squadron. Her officers will be detained a few days.

1881 -- 125 years ago
Township collectors reported a total of $17,794.43 in taxes collected.

1906 -- 100 years ago
Henry Grothe was elected president of the 1st and 2nd Ward Improvement Association.

1931 -- 75 years ago
Four recent fires of unknown origin in as many barns in Rock Island, gave rise today to an investigation by Rock Island police under the theory that the blazes may have been of incendiary inception.

1956 -- 50 years ago
Moline's nuisance pigeon population was reduced by more than 200 yesterday afternoon by an estimated 90 hunters with only one other casualty. A bird, shot in flight, volplaned through a window at the C.D. VanArsdale residence, 1716 13th St., a few minutes after the shoot began.

1981 -- 25 years ago
For 56 years a coal fire kept the James B. Pearson riverboat chugging between Moline and Cordova, pushing barges loaded with sand and gravel. This morning, a fire believed set by an arsonist, destroyed the old boat, which has been high and dry on display in Winona, Minn., since 1954.

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