In 1961 construction begins on Berlin Wall during the night.

Looking backward

The north

10 years ago

Aug. 13, 2009: The new riverwalk was merely a foretaste of the future of the former Frink America site in Clayton. The town, village and the Clayton Local Development Corp. are planning to install 50 boat slips and a shower facility at the Frink site as soon as next summer to attract more boaters. To fund the project, the three partners are applying for a federal Boating Infrastructure Grant that would reimburse up to 75 percent of the approximately $1 million project.

25 years ago

Aug. 13, 1994: A proposed $1.8 million cleanup of hazardous waste at the former Abe Cooper Surplus Co. site on Factory Site will be the subject of two public meetings Wednesday at the Dulles State Office Building. Recent soil tests at the vacant scrap yard next to the Black River confirmed the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury and other toxins that under the proposal would be excavated and disposed of off the site.

50 years ago

Aug. 13, 1969: Centennial Terrace, the second tallest building in Ogdensburg, is nearing completion. The 12-story, 110 unit apartment house is located on the east side of Isabella Street from Washington Street to Riverside Ave.

75 years ago

Aug. 13, 1944: The Bagley & Sewall company, Watertown, which in normal times concerns itself with the manufacture of machinery for the production of pulp and paper, expects to be in the peak production of 105 mm shells before the close of the current year, it was said today by Abe Cooper, the president.

100 years ago

Aug. 13, 1919: More complaint is being made of the blocking of Mill street by long freight trains. The blockade is declared to be not only a nuisance to the public, practically cutting the city in two since the restrictions against heavy traffic over the Court street bridge, but it is pointed out that the interruption of fire companies passing between the north and south sides might constitute a serious menace.

125 years ago

Aug. 13, 1894: Citizens who have seen the little steam roller belonging to the paving company at work on Public Square are filled with wonder that the board of public works has never purchased such a machine for the city. It would do more for the streets of Watertown in a year than has been done toward their improvement since the place has had a city government.

150 years ago

Aug. 13, 1869: There was a matched game of Base Ball played between the Brownville club and the Dexter club, on the grounds of the former, on Wednesday, which resulted in favor of the Brownville club. The score stood Brownville 88; Dexter 17.

The world

521: Hernan Cortes captures the city of Tenochtitlan, Mexico, and sets it on fire.

1630: Emperor Ferdinand II dismisses Albert Eusebius von Wallenstein, his most capable general.

1680: War starts when the Spanish are expelled from Santa Fe, New Mexico, by Indians under Chief Pope.

1704: The Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Austria defeat the French Army at the Battle of Blenheim.

1787: The Ottoman Empire declares war on Russia.

1862: Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest defeats a Union army under Thomas Crittenden at Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

1881: The first African-American nursing school opens at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.

1889: The first coin-operated telephone is patented by William Gray.

1892: The first issue of the Afro American newspaper is published in Baltimore, Maryland.

1898: Manila, the capital of the Philippines, falls to the U.S. Army.

1910: British nurse Florence Nightingale, famous for her care of British soldiers during the Crimean War, dies.

1932: Adolf Hitler refuses to serve as Franz Von Papen’s vice chancellor.

1948: During the Berlin Airlift, the weather over Berlin becomes so stormy that American planes have their most difficult day landing supplies. They deem it ‘Black Friday.’

1961: Construction begins on Berlin Wall during the night.

1963: A 17 year-old Buddhist monk burns himself to death in Saigon, South Vietnam.

1978: Bomb attack in Beirut during Second Lebanese Civil War kills more than 150 people.

1989: The wreckage of a plane that carried U.S. congressman Mickey Leland and others on a humanitarian mission is found on a mountain side in Ethiopia; there are no survivors.

1993: US Court of Appeals rules Congress must save all emails.

Love local history? Listen to the Watertown Daily Times audio podcast at to hear us discuss pieces of our past.

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