On Aug. 3, 1678, Robert LaSalle builds the Le Griffon, the first known ship built on the Great Lakes. A woodcut image of the ship is shown. Wikipedia

Looking backward

The north

10 years ago

Aug. 3, 2012: A long-proposed racetrack site in the towns of Brasher and Norfolk located in St. Lawrence County was auctioned for timber rights. The 900 acre site was split into three parts and sold for a combined $280,000 and $60,000 in backtaxes accrued by the former Northway Island Associates. Claims of holding NASCAR events and moving the former Mohawk Bingo Palace there all fell through before insolvency.

25 years ago

Aug. 3, 1997: Old McDonald’s Children’s Farm was the scene of a corn-fuel powered car on display ahead of an appearance at the Empire Farm Days. The four-door, six-cylinder 1997 Ford Taurus was driven from Detroit using only ethanol as part of a joint promotional campaign by the Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler Corp. Ronald Robbins, the owner of the local petting zoo, picked the car up in Syracuse.

50 years ago

Aug. 3, 1972: Watertown Chief of Police Joseph C. Loftus reported that crime rates were up in the city, as well as the rate of solution for said crimes. Thieves here were stealing more, and more thieves were being caught by the City of Watertown Police force. City vandalism also mertited mention due to the cost to repair the incident locations, such as the Immaculate Heart Central School with over $1,000 in damage in May.

75 years ago

Aug. 2, 1947: Ogdensburg Maples manager Bob Dill received word of his 10-day suspension and $100 fine for his part in a described near-riot last week at the Border Baseball League’s game between Ogdensburg and the Auburn Cayugas. A Maples pitcher, Don Bryant, threw a bat towards the field screen to protest an umpire’s third strike call. Bryant was subsequently ejected, leaving the Maples without a pitcher, and causing the umpire to call the game in favor of Auburn, leading 9-0 by that point. Dill was said to have “deprived fans of entertainment,” and “brought about a situation resulting in personal injury and destruction of property.”

100 years ago

Aug. 3, 1922: Lafargeville merchant A.B. Beardsley is completing 66 years in business and will see the general store merchandise put up for auction upon his retirement. Beardsley’s father preceded him behind the counter and some of the new, old stock dates to the elder’s era. Jefferson County was once the center of a geese raising industry he sold to. A special tool to keep goose in the yard is called a goose poke, which will be part of the auction lot.

125 years ago

Aug. 3, 1897: A contract for a seven-span steel bridge linking St. Lawrence County and Cornwall, Ontario has been awarded to the Phoenixville Bridge company of Pennsylvania. The project will allow the Ottawa and New York Railroad to cross the two channels located there by Hogansburg. The bridge will be a half-mile long and will contain 7,000,000 pounds of structural steel, requiring day and night labor to complete it by the contracted date of November.

150 years ago

Aug. 3, 1872: A history of American Presidents to have visited the City of Watertown includes 1819 when James Monroe paid a visit to the city accompanied by John C. Calhoun; in 1839 Martin Van Buren and “Prince” John did the same. Now U.S. Grant joins the list after gracing Watertown on Aug. 2. His public remarks fondly included the former general’s residence here at Madison Barracks from 1848 to 1849.

The world

1678: Robert LaSalle builds the Le Griffon, the first known ship built on the Great Lakes.

1852: Harvard University wins the first Boat Race between Yale University and Harvard. The race is also known as the first ever American intercollegiate athletic event.

1900: The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is founded.

1921: Major League Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis confirms the ban of the eight Chicago Black Sox, the day after they were acquitted by a Chicago court.

1936: Jesse Owens wins the 100 metre dash, defeating Ralph Metcalfe, at the Berlin Olympics.

1946: Santa Claus Land, the world’s first themed amusement park, opens in Santa Claus, Ind., United States.

1948: Whittaker Chambers accuses Alger Hiss of being a communist and a spy for the Soviet Union.

1949: The Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League finalize the merger that would create the National Basketball Association.

1958: The world’s first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, becomes the first vessel to complete a submerged transit of the geographical North Pole.

1972: The United States Senate ratifies the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

1977: Tandy Corporation announces the TRS-80, one of the world’s first mass-produced personal computers.

2004: The pedestal of the Statue of Liberty reopens after being closed since the September 11 attacks.

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