Friday Facts: Impes, “Leapin’ Lepean,” Debtors Prison

fridayfacts_icn:: Mayor Cosgrove is expected to deliver to City Council on Monday her administration’s plan to make up the city’s now $728 million five-year deficit.

:: Expected remedies: Rec Center  and library cutbacks, trash collection, city vehicle usage cuts, wage rollbacks, hiring freeze.

:: The plaque on the Trade and Securities Building (43rd Ave and Roosevelt) remembers investor Tom Lepean, who on October 28, 1929, had made the decision to sell his sizable portfolio of stock and retire to a secluded wooded area. Although Lepean had been inspired by the book Walden, several scorned investors the following day – suspicious of Lepean’s timing – accused him of either benefitting from inside information of the coming stock market crash, or possibly engineering it. The legend of Lepean’s perspicacity exceeded public temperament, and the once-lucky investor was pushed out a 16th story window by a stenographic pool secretary whose father had been ruined in the Crash.

:: Fast-Cash Plus, a national chain specializing in your-auto-title-for-easy-cash swaps, has opened an outlet in the Crestmoor Shopping Plaza, at 35th and Wallace Streets. That plot of land was the location of Munson Prison until 1938, which contained a sizable debtors prison wing.

:: Alfred Garret, a local train switcher renowned for his alleged psychic powers of premonition and called, in his time, “The Nostradamus of the Rails,” died on this day in 1887.

:: It is prohibited to “monetarily charge” for hugs or other platonic embraces, according to a 1921 city ordinance.

:: Cuts at radio giant Clear Channel this week have local impact: Z93’s “Morning Zanee Zew Crue with Hartford and the Stoz” will be replaced by a syndicated national program hosted by American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest; Local sports station “The Hammer” (1040 AM) will be dissolved, carrying only national Fox Sports Radio programs, with the exception of broadcasts of Mighty Elms games.

:: Public attacks of epilepsy were declared “most likelie not a signne of the affronte of devilles nor impes uponne the boddye” by city elders in 1702.

:: Infamous local scientist Dr.Franz Schulte’s famous claims that he could engineer heart attacks in any living human simply by concentrating on their photographic image was finally disproven on this day in 1931.
— Jonathan Morris, RJ White

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