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Category:  Did You Know?
Published:  February, 2008

Did You Know?
I simply take delight in telling people stuff. To me, there’s nothing better than discovering some obscure fact, and then blurting it out to anybody who’ll listen.

That’s why I seem to be constantly conducting some form of research. There’s gold in those old microfilmed newspapers.

Add to that the “wows” I give myself when I uncover what might be some long forgotten facts about Fayette County, and I’m not ashamed to admit they give me shivers.

Fayette County certainly has had a rare collection of famous visitors, milestones and the stuff that is well worthy of local trivia.

That’s why I’m always ready to ask people, “Did you know that…?” And that’s why I’m eager to tell you about it weekly. Let’s get started.

…In October of 1920, John Philip Sousa (yes THAT John Philip Sousa) brought his band to play at a sold out Penn Theatre in Uniontown?

The event, which The Morning Herald proclaimed had been “an evening to be long remembered in the history of musical events in the city,” may have been so memorable because Sousa ended (not started) the program by leading his band in the playing of the Star Spangled Banner.

Did you know that Olympic legend Jesse Owens once ran at a track meet in Uniontown?

In May of 1939, Owens ran a 50 yard exhibition run at Hustead Field (now known as Bill Power Memorial Stadium).
He came to help promote the first annual Fayette County Grade School track and field meet. He was “ganged by boys,” according to the Morning Herald, from the time he arrived at the meet.

If you happen to see long time Uniontown resident Boston Sims, he just may tell you more about that locally historic day. Sims won the 75 yard dash for 130 pounders.
Did you know that one of the chimpanzees from the Planet of the Apes paid a visit to the city of Uniontown? Well he did, and I’ll tell you all about it next week.