Cold Case Ypsilanti: The Murder of Richard Streicher Jr.

On March 7, 1935 the body of seven-year-old Richard Streicher Jr. was found in the icy Huron River under a footbridge at Island Park in Ypsilanti. His body was discovered by another Ypsilanti youngster, thirteen-year-old Buck Holt. Fearing a killer on the loose, the Mayor of Ypsilanti warned parents to protect their children. Although the Ypsilanti Police, Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department and Michigan State Police undertook a massive criminal investigation, questioned the parents and followed tips, the the trail frustratingly led nowhere. Suspect after suspect were arrested and released.

Two years later, with no solution in sight, a grand jury was ordered to review evidence and compel testimony in the case. Despite hearing the testimony of thirty people including uncooperative witnesses, after four weeks Judge Sample adjourned the grand jury. Then new evidence was found, the grand jury ordered reopened, then delayed again and again. In a last ditch effort to resolve the case, Judge Sample convened another session of the one-man grand jury and sought "any suggestions or information" from the public. And that is where the investigation ended. To read all the articles about the Richard Streicher Jr. murder in Old News, click here.

50th Anniversary of the Port Huron Statement

Tom Hayden at Ann Arbor fundraiser, 1985Tom Hayden at Ann Arbor fundraiser, 1985

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the now-legendary Port Huron Statement, a manifesto written by “Students for a Democratic Society” (SDS) at a retreat on Lake Huron in 1962. From October 31 - November 2, the University of Michigan is hosting A New Insurgency: The Port Huron Statement in Its Time and Ours, a free 3-day public conference exploring the significance of the Port Huron Statement and its social, political and cultural consequences for the New Left of the 1960s - from anti-war movements to civil rights and women’s liberation movements. We’ve pulled together articles from our Oldnews archive about the Students for a Democratic Society, featuring SDS co-founders Tom Hayden and Alan Haber and reflections from other New Left activists over the intervening years.

AADL Talks to Doug Harvey

In this episode, former Washtenaw County Sheriff Doug Harvey shares his memories of the turbulent 1960s in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. He recalls some of the personal, political, and law enforcement challenges he encountered during his years as sheriff - from the 1966 UFO sightings and the South University Riots, to the Coed murders and the John Norman Collins case. He also responds to some of the controversy surrounding his reputation and he speaks candidly about the community leaders and colleagues he admired during these years - and those he did not.

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AADL_Talks_To-Doug_Harvey.mp3 48.78 MB

University of Michigan Wolverine Great Bob Chappuis

One of the Wolverine's great football players died June 14 in Ann Arbor. A Wolverine MVP, Collier's All-American and member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Chappuis also served in WWII. Shot down over Italy, he spent three months hidden in plain sight from the Nazis.

Old News has gathered together a selection of articles from the Ann Arbor News that cover his career at Michigan. Chappuis joined the Wolverines in 1942, served in WWII from 1943 ~ 1945 and rejoined the Wolverines in 1946, setting records in offensive play. In the undefeated 1947 season, Chappuis finished second for the Heisman Trophy and was featured on the cover of Time Magazine. Michigan went on to win the Rose Bowl with such a decisive win over Southern California, 49 - 0, that AP put out a post-bowl game poll that moved them back in to first place over season-ending first place Notre Dame. We'll be adding stories about Chappuis to the Old News site so keep checking back to read more about one of Michigan's great players.

Tracking down a sketch artist

Here's a cool story we wanted to share! So a woman in Georgia knows her dad was a sketch artist whose work appeared in the Ann Arbor News in the late 1960s and she'd really like to see some of his work. Her friend contacts The Ann Arbor Chronicle whose editor happens to know we're undergoing a massive digitization effort, and he forwards the query to us. Well, it turns out we've already scanned some of those very sketches at ridiculous high quality and color as part of our feature on the John Normans Collins murder and trial during the late 1960s!

Close Encounters in Washtenaw County

In the early morning hours of March 14, 1966, Washtenaw County sheriff's deputies reported sighting "four strange flying objects" in Lima Township. Soon police agencies from Livingston County, Monroe County and Sylvania, Ohio were also reporting "red-green objects . . . moving at fantastic speeds." By the end of the day the Civil Defense and U.S. Air Force were called in to an investigation that has never really ended for many of those involved.

AADL has assembled the articles that dominated the Ann Arbor News for weeks in 1966 and continues to resurface through sightings, interviews and research into UFOs and extraterrestrial life. The UFO story provides an interesting look at the way news events affect the lives of the participants and their communities. Read our feature story in Oldnews and decide for yourselves whether Washtenaw County's history includes close encounters of the first, second or third kind.

White Market

White Market, a locally owned market at 609 East William Street, has been in business for at least 84 years. While the exact date it opened is unknown, a newspaper article from 1984 indicates that it was "in business as early as 1928." In 1939, the shop was at the retail space next door, 607 E. William St.

White Market, 607 E. William St.

Ann Arbor, Then and Now

The Ann Arbor News' archive highlights major events and news-worthy stories through the city's history. But beyond that, it also gives a glimpse into what life was like for residents on a daily basis. Hidden between photos of big events are images of the stores and streets. They can give us a window into what Ann Arbor was like for the people who lived here, and they can highlight what has changed... and what hasn't.

The following are old images of Ann Arbor paired with views from today, which let you see which buildings have withstood the test of time and where things have grown and developed.

308 South Ashley Street, 1937

308 South Ashley Street, 1937

The Blind Pig

The Blind Pig is Ann Arbor’s legendary live music venue. It is best known for being the local venue where Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, and Nirvana performed. Established over thirty years ago, the Blind Pig, or the Pig as referred to by locals, continues to be a premiere live music venue for indie, rock, hip hop, and electronic bands. Originally the venue functioned as both a bar and café, but now functions solely has bar/club with frequent live band performances. In addition, the 8 Ball Lounge located below the Blind Pig is now a well-known dive bar with a cult following all its own.

Click here for more articles about the Blind Pig

The Ark

The Ark has been Ann Arbor’s premiere venue for folk music for more than four decades. Originally established in the mid 1960’s, the Ark has fought to stay afloat as a non-profit venue for live acoustic music. A series of fundraising events eventually led to the establishment of the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, which is still a yearly tradition. The original setting for the Ark was a historic house on Hill St., known as the Hill House. Unable to raise sufficient funds to maintain its upkeep and unable to appease its property owners, the First Presbyterian Church, The Ark was forced to move to a new site on Main St. Meanwhile after months of legal debate, the Hill House was destroyed in order to allow for the church’s new parking lot. The decision to tear down the house was met with much protest by the Ann Arbor community. In addition, the Hill House was deemed an historic monument, but this was not enough to safeguard the communal monument. The Ark made one more move to its current site on S. Main St. where it continues to thrive and bring prominent Folk musicians to the city.

Click here for more articles about the Ark

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