An encounter with ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd
• June 16, 1944: Four graduates from Springfield Senior High School unexpectedly met while on duty in the South Pacific during World War II. Among them were Ensign Charles T. Banta and Lt. James Bugg, who had “joined up” together but had not seen each other since enlisting. The four men understood news, and had their picture taken and sent to the Springfield Leader and Press with instructions to place it on the front page. The story ran on Page 1 and, as stated in the words of the paper itself, “So here it is, fellows.” Leader and Press
• June 17, 1912: For years, a U.S. Civil War cannon belonging to Greene County had sat in an alley in Walnut Grove. The cannon was then hauled to the Frisco Depot and shipped by Greene County Associate Judge S.D. Appleby to Springfield, where it would be cleaned, polished and placed on the lawn of the courthouse at the corner of Center Street and Boonville Avenue, facing south or southeast. Another cannon located at Drury University would be moved to the opposite corner of the grounds. The cannon from Walnut Grove was returned to that city in 1926 due to the “neglect” it was suffering in Springfield. Leader
• June 17, 1933: “I saw right away, he was a right nice fellow. He would kill a man, but not unless he had to,” stated Sheriff Jack Killingsworth of Bolivar after his 500-mile captive ride with Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd. The sheriff was kidnapped from a garage in Bolivar and driven by Floyd and an accomplice to the Kansas City area, where he was released. After riding with Floyd, Killingsworth described Floyd as ‘as clean a fellow as I ever run into, outside of his record. He treated me nicer than I ever expected. As far as being what they claim he is, I don’t think he is.’ Since Floyd was placed in the Kansas City area by Killingsworth’s reports, suspicion grew that Floyd may have been involved in the murders of police officers at Kansas City’s Union Station, but later evidence suggests he was not involved. Floyd died in 1934 near Clarkson, Ohio. He is buried in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma. Springfield Daily News – Leader and Press
• June 18, 1977: Elvis Presley was two hours late to his own concert at Hammons Student Center, but his fans didn’t mind. A row of policemen was lined along the stage prior to the entertainer’s arrival, fearing unrest. But all was well and Elvis took center stage to the joy of delighted fans. Elvis explained, “Sorry I was late, I came by way of New York.” Elvis would die shortly afterward, in August 1977. News-Leader
• June 22, 1928: Three theaters in Springfield added a $40,000 vitaphone to allow for “talking movies” to be shown. The Electric Theater announced the addition just as the Landers Theatre announced it would open again the following Saturday after being closed to install the machine. Both the Gillioz and the Electric theaters would remain open during the addition of the vitaphone machines. Springfield Daily News
Compiled by the Local History and Genealogy Department of the Springfield-Greene County Library District.
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