AADL Talks To Argus Camera's Art Parker

In this episode, AADL talks to Art Parker, an avowed “Townie” who spent nearly 20 years with Argus Camera. During its heyday in the 1940s and 50s, Argus was one of the largest employers in Ann Arbor and one of the most prestigious and well-known camera manufacturers in the world. Art talks about his family’s long history with Argus and the company’s social life that included Christmas parties, teen dances, summer camp, scholarships and profit-sharing.

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AADL_Talks_To-Art_Parker.mp3 18.13 MB

Police Beat: Punk Rocker's Bad Gig

In 1989 Kevin Michael Allin, aka G.G. Allin, and his punk rock band Toilet Rockers gave a concert at the East Quad's Halfway Inn. The band was known for it's in-your-face onstage antics that included self-inflicted beatings, nudity and fights with the audience. Unfortunately, things got out of hand and Allin was charged with three counts of assault including kicking a member of the audience, hitting another one with a chair and then following the concert, beating and burning a "groupie." After declaring Charles Manson his "hero", Allin was ordered to undergo psychiatric examination. He eventually pleaded no contest to the charges.

While serving his term Allin vowed to begin a hunger strike that never materialized and was considered a publicity stunt . Not long after his parole Allin was again arrested in Milwaukee on disorderly conduct charges that included throwing bodily discharges at the audience. After more than 50 arrests the leader of the Murder Junkies, Toilet Rockers and Disappointments, died in New York City of an apparent overdose. Despite his many run-ins with the law, Allin was a prolific recording artist and his "official "website offers his CDs, DVDs and artwork for sale.

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

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.

Samuel P. Sturgis, Local Photographer Remembered

Celebrated Ann Arbor photographer Samuel Payne Sturgis passed away on March 11 (see obituary).

A graduate of the Rochester (New York) Institute of Technology, Mr. Sturgis served in the Naval Reserve as photo reconnaissance pilot on USS Bennington in the South Pacific, and received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medals as a combat pilot, retiring in the early 1950's.

He joined the Dey Studio in Ann Arbor as a portrait photographer, earning "Michigan Photographer of the Year" Award from the Michigan Association of Professional Photographers in 1959. In 1962, he opened his own studio at 1112 South University, a space designed by local architect David Osler.

His extensive collection of antique photographs of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and surrounding areas, donated to the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, is available as the Sam Sturgis Photograph Collection. A few of these outstanding photographs are part of the Making of Ann Arbor collection and the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit program.

Over the years, Mr. Sturgis's works have been widely exhibited and he has been active in community service. See Ann Arbor News articles.

Michigan Basketball & The Cazzie Years

Starting LineupStarting Lineup

Read all about it! The University of Michigan Wolverines are in the thick of the NCAA’s annual contest to name the No. 1 men’s college basketball team. To celebrate this annual hoopla, the Ann Arbor District Library is offering an opportunity to turn back the clock and experience the triumphs of an earlier Wolverine team, the 1963 ~ 1966 squad. The ups and downs of the three-time Big Ten champions was chronicled in the Ann Arbor News, especially in the passionate reporting of Wayne DeNeff. These photos and articles are available online through the Old News site, presenting the dramatic story of a great team.

Philip A. Duey and the Original "Go Blue!"

Michigan's heading to the Big Dance this month and "Let's Go Blue" will be heard throughout the land as the Wolverines do battle in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. But there's an earlier fight song composed by the highly acclaimed Men's Glee Club director Philip A. Duey that, according to the Ann Arbor News, wowed them at the premiere on Saturday, April 2, 1966. Duey got out of bed at 3 a.m. just a few days before the concert and "went to his piano and composed the words and music for the new song in two hours." Professor Duey and "Go Blue!" received a standing ovation and Duey was "besieged by congratulatory phone call and letters."

We've digitized a selection of Ann Arbor News articles on Dr. Duey who served as director of the Men's Glee Club from 1947 to 1969 and transformed the UMMGC into an internationally-renowned organization. AADL has a recording of Duey's "Go Blue!" by the Men's Glee Club. Listen to an excerpt here. Want to perform your own version? We've got the sheet music in our reference collection.

Here are the lyrics to the original Go Blue! A bit more of a tongue-twister but maybe the magic of the Cazzie Russell years will rub off on the 2012 team if we all sing it together. Check out our Old News Feature on the Michigan Men's Basketball glory years of 1963 ~ 1966 as they marched to three consecutive Big 10 championships and three memorable trips to the Big Dance. We've digitzed articles on the Bloody Nose Kids. Why the nickname? Find out in our podcast with George Pomey, a starter in those magical years who went on to coach for the Wolverines and do color commentary at the games. He's Blue through and through.

Go Blue! by Philip A. Duey

In old Ann Arbor town there are men of great renown,
They are ever out to fight and win the game.

On the court or on the field,
There's a will to never yield,
And to bring our Alma Mater ev'ry fame.

Here's a university whose name will ever be,
The greatest and the fairest in the land.

And we praise her far and near,
With our voices strong and clear,
For we know, where ever we go,
That none with her may stand.

Chorus

Go Blue! Let's go, Blue!
We're here to cheer for you.

Go Blue! Let's go, Blue!
No matter what the others have got,
They'll never come up to you.

Go Blue! Let's go, Blue!
We're here to cheer for you.

M-I-C-H-I-G-A-N Michigan!
Go Blue!

Ann Arbor Police Department History


This is Ann Arbor District Library's online exhibit of the history of the Ann Arbor Police Department since 1847. This research database includes a searchable picture exhibit of the police department with images dating as far back as 1871. It also includes an interesting True Crimes section as well as the history of police department's pistol range. To access AAPD History, go to the Research page, select Ann Arbor under the Complete subject listing category, and choose Ann Arbor Police Department History.

Freeing John Sinclair Website

Check out our newest local history project, Freeing John Sinclair: The Day Legends Came To Town, a website chronicling part of Ann Arbor's countercultural past - from the John Sinclair Freedom Rally and free concerts in the city's parks, to the CIA Bombing Conspiracy and the history of the Hill Street commune. The site includes original interviews and essays; historical photographs; historical audio files; and newspaper articles. You can also search or browse the full run of the Ann Arbor Sun, the underground newspaper published by the White Panther Party and Rainbow People's Party in Ann Arbor circa 1968-1975.

This is just the beginning, with photographs and more interviews to come. If you also have information or memorabilia from this period of time in Ann Arbor's history, let us know!

AADL Talks To Bev Willis of the Washtenaw County Historical Society

The Museum on Main Street is the most visible project of the Washtenaw County Historical Society. But there is much more the Society does to keep history alive in the county, including Washtenaw Impressions, a newsletter with feature articles from local historians like Susan Weinberg, family historians and history buffs with interest in everything from farm tools to heirloom toys. The Society hosts lectures, mounts exhibits and works with libraries and organizations throughout the county to share the Society's collections and knowledge.

Bev Willis, administrator for the WCHS, keeps it all running smoothly. Bev sat down with us to talk about her background in graphic arts, how she came to WCHS, Impressions and the history of the Museum on Main Street. Bev talked about some of the unique collections at the Museum and the people who visit, including the descendants of the original owners of the house that became the Museum.

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AADL_Talks_To-Beverly_Willis.mp3 24.16 MB
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