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    Headlines through the years

    By JULIE CHURCH

    © St. Petersburg Times, published April 22, 2001


    A look back at the events, people and places that made North Pinellas the unique place that it is. The information is compiled from past editions of the St. Petersburg Times.

    Dunedin Isles base for Marines to close

    DUNEDIN -- (April 5, 1944) The U.S. Marine base at Dunedin Isles will be officially closed in July, it was announced last night by Col. Maynard Nohrden.

    The Marine personnel and equipment from the base will be merged with other related amphibian tractor training schools at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, Calif.

    The amphibian tractor detachment at Dunedin was established in May 1941 to train men in the use of the amphibian tank.

    The amphibian tank was invented by Donald Roebling of Clearwater and was at one time manufactured exclusively in Dunedin.

    The Roebling tank is now in use in Allied sea invasion areas, particularly in the Pacific. The tank travels on land or water, is armored and is used in landing supplies and troops on enemy shores. Many regard it as the outstanding new weapon of the war.

    Fishing party rescued from gulf

    CLEARWATER -- (April 27, 1926) A Clearwater fisherman saved seven people 12 miles off the coast of Indian Rocks Beach after they battled the elements for more than 16 hours in an adrift 45-foot motor boat.

    The party, which included fight promoter Ray Graham, set out from Clearwater Beach island for a day of fishing at 10 a.m. Sunday, but became adrift when the battery on their boat died.

    A rescue party that set out Sunday night was unable to locate the missing boat by Monday morning and returned to shore. A passing fisherman, Kenneth Beck, found the Fleur de Lis drifting and delivered the seven boaters safely to shore 25 hours after they left.

    In addition to Graham, other passengers included Miss Claire Trier, telegraph editor of the Clearwater Sun; Mrs. Ray Allen; Miss Anne Novotney; Edwin Coe, city editor of the Clearwater Sun; Walter Grannen, sports editor of the Clearwater Sun; and William T. Elliott.

    Citrus payments top $1-million

    CLEARWATER -- (April 2, 1944) Cash return to Pinellas County growers from this year's citrus crop is now well more than $1-million, said Frank G. Berry, chief citrus inspector from this district.

    Reports released yesterday show 783,000 certified graded boxes of all varieties shipped to date.

    The basis of the $1-million was on an average of $1.75 per box. Tangerines and oranges generally bring in more and grapefruits generally sell for less.

    State inspections of citrus will be ended about June 1, when inspectors move north to inspect peaches and watermelons in Georgia.

    City's oldest resident passes away

    CLEARWATER -- (May 18, 1926) Mrs. Benjamin Knowles Russell, a 36-year resident of this city, passed away on Saturday afternoon at the age of 77.

    Mrs. Russell, who was born in Nassau in October 1848, came to Clearwater from Key West with her husband, who died in 1917.

    It is reported that the cause of Mrs. Russell's death was a stroke of paralysis. Funeral services were held at First Methodist Church.

    - Julie Church compiles the history column. She can be reached at (727) 445-4229 or

    church@sptimes.com.

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