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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon, communications professional, pop culture historian, and publisher of BuffaloStories.com, tells the stories of Buffalo's past through The News' BN Chronicles. He is a local radio and TV veteran, historian and author of five books.


Through the '30s, '40s, and '50s, both The Buffalo Evening News and the Courier-Express kept a daily running tally of the number of people killed, year to date, in car accidents. Invariably, there would be a grisly story or two daily, describing the horrific way in which someone was critically injured or killed in an auto mishap. As more safety controls were built into a…

History

Congressional hearings into the crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence Center three months earlier lead all the national TV newscasts on May 14, 2009, as Western New York’s tragedy had turned the eyes of the nation towards airline safety. A mind-boggling series of flaws, lapses, and errors lead to the crash that killed 50 people, including a pregnant woman, as detailed in a Buff…

The news received little more than a blurb in the paper 65 years ago, but the technology that begat a new subset of Americans — the Coach Potato — was first shown to Western New Yorkers at Bickford Brothers on Broadway in Buffalo. "Remote-control TV set is shown by RCA" "The picture screen measures 300 square inches. General Sales Manager Irving Nadritch of Bickford said…

History

In the 20 years since talking about the harsh spotlight to a woman’s magazine, Hillary Clinton has seen plenty more of that glare. Questions of her husband’s fidelity were national fodder as Bill Clinton fought for his presidency. She was later elected to two terms in the Senate, then waged a losing campaign for president herself and spent four years as President Obama's …

History

For many years, the thought of gambling was controversial among the people of the Seneca Nation.  The 1994 referendum, where gambling was overwhelmingly rejected by the Seneca people, “did not bury the gaming issue.” "Tribal traditions prevailed in Seneca referendum rejecting casino gambling" " 'Tuesday's referendum,' (Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder) said, 'is only…

History

News of Buffalo Schools Superintendent Marion Canedo's plans to retire came abruptly for many, starting anew a debate over how city schools should be run and who should be in charge. News reporter Peter Simon spent an hour interviewing the outgoing boss. "Departing Canedo says ‘It’s just time' " "Marion Canedo will retire as superintendent of the Buffalo Public Schools o…

History

Republican County Executive Joel Giambra battled with Democrats in the County Legislature over his office’s purchase of a new SUV for official use. In response to Tonawanda Democrat Al DeBenedetti's accusation that Giambra hid the purchase by using a Public Works budget line, the county executive retorted, “You can’t hide a Suburban.” "Giambra’s car purchase provokes accu…

This piece, noting Henry Ehrenreich’s 21st birthday, recounts his escape from Nazi Germany through England (his musician father spent time in Dachau), his family’s reunion on Ashland Avenue, his time as a Buffalo Evening News delivery boy, and his graduation from Kensington High School and Cornell University. "Former News carrier who fled the Nazis wins Phi Beta Kappa key…

As a great halfway point between Chicago and New York, Buffalo, during the heyday of train travel, was a hotbed for entertainment. Musicians, vaudeville acts and sports teams all knew they could stop in Buffalo for a day or two and clear a pretty good gate before hopping back on the train. Owner Harry Altman called Buffalo’s Town Casino the top night spot between New York…

On this date in 1949, there certainly was a more rural feel to the corner that now features Charlie the Butcher and Tim Hortons, north of Buffalo Niagara International Airport. 'It's a little previous, but the water's fine' The boys swimming in the gravel pit at the corner of Wehrle Drive and Cayuga Road refused to give their names to The News photographer, saying, “Our …

Just about every week in this part of the mid-1960s there was a great Buffalo Evening News Lifestyles article about women and their families adapting to new roles in modern society.  Some of them read as somewhat flip or silly today, but it's interesting to see The News' perspective and that the changing role of women was seen as news 50 years ago. 'Family's help eases lo…

Ten years after the U.S. Supreme Court issued the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, school districts around the country were still seeking the most appropriate way to fix racial imbalances in individual schools. In 1964, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court said if the goal was racial equality in schools, it was legal to draw school district boundaries based o…

History

After starting the season as the Sabres' top goalkeeper, Ryan Miller ended the 2003-04 season with the Rochester Americans, taking the team to the Calder Cup semifinals. At this point in Miller's career, people like Buffalo News Sports Editor Larry Felser were beginning to wonder if Miller was going to be a “footnote" in Sabres history. Ryan Miller puts Amerks back in pl…

News Reporter and Columnist Ray Hill always had a way with words, and his gritty, colorful style was perfect for a series of police ride-along articles in 1979. In this article, he takes you to the streets of the Grant-Ferry area with Lt. (later Homicide Chief) Charles Fieramusca and his night watch crew. Danger lurks in the quiet of the night "­­­Sam the Pill was workin…

Fifty-one weeks into the experiment called “television” in Buffalo, the city in 1949 was the home of 21, 546 television sets. WBEN-TV Channel 4 signed on with The Buffalo Evening News Television Service in May 1948, and it was still the only television station in town almost a year later. Two VHF stations came and went in the early 1950s. WBES-TV Channel  59 came and we…