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History

The official announcement was made on a Saturday afternoon, Oct. 17, 1959 – but Buffalo learned about it in the papers on Sunday the 18th, and throughout the coming days as well. Sports fans were completely abuzz. “A frustrating decade of dust-catching applications, of vague promises and improbable possibilities has come to an end. Buffalo has a football franchise in…

History

Today Buffalo Bills fans make headlines for responding to alleged cheating in a fan poll in the best way possible. Or by donating to Andy Dalton's foundation after a Cincinnati Bengals win broke a 17-year playoff drought. But back in 1966, a trio of about 20-year-old Bills fans made headlines for a much different reason. On Oct. 16, 1966, Bills kicker Booth Lusteg…

History

It was Western New York’s chance in the limelight – an NBC sitcom about “a morally bankrupt TV talk show host from Buffalo, NY.” The problem, according to an Associated Press story about NBC’s 1983 lineup was that “Buffalo Bill Bettinger … is such a despicable human boil that … audiences hated him and hated his show.” People might not have liked the Dabney Colema…

History

When the 18th Amendment banned booze in 1919, there had been 17 breweries operating in Buffalo. Buffalo’s John L. Schwartz Brewing tried to stay afloat with the introduction of its “non-intoxicating” new drink called Clio, but soon, like most of the rest of Buffalo’s beer makers, its brewery on Bennett Street between Clinton and William simply closed down. When the f…

Buffalo

This journey started with a casual wish. Irene Taylor McVay was dreaming out loud to a pair of fellow educators from her time at Buffalo's City Honors School about paying a visit to her hometown in Farmville, Va., which would provide another chance for McVay, in her 80s, to see some of the places that played a major role in her life. Margaret Cardina and John McTigue, a…

History

One of the great autumnal traditions of Western New York is to head to West Seneca and grab some real apple cider at the mill where it’s pressed. Mayer Bros. has been making cider in West Seneca since the 1850s, even before the people in that part of the world considered themselves “West Senecans.” Jacob Mayer founded the mill around 1852. When his son, John Mayer…

History

It’s been 25 years this fall since the Walker Center opened on Main Street just east of I-290. Glen Campbell Chevrolet opened on the same spot 70 years ago in 1949. It was billed as Western New York’s most up-to-date dealership with 12,000 feet of space in the showroom, 215 feet of frontage on Main Street and a service garage large enough to work on two cars simultaneou…

History

The rocket attack blew U.S. Army Spc. Brian E. Will off the back of a transport truck and nearly tore off his ring finger. Will had only two months left in a 1969 tour of duty in Vietnam when he became a war casualty. His wife remembers the call as if it happened yesterday. “He called me at 3:30 in the morning,” said Linda Will. “I don’t want you to worry, but I’m…

History

“Buffalo is a truly typical German-American city, and owes much of its greatness and prosperity to the thrift, liberality and enterprise of its 100,000 German residents,” wrote The Buffalo Sunday Truth in an 1886 piece called “Thrifty Teutons.” The article continued: “The finest residences, the principal business blocks and the handsomest public edifices here own th…

Attractions

A step inside the 1929 Ford Tri-Motor airplane is a step back in time. The first full-metal plane with multiple engines earned the nickname “Tin Lizzie” and featured eight passenger seats, originally made from lightweight wicker. This weekend, local aviation enthusiasts will get their chance to see the historic plane – one of eight still flying today – and take a ride a…

History

In a town that played host to local and regional competitors like Hills, Ames, Twin Fair, Two Guys and a handful of others, Kmart always held its own in thrifty Buffalo. In 1992, 80% of Americans lived within a 10-minute drive to a Kmart store. That was certainly true in the Buffalo metro area through most of the last half century. It’s impossible to talk about the s…

History

Everyone has a favorite pizza place, but if you love the doughy, cheesy, sweet-sauced, charred-pepperoni pie that’s typical in the 716, one way or another, you can trace the pizza you love back to the Bocce Club on Hickory Street near Eagle in the 1940s. While pizza was already a popular dish in the Italian sections of Buffalo, especially on the West Side, only a small …

History

From 1908 to 1914, Erie County’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – the SPCA – held a workhorse parade on the streets of Buffalo. Designed after events in New York and Boston, the purpose was, according to the Buffalo Courier, “to induce owners and drivers of workhorses to take more pride in the appearance of their animals, and more interest in their wel…

Columns

Rick Wegryn read on Facebook about the ceremony for Casimer Mazurek. Wegryn, a retiree from Bethlehem Steel, put in almost 30 years in the steel plant. Sometimes, in the first seconds after sleep, he will come out of a dream and believe he is still there, walking from the lunchroom to go back to the floor. He said that once you have done the work, once you have seen the…