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On October 1, 1999, Zollner was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor.
Fred Zollner (January 22, 1901 – June 21, 1982) was called "Mr. Pro Basketball" as the founder and longtime owner along with his sister Janet of the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons (now the Detroit Pistons) and a key figure in the merger of National Basketball League and Basketball Association of America into the National Basketball Association in 1949.
The Zollner Pistons began playing in 1941 in an industrial league. In 1974, he recalled that, "Instead of making friends, we made enemies, because no one could beat us." He personally recruited his players, including later Hall of Famers Andy Phillip, Bob McDermott, Bob Houbregs, Buddy Jeannette and George Yardley. The Zollner Pistons were a very popular franchise, winning the world championship in 1944 and 1945, and reaching the NBA Finals in 1954 and 1955, losing both times. He was the first pro basketball team owner to hire a bench coach.
In 1957, Zollner moved the team to Detroit, a much larger city that had previously had an NBA franchise, the Detroit Falcons, which failed after the 1946–47 season, the NBA's (BAA's) first. Since Detroit was the nation's largest automotive assembly center, the team name, based on its previous locality, still fit: The Detroit Pistons.
In 1974, he sold the Pistons to William Davidson for $7 million (equal to $33 million in 2012). Zollner and Davidson remained the only two majority owners in the history of the longest-running franchise in the history of professional basketball until the death of Davidson in March, 2009. On June 1, 2011, Platinum Equity billionaire Tom Gores bought the Detroit Pistons, along with Palace Sports and Entertainment, from Davidson’s widow.
At the 1975 Silver Anniversary NBA All-Star Game, Zollner was named "Mr. Pro Basketball" for his status as a founder and longtime supporter of the NBA. He died in North Miami, Florida.
On October 1, 1999, Zollner was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor. Today, the NBA Western Conference Championship trophy is named in his honor.
Source : Fred Zollner wikipedia entry
On this day, the first B-24 bomber rolls off the assembly line at the Willow Run Bomber Plant near Ypsilanti. In December 1940, the federal government asked the Ford Motor Company to build 1,200 B-24 bombers. Ford's chief engineer, Charles Sorensen, quickly devised a then-untried scheme of mass-producing planes. The government agreed to the plan, and in April 1941, construction began on what would become the world's largest assembly plant. The plant produced 8,600 planes. By early 1944, bombers came off Willow Run's mile-long assembly line at the rate of one an hour. Michigan's other auto companies also produced war materiel. By the end of World War II, Chrysler's Warren Tank Plant made 25,000 tanks, while in Kingsford, the Ford Motor Company manufactured more than 4,000 gliders. Known as the "Arsenal of Democracy," Michigan—with only 4 percent of the nation's population—led all other states in the production of war materiel.
Source : October 1, 1942 by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
For another article including a picture of the first B24 Liberator bomber rolled off the assembly line on Oct. 1, 1942, see Jenny Nolan, "Willow Run and the Arsenal of Democracy", Detroit News, January 28, 1997. The first plane completed was christened "The Spirit of Ypsilanti." Its $300,000 cost was paid for with a fund-raising drive by the townspeople of Ypsilanti, who bought war bonds and stamps. Contributors were issued buttons bearing the bomber's Winged V insignia, designed by Jean Ohlinger, a 17-year-old junior at Ypsilanti High School.
The first production Model T Ford was assembled at Detroit's Piquette Avenue Plant. The first production Model T Ford was built at the Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit on October 1, 1908. Over the next nineteen years, Ford would build fifteen million automobiles with the Model T engine. This was the longest run of any single model, with the exception of the Volkswagen Beetle. From 1908-1927, the Model T endured few changes to its design. By producing an affordable and readily available automobile, Henry Ford succeeded in his quest to produce a car for ordinary people.
Michigan Historical Calendar courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.
The current Detroit Yacht Club traces its beginnings back to 1868. In addition there is a record of a Detroit Boat Club tracing its beginnings back to 1839, but it went out of existence in the 1990s.
Searching the word yacht in the Detroit Free Press turns up a September 22, 1868 announcement of a local regatta to be held on October 1, 1868, consisting of five yachts (The Coral, Humming Bird, Collins, Norma, and Ripple) which would race from a point off Woodward Avenue ten miles North of Grosse Point on Lake St. Clair and then back, so we will use that date. A year later the Detroit Free Press also reports in some detail on a second regatta between the Barker, Collins, The Coral, and Humming Bird, with the Humming Bird winning. In the latter article, the editor comments that it would seem like Detroit would sponsor more yacht races and aquatic contests of various locations given its location on the Detroit River.
Source : "Yacht Regatta, Detroit Free Press, September 22, 1868, p.1. via Proquest Historical Newspapers, Detroit Free Press (1858-1922).
"YACHTING: The Race Between the Collins, Barker, Humming Bird and Coral; A CLOSE AND VERY INTERESTING CONTEST; The Humming Bird the Winner, Detroit Free Press, September 29, 1869, p.1 courtesty of Proquest Historical Newspapers (1858-1922).
Detroit Yacht Club History from the Detroit Yacht Club website.
Bill Loomis, Detroit Yacht Club: Home for good times on the river since 1868, Detroit News, August 4, 2013.
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