Feb. 19, 1943: The news from Africa was ominous. Two German Panzer divisions of General Rommel had captured the 168th Regiment which included Centerville’s Company G, at Kasserine Pass in Tunisia and, said the report, “cut it to pieces.” Jesse Beck at the Iowegian immediately sought confirmation gleaned from the Chicago Times and from AP delayed reports. Company G was indeed involved. With their anxiety level high, the people of the town waited ... and they waited. They waited for 22 days. (436/437)
Feb. 20, 1933: In the months between the election of FDR and his inauguration date, suffering in Appanoose County during the Depression got not just urgent but veered towards violence. Unemployment continued to escalate. Everywhere men sought work. When two homes were built on West Van Buren, 40 men applied for work, 40 more the next day. When rumors were heard that county departments needed deputies, the Courthouse was deluged with applicants. When the Peacock Inn offered free meals, 105 were served in two days — all women and children “... few men take advantage of the services offered,” said manager M.S. Kassem. Committees were formed to discuss the situation. Steve Martin of the Pure Ice Company’s solution: create public works and make payment in “scrip.” This paid for work with a “stamp” on a piece of paper. It was exchangeable for necessities in stores that displayed a red or green card. Centerville’s solution — the number one bill for 50 cents was purchased by the Chase Manhattan Bank of New York City and placed in its internationally-know museum. (343-344).