Today in Johnson City History: September 9

Sept. 9, 1886: A country team of horses got frightened at the train that morning and took a little spurt up Main Street. No damage was reported.

Sept. 9, 1909: The Comet’s front page was filled with discussion about Johnson City’s right in state law to open its own waterworks, possibly ending the franchise of the existing private system, the Water Company.

Sept. 9, 1947: Johnson City resident William Lloyd Veach Jr., 22, was among the crew of the Island Queen luxury river excursion vessel when it exploded while docked at the Monongahela wharf in Pittsburgh. No passengers were aboard. Fire from the blast consumed the massive riverboat’s five decks in mere minutes and eventually reduced it to its steel frame. Nineteen crew members — all from Cincinnati — died. It was not immediately known whether Veach was aboard at the time.

Sept. 9, 1977: AC/DC with Cheap Trick and the Dictators performed at Freedom Hall. Tickets were $5, the equivalent of roughly $21 in today’s money. An average concert tour ticket is about $90 in 2019.

Sources: The Comet; Johnson City Press-Chronicle; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Vince Staten.

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