Teachers who kept working were assaulted. The unionized police did not intervene. In 1979, the police themselves went on strike. All the municipal unions went on strike, something that had never happened in an American city. Looting and rioting followed. Firemen were on strike too. Fifteen buildings were burned in a single block, and an apartment building under construction without a union contract was bombed by union members. Toledo never recovered. The city’s population dropped from 383,818 in 1970 to 276,491 now. (And Pierre Irving’s prediction was fulfilled. The current population of Buffalo is only 258,612.) In 1930 Toledo was the 27th-largest city in America. Today it’s ranked 74th, well below Plano, Texas (69th) and just above Durham, North Carolina.
OUR JUNKYARD – MORE MAGNIFICENT THAN YOUR PALACES Toledo is a failure... But what a magnificent failure it’s been. Over the course of three centuries, hundreds of thousands of people deliberately came to an obscure and unpromising corner of Ohio from everywhere – hardscrabble New England farms, eastern city tenements, Germany, Poland, Ireland, Italy, Russia, the Balkans, the Near East, Appalachia, and the segregated South. There’s a Bulgarian community, a Slovenian community, a Lebanese community. One of the most striking mosques in America rises from the cornfields of what was the Great Black Swamp. And there’s Tony Packo’s.
Right: Owens Corning headquarters. Bottom: A Jeep rolls off the Willys-Overland production line duringWorldWar II.
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