It might be April Fools Day, but it’s no joke!

It might be April Fool’s Day, but it’s not joke that this year makes our 116th birthday! Yea we know… we are old. Here is what was happening in the U.S. when Charles H. Willis founded Willis Music at 41 East 4th Street in downtown Cincinnati 116 years ago: William McKinley was president

(Look at that scowl… It’s so handsome!)

There were only 45 states in the U.S.


Our flag was short a few stars back then.

The Cincinnati Reds finished their season 85-67 (we hope they do better this year!).

A few things that happened on this day in history around the world other than the most wonderful music store opening:

  • In 1905, Paris and Berlin were linked by telephone
  • In 1929 that awesome, yet totally frustrating, toy the yo-yo was invented by Louie Marx
  • In 1930 Leo Harnett of the Chicago Cubs broke the altitude record for a catch by catching a baseball that was dropped from the Goodyear blimp 800 feet over Los Angeles, CA. Good thing it wasn’t a bowling ball!
  • In 1938, The first commercially successful fluorescent lamps were introduced and the baseball Hall of Fame was opened in Cooperstown, NY.
  • In 1957, The Soviet Union launched Sputnik scaring the rest of the world for no reason!
  • (Poor kids… That doesn’t look like fun at all!)

  • In 1960, The U.S. launched TIROS-1. It was the first weather satellite.
  • In 1976, Apple Computer began operations.

As you can see, we share a birthday with some pretty cool events that have happened in history.

If you think those were cool, check out some of the things a little closer to home… We did say we are pretty old.

Willis Music is older than:

  • Cincinnati Union Terminal (built in 1933)
  • Skyline Chili (established in 1949)
  • The Lincoln Memorial (built in 1922… sorry honest Abe, you may be older than us, but your memorial isn’t)
  • The Empire State building (built in 1929)
  • (We fibbed a little, King Kong has never been on the Empire State Building… but how terrifying would that be?!)

  • The first World Series was won by the Boston Americans (1903)
  • The Ford Motor company (established in 1903)
  • The first powered flight by the Wright brothers (1903)
  • The Boy scouts were established in 1910. -Fenway Park was built in 1912.
  • War War 1 was from 1914-1918.
  • Mount Rushmore was built in 1927.
  • The FBI was established in 1935.
  • The famous Ohio River Flood of 1937.
  • The St. Louis Arch was built in 1963.

Wow! How incredible is that!? We have had our doors open through a lot of cool events in history. Thank you for shopping local with Willis Music and giving us 116 great years! We look forward to spending many more with you and seeing a lot more cool stuff happen.

Click here to read about the history of Willis Music.

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