Mark of the Devil

The film “Mark of the Devil,” a movie marketed with a “V” (for violence) rating, was shown at the Orpheum Theater in Dubuque in June 1972.

Researching the latest Telegraph Herald vintage photo book, “The ’70s, Volume 1: 1970-74,” was a bit more personal for me than previous volumes.

The projects entail looking at every page of five years’ worth of newspapers for appropriate local photos. This time around, I recalled seeing many of the stories and photos when they first published 45 to 50 years earlier.

I became a newspaper reader at an early age, possibly kindled by seeing my name in the TH for penning a letter to the Apollo 14 astronauts as a second grader.

I later began taking note of — and clipping — sports stories, such as the deaths of Roberto Clemente and Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron’s pursuit of Babe Ruth’s home run record and Frank Robinson being named Major League Baseball’s first Black manager.


Then, there was the April 27, 1973, story headlined “Man shoots monster ‘not from this planet,’” as well as a Nov. 8, 1973, article on the “Murphysboro Monster” in southern Illinois. These got me started on a childhood obsession with Bigfoot and the like, and it helped condition me into becoming a daily reader.

Here are some of the intriguing “discoveries” I made during my research of the 1970 to 1974 newspapers.

  • Wigs were big — not just in height, but in popularity. In 1970, there were no fewer than five dozen beauty salons in Dubuque, and many advertised wigs for sale. There also were several shops that sold wigs exclusively.
  • McGrath Volkswagen, at 3199 University Ave., offered dune buggies in its March 1970 ads.
  • On May 20, 1970, two terra-cotta gargoyles disappeared from atop Luke’s Drugstore at 651 Main St. The pair, and two others from Gambles Store, were to be auctioned prior to urban renewal demolition.
  • The keynote speaker at the Aug. 13, 1971, dedication of Town Clock Plaza was George Romney, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the father of future U.S. senator and presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
  • The TH used the alternative spellings of employe, cigaret and kidnaped in its copy.
  • The 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates’ World Series-clinching pitcher was Steve Blass, who played for the Dubuque Packers in 1960.
  • “Mark of the Devil,” a horror movie shown at the Orpheum in June 1972, was marketed as “the first film rated V for violence.” Its advertisement in the TH cautioned viewers that “due to the horrifying scenes, no one admitted without a ‘stomach distress’ bag (available free at the box office).”
  • Ozzie Osbourne once performed in Dubuque — during a Black Sabbath concert at Senior High School on July 18, 1972. Music legends Bill Haley (Sept. 10, 1973) and T. Rex (Nov. 25, 1974) also played in Dubuque at a short-lived club called Plaza at 1101 Central Ave.
  • On Aug. 10, 1972, the City of Dubuque sold its 10,000th bicycle license of the year. The sales boom was sparked by a police warning that they’d begin issuing tickets to the owners of unlicensed bikes. The city soon ran out of the miniature plates and began offering stickers.
  • Edwin B. Lyons, who in 1972 bequeathed $290,00 to Dubuque to establish the eponymous nature center south of the city, was the former owner-operator of Bayless Business College and founder of the city’s Peony Trail.
  • Kennedy Mall’s Montgomery Ward hosted a “Stag Night” on Dec. 19, 1972. The “men-only” event featured “live fashion models showing the latest lingerie, sportswear and loungewear.”
  • The March 25, 1973, Police Beat included the following item: “The strong arm of a father proved to be more fitting than the long arm of the law after an accidental shooting with a BB gun incident in Dubuque Friday. Police responded to a mother’s complaint that her son had been accidentally shot with a BB rifle wielded by a playmate. Police found, however, that the playmate’s father had paddled him, sent him to bed and wrapped the gun around a pole by the time they arrived. The gun‘s barrel was bent to a 90-degree angle, and the stock was shattered. Police felt no further action was necessary.”
  • In 1973, a proposed AT&T domestic satellite system would have positioned two 100-foot satellite dishes and a 12,000-square-foot building between Galena and Hanover, Ill. Officials said the station would “not detract from any scenic or recreational sites.”
  • On June 29, 1973, Jim’s Drive-In advertised hamburgers for 19 cents each as an “inflation-fighter special.”
  • Dubuque native Vern Stierman, who once worked at KDTH radio, narrated the 1973 film “The Legend of Boggy Creek: A True Story.”
  • On Aug. 14, 1973, New York Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle played an exhibition round in the Flexsteel golf invitational at Dubuque Golf & Country Club.
  • On Oct. 26, 1973, The Popper, a confectionary shop in a converted bus at 10th and Main streets, closed its doors, ending downtown Dubuque’s “popcorn stand era.”
  • As a 15-year-old Wahlert High School freshman in 1974, future Iowa Rep. Chuck Isenhart was writing and publishing the “World Review,” a five-page newspaper.
  • The last neighborhood fish market in Dubuque closed in March 1974 after 45 years in business. The Lincoln Fish Market had been operated by Isola Duesing from a shed behind her home at 916 Lincoln Ave.

“The ’70s, Volume 1” features more than 425 photos, including at least 90 that have never previously been published. You’re sure to see a familiar face or place that will spark memories.