On this date in 1948 the town of Manning, Iowa, had a prank
pulled on Main Street that was amazingly stupid. It was
witnessed by 3 people and did result in 5 arrests. Manning was
a town with 1800 residents in Carroll County.
On a quiet Sunday evening the only people on the sidewalk of
Main Street were Ralph Geith and Bud Hargens. The lone car
driving by when the prank went down was driven by Hubert Lamp.
Out of nowhere a man came running down the sidewalk on the
opposite side of the street chased by 2 other men. At a
distance the three witnesses guessed to be 20 feet one the
guys chasing the first fired a shotgun at the runner 3 times.
The “victim” fell to the street and lay still. Right about
then two other males in 1947 Mercury raced out of a nearby
alley and loaded the “victim” into the car and roared away.
The license plates on the Merc were hidden. Of course the
witnesses were shocked.
The very next afternoon, Sheriff Thomas J. Finegan announced
the arrest of 5 high school boys, who were 16 years old, at a
nearby high school. Turns out the kids were just looking to
put some excitement in a dull Sunday afternoon.
On March 11th, 1948, all five pleaded guilty to concealing
license plates, paid a $50 fine, and swore they would never
do it again. We don’t know if Justice of the Peace Hilda Osten
believed them or not.
And that is the amazingly stupid prank that happened on this
date all those years ago. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard of
any copycat pranks so perhaps the boys kept their word. Enjoy
the day as tomorrow we’re halfway to the weekend.
Comments are always welcome.