Rock Island in History

Historical Events

  • 1855-04-21 1st train crosses Mississippi River's 1st bridge, from Rock Island, Illinois to Davenport, Iowa
  • 1901-03-25 55 die as Rock Island train derailed near Marshalltown, Iowa
  • 1921-10-16 Jim Conzelman takes over as coach of Rock Island Independents from Frank Coughlin-only mid-game coaching change in NFL history
  • 1950-07-01 WHBF TV channel 4 in Rock Island, IL (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1980-03-31 The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railroad operates its final train after being ordered to liquidate its assets due to bankruptcy and debt owed to creditors.

Famous Birthdays

  • 1871-03-19 Joseph McGinnity, baseball pitcher (NY Giants), born in Rock Island, Illinois
  • 1887-12-09 Tim Moore, American actor and vaudevillian, born in Rock Island, Illinois (d. 1958)

Person of interestLead Belly

1888-01-20 Lead Belly [Huddie William Ledbetter], American blues 12 string guitarist (Rock Island Line), born in Mooringsport, Louisiana (d. 1949)

Blues Musician Lead Belly
Blues Musician
Lead Belly
  • 1894-12-28 Ed Healey, NFL tackle (Rock Island Independents, Chicago Bears)

Person of interestEddie Albert

1906-04-22 Eddie Albert [Heimberger], American actor (Roman Holiday, Green Acres), born in Rock Island, Illinois (d. 2005)

  • 1913-11-13 Helen Mack, American actress (Son of Kong, Milky Way), born in Rock Island, Illinois (d. 1986)
  • 1926-06-10 June Haver [Stovenour], American actress (Dolly Sisters, Girl Next Door), born in Rock Island, Illinois (d. 2005)
  • 1965-10-25 Steve Decker, American baseball catcher (SF Giants), born in Rock Island, Illinois
  • 1995-02-17 Madison Keys, American tennis player (US Open runner-up 2017), born in Rock Island, Illinois