Dillinger Days return May 5-6

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By LYDIA BAULER

STAFF WRITER

A colorful episode in Fostoria’s history will soon come to life.

Fostoria Area Historical Society will again bring the notorious outlaw John Dillinger and his henchman to 125 S. Main St, where the First National Bank of Fostoria once did business.

The historical society will reenact the band of thieves’ historic — and quite dramatic — takeover of the bank during “A Weekend With Dillinger” on May 5 and 6 at the BANKQUET Hall.

According to local lore, on May 3, 1934, the Dillinger Gang stormed the First National Bank of Fostoria.

The thieves rained a hail of gunfire on both police officers and civilians before escaping with $17,000 in cash and bonds — the equivalent of a little more than $300,000 today.

At the time, Dillinger was “Public Enemy No. 1” on the FBI’s Most Wanted List and possibly the most notorious criminal said to have ever come through Fostoria.

Though Dillinger himself may have met his end at the hands of armed FBI agents on July 22, 1934, the intrigue surrounding his multi-state crime spree still lives on 84 years after the famed Fostoria heist.

Fostoria Area Historical Society will bring drama and danger to audience members while staying true to the event that rocked the community in the 1930s.

“We reenact the actual robbery with Dillinger and his henchman,” said Fostoria Area Historical Society President Steve Cramer. “It’s pretty historically accurate.”

The evening of entertainment, according to Cramer, is special because of the extra sense of authenticity as the historic drama is played out in the very same place it originally occurred.

“People get a real kick out of watching the play in the exact place it happened,” he said.

While the event has been very successful in the past, the historical society decided to change things up a bit to allow more people to attend.

Instead of a dinner theatre performance this year, the event will forgo a full meal and begin with hors d’oeuvres before the show. Cramer said they made this change to the evening in order to lower ticket prices so it was more affordable for a wider variety of people.

Tickets are $20 and include appetizers and soft drinks. A cash bar will also be available.

The event begins with refreshments and time to mingle at 7 p.m. May 5, and 2 p.m. May 6.

To purchase tickets, visit the Fostoria Senior Citizen Center, 125 W. North St., located next to the former firehouse, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday or the History Corner, 123 N. Main St., 1-3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Tickets will be sold right up until the event; however, space is limited and seats often go fast, Cramer said.

In addition, Cramer said the historical society is likely to take a break from the event making this the last one for perhaps a couple years.

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