How did a newspaper typo change Chandler history?

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    One May morning in 1912, Dr. Alexander J. Chandler welcomed investors to the new town site that would bear his name.  Special morning and midday trains from Phoenix brought potential buyers from across the Southwest.  Chandler treated potential buyers to sandwiches, eggs, fruit, coffee, lemonade, and ice cream.  That day investors purchased more than $50,000 worth of town lots. 

    For over 100 years, it was believed that this event took place on May 17, 1912, based on a report in the local newspaper, the Chandler Arizonan:  “Without any flourish of trumpets, with an utter absence of anything bordering on the cheap methods used by hawkers of boomsites, Chandler, destined to be the Pasadena of the Salt River Valley…..had its initial sale of lots on May 17.”  

    Chandler Museum staff, not satisfied with this sole description, began looking at other local newspapers for descriptions of the event.  Quickly, it was apparent through multiple ads splashed daily across the pages of the Arizona Republican, that the land sales event was held on Thursday, May 16, not on Friday, May 17.  Discovery of a Republican article dated May 17 and stating that the event had taken place the day before confirmed that the town’s founding had been “mis-remembered.”   This early typo in the Arizonan led to the event being memorialized on the wrong day for over 100 years.

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