If you were a newcomer to Allentown circa 1900 and were walking down Hamilton Street, you probably would not have given a passing pedestrian in a dark broadcloth suit, wire rimmed glasses and droopy moustache a second glance.

In his senior year at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, gifted with good looks and intelligence, the son of one of the leading architects in town, he had a lot to look forward to. But before the month of September was out, family tragedy would turn it upside down.

The rainy, cool weather over the Lehigh Valley on Saturday, March 26, 1932 was not the kind made for lingering outdoors. Yet the sidewalks of Allentown were full of umbrella-holding residents numbering in the thousands.