Pat Shingleton: "Marksville Fish and the Baseball Code..."
On October 24, 1947, the cafe in Marksville was suddenly filled with news that fish were falling from the sky. A biologist for the Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries provided this account: "In an 80,000 square foot area, thousands of freshwater fish, native to local waters, were landing on Main and Monroe streets. The fish were falling in intervals, landing on roofs and in back yards." Marksville's Bank Director, J.M. Barnham discovered hundreds in his yard while his cashier, J.E. Gremillion was clunked on the head with a "hickory shad." Researchers have reviewed the data from this day that recorded mild weather, light breezes but remain stumped as to the cause of the Great Fish Fall in Marksville. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, radio stations were encouraged to participate in the Code of Wartime Practices. One directive omitted all mention of weather. Even though the "code" was voluntary, radio station managers feared that their licenses could be compromised. Newspapers were permitted to print the previous day's highs and lows for no more than 20 cities and any mention of a forecast from the Lower 48 states could have helped Germany's meteorologists with conditions affecting ships and submarines in the Atlantic. With the World Series this week, the mention of field conditions for a baseball game were acceptable but constraints were placed on rained-out games and were referred to as "wet grounds" or "muddy fields."