This Day in History

This Day in History (1952): Oryx stalled at Hobby Farm

Once common in Arabia, the oryx population has declined precipitously over the years.

This Day in History (1952): Oryx stalled at Hobby Farm

From the March 12, 1952, edition of the Sun and Flare

Within a few months, the Philadelphia Zoo is going to start boasting about its oryx. 


The oryx is a white-haired animal, fleet of foot, with long straight dangerous horns. The female's faces are spotted gray; the males are black. Long ago, the oryx Beatrix was common enough on the Arabian peninsula. Today, however, the species is near to being extinct.


Rare in Arabia, the oryx is rare still in America, so that the City of Brotherly Love can well afford to boast of its expected newcomer. The oryx will be the gift of Bill Burleigh of the Local Government Liaison Division, who received the animal about a year ago -- when it was much more docile -- from H.H. Amir Sa'ud Ibn Jiluwi, Amir of al Hasa. Any Aramco employee who would care to preview what will please Philadelphians on their stroll through the zoo, has only to head over to the Hobby Farm.


The Hobby Farm lies on the road to the driving school, down toward al Khobar. The idea behind the Hobby Farm goes far back into the history of Dhahran, and the project has always been maintained as a private employee venture by a group of animal lovers.


The present site of the farm is less than a year old. Creeping sand cleared the Farm from its old site, and in selecting the new location, the members were careful to find a spot free from dunes.


Though the oryx is the wildest, it is by no means the only animal on the hobby farm. Some of the members have rabbits and chickens. There are also geese, pigeons, two goats, two gazelles, two burros, and a monkey. But principally, you see horses, horses, horses.


Caption for top photo: Gently curious, a young female oryx peers into the camera as a male of the species (in the foreground) turns away.


Also on this date

2020 The U.S. suspends travel from Europe due to the COVID-19 pandemic


2011 A reactor at the Fukushima Dailichi Nuclear Power Plant explodes and releases radioactivity into the atmosphere a day after the 2011 Tokohu earthquake and tsunami


2009 Financier Bernie Madoff pleads guilty to one of the largest frauds in Wall Street's history


2003 The World Health Organization officially releases a global warning of outbreaks of Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)


1999 The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland all join NATO


1989 Sir Tim Berners-Lee submits his proposal to CERN for an information management system, which then develops into the World Wide Web


1947 The Truman Doctrine is proclaimed to help stem the spread of Communism


1918 Moscow becomes the capital of Russia again after St. Petersburg held the status mostly since 1713


1912 The Girl Guides, which would later be renamed the Girl Scouts of the USA, are founded in the U.S.


1158 The German city of Munich is mentioned for the first time in the Augsburg arbitration


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