PEEKING INTO THE PAST: Dispatch editor lauded role of community newspapers during National Newspaper Week in 1963

Peeking into the Past - Judy Minsavage | October 1st, 2015 12:05 pm

Question:

At what very important Duryea meeting in 1963 was it noted by those attending that “not a single female showed up?”

1953 - 62 years ago

To the dismay of Pittston Mayor Joseph F. Saporito, a discussion about Hughie Jennings, Major League Baseball player and Hall of Famer from Pittston, delayed the start of a city council meeting. Before the opening gavel, “newsmen” attending the meeting raised the question of who was the “major leaguer” portrayed in the movie “The Big Leaguer” starring Edward G. Robinson. They claimed the movie trailers described the main character as going “from the sand lots of Pittston to the New York Giants.” After several names were suggested, John Higgins, writer for the Pittston Gazette, offered, “It must have been Hughie Jennings.” He was born in Lower Browntown, better known as Reddington’s Patch. Someone in the room disagreed, saying, “that is the Brady Patch.” Higgins added that Jennings was born on Tedrick Street in a house partly in Pittston and Pittston Township. He was born in the Pittston half, making him a Pittston native. It wasn’t determined if Jennings was, in fact, the inspiration for the main character.

In 1953, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Hughestown, planned to celebrate its 100th anniversary. The church was formed in August 1863 by “people who had come to America from Switzerland.” The first officers of the church were Frederick Schwartz, Justis Hoffman, Gottlieb Schmaltz and Matthias Kenely. The first constitution contained the names of 26 men, since no women were allowed to cast a vote at that time. The first pastor was Rev. Christian E. Oeffinger. All services were spoken in German until August of 1891.

1963 - 52 years ago

During National Newspaper Week, William A. Watson Sr., editor of the Sunday Dispatch, in his weekly Rambiln’ Round column stated, “National Newspaper Week gives us a chance to write this column and do a little ‘horn blowing’ on behalf of the Sunday Dispatch. Here, we could recount many of the difficulties of starting a new newspaper, but it might become boring. Suffice to say that the Dispatch was born with a 3,200 circulation, dropped to 1,200 then began building to its present average of 9,270. And this was done despite warnings of some sharp newspaper people who said we couldn’t reach 4,000. This writer served on the old Evening News and the Times Leader, but not until he joined in starting the Dispatch and building it, did he fully realize the value of a community newspaper and the many things an alert paper can do to help a community.” Marking its 75th anniversary in 2015, National Newspaper Week will run from Oct. 4-10. The Sunday Dispatch is in its 68th year of publication and service to Greater Pittston.

1973 - 42 years ago

Items on sale at Grant City at the Pittston Plaza included Polaroid 108 color film for $3.66, Scotch hair tape for 23 cents, panty hose for 44 cents. A La-Z-Boy recliner could be purchased at Barton’s on South Main Street in Pittston for $169. Aufiero’s Tavern and Restaurant, Broad Street, Pittston offered a 10-cut tray of homemade fresh pizza for $1.65 and Shoe Saver at 108 Delaware Ave., West Pittston advertised saddle shoes and Converse Coaches for $7.88.

1983 - 32 years ago

Legislation was introduced in Harrisburg by state Rep. Tom Tigue which called for the establishment of gambling at resort areas within four Pocono counties. The bill also called for the establishment of a state Gambling Control Commission and a Bureau of Gambling Enforcement to set policy, issue licenses and permits and enforce laws, investigate backgrounds of applicants and conduct financial audits. The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographers asked, “Should gambling be legalized in the Poconos, why or why not?” Joe Petro, of Pittston, answered, “Yes, we need more revenue in this area.” John Cenera Sr., of West Pittston, stated, “I think they should; if they don’t gamble here they’ll go to Atlantic City.” Toni Valenti, of Pittston, added, “Yes, why should all that revenue go to New Jersey?” Pennsylvania legalized casinos in 2004 and saw its first casino, The Mohegan Sun, open in 2006.

Answer:

In 1953, It was noted in an article in the Sunday Dispatch, “not a single female showed up” at a meeting called by the Duryea Council to find a solution to alleviate the closing of the Pastime Theater. Forty-five residents and businessmen converged at the “town hall” to discuss ways to entice people to patronize more movies shown at the theater. Supporters argued families and especially kids would have to travel outside the area to see a film and parents would not be able to readily check up on their children. A committee was appointed to come up with a plan to attract attendance and keep the theater open. They were John Salek, Joseph Rava, Ed Joseph, John Nawakowski, Joe Swenton, Daniel Moskaitis, Tony Strupcewski Sr., Henry Babich, Chester Korpusik, Louis Nati and Stanley Berkoski.

In honor of American Indian Day, the fourth-grade class of the Jenkins Building School designed costumes and created projects that represented the lives of the North American Indians. Those in the class headed by teachers Marilyn Griglock and Simon Struzzeri were Joseph Brennan, Michael Clarke, Ronald D’Eliseo, Charles Falcone, Kenneth Farthing, Santo LaFoca, Peter Lieback, Mike Lombardo, Gerard Ludden, James Musto, Eugene Romaldini, Kenneth Budda, Gene Scatena, Deno Sorbelli, Michael Yuhas, Fran Garubba, Judith Gildea, Karla LaNunziata, Donna Legg, Marlene Melcavage, Sanra Pytell, Diane Sompel, Gina Valure, Mary A. Vilzar, Mary E. Vodzack, Vincenta Zarra.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_JENKINS-BLDG-STUDENTS-73.jpgIn honor of American Indian Day, the fourth-grade class of the Jenkins Building School designed costumes and created projects that represented the lives of the North American Indians. Those in the class headed by teachers Marilyn Griglock and Simon Struzzeri were Joseph Brennan, Michael Clarke, Ronald D’Eliseo, Charles Falcone, Kenneth Farthing, Santo LaFoca, Peter Lieback, Mike Lombardo, Gerard Ludden, James Musto, Eugene Romaldini, Kenneth Budda, Gene Scatena, Deno Sorbelli, Michael Yuhas, Fran Garubba, Judith Gildea, Karla LaNunziata, Donna Legg, Marlene Melcavage, Sanra Pytell, Diane Sompel, Gina Valure, Mary A. Vilzar, Mary E. Vodzack, Vincenta Zarra. Sunday Dispatch file photo
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_Miss-Judy-2.jpgSunday Dispatch file photo

Peeking into the Past

Judy Minsavage

Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage


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