1952 – 64 Years Ago
While attending a show at the Hollywood Palladium in California, members of the Dominick family, formerly of Pittston, were surprised to see two other former Pittston residents performing on stage: Rita Drexinger of Exeter, also known as singer Rita Hayes, and Joe Lenza, who played alto sax in the orchestra. Both visited with the Dominicks after the show. Hayes had a bit part in Jerry Lewis’ 1961 film “The Errand Boy” and Lenza went on to play with the Richard Maltby and Ralph Flanagan orchestras.
Duryea Clothing Factory sold cotton, bemberg, crepe and taffeta dresses ranging from 88 cents to $4.88, boys “dungarees” for 78 cents and men’s corduroy sport jackets for $8.75.
1962 – 54 Years Ago
Departing for Fort Jackson, South Carolina for six months of active duty training with the Combat Support Co. 109th Infantry of the Pennsylvania National Guard were Robert Pagnotti, Joseph Grasso, Joseph Bevilacque, Robert Horvath, James Burnside, Anthony Seidito, Gerald Uhrin, Ross Denisco, Martin Colella, Barney Mahalsky, Joseph Chroback, Edward Orlosky, William Pagnotti, Lawrence Spinelli, Stephen Saitkowski, Thomas Obrzut, Anthony Patte, Robert Sheahan, John Kennedy, Nicholas Welconish, Frank Nahlen and Raymond Plis. During this time, racial tensions were running high in America, and on the international front, the Vietnam War and the Berlin Crisis were ongoing.
The Suburban Baseball League experienced a “rebirth” in the early ’50s. But as the decade rolled forward, the organization folded. In 1959, the Sunday Dispatch was instrumental in reviving the league. By 1962, the Harding Red Devils, Yatesville and Jenkins Township teams joined Shantytown A.C. Dupont Rebels, Duryea Holy Rosary, Junction A.C. and Avoca A.C. on the roster.
The Green-Winged Falcon Club was, at one time, one of the most popular social clubs in the region according to a mention in the Sunday Dispatch “Local Scene” column. Bill Korski of the North End Pittston Cafe admitted that he was one of the few members who did not have roots in Ireland, but wanted to “put the club back in operation.” Korski had in his possession the stuffed green-winged falcon that members would put on display at every meeting. The closest connection to be found today is the Irish Hawking Club which is dedicated to the sport of Falconry. The club was formed in Ireland in 1870 at a meeting chaired by Lord Talbot de Malahide and the Maharajah Prince Duleep Singh.
1972 – 44 Years Ago
Members of St. Anthony’s Church of Exeter held a dinner dance in celebration of the burning of their mortgage. Guests of honor and committee members were Ernest Buttafoco, Angela Naples, Catherine Mauriello, Lucille Trotta, Adele Coletti, Josephine Zaboski, Esther Selenski, James Cortegerone, Frank Viola, Michael Zaboski, John Sabatini, Philip Pizano Jr., Rev. Paul Pavese, O.S.J.; Rev. Lawrence Pio; Rev. Enrico Giovetto; Rev. Silvio Chini; Gilbert Dominick; Antonio Mauriello; and Andrew Mauriello, Exeter mayor. Known as a 20th century American custom, organizations still hold the ritual from time to time, but the burning of home mortgages rarely occur due to the increasing mobility of the American families.
Top 10 Songs of 1972:
1. “Heart of Gold,” by Neil Young
2. “Don’t Say You Don’t Remember,” by Beverly Bremers
3. “Down by the Lazy River,” by the Osmonds
4. “Puppy Love,” by Donnie Osmond
5. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” by Robert John
6. “Anticipation,” by Carly Simon
7. “Hurting Each Other,” by The Carpenters
8. “The Way of Love,” by Cher
9. “Bang a Gong,” by T Rex
10. “Without You,” by Harry Nilsson
1992 – 24 Years Ago
Expecting to deliver over 250,000 daffodils during the American Cancer Society Daffodil Days, Marie Griglock of Hughestown and James Haddock of Avoca, co-chairs of the Greater Pittston sales, had seen the event grow each year, leading both to rely upon their dedicated volunteers to keep up with the demand. The Pittston faction consistently sold 25 percent of all daffodils in Luzerne County. Delivery of the flowers, which lasted a few hours when the fundraiser started in 1987, grew into a day-long effort provided by volunteers Dominick Occhiato, James Bright, Leonard Cumbo, William Algar, Jack Williams, Bob Brown, John Yakobitis and Tony Angeli. A universal symbol of hope and life, the American Cancer Society has teamed up with 1800flowers.com to enable groups to order the daffodils online.
The winners of the Wyoming Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizens contest were Joyce Agati, Barbara Baran, Amy Chorey, Megan Gaughan, Debbie George, Elmer Meyers, Kristen Gurdin, Cathy Mangan and Emily Mika. The DAR honored students who exhibited the qualities of leadership, dependability, service and patriotism.
This Date in History:
1899 - At Sing Sing prison, Martha M. Place became the first woman to be executed in the electric chair. She was put to death for the murder of her stepdaughter.
1965 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered 4,000 troops to protect the Selma-Montgomery civil rights marchers.
1976 - Patricia Hearst was convicted of armed robbery for her role in the hold up of a San Francisco bank.
1981 - Argentine ex-president Isabel Peron was sentenced to eight years in a convent.