1950 – 66 Years Ago
On June 25, 1950, the North Korean Army attacked South Korean forces. In quick response, the United States readied armed forces to provide military assistance to South Korea. The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer visited the Water Street headquarters of the Pittston Heavy Mortar Company, 109th Infantry Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard, and talked with local soldiers just returning from training and preparing for possible deployment. Cpl. Matt Kashuba of Wyoming said, “We found out (during training) how to act as a company. It showed we are prepared to serve as a unit.” Staff Sgt. John Gorzkowski stated, “We now have experience as a unit, we have a good company.” Pfc. Joseph Joyce added, “It’s better to go as a group instead of individuals, we can work better as a unit.
Bone Stadium Speedway prepared for an extra busy race night as the men’s nine-event program was cut to seven so that an inaugural eight-lap “lady driver” event could be included. Onlookers were not in short supply for the exciting regular events, but the stadium managers expected plenty of first-timers wanting to come and witness the ladies compete in a race. Nine female drivers were expected to participate.
1960- 56 Years Ago
The Pittston office of the Bureau of Employment Security celebrated the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act by President Roosevelt on Aug. 14, 1935. The act set up a number of social programs including unemployment compensation, old-age assistance, aid to dependent children and grants to the states to provide various forms of medical care. The Pittston office, headed by office manager Fred J. Peters, was established in 1938. It was reported in the Sunday Dispatch that over $33 million in unemployment compensation had been distributed during that time. Employees, Carl Cahill, Arthur Donahue, Elynor Burke, Jean McAndrew, Bernice Manoski, Joseph Ruganus, Mary Pineno, Mary Tolan, Evelyn Gimble, Michael Baccnari, Robert Linskey, William Connors, Glen Thomas, James Burke, Michael Spotjack, Joseph Haley, Stanley Zamerowski, James Dobson, Leo Rooney, Edward Gorski, Robert Jones, and Joseph Schmeig welcomed the community to an open house. Then-Pittston Mayor Patrick O’Brien, signed a proclamation for a week-long city-wide observance. This year is the 81st anniversary of the Social Security Act of 1935.
The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “What do you think of women wearing shorts in the city?” Al Moore, Avoca, answered, “They shouldn’t be allowed to wear them. Some towns have ordinances against the shorter shorts.” Theresa Roche of Duryea stated, “I think the Bermuda shorts are alright. There is a limit to what you can wear or don’t wear in business districts.” William Haas of Exeter said, “I don’t think they should, the place for shorts is at the beach and parks.” Carmen DelRegno of Pittston added, “Why should the men complain? We’ll be the last ones to try and prevent them.” According to NPRhistory.com, during the 1940s, the New York Times reported “Monahans, Texas, passed an ordinance in 1944 that banned women in shorts from public streets.” The Associated Press reported that “During the summer of 1945, women were prohibited from wearing shorts in certain Illinois cities such as Decatur and Vandalia and that the city council of Plattsburgh, N.Y., had voted to ban the wearing of shorts by anyone over 16 years old on city streets. Violators were liable to receive a $25 fine or 25 days in jail.”
1970 – 46 Years Ago
Rosemary Chromey, winner of the 1969 Miss Northeastern Pennsylvania Teenager Contest, was set to hand over her crown to a new winner of the seventh annual pageant held at Rocky Glen Park in Moosic. The winner would then go on to compete in the Miss American Teenager Contest at Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. Sally Higdon, of Pittston, was one of many contestants competing for the title in 1970. Beginning in 1960, the televised national contest included girls aged 13-17. As popularity of the pageant grew, according to the Palisades Park website, prizes included an “all-expense-paid, round-trip flight to Hollywood; the opportunity to audition for television roles in ‘The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,’ ‘Nanny and the Professor,’ and ‘General Hospital;’ a new Dodge Challenger; a Florida vacation; a $1,000 wardrobe; a diamond watch; the complete 24-volume set of the 1971 Encyclopedia Britannica; a pedigree poodle; an eight-track stereo, and a one-year scholarship to the New York Academy of Theatrical Arts.”
The Rotary Team of the Wyoming/West Wyoming Little League ended its championship season with a 17-0 record. Members of the team were Robert Kufta, Dave Pace, Tom Brody, Van Tocket, Dave Sutton, Scott Farrell, Joe Tocket, Lorenzo Territo, Frank Tierney, Charles McDermott, Jeff Koselansky and James Genelon. Delbert McDermott managed the team and Don McDermott and Robert Kufta Sr. were his assistants.
1980 – 36 Years Ago
Phyllis Dominick competed against 19 other contestants in the first Miss Italian American of Northeastern Pennsylvania pageant held at Ghost Town Amusement Park. Dominick won the crown after competing in swimsuit, evening gown and sportswear competitions. Runners-up were Debbie Desiderio, Nadine Noto, Soni Mailander and Gina Santilli. Barbara Guitson was voted Miss Congeniality.
Seventy-six golfers took part in the The 19th annual “Flying A” Invitational Golf Tournament held at Emanon Country Club. The winning team consisted of Angelo Serino, Red Hannon, Charles Iarusso and John Roman. Joe Jumper was the medalist with 66.
1990 – 26 Years Ago
St. Casimir’s Church in Pittston planned its centennial celebration to be held in September of 1990. Ann Rose and Marian Perks were in charge of assembling the parish centennial book. Those serving on other various committees were Anna Zarzecki, Ann Bernatitus, Agnes Kay, Carol Kamage, Alice Griskonis, Frances Budzilik, Leo Butsavage, Stan Abromavage, Marie Cooper, Mary Chorba, Mary Sites, Frances Voveris, John Wisnosky, John Kwasniak, Diane and Peter Dutter, Al and Marian Chepalis, Nancy Roth, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Valvonis, Ann Berulis, Leroy Rekus, Ann Sawkulick, Ann Davala, Joe Rinkavage and Peter Menchinsky.
This Day in History
1457 — The first book ever printed is published by a German astrologer named Faust. He is thrown in jail while trying to sell books in Paris. Authorities concluded that all the identical books meant Faust had dealt with the devil.
1942 — Dwight D. Eisenhower is named the Anglo-American commander for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa.
1995 — Shannon Faulker becomes the first female cadet in the long history of South Carolina’s state military college, The Citadel. Her presence is met with intense resistance, reportedly including death threats, and she will leave the school a week later.
Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage