Peeking into the past: Men and women gave surprising answers to political question in 1950

Peeking into the Past - By Judy Minsavage


    1947 – 70 YEARS AGO

    In 1947, a plan formulated by Pittston City Council to collect $30,000 owed to the city by property owners, reduced liens to judgment at property sheriff’s sales. Council members initiated a method to discharge mortgages held by local banks. The method, used for the first time in the history of the city, eliminated buyers at the sale from having to make back mortgage payments in order to obtain properties. Having to make payment of back taxes as well as mortgages tended to over-value many properties and made them impossible to sell. In the meantime, banks holding overdue mortgages were collecting rents on the delinquent properties. By purchasers having to pay back taxes only, properties could then be sold at a reasonable price and returned to the tax rolls. At the time, the city listed 20 delinquent properties owing a total of $30,000 in back taxes. According to the US Inflation Calculator, $30,000 would equal $326,689 today.

    1950 – 67 YEARS AGO

    The St. John’s High School Band traveled to New York City to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Many residents traveled to New York to support and cheer on the band members. Ann Walsh, Sally Walsh and Ann Mitchell carried the band’s banner along the two mile stretch of Fifth Avenue. According to, the first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade was held, not in Ireland, but in New York City in 1762. Irish immigrants perhaps wanting to show solidarity started the tradition. The borough of Avoca held one of the few St. Patrick’s Day parades in Gthe reater Pittston area. An estimated 4,000 people attended.

    The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked Pittston residents this timely question, “If women were in the majority in high political offices, do you think it would be beneficial to the nation?” Joseph Labat answered, “No, the first thing you know the positions would go to their heads. I just don’t think they would use the right judgment.” Gloria Nardone added, “ No. Women are not well acquainted enough with public affairs and civic matters to properly handle the duties of public office.” Ruth Foley stated, “Yes. Women are not as impulsive, therefore they would give more attention to serious matters before arriving at ultimate decisions.” Angelo DeSanto answered, “No, a woman’s job is home life. Women wouldn’t be able to stand the rigors of those positions. It’s a man’s field.” Martin Bannon replied,” Yes, men are too confident and too interested in politics. Men held it long enough, so now they should give the women a chance.”

    Kresge’s on North Main Street in Pittston offered boys and girls coat and hat sets for $5.98. Over at O. McGraw Auto on Luzerne Avenue in West Pittston, one could purchase a brand new five-passenger, streamline, six cylinder, Pontiac sedan coupe for $1,742. Tarzan’s Desert Mystery starring Johnny Weismuller was showing at the New Roman Theatre.

    1952 – 65 YEARS AGO

    Owning a television was the dream of most families and Radio City on North Main Street, Pittston advertised, “We don’t care how much your neighbor spent for a TV, how high your neighbor’s tower is, who installed your neighbor’s set or where your neighbor lives. Radio City experts will give at least a 25% better picture.” Reception in the Greater Pittston area was often interrupted and the newest Philco model offered by Radio City included a Colorado tuner, which provided a performance factor, making television reception possible even in outlying “weak signal” areas. Al Smith of Wyoming, a television instructor at the Greater Pittston Joint Vocational School, thought there was an even better reason for the bad reception. Smith, in testing his theory, turned on his television and received good reception until turning on an FM radio which promptly cut out the picture on the set. Smith explained, “Some cheaper model FM radios, which do not have image rejection provisions, become miniature transmitters and send out a signal which is picked up on the same frequency as the television.” Smith hoped to build a trap apparatus to be installed on the offending FM sets.

    1960 – 57 YEARS AGO

    St. John the Baptist, West Wyoming, West Pittston and Hughestown Schools reported they all had students entering the annual Pittston Jaycees spelling bee. Students who entered in the competition were Judith Mattie, Dorothy Alt, Joseph Ziobro, Stephanie Kosik, Cheryl Saunders, Donna Begliomini, Karen Morgantini, Clifford Roote, Janet Amico, George Simons, William Newman Joseph Dobie, Katherine Bernouski, Etta Keeler, Shelia Schmaltz and Myrna Lou Brodbeck.

    An open letter to the Dupont Police Department was published in the Sunday Dispatched signed simply, “Rock and Rollers” S.G. and R.S. The complaint stemmed from parking for customers of the Thursday night dances at the Dupont Hose Company. S.G. and R.S. complained that only certain autos were ticketed while cars belonging to local officials parked in the same area were not tagged.

    With only three television channels to choose from, 16, 22 and 28, viewers tuned in to their favorite Sunday evening shows: 7 p.m. “Lassie,” “Colt .45” and “Overland Trail”; 7:30 p.m. “Dennis the Menace” and “Maverick”;8 p.m., “Sunday Showcase” and “Ed Sullivan”; 9 p.m. “Chevy Show,” “G.E. Theatre” and “Rebel”; 9:30 p.m. “Alfred Hitchcock” and “Alaskans”; 10:30 p.m. “21 Beacon Street,” “What’s My Line?” and “The Phil Silvers Show.”

    1976 – 41 YEARS AGO

    Wyoming Borough’s Bicentennial Queen was set to be chosen, Those competing for the title were Barbara Mati, Bonnie Begliomini, Michelle Pugliese, Barbara Price, Kathy Nalewajko, Antoinette Farano and Carol Gadomski. The Borough of Wyoming was settled in 1780 and incorporated in 1885.

    The Patriot freshman basketball team took second place in the Luzerne County Championship Tournament. Team coach, Ron Rinaldi, received the trophy along with team members Bob Ames, Bob Miller, Joe Giamber, Gino Cadden, Joe Guarilia, Sam Berto, Migsy Ardoline, Jim O’Mallley, Kenton Roberts, Dave Bernoskie, Tony Rossi, Steve Haluschak, Bobby Donovan, Ralph Claps, John Giambra and Joe Maurizi. The team’s overall record for the season was 20-4.

    This Date in History:

    1687 – The French explorer La Salle is murdered by his own men while searching for the mouth of the Mississippi, along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

    1879 – Jim Currie opens fire on the actors Maurice Barrymore and Ben Porter near Marshall, Tex His shots wound Barrymore and kill Porter

    1917 – The Adamson Act, authorizing an eight-hour day for railroad workers, is ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    1918 – Congress authorizes Daylight Savings Time.

    1945 – Adolf Hitler orders a scorched-earth policy for his retreating German armies in the west and east.

    1981 – One technician is killed and two others are injured during a routine test on space shuttle Columbia.

    Peeking into the Past

    By Judy Minsavage

    Reach Judy Minsavage on Twitter @JudithMinsavage

    Reach Judy Minsavage on Twitter @JudithMinsavage

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