1948 – 69 YEARS AGO
West Pittston attempted to organize a taxpayers and wage earners group with the objective to derail the council and school board’s plan to enforce a wage tax ordinance in the borough. The initial opposition against the Stonier Brunner Act of 1947 enforcing the wage tax was intended to institute a chain reaction of neighboring communities opposed to the new tax. However, after informing the public of an impending meeting, only 32 people attended. Advocates argued that, if imposed, the new tax would lower real estate millage.
1949 – 68 YEARS AGO
Emerson J. Howley, deputy treasurer of Pittston, addressed members of the Rotary Club in regard to several opposing viewpoints on improvements to solve parking problems and street cleaning in the city. Howley addressed the critics of the city’s administration in regard to the upkeep of city residential and business properties. Howley referenced the improvements over the early days of Pittston when a mule yard was located at the site where city hall stood, when business sections of Pittston were at the Junction and in South Pittston. Included among the improvements that were opposed was the installation of electric lights because people were afraid of a wire falling on them, paving of Main Street with cobblestones because some people feared a horse might slip on the “cobbles.” Howley emphasized the fact that there was once opposition to the beginnings of the Laurel Line Railroad and improvements on the Springbrook Water system all of which were beneficial to the community.
Rated as excellent debaters, Guy Petroziello and Charles Lombardo, of Pittston, were garnering attention at The University of Scranton. Petroziello, an English major, was president of the university’s Council of Debate and Lombardo, a sociology major, was a member of the council. The young men could be heard on the WQAM radio station every Thursday afternoon debating important topics of the time.
What happened to the clock was the question on the minds of commuters and shoppers as they paused in front of the Miners Bank clock on Main Street in Pittston. A long time fixture in the downtown, the clock face, usually visible from the North and South, was now facing East and West. With so many people asking, the Sunday Dispatch published the reason. During the prior week, a large truck making a delivery to the A&P Supermarket bumped the pole, turning the clock around. No plan was made to correct it.
1952 – 65 YEARS AGO
William McNulty, general chairman of the Lions Club Committee sponsoring the annual Coal Bowl football game, announced that a majorette, cheerleader or student from one of the 12 high schools in the Pittston area would be designated queen at the event. The game, which included the outstanding senior players on both sides of the Susquehanna, was usually played before a large crowd of fans. The half-time show included two “trained lions” and performances by several high school bands.
1953 – 64 YEARS AGO
The “Ramblin’ Round Our Town” column in the Sunday Dispatch highlighted some local residents with “famous sayings.” George Connors, of William Street and a father of four, is credited with saying, “The first seat covers were triangular.” Police officer “Bing” Busacco advised, “There’s one place where inflation has not set in. A good mother still is worth a dozen youth reform groups.” An unnamed Pittston dentist added, “Nothing prompts the payment of an old dentist bill like a new toothache.” And Peter Cawley, speaking on the subject of local unemployment, said, “What this region needs is a machine that does the work of one man but takes 15 men to operate it.”
1964 – 53 YEARS AGO
Ford’s Drug Store, formerly known as West End Drug Store, located on the corner of South Main Street and East Columbus Avenue in Pittston, reached a milestone in its century-old history when the 750,000th prescription was filled 95 years after the first was filled at the same location. The drug store was founded in 1885 by J.H. Houck. Originally, the site of the store was used for a depot for the old gravity railroad that ran from Honesdale. Owners Joseph Ford and William McGowan, both of Pittston, assumed control in 1941. Ford was a nephew of “Doc” Ford who acquired the ownership from Houck. A new building was erected at the site in 1921, and interior renovations were made in 1964. According to store records, that first prescription was written by the late Dr. Underwood.
1972 – 45 YEARS AGO
Suzanna Domoracki, of Dupont, was added to the list of those young women who would be presented at the “Bal Polonaise” sponsored by Council 4-B of the Polish Women’s Alliance of America. Domoracki was joined by Marilyn Kuha, Dickson City; Danuta Kurpiewski, Old Forge; and Debra Rydzy.
Helen Woytech, of Dupont was notified that she passed the state board examination for registered nurses in Pennsylvania. A graduate of Pittston Area High School, she also was a student at the Geisinger Medical Center School of Nursing where she was a member of the surgical staff.
1979 – 38 YEARS AGO
Members of The Seton Catholic Eaglettes basketball team were looking forward to their season opener. Chrissy George, Trish DeGugliermo, Jackie Dileo, Mary Craig, Diane Insalaco, Karen O’Brien, Teresa Healey, Maureen Reddington, Cindy Toole, Bonny DeNardi, Lynne McGarry, Margie Pace, Mary Helen Pliska, Camille Nardone, Ellen Gilhooley, Mary Ann Mozal and Beth DeNardi were confident they would obtain their fourth championship season. In 1978, the Seton team went the farthest of any local team, advancing to the quarterfinals of the PIAA State Championships.
The Pittston Area Physical Education Department held its second annual Table Tennis Tournament with 52 boys and girls competing over a two-day period. Michael Carroll was the winner of the single elimination tournament with Sandy Lafoca coming in as runner up.
1983 – 34 YEARS AGO
Leo Tierney served with Battery B during World War I in the battle of Argonne Forest, one of the bloodiest battles of the war. His battalion later rescued Russian prisoners of war in Mater, Belgium. In November 1983, a group of eight survivors of Battery B, including Jacob Brese, Wyoming, Charles Sieglin, Hughestown, and Charles Evans, West Pittston, gathered to honor Pittston men Thomas Gilmartin, Joseph Houston, Patrick McGarry, Peter Stukes, Sylvester Sullivan and Jesse Thomas, who were fatally wounded while serving with Battery B in France.
This day in history
1620 — The Pilgrims sight Cape Cod.
1863 — Abraham Lincoln delivers the “Gettysburg Address” at the dedication of the National Cemetery at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg.
1969 — Apollo 12 touches down on the moon.
1976 — Patty Hearst is released from prison on $1.5 million bail.
1985 — US President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, meet for the first time.
1990 — Pop duo Milli Vanilli is stripped of its Grammy Award after it is learned it did not sing on its award-winning “Girl You Know It’s True” album.
1998 — The US House of Representatives begins impeachment hearings against President Bill Clinton.
Born on this day
1921 — Roy Campanella, Hall of Fame baseball star.
1933 — Larry King, journalist and long-time talk show host.
1936 — Dick Cavett, host of TV talk shows The Tonight Show and The Dick Cavett Show.
1938 — Ted Turner, businessman; founder of Turner Broadcasting System.
1942 — Calvin Klein, fashion designer; founder of Calvin Klein, Inc.
1962 — Jodie Foster, actress, director, producer; came to fame at age 13 in the 1976 film “Taxi Driver”; won an Academy Award for Best Actress (1989) for “The Accused.”
1966 — Gail Devers, three-time Olympic champion in track and field (US team); won gold in 1992 (100 m) and two gold medals in 1996 (100 m, 4x100m relay).
1976 — Jack Dorsey, businessman; co-founder of Twitter.
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