In 1948, Pittston Mayor John Allardyce issued a proclamation designating April 6 as a day to pay tribute to what branch of the armed forces?
1952 – 66 YEARS AGO
The unusual creations of brothers Harold and Charles Edgar Patience were the subject of an article in the Sunday Dispatch, spotlighting the proprietors of the half-century-old Patience Novelty firm. The business came into being at the turn of the century when Charles and Harold’s father, Harry B. Patience, was employed at a local colliery as a breaker boy. He began fashioning small novelties out of pieces of anthracite coal, and soon many of his fellow workers would request he make items for them. Patience opened a shop and taught his children the art. The brothers, whose shop was located at 34 Washington St. in West Pittston, continued their father’s work making ornaments, novelties and jewelry and objects of art. Some of the many projects included desk pen sets for various governors, and items sent to the King of Italy and several famous generals. Charles Edgar Patience went on to create works that were exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. He was commissioned by King’s College in Wilkes-Barre to create an anthracite altar for the college. Although Patience was not a miner, in 1972, he passed away from black lung disease. Juanita Patience Moss wrote a book about her father’s life and his many projects. Published in 2006, the book is entitled “Anthracite Coal Art by Charles Edgar Patience.”
The board of directors of the Hitchner Biscuit Company accepted a bid from two Pittston businessmen, Al Miller and Ryman Schek, to purchase the company’s building in order to establish a public warehouse. The popular biscuit company suspended operations in 1951. Joseph Hitchner started the business in 1872 and, over the years, produced hundreds of varieties of cookies and crackers. Of those, the most popular were Lorna Doones and Tid Bits cheese crackers. The building fell into disrepair after closing but in 2011, ground was broken to renovate the building into apartments. By 2012, a well-attended ribbon cutting ceremony was held by Tony Denisco, West Pittston mayor; Bill Goldsworthy, former West Pittston mayor; John Yudichak, Pennsylvania state senator; and Phyllis Mundy, state representative, along with members of the Hitchner family.
Light Heavyweight Champion of the World Joey Maxim interrupted his national tour just long enough to stop in Pittston. Maxim and his trainer Al DelMonte visited with Delmonte’s uncle Dan in Hughestown. All three visited the Sunday Dispatch office. Maxim spoke about his desire to match up with Middleweight Champion Sugar Ray Robinson. Maxim and Robinson did face each other in June 1952. Thirty-nine theaters in 25 cities carried the bout on closed circuit television. In front of a crowd of over 47,000 people, Maxim stopped Robinson in the 14th round. Robinson retired after the fight, but returned to the ring in 1955.
1963 – 45 YEARS AGO
Carmella Kasulis, a woman of Italian descent living in the Oregon section of Pittston, walked in to city hall where she attempted to explain to patrolman Angelo DeSanto her dilemma. Fortunately, DeSanto spoke Italian and understood her claim. She discovered she had accidentally tossed a bag containing personal items and a wallet containing her weekly salary of $40 into the trash. DeSanto remembered that Fred Kause, a Pittston refuse truck driver, covered the Oregon section and called him for assistance. After taking Mrs. Kasulis home, Kause and Kasulis went to the city dump and went through the garbage dumped earlier in the day. The bag was found with the family photos, paperwork and wallet but not the $40. The Kasulises were happy to have retrieved their personal items.
1964 – 54 YEARS AGO
The Roman Theatre building on South Main Street in Pittston was demolished by Medico Industries and the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The once-popular theater of the Comerford Chain had been vacant since 1954.
“Lord of the Flies” was playing at the Comerford Drive-In, “Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” was screened at the American Theatre and “The Cardinal” played at the Moonlite Drive-In.
Eight young ladies were chosen to be honored as “Girl of the Year” by the Business and Professional Women’s Clubs. The girls chosen for their outstanding leadership were Michaelyn Dick, West Wyoming School District; Patricia Oleski, Wyoming High School; Patrice Wedoloski, Northeast High School, Academic; Ann Reap, Northeast High School, Commercial; Mary Ann Scalzo, Pittston High School; Sara Rowland, West Pittston High School; Laura Tarantino, Exeter High School; and Mary Theresa Grace, St. John’s High School.
1971 – 47 YEARS AGO
Captain Dino Lorenzini, a native of Exeter, made a major breakthrough in the testing of gyroscopes in inertial guidance systems. Captain Lorenzini’s approach made it possible to shorten the time needed to check the accuracy of the gyroscope speeding up the correction process. Inertial guidance systems are used in submarines, aircraft and spaceships. The captain married Lucille Vincenti, of West Pittston, and had three sons, Edward, Dino Jr. and Michael.
1980 – 38 YEARS AGO
Author Martin J. Naparsteck, of Exeter, served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1966-67. His book “War Song” focused on three American soldiers assigned to the Signal Corps base at Phu Lam, south of Saigon in the 60s. Published in New York, his book has been critically acclaimed. He published a second novel, “A Heroes Welcome,” and has written more than 30 short stories.
1990 – 28 YEARS AGO
Jim Burke, Bob Luchetti, Allan Rooney, Tony Magda, John Long, Ed Slade, Paul Melvin, Frank Amatea, Joe Tolarski, Frank Krempa, Bill Burke, Frank Hizny, Jim Rooney, Jerry Loughney, Joe Struziewski, Joe Gorham, Kim Murphy, Joe Rava, Tom Donovan, Steve Molecki, Walker Mastruzzo, John Snitko, George Struziewski, Ted Horivicz and Stanley Novadomski, members of the Singing Knights of the John F. Kennedy Knights of Columbus 372, Pittston, performed at local churches and charity events.
2003 – 15 YEARS AGO
To honor Jean Yates, of Pittston, and her generosity and contribution to the building of the new Pittston Library, a statue of a young girl reading a book was unveiled by Pittston Mayor Michael Lombardo, Ellen Mondlak, president of the Library Board, and Brenda Lispi, president of the Friends of the Library. To mark the beginning of National Library Week, a fundraising campaign headed by John and Annmarie Adonizio was introduced at the unveiling. April 8-14 will mark the 60th anniversary of the first event sponsored in 1958.
In 1948, Pittston Mayor John Allardyce issued a proclamation designating April 6 as Army Day in accordance with a proclamation issued by Harry S. Truman, president of the United States. Every year, many nations around the globe celebrate Army Day, or Military Day on April 6.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1778 — Oliver Pollock, creates the dollar sign.
1865 — At the Battle of Five Forks, Gen. Robert E. Lee begins his final offensive.
1905 — Berlin and Paris are linked by telephone.
1924 — Adolf Hitler is sentenced to five years in prison for the “Beer Hall Putsch.”
1929 — The yo-yo is introduced in the United States by Louie Marx.
1946 — A miners’ strike in the United States idles 400,000 workers.
1970 — The U.S. Army charges Captain Ernest Medina for his role in the My Lai massacre.
1982 — The United States transfers control of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama.
1815 — Otto Von Bismarck, chancellor of Germany
1868 — Edmond Rostand, French dramatist (Cyrano de Bergerac)
1883 — Lon Chaney, film actor
1883 — William Manchester, U.S. historian and biographer
1895 — Alberta Hunter, blues singer