In 1953, what was noted as a “disappointing” factor about the Miss Anthracite Beauty Contest sponsored by the Greater Pittston Junior Chamber of Commerce?
1947 – 71 YEARS AGO
John C. Kehoe, founder of the Sunday Dispatch and weekly columnist, was known as a champion of the production of anthracite coal and the good fortune of a region blessed with such a substance. So when he heard his good friend and former Pittston native Dave Carter, an entertainer living in London, England, was experiencing difficulty in obtaining good quality coal after World War II, he took action. Kehoe sent Carter three bags of coal, each weighing 22 pounds. Kehoe coupled the shipment with opening day ceremonies of the Avoca airport. Arrangements for the shipment were made through Railway Express and American Airlines. Carter received the coal and sent Kehoe a clipping from “the Performer,” a London theatrical paper, noting the shipment from Pittston. Carter mentioned in a letter to Kehoe he believed he must be the first person ever to receive coal by air from America.
1949 – 69 YEARS AGO
Excavation operations began for the basement floor and foundation of the St. Rocco’s School on Tompkins Street in Pittston. Headed by the Sisters of the Filipini Order, the school was to house approximately 200 students. With a total cost of construction expected to reach $125,000, funds for the two-story structure were raised through a parish drive
Jean Hastie, 9, Jessie Howard, 12, and Irene Conkey, 12, all of Avoca, were planning a day of swimming at the New Rail Dam in Pittston. Hastie, however, swam too far out and, after a few moments of struggle, began to tire. She shouted to her friends on shore. Quickly, Howard and Conkey dove in and swam toward the drowning girl. Efforts to save Hastie were futile and Howard and Conkey also soon tired. A young man saw the situation and dove in. He managed to get Hastie and Conkey to the shore. Howard, unassisted, managed to swim to safety. The girls recuperated on shore, but before they could thank the stranger, he disappeared from the scene.
1956 – 62 YEARS AGO
The Pittston Council #372 Knights of Columbus completed the purchase of a building at 55 S. Main St. in the city. Thomas Loughney, Knights Association president, was handed the deed by former building owner Harold E. Howell, proprietor of Howell Funeral Home. The four-story brick building was erected by Charles Howell in the early 1900s. Howell operated a furniture business at the location until 1944, at which time he remodeled the building and turned it into a funeral home. His son, Harold, operated the business until 1954. In attendance at the passing of the deed were Knights Vice President, Frank Mulderig; Grand Knight, William Kridlo; officers and members, Henry Frederick, Attorney John Reap, Dr. M.A. Reddington, Harold Costello, John O’Boyle, John Burke and Past Grand Knight Joseph McFarland. The Knights intended to install a bar and dining room on the first floor of the building.
1964 – 54 YEARS AGO
Gloria Wright, of Pittston, acted quickly when she came upon an unconscious Raymond Bossart, also of Pittston, shortly after Bossart’s car struck a parked auto in Port Griffith. Wright found Bossart’s pulse very weak but managed to revive him as an ambulance arrived to transport him to a hospital. Wright received a meritorious service award from her employer Bell Telephone Company.
Jackie Linskey, one of the top hitters on the Pittston Little League championship Moose Team, received a surprise package from a family friend. Jack Gilbert, of Kansas City, sent the young lad a Mickey Mantle autographed glove along with an autographed photo of the famous Yankee outfielder. Mantle played for the New York Yankees as a center fielder and first baseman from 1951 through 1968. In 1964, Mantle hit .303 with 35 home runs and 111 RBIs. While playing in the All-Star game in 1964, Mantle broke Babe Ruth’s World Series home run record. Linskey wisely decided he’d store the prized glove in plastic and continue using his old glove.
The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “What’s the best way to beat the heat?” Lewis Brick, of West Pittston, answered, “There is nothing I can tell you to do to beat it, just put up with it.” Frank Viola, proprietor of Viola Brothers Beer Distributors in Exeter, stated, “In my opinion, the best way to beat the heat is to sit in the back yard under a shady tree and enjoy a nice cold beer. I can’t because I’m too busy delivering the nice cold beer.”
Detato’s Supermarket bowling team members were champions of the Wyoming Classic League. Members of the team were Pat Williams, Bucky Serino, Dom Burlone, Bob Detato and Jim Pisano.
1972 – 46 YEARS AGO
Architect Ettore Lippi purchased the Kehoe Building at the corner of Dock and South Main Street in Pittston. Lippi planned to do extensive remodeling and install elevators. The Kehoe Building, which was formerly known as the Dime Bank and Trust Company, was constructed in 1926 and later housed the Kehoe Berge Coal Company offices on the first floor. It was owned by Kehoe Corporation and sold to John Bauman of Childs, PA. The Sunday Dispatch occupied the basement floor of the building from 1947 to 1967.
1976 – 42 YEARS AGO
As part of the Wyoming Bicentennial fund-raising project, the Wyoming Historical Society sold copies of a map of the village of Wyoming. Originally published by H.H. Rowley in 1885, the extremely detailed map showed the community as it appeared at the end of the 19th century with houses, factories, coal breakers, churches and other historical structures. The 23 x 35 inch map featured the Wyoming Monument, Swetland Homestead, the Pettebone house, Wyoming Presbyterian Institute and church buildings. The map remained on display at the Swetland Homestead and then at the Franklin Federal Savings and Loan office at the Midway Shopping Center. According to John William Reps, author of “Views and View Makers of Urban America,” H.H. Rowley is a rather mysterious character because there is no definitive information on the gentlemen and, since there were only 17 maps produced by him, they would appear rather rare. The author states, “Rowley, whoever he may have been, left only a graphic trail, devoid of biographical clues.”
In 1953, The Sunday Dispatch noted that the attendance at the Miss Anthracite Beauty pageant sponsored by the Pittston Junior Chamber of Commerce was disappointing. The contest, once known as Miss Greater Pittston, was changed to Miss Anthracite in order for more young women to participate. Seeking a reason, the Dispatch cited the fact that girls from “up and down the valley” were included as contestants but Wilkes-Barre and Scranton did little to promote the event. The Dispatch did find out, however, that not one young lady from Pittston entered the contest.
This Day in History
1865 — Four of the conspirators in President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination are hanged in Washington, D.C.
1948 — The U.S. Air Force accepts its first female recruits into the new Women in the Air Force (WAF) program. President Harry S. Truman paved the way for WAF earlier in 1948 in signing the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, which allows women to serve directly in the military
1960 — The Soviet Union charges American pilot Francis Gary Powers with espionage.
Born on this day
1838 — Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German designer and manufacturer of airships
1839 — John D. Rockefeller, financier, philanthropist, founder of Standard Oil
1908 — Nelson Rockefeller, U.S. vice president to Gerald Ford