1956 – 62 YEARS AGO
Some of the “old timers” in Exeter remembered hardware merchant Elisha Atherton Coray Sr. for his signature high hat, and “glittering” carriage pulled by “sleek” horses. He was a presence in the community in the early 1900s but, as explained in an article in the Aug. 19, 1956 Sunday Dispatch, he helped to save the Union after the disastrous battle of Bull Run during the Civil War. Coray owned 140 acres of land known as Corey’s Glen near Harding in Exeter Township. In 1859, he became a member of the New York Stock Exchange and began an association with Daniel Drew, the “King of Wall Street.” He and Drew purchased government bonds to ward off a collapsing economy after the legendary Battle in 1861.
Freed’s at 40 N. Main Street St., Pittston was offering “The one and only thing new in television,” a space command tuner. The newest Zenith TVs were equipped with a built-in control which allowed the viewer to change channels, mute sound and turn the set off with a push button module from across the room. Cost of the new set $309.
Louis Greco, a teacher in the “Wyoming Schools” and Commander of District 12 American Legion, took first place in a Know Your Country Contest sponsored by American Mercury Magazine. Greco answered 20 contest questions correctly and received a cash prize. His name appeared in the September 1956 issue of the magazine.
1966 – 52 YEARS AGO
Yatesville playground instructors Lillian Burke, Ann DeLuca, David Lello, Anthony Chairge, Michael Hopkins, Peter Fiume and Roger Nocerino held a beauty pageant for the young girls of the borough. Judges Louis Capone, Mary Claire Gallagher and Elaine Dotter announced the winners for Yatesville: Kathy Lizza, third place; Ann Heffron, second place; and Rosemary Semenza, winner; and Pittston Township: Mary Clare Moran, third place; Ann Paglianite, second place; and Kathleen Granahan winner. The girls were awarded crowns and flowers.
U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer in World War II Harold G. Traher, of West Pittston, was awarded a plaque at a convention of 226th Sigvet Corps in Allentown. This presentation, deemed “unusual” by the vets because of the difference in branches of service, stemmed from the treatment Anthony E. Granahan, of Duryea, and Howard J. Fear, of West Pittston, received from Traher during the Naval invasions of Sicily and Italy during the war. The plaque inscription read in part “let it be known that Chief Petty Officer H.J. Traher USNR with his devotion to their welfare and comfort during their detached duty from the U.S. Army in World War II will be remembered as the most noble shipmate of all.”
Do West Wyoming and the moon have anything in common? Actually, yes — a few pieces of finely machined metal manufactured by employees of the Ashley Tool and Die Company. Earlier in the decade, the company had been contracted by the Grumman Engineering Corporation to manufacture the hatch for the manned Apollo moon mission. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Ashley, owners of the company which began in 1939, as well as employees John Klimek and Joseph Szczechowicz were proud to be a part of the upcoming historical event. The Lunar module landed on the moon on July 20, 1969 and departed on the 21st, leaving the module with its hatch representing West Wyoming. A plaque is affixed to the leg of the lunar landing vehicle signed by President Nixon, Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. The plaque bears a map of the earth and this inscription: “Here Men from the Planet Earth First Set Foot upon the Moon July 1969 A.D. We came in Peace for all Mankind.” The West Wyoming plant also produced catapult parts for the U.S. Navy and parts for the innovative F111 tactical strike plane.
Detato’s Super Market advertised chuck roast for 45 cents per pound, Scott bathroom tissue for 10 cents per roll and a 10-pound bag of potatoes for 39 cents. The Thomas R. Davis Company in West Pittston listed 9-volt Eveready batteries at 74 cents for two and Luchetti Sales in Exeter advertised the two-door 1966 Rambler Classic for $1,820. That same year, The American Motor Company felt the name “Classic” was no longer a positive factor and began marketing the Rebel and St. Moritz models.
1976 – 42 YEARS AGO
The West Pittston Borough Council filed an appeal to the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration after it was notified that $49,914.50 earmarked as reimbursements for repairs to the West Pittston Library were denied. The library suffered extensive damage during the devastating flood resulting from Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The FDAA believed the library was a private institution and determined ineligible.
1986 – 32 YEARS AGO
Avoca Police Officer Richard Janczewski was killed in the line of duty on May 26, 1986. A memorial ceremony attended by borough officials, state and area police and members of the fire department was held in front of the Avoca Borough Town Hall in August of that year. Citing Patrolman Janczewski’s bravery, a memorial erected at the entrance to the borough building was dedicated in his honor. The American Police Hall of Fame presented a Medal of Honor to his widow Julie Janczewski.
Angelo Bufalino, of Pittston, had something unusual in his possession, a tailored charcoal grey pinstriped suit. While the suit was like many other well-made suits, what made it unusual was who had once owned it. Tailored by Angelo Litrico, of Rome, Italy, the suit was specifically made for Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. The suit, along with two others, found their way to the United States where they were auctioned off at a benefit for kids. Khrushchev commissioned Litrico to produce a full wardrobe to wear during his famous trip to the USA in September 1959. This included the shoes that would become famous by being slammed on the table at the United Nations General Assembly in October 1960. He very well may have been wearing Angelo’s suit that day.
The Pittston Area School Board backed a town ordinance banning any Pittston Area students from smoking near the location of the middle and secondary school. The new law called for a fine of up to $70 for violators. The board planned to reflect the policy in the student handbook.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1692 — Five women are hanged in Salem, Massachusetts after being convicted of the crime of witchcraft. Fourteen more people are executed that year and 150 others are imprisoned.
1934 — 38 million Germans vote to make Adolf Hitler the official successor to President von Hindenburg.
1950 — Edith Sampson becomes the first African-American representative to the United Nations.
1987 — The Hungerford Massacre takes place in the UK; armed with semi-automatic rifles and a handgun. Michael Ryan kills 16 people before committing suicide. In response, Parliament passed the Firearms (Amendment) Act of 1988 banning ownership of certain classes of firearms.
2004 — Google Inc. stock begins selling on the Nasdaq Stock Market, with an initial price of $85; the stock ended the day at $100.34 with more than 22 million shares traded.
1871 — Orville Wright, aviation pioneer
1883 — Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, fashion designer
1921 — Gene Roddenberry, television writer and producer, best known for the “Star Trek” series
1940 — Jill St. John, (Jill Arlyn Oppenheim), Los Angeles California, actress (“Diamonds are Forever”)
1942 — Fred Thompson, US Senator (R-Tenn); minority counsel on Senate Watergate Committee, lobbyist; actor (“Law and Order”)
1945 — William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton, 42nd Ppesident of the United States (1992-2000); first president from the Baby Boomer generation
1966 — Lee Ann Womack, Grammy-winning singer, songwriter (“I Hope You Dance”)