1957 – 61 YEARS AGO
Over 150 delegates attended a reception in the V.F.W. Fort Pittston post home in support of the Korean Bonus Bill. Commander Charles Adonizio of VFW Post 635 and Anthony Forlenza, Anthracite Counties Council VFW junior vice- commander, asked that all local posts campaign in support of the bonus. The bill cleared the Pennsylvania Legislature and was placed before the people for approval. The Bonus Bill provided additional monies to be paid to soldiers who served during the Korean Conflict. The bill was eventually signed into law in April of 1959, by Pennsylvania Governor David L. Lawrence.
At their grand opening, Cyclone Drive-In Cleaners “Pittston’s First and Only Drive Cleaning Plant” advertised its one-hour service. The business offered expert tailoring, alterations and shirt laundering. Prices ranged from 39 cents for pants, skirts and blouses to 69 cents for suits, coats and plain dresses.
The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked the question, “Who do you think should handle a family’s financial matters, the husband or the wife?” Edward Brennan, of Pittston, answered, “The husband, definitely. Of course, I’m single but I would want to handle the money. Women spend too freely; men will look things over before they buy. Edward Strubeck, Hughestown, also single, added, “It should be the husband. I think the husband makes the money so he should know how to spend it, although, if the wife is working, that’s different.” Mrs. Howard Renfer, of Hughestown, said, “I think it should be a joint effort. Two heads are better than one.” Thomas Simmons, of West Pittston, responded, “Either one can handle the money. They ought to trust each other.”
1959 – 59 YEARS AGO
Pittston Mayor Patrick O’Brien, John Newcomb, contractor, and Steryl Serfoss, Pittston City Merchants Bureau president, dedicated The Pittston Merchants’ Association Shop and Park Free Lot at the rear of Main Street just off of Water Street. The idea for the lot was developed by Ben Hyman, Parking Lot Association president; Dr. Edward B. Wicks and August Bianco, vice-presidents; Fred Ramage, treasurer; and Vincent O’Hara, secretary. Shoppers would receive a validating stamp upon purchasing an item in a participating store. The lot was to accommodate 700 cars and would be open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
1967 – 41 YEARS AGO
Fourteen local men were among the largest contingent to depart for military service in Vietnam. Frank Zack, Joseph Nayovich, Matthew Dantone, Fred Wrabel, and Stanley Kavalchuk of Duryea; Jake Urbansky, Peter Scarantino and James Tighe of Pittston; Robert Sickler, Joseph Balchune, Wayne Bennett and Frank Boroski of Avoca and Anthony Paddock and Frank Bayer of Dupont were sent into service through Selective Board 97, which had jurisdiction over communities on the east side of the Susquehanna and Pittston city.
1968 – 50 YEARS AGO
Members of the Pittston Area High School Class of 1969 will celebrate their 50th anniversary reunion in August 2019. They will share senior highlights from the class in our Peeking into the Past column throughout the coming months leading up to their reunion event.
Pittston Area dominated Riverside, 27-7, at its new stadium in Yatesville. The game took place on Saturday night, Sept. 21, 1968, before 8,000 fans.
Reminiscent of its 1967 football season heights, the Patriot defense allowed only 25 yards rushing. Linebacker Jim Morris, nominee to the 1968 Pennsylvania Big 33 All-State grid squad, made 14 tackles, a pair of passes, and kicked 3 extra points in the game.
Ed Brennan scored the first touchdown, breaking away from five tacklers and going 40 yards. Quarterback Barry O’Boyle, who did a superb job for Coach Bob Barbieri’s Patriots by mixing his plays well, went 21 yards a short time later. Morris kicked his second extra point for a 14-0 lead.
In the last quarter, O’Boyle ran seven yards to score for Pittston behind fine blocking. Later, O’Boyle pitched the ball to Bill Barnes, who ran for the final touchdown. Morris added the last extra point for the win.
Source: “On the Sports Front,” by Don Keatley, Sports Editor, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, the Evening News, Wilkes-Barre Record, Sept. 23 and 25, 1968.
1979 – 39 YEARS AGO
Calvin Gary, Lorraine Miller, Dick Forsey and Rosalie Smith were surprised to see a real-life star in their Garden Village neighborhood of West Pittston. Art Carney aka Ed Norton of “Honeymooners” fame, was first spotted at Insalaco Super Market in West Pittston, hoping to obtain cardboard boxes. Carney explained he and his wife Jean were in town to close the home of her uncle Paul Armstrong who lived on Philadelphia Avenue. All who had a chance to speak with the actor found him charming and kind. Carney won an academy award for his role in the feature film “Harry and Tonto.” He also won eight Emmy Awards, seven for his work with Jackie Gleason and his portrayal of Ed Norton in the “Honeymooners” which ran for 39 episodes from 1955 to 1956. Carney passed away in November 2003.
1984 – 34 YEARS AGO
Ruth Ann Zamber was chosen Miss Exeter during the borough’s centennial celebration. Known as the borough of peace and prosperity, the name Exeter, founded here in 1884, is derived from the ancient city of Exeter in Devon. According to the US Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 5.0 miles, of which, 4.7 square miles are land and 0.3 square miles are water. It lies on the west side of the Susquehanna River and has two distinct islands: Monocanock and Scovell along with a number of other smaller islands.
1999 – 19 YEARS AGO
The Wyoming Historical and Geological Society planned its first Swetland Homestead Harvest Festival. A wide variety of demonstrations such as blacksmithing, tool carving, chair caning, mandolin construction and embroidery were scheduled. The 81st Company Pennsylvania Infantry Company K Civil War reenactment group camped on the Swetland grounds and demonstrated military drills and camp life.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1667 — Slaves in Virginia are banned from obtaining their freedom by converting to Christianity.
1805 — Lieutenant Zebulon Pike pays $2,000 to buy from the Sioux a 9-square-mile tract at the mouth of the Minnesota River that will be used to establish a military post, Fort Snelling.
1806 — The Lewis and Clark Expedition arrives back in St. Louis just over three years after its departure.
1945 — The first American dies in Vietnam during the fall of Saigon to French forces.
1952 — Richard Nixon responds to charges of a secret slush fund during his “Checkers Speech.”
1983 — Gulf Air Flight 771 from Karachi, Pakistan, to Abu Dhabi, UAE, is bombed; all 117 aboard die.
1992 — The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonates 3,700-lb bomb in Belfast, completely destroying the Northern Ireland forensic laboratory, injuring 20 people and damaging 700 houses.
2002 — The first public version of the Mozilla Firefox browser is released; originally called Phoenix 0.1, its name was changed due to trademark issues with Phoenix Technologies.
2004 — Hurricane Jeanne causes severe flooding in Haiti; over 1,000 are reported dead.
1838 — Victoria Claflin Woodhull, the first woman presidential candidate (1872) in the United States
1863 — Mary Church Terrell, educator and civil rights advocate
1930 — Ray Charles, rhythm ‘n blues piano player and singer
1943 — Julio Iglesias, singer, songwriter with more than 400 certified gold and platinum records (“To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” “Summer Wind”)
1947 — Mary Kay Place, Emmy-winning actress (“Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”), singer
1949 — Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen, singer, songwriter, musician (“Born to Run,” “Born in the U.S.A”); his multiple awards include 20 Grammys, two Golden Globes, and an Oscar, the latter for “Streets of Philadelphia” (1994)
1961 — William “Willie” McCool, American astronaut; among those killed when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated while re-entering Earth’s atmosphere (2003).
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