Dupont residents remembered that, prior to 1952, 16-year-olds received a dose of castor oil as punishment for breaking what city regulation?
1948 — 69 YEARS AGO
Many school districts faced the problem of obtaining funds to meet payrolls and were forced to seek aid from the state. However, the state most times responded by informing districts to reduce teaching staff. The Dispatch made note of the fact that, in most cases, the teachers that faced being cut were single women. According to the Teacher Tenure Act, passed by the General Assembly in 1937, teachers with the most seniority could not be dismissed, and it was explained that most of those teachers were married. It seemed young women who were not married were the first ones to be left go. The Dispatch felt it “morally wrong to dismiss an unmarried teacher and retain a married teacher whose husband is gainfully employed.”
1949 — 68 YEARS AGO
Bone Stadium hosted the Twin Pines Horse Show. Among the local entries in the show were Mimi Joyce, of West Pittston. Joyce rode two three-gaited horses, Tipperary Mike and Tara Mara Fantasy. Robert Barber, of Wyoming, was set to appear in the Western Class. Champion horses of the Windfield Farms owned by Mr. and Mrs. John C. Kehoe Jr., were also scheduled to participate. This was the first horse show presented in the Pittston area and attracted interested participants throughout the Northeast.
The 1949 primary election found many women seeking public office. Among those on the ballot were Bessie Spierson, Emily Sweeney, of Pittston; Edna Burke, Helen Corrigan and Kathleen Healey, of Pittston Township; Blanche Dymond, of Exeter Township; Mary Kleback, of Wyoming; Helen Klubokowski and Isabelle Thompson, of Duryea; Alice Healey, Emma Eames and Elizabeth Dunleavy, of Avoca; Evelyn Hoch, Lora Emigh, Mary Santee, Mary Drisbach, Rachel Jones and Sarah Howell, of West Pittston; Ruth Roat and Rose Judge, of Exeter; Florence Sweeney and Grace McGuiness, of Jenkins Township.
1950 — 67 YEARS AGO
Members of the Friendly Bocce Club of Upper Butler Street, didn’t want to just play their favorite game during the day, so they pooled their funds and paid $43 for a spot light so they could play into the summer evening hours. Members of the club were Joseph Rose, Lou Bernardi, Michael Naples, Sam Pettito, Philip Bianco, Carlo Colarusso, Carmen Deminico, Charles Adonizio, Michael Naples jr., Carmen DeRusso, Babe Buttafoca, John Glenn, Louis Tribbet, John Casa, Ernest Buttafoca, Sam Adonizio, George Colarusso and Michael Pisano. According to the United States Bocce Federation. “Bocce is the third most participated sport in the world and is considered the oldest known sport in world history.”
Ellen Smith, of West Pittston, headed to Lackland Air Force Base in Taxes for basic training in the Women’s Air Force. In June 1948, Congress established the Women in the Air Force (WAF). The corps was limited to 300 officers and 4,000 enlisted women.
1953 — 64 YEARS AGO
The Ground Observer Corps placed an advertisement in the Sunday Dispatch, saying, “It’s no joke! Civilian volunteer plane spotters are urgently needed to warn against enemy aircraft that may sneak under our radar defenses.” At the time, there were nearly 250,000 members of the Ground Observer Corps manning sites as plane spotters identifying low-flying planes. The coastal radar system in place did not work effectively under 5,000 feet. The Corps asked Americans to donate two hours a week to help protect the country. The GOC used radio and newspapers across the country to engage spotters to participate in Operation Skywatch which was initiated on July 14, 1952. The Korean War was thought to be a precursor to planned attack by the Soviet Union. By the late 1950s, short range radar was in place and the GOC was disestablished by 1959.
The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “Do you think the average child beginning school is brighter or more intelligent than the school beginner was in the era before television?” Peggy Kiefer, of Pittston, answered, “Sure, the children are more intelligent nowadays. Television isn’t too old, but I would say it is responsible for most of it.” Sam Lizza, of West Pittston, added, “They’re more intelligent, Even the real small ones are beginning to use big words and talk about things that they never even thought of before.” Josephine McDonnell, of Inkerman, stated, “I don’t want to forget another educational help. Children who get to kindergarten, and most do anymore, have a good foundation for school once they begin their first year. “
1960 — 57 YEARS AGO
Employment officials asked local men to discard the old-fashioned idea that garment plants are for women employees only. Garment plant owners reported some special machines “are better handled by men than women.” One garment plant owner reported 50 men working on these machines and each “received good wages and fringe benefits. Some even better than some highly-touted strictly male-employing industries.”
1970 — 47 YEARS AGO
John Finan, of Pittston, and Stanley Osiecki, of Harding, were fishing near Coxton yards when they heard cries for help. Both men quickly maneuvered their boat to the area behind Dymond’s Store and the source of the cries where they found three boys caught in a deep swift current. Finan and Osiecki pulled the three boys ranging in age from 15-17 out of the river. It seemed the boys were trying to catch some bait and waded into a dangerous section. Earlier in the summer, Mr. Osciecki rescued an exhausted young girl swimming across the river in the same location.
1986 — 31 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 in his honor was erected at the entrance to the borough building. The American Police Hall of Fame presented a Medal of Honor to his widow, Julie Janczewski.
In 1952, The Ramblin’ Round Our Town column in the Sunday Dispatch focused on the enforcement, in years gone by, of curfews. Dupont residents remembered a time when the borough’s Burgess, Joseph Lukasik, ordered police to pick up all youngsters under 16 who were out after 9 p.m. He “sat in jurisdiction” at their hearings and, on several occasions, ordered a dose of castor oil be given to each child in custody and sent home. It was said his method worked. Pittston’s daily blasts of the fire alarm at 5 p.m. were found not only to be a real curfew of youngsters but a tradition that city hall used to give the hook and ladder horses a test to keep them on alert and to get the horses out of their stalls so they could be cleaned and horses bedded down. In Avoca, the Rev. Father Crane would walk on Main Street at night and chase youngsters home, showing each a “thorn-studded cane.” By 1952, curfews were a thing of the past. It was said that kids under 12 could be seen on the streets at 11 p.m. and some 16-year-olds were still walking the streets at 2 a.m.
This date in history
1866 — President Andrew Johnson formally declared the Civil War over, even though the fighting had stopped months earlier.
1934 — Gangster Al Capone and 42 other prisoners traveled in steel-barred railroad coaches to Alcatraz after being transferred the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Ga.
1940 — Radar was used for the first time by the British during the Battle of Britain
1953 — The Soviet Union publicly acknowledged it had tested a hydrogen bomb.
1956 — The US state department reaffirmed its ban on travel to China.
1974 — President Gerald Ford selected Nelson Rockefeller as vice president.
1977 — The song “Best of My Love” by the Emotions topped the US pop charts.
2000 — Tiger Woods won the PGA Championship in a playoff over Bob May, becoming the first player since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win three majors in one year.
“America is a nation with many flaws, but hopes so vast that only the cowardly would refuse to acknowledge them.” — James Michener