1948 – 70 YEARS AGO
Billed as a new milestone in Studebaker progress, the consumer’s Sales and Service Company in Pittston presented a Studebaker truck show at the company’s used car lot on Broad Street. The new trucks dubbed “49ers” were a product of the enlarged Studebaker Truck plant located in South Bend, Indiana. With features such as sturdier construction and driver comfort, the new trucks were shown to the public for the first time. The Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company founded in 1852, originally produced wagons for farmers, miners and military. In 1902, the automotive business manufactured electric vehicles and, in 1904, began selling gasoline powered vehicles. After many years of financial problems the plant closed with the last Studebaker automobile rolling off of the assembly line on March 17, 1966. The 49ers are now cherished collector’s items.
The Sunday Dispatch decided to take action when a controversial bond issue was addressed at a Pittston Achool Board meeting. The members of the school board took over jurisdiction of the Fourth Ward Park and agreed to float a $70,000 bond to build a clubhouse, improve the field, install lights and bleachers and make the field into a stadium. Taxpayers were not happy with the proposal and, therefore, in an effort to gauge the thinking of city residents, the Dispatch sent out 577 ballots to poll taxpayers as to their feeling regarding the matter. Of the ballots received, 481 were against the bond issue and 91 were in favor. Bids for the bond issue were expected to be opened at the next meeting. The Sunday Dispatch planned on being there with ballots in hand.
Memorial Day 1948 held a special meaning for families of several men killed in action during World War II. A total of 41 veterans of the war were returned from foreign graves and returned to the Pittston area for burial in local cemeteries. The World War II veterans who lost their lives in the service of their country and were returned to be buried in local cemeteries were: Pittston and West Pittston: Patsy DiAmbrose, John J. Doyle, Patrick F. Drury, Thomas Alan Evans, Joseph Fitzsimmons, Edward J. Ford, Basil Frushon, Eugene F. Gibbons, William Howley, James Jordan, William Maskers, Anthony Montante, Thomas Naysmith, Albert Novack, George Petritis, Anthony Sherwinsky, John F. Smallcomb, Milton Smith Jr., James Thompson, George Wascavage and Norbert Watson. Avoca: Stanley Czerw, Harry Paterson, W. Maciorowski. Dupont: Joseph Olejnik, Peter Golya Jr., Frank Legezdh, Frank T. Knick, Edward Kaczmarski. Exeter: Joseph Klimarsewski, Daniel Pieszala, Joseph Rostock. Wyoming: brothers James and Russell Murphy, Adam Tompko. Old Forge: Walter Kozlowski, Frank Cesare, Nello Regni, Alexander Goral and Francis Stanek. Moosic: John Lucas.
1952 – 66 YEARS AGO
The members of the Morning Star Post American Legion completed arrangements to attend memorial services at the Presbyterian Church in Wyoming. The group planned to join Wyoming veterans in decorating the graves of deceased soldiers at the Wyoming Memorial Shrine, St. Joseph’s, Mt. Olivet, Carverton, Mt. Zion and Easton. A parade planned for the holiday was the first in which the John Cotter Band would not be marching. It also was the first year the Ex-Servicemen’s Club, formed days after the end of the First World War, would not be participating.
1953 – 65 YEARS AGO
Sgt. Charles Ardoline, of Pittston, was headed to Las Vegas, Nevada to participate in the testing of the Atomic Bomb. Prior to entering the Army in 1949, Sgt. Ardoline served in the Navy during World War II. He received the North African Middle East and Central Europe Ribbon and the WWII Victory Ribbon. Soon after leaving the Navy, Sgt. Ardoline entered the Army. He served with the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team in Korea. He received the United Nations Ribbon, The Korean Theater Ribbon and two gold stars on his Parachutist Wing. While a member of the 11th Airborne Division, Sgt. Ardoline attended chemical biological and radiological courses and classes in rigging and mechanics. The Nevada Test Site was established by President Harry S. Truman in 1950. It was the primary test site for nuclear devices from 1951 to 1992.
At Caprari Motors on Exeter Avenue in West Pittston one could purchase a brand new Dodge Meadowbrook Special for $1,949.50 or a new Plymouth Cambridge for $1,789.50. 11. According to the US Inflation Calculator, those figures would respectively equate to $18,293.61 and $16,792.21 today, a cumulative rate of inflations of 838.4%.
1961 – 57 YEARS AGO
Michael Warabak, of Pittston, had an unusually tedious hobby. During the winter months, Michael would assemble anything from planes to photos of presidents of the United States in glass bottles. Using tools like an umbrella rib, a piece of copper wire and short welding rod, Michael completed and presented projects such as a framed picture of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his family, a model of a military plane went to the War Department, and Ford’s tri-motored plane was sent to the Ford plant in Detroit, Michigan. All projects were assembled within the confines of a bottle. His next planned project was to assemble a photo of John F. Kennedy in an “alcohol bottle.”
1968 – 50 YEARS AGO
The West Wyoming American Legion Post 904 received from Congressman Daniel Flood an American flag that “flew over the Nation’s Capital” in Washington D.C. The Post also received a school bell weighing approximately 500 pounds which was first used at the Eighth Street School in 1889. The bell was to be installed as a monument at the West Sixth Street Post home.
1971 – 47 YEARS AGO
The Christian Youth Singers of the Second Presbyterian Church of Pittston performed the religious folk musical “Tell It Like It Is” composed by Ralph Carmichael and Kurt Kaiser. The youth singers were directed by Mrs. Carmen J. Uritz, Mrs. Thomas Mozeleski on piano, Richard Frisco on organ and percussion, Alice Fine on guitar, Mike Scalzo on drums and Gail Learn on violin. The musical was the first presented in color on national TV. The writers composed the musical to bring the youth and the traditional church community to a closer understanding. The $2.98 music portfolio sold over half a million copies.
1978 – 40 YEARS AGO
In May 1978, The Wyoming Area Band was invited to perform at Veterans Stadium for a Phillies/Dodgers baseball match up. The band was set to perform for approximately 15 minutes prior to the game. The rematch of the two 1977 National League play-off teams generated ticket sales of 40,000 with an estimated 60,000 expected to be in attendance by game time. Veterans Stadium was located at the northeast corner of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue in Philadelphia. The Phillies played their first game at the stadium on Saturday, April 10, 1971. The final game played at the stadium was on Sept. 28, 2003, during which the Phillies lost to the Atlanta Braves. On March 21, 2004, the 32-year-old stadium was imploded in 62 seconds.
1988 – 30 YEARS AGO
The Greater Pittston YMCA Aerials Gymnastics Team received a letter of recognition from the State Department of Welfare for their time given to perform for the residents of Clark Summit State Hospital. Members Vicki Guiliano, Denise Insogna, Sara Zigmont, Joyell Gitkos, Lana Exter, Lori Martin, Danielle Battisti, Suzanne Stanski, Claudine Battisti, Chris Lepo and Chris Dolan were lauded for their outstanding volunteer service benefiting the community.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1668 — Three colonists are expelled from Massachusetts for being Baptists.
1929 — Colonel Charles Lindbergh marries Anne Spencer Morrow.
1935 — The Supreme Court declares President Franklin Roosevelt‘s National Recovery Act unconstitutional.
1937 — San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge opens.
1941 — The German battleship Bismarck is sunk by British naval and air forces.
1969 — Construction begins on Walt Disney World in Florida.
1837 — Wild Bill [James Butler] Hickok, American frontiersman and lawman
1878 — Isadora Duncan, dancer and choreographer
1911 — Hubert Humphrey, U.S. politician
1911 — Vincent Price, actor and horror film icon
1923 — Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon
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