Peeking into the Past

July 5, 2014

1959 – 55 Years ago

Six months after the Knox Mine Disaster, flushing operations continued at the river slope mine of the Knox Coal Co. in Port Griffith. The operation was aimed at stabilizing the roof support of the mine to prevent the re-occurrence of flooding. A coffer dam was built to hold back the waters of the Susquehanna River as men and machines continued the work.

The 30th annual outing of the Polish Women’s Alliance was planned for Rocky Glen Park. Phyllis Shymanski, Alliance Polish Miss of 1958, was set to crown the new Queen for 1959. Games, dancing and entertainment were scheduled for the event.

The Vine Street Bridge in Avoca was in bad shape and borough officials were under pressure from residents to remedy the situation. Officials closed the bridge and enlisted the aid of the Public Utility Commission to force the Laurel Line Company to begin repairs. The extra effort helped, as the company started work, promising the bridge would open in the near future.

The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “The annual all-star baseball game is this week, who will win and who will be outstanding players?” Frank Castellino of Pittston answered, “The National League will win no doubt about it. The American League standout will be Rocky Colavito and Hank Aaron for the National.” Louis Scarantino of Pittston added, “The American League has more power, they ought to win by a 4-2 score. I look for Nellie Fox outstanding player for the American League and Hank Aaron for the National.”

In 1959, the leagues decided to stage two all-star games. The first was held on July 7, at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, and resulted in a 5-4 victory for the National League. The Second game played on August 3 at the Los Angeles Coliseum resulted with a 5-3 win for the American League. The two-game all-star match up lasted until 1962. Although there were outstanding players on both sides, an award for the most valuable player was not initiated until 1962.

1969 – 45 Years Ago

SP4 James P. Noone of Pittston, was awarded one of the highest honors bestowed by the Vietnam government the South Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star. The medal was created on August 15, 1950, and was awarded to military personnel, civilians, and Armed Forces units and organizations in recognition of deeds of valor or heroic conduct while in combat with the enemy.

Fort Pittston VFW Post 635 announced the contingent of delegates that would attend the state VFW convention in Harrisburg. Gerald McLean, Jack Williams, James Lavan, Edward Baker, Harold Karichner, Patrick Finnerty, James Foglia, Francis Tigue, James Kearney, Charles Adonizio Jr. and Anthony Forlenza would accompany post commander Joseph Wieczorek on the trip. In announcing the the upcoming trip to the convention, Commander Wieczorek noted his disappointment over the lack of display of the flag on Memorial Day and June 14, Flag Day. His hope was that more people would display the flag all year.

According to the National Flag Day Foundation, on June 14th, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, a 19-year-old teacher at Stony Hill School, placed a 10-inch, 38-star flag in a bottle on his desk then assigned his students to write essays commemorating the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States by Congress on June 14, 1777. Over many years Cigrand devoted his efforts to bring about national recognition and observance of Flag Day. At age 50, Cigrand saw his efforts rewarded when, on May 30, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for a nation wide observance of Flag Day. In 1949, President Truman signed an Act Of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day.

1979 – 35 Years Ago

In an article appearing in the July 8, 1979, issue of the Sunday Dispatch entitled “Dispatch Staff has seen Many Newspapers Come and Go”, the announcement that a competitor, the Wyoming Observer, would be closing its doors was not great news to those at the Dispatch. Although thankful to be in business 33 years, and surviving the demise of the Pittston Gazette, Pittston Review, Exeter Echo, Pittston Sentinel and the Observer, the Dispatch staff had, over a 12 year period, come to the aid of other newspapers when they experienced mechanical problems printing such newspapers as the Pocono Herald, Mountaineer, Hawley Gazette, Polish National Straz, Sunday Independent, Scrantonian and even the Citizen’s Voice. The editors of the Dispatch did not see another small newspaper closing its doors, as something to be celebrated.

Hughestown Hose Company also held their annual picnic during which Ann Klimek, Miss Flame 1979, would reign with princesses Sandra Brogna and Mary Kay Luchetti. The Hose Company picnic was held in conjunction with Hughestown’s Centennial Celebration.

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

- Anne Frank