Question: In 1957, why was the general election in Dupont expected to go down in borough history?
1957 – 58 Years Ago
The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “Considering the wave of objectionable motion pictures throughout the country, do you believe a nationwide censor board should be set up to govern moral standards of movies?” Louis Ristagna of Exeter answered, “Absolutely, we have to protect the teenagers of the nation.” Alderman James Fiume of Pittston stated, “Yes, they’d make more money on pictures the whole family can see.” Thomas Curley of Pittston added, “If everyone stayed away from shows like them there wouldn’t be any demand and darn few of them would be made.”
In the 1930s the movie industry adopted a Production Code to regulate objectionable subject matter in movies. In 1907, Chicago enacted the first movie censorship law in America. Cities and states around the nation created local censorship boards in the following years, resulting in a variety of different rules and standards. A national censorship board was never formed.
1967 – 48 Years Ago
Sergeant First Class Francis “Hank” Sekuskey of Pittston was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds he received in action in Vietnam. He also received the Bronze Star for outstanding meritorious service against hostile forces in Vietnam.
Paul Riffle, manager of the J.C. Penney store in Pittston was on a cross country journey, driving his daughter, Charlotte Riffle Osticco to join her husband who was stationed at Wainright Army Base, in Fairbanks, Alaska. The trip, which took nine days and covered 4,600 miles, was interrupted by a heavy snow storm, and limited by a sparse amount of gas stations, and miles of unpaved roads. After arriving at their destination and with some rest, Riffle visited the J.C. Penney store in Fairbanks. He was surprised to find the store had experts on staff that inspected gold nuggets prospectors brought to the store to sell. In 1967, the price of gold was $34.95 per ounce, today the price of gold is approximately $1,170.40 per ounce.
Tony “Two Ton” Galento, a former boxing heavyweight was scheduled to stop at the Wyoming Aerie Fraternal Order of Eagles. Galento, part of a three-man team consisting of former world heavyweight champions Jack Dempsey and James Braddock traveled across the country visiting Eagles clubs on behalf of the Max Baer Heart Fund. Known for his antics in the ring, Galento, known for his ostentacious manner, was expected to share some of his more humorous stories with the members. Heavyweight Champion Max Baer died of a heart attack in 1959.
1977 – 38 Years Ago
By returning a punt 60 yards for a touchdown, Pittston native Jimmy Cefalo earned a record by becoming the first player in the history of Penn State football to return two punts for touchdowns in the same season. Earlier in the season Cefalo returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown against Kentucky. In 1978, Cefalo was drafted by the Miami Dolphins, where he played six seasons and participated in Super Bowls XVII and XIX.
Young Patrick McDermott had already begun collecting old newspapers for a hobby, but he didn’t know he would be adding to his collection when his mother Patricia and brothers Francis, Thomas, James and John began a remodeling project at their Spring Street family homestead in Avoca. As the project progressed, the family found a treasure trove of old newspapers dating back to 1874 and 1906. The find gave the McDermott family a sense of what life was like for their early ancestors, Mr. and Mrs. John McKeone and their six children, Margaret, Mary, Patrick, James, Michael and John. Modestly priced items by today’s standards were listed for sale at local business and news stories reflected a simpler way of life. Curiously though, along with the papers inside the wall was an article that in itself was not unusual, but for the fact it stood alone, a rather unattractive ladies boot. On why the boot was hidden inside the wall, the McDermotts speculated perhaps Mrs. McKeone hid it and claimed it as lost, in the hope of getting a more stylish pair.
1997 – 28 Years Ago
Some memorial books placed in Pittston Library in 1997:
“First Steps in Quilting,” in memory of Rose (Mary) Randazza, presented by Barbara, Vince and Vincent Gatto.
“Men, Ships and the Sea,” in honor of Dr. Joseph J. Costello’s 10th year of practice, by Angel and Guy Acierno. Homer’s “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey,” in memory of Hilda Deice, presented by Joe and Rosemary Dessoye and “Flood Tide,” in memory of Charles Williams, presented by Helen and Joe Tierney.
Answer: In the 1957 Dupont borough general election, Helen Klimek Barnak ran along with Frank Tetlak for a seat on the borough council. It was the first borough election that held a woman candidate. Some years earlier a council appointment was offered to a woman in the third ward, but she declined to accept.
Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage