For what occasion did fire and police sirens sound and church bells ring simultaneously throughout Greater Pittston on Saturday, Jan. 27, 1973?
1963 – 53 years ago
Pool rooms in the heart of the Pittston business district were considered a “detriment to business” by other Main Street retailers. With Urban Redevelopment taking over buildings on Main Street, one of which housed Latorre’s Smoke Shop and Billiard Parlor, most thought that action would end the existence of parlors in the downtown area. But it was noted by locals the ousted billiard parlor owners were moving to new locations on South Main Street. In addition, it was discovered someone was looking to purchase the Paris Corset Shop also on South Main Street in order to open another pool room. Store owners were “up in arms” over the possibility of three pool rooms in close proximity to the business district.
Mrs. Carlton Stauffer, Girl Scout chairman, and Mrs. Harry Schmaltz announced the start of the annual Girl Scout cookie sale. The Scouts were taking orders for cookies in five popular flavors for 45 cents per box. The money collected financed various projects and camping trips during the year. According to businessinsider.com, Girl Scout cookies bring in an average $800 million annually for the organization. In 2015, the Scouts sold more than 200 million boxes of cookies. Trefoils, Do-si-dos, Tagalongs, Samoas and top-seller Thin Mints are listed as customer favorites by the Girl Scout organization. A price increase from $4 to $5 per box was announced in 2015.
1973 – 43 years ago
The first season of the Pittston Junior Jets football team ended with a banquet at the Gramercy Ballroom in Pittston. Coach Robert Barbieri welcomed guests Mayor Robert Loftus and Jimmy Cefalo. Trophies were presented to all team members, majorettes, cheerleaders and coaches. Jackets were given to graduates Jimmy Galsgow, Bruce Barbini, Mike Sokolosky, Louis Sebia, Ed Ihnot, Paul Solarczyk, Dan McGuire, Robert Mullins, Ken Quinn, Ray Tomazewski, Pat Tigue, Guy Forlenza, Tommy Smith, Louis Lieback, Joe Burgio, Barbara Serratore and Valerie Delia.
1983 – 33 years ago
Students of the eighth grade English composition classes of Wyoming Area Middle School completed their first issue of the Middle School Gazette. Students were asked to submit articles as an English requirement. The editors then chose what to publish. Some of the students who worked on the first issue were Shawn Casey, Curt Kovalcin, Olie Smith, Matt Gregeck, Jim Callahan, Kathi Melvin, Kathy Turant, Amy Sorokin, Kim Hines, Mandy Anzelmi, Sami Polit, Kate Gibbons, Jim Butera and Amy Pastva.
Representative Tom Tigue was named reception chairman for the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick 69th Annual Banquet. The banquet was held on March 17, 1983. Tigue was recently named the recipient of the 2015 Joseph Saporito Sr. Lifetime of Service Award, sponsored by the Sunday Dispatch.
Sandra Chiampi resigned as a Wyoming Area High School coach after 13 years of mentoring her students. After certifying as a physical education and health teacher at East Stroudsburg State College, she joined Wyoming Area’s physical education program as basketball and softball coach. She led the girls basketball team to eight successful seasons and her softball teams held four Wyoming Valley Conference titles with a third place finish in states in 1980. During Chiampi’s time at Wyoming Area, she also served as a majorette and junior class advisor.
1993 – 23 years ago
Joseph Jannone, adjutant of Veterans of the Vietnam War Post No. 66, was awarded by unanimous vote to receive the first-ever Veteran of the Year award. Presenting the award were Joe Tavaglione, commander and Frank Donahue, vice commander of the post. Tavaglione was the winner of the 2007 Joseph Saporito Lifetime of Service Award, sponsored by the Sunday Dispatch.
Linda Morgan, of Pittston, was awarded the Presidential Scholarship for Photography at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. The scholarship is awarded for students participating in the fashion marketing, visual communications, music, video, photography, fashion and interior design programs.
The Italian American Association of Luzerne County installed the following officers: Louis Calabrese, president; Maria Capolarella-Montante, vice president; Grace Nolan, secretary; Leonard Cumbo, treasurer; Sam Micelli, sergeant-at-arms; Chester Montante, board of directors; and Peter Orlando, chairman of the board.
The headline in the Jan. 28, 1973 Sunday Dispatch read, “Peace has Come in Viet.” A cease fire brought about by the Paris Peace Accords was signed at 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, 1973 Ho Chi Minh City time (midnight Jan. 27, Greenwich Mean Time) and fire and police sirens sounded and church bells rang simultaneously throughout Greater Pittston to celebrate the good news. The signers of the Accords of 1973 hoped to establish lasting peace in Vietnam. While it did end U.S. military combat, it only temporarily stopped the fighting between North and South Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City fell to the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975.
This date in history:
1944 – During World War II, U.S. forces invaded Kwajalein Atoll and other areas of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.
1945 – Private Eddie Slovik became the only U.S. soldier since the U.S. Civil War to be executed for desertion.
1946 – A new constitution in Yugoslavia created under a central authority, the constituent republics Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, based on the model of the USSR.
Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage