In 1948, it was revealed that competitors of what local publication expected it to be nothing more than a “scandal sheet?”
1948 – 68 Years Ago
Exeter Borough celebrated its 64th anniversary of incorporation. Originally a part of Exeter Township, the borough received its charter in 1884. A veteran of the Civil War, James Scoville Slocum was the first burgess. Slocum served as postmaster of Scranton to which he was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant. The first borough council consisted of J.T. Kern, Isaac Carpenter, Colonel A.G. Mason, J.J. McCauley, Mathew Dougher and Abraham Hoover. In 1934, a time capsule containing details of the celebratory events held during the borough’s 50th anniversary was deposited in a vault in the town hall for future reference.
1958 – 58 Years Ago
The local representatives of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union met to discuss an upcoming contract meeting. Katie Tirone, Dell-Mar Fashions union chairwoman; Clem Lyons, business agent for ILGWU; Rose DeRosa, secretary Local 295 Pittston; Jennie Bialasz, Bob Sportswear; Helen B. Weiss, business agent ILGWU; and Ann Daley, Andy Fashions chairwoman, prepared for the meeting that was to address wages in the garment industry as compared to factory workers in other industries. According to “Empty Mills: The Fight Against Imports and the Decline of the U.S. Textile” by Timothy J. Minchin, in 1958, the ILGWU struck in “seven Northeastern states to secure a 15 percent wage hike. Manufacturers refused to grant the increase, because they could not absorb the higher costs and compete with the lower wages paid in the southern states.”
Children’s dress shoes were $2 at Harry’s Shoes on North Main Street in Pittston. A 10-piece bedroom outfit was selling for $199 at Zeller’s Furniture store on South Main Street. A 1958 Mercury two-door sedan was priced at $2, 895.45 at Julio Motors and dresses were priced from $2 to $5 at Friendly Shop on North Main Street.
1968 – 48 Years Ago
SP4 James J. Tribbet of Pittston Township was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for heroism while serving with the U.S. Armed Forces attached to the Seventh Air Cavalry in Vietnam. While on a search and destroy mission near HaTay, Tribbet’s unit came under heavy fire, but he advanced, carrying ammunition and supplies. He helped evacuate his wounded comrades.
The Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick met to plan their 54th annual banquet. Those who assisted in the planning were William Connell, Harold Tracey, Frank Lyons, president; Michael Clarke, Thomas Kearns, William Doran, Charles McCarthy, Thomas Burns, Stanley Leonard, Robert Dougherty, James Lydon, Theodore Bender, John McNamara and Paul Leonard.
The Pittston Elks Lodge No. 382, along with other lodges across the country, planned to observed the organization’s centennial. Members of the local lodge were Casimir Kizis, Andre Vanyo, Frank Silva, William Medico, Thomas Burns, John Tramontana, Joseph Pupa Sr, Joseph McFarland Sr., James Hughes, Anthony Capitano, Armand Casterline, Angelo Fiore, Ross Latona, Dr. Sam Brown, Thomas Williams, Stephen Insalaco, Anthony Weremski and Joseph McFarland Jr.
1988 – 28 Years Ago
231 Students returned to classes at the St. John the Baptist Elementary School after a fire caused by faulty electrical wiring, led to the evacuation and temporary closing of the school. The fire started in a first grade classroom and students, teachers and administrators were lauded for their quick and calm response to the emergency situation. Fire Chief Joseph Keating praised the efforts of teachers Jackie Grablick and Jackie Pavlick along with aides Ann Reynolds and Mrs. Vaxmonsky for their outstanding job in moving the students toward the fire exits.
Upon celebrating its first anniversary in February 1948, the Sunday Dispatch published an article detailing its beginnings. “Early in our one-year career, some people had the idea the Sunday Dispatch was going to be a ‘scandal sheet.’ Why, we do not know. We do print the truth on subjects.” On Feb. 9, 1947, the Sunday Dispatch began operation with “outdated equipment at 131 North Main Street.” In 2016, the Sunday Dispatch is celebrating its 69th year of serving Greater Pittston and beyond.
Today in History:
1959 – Buddy Holly’s funeral was held in Lubbock, Texas.
1964 – The Beatles arrived in New York to begin their first U.S. tour.
1969 – “This Is Tom Jones” premiered on ABC-TV.
1979 – Stephen Stills became the first rock performer to record on digital equipment in Los Angeles’ Record Plant Studio. He recorded a new version of the song “Cherokee.”
1986 – The Rolling Stones shot the video for “Harlem Shuffle” in New York City.
Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage.