1948 – 68 Years Ago
Local high school students turned page as they received their diplomas. Pittston High School graduated 164 seniors in 1948 and as was stated in their commencement address, “The attainment of a diploma signifying the completion of high school has actually become a reality and sorrow because of the fact that we shall no longer be high school boys and girls but the future citizens of tomorrow.” St. John’s High School graduated 61 and in their commencement address, it was stated, “We must influence the community in which we live by our words and example.”
Warshal Brothers on Main Street in Pittston advertised graduation gifts such as watches from $24.75 to $37.60 and Parker pen sets for $17.
1958 – 58 Years Ago
If a person turned in their old refrigerator’s ice cube trays, Pittston Gas Company would take $200 off a brand new Servell gas refrigerator that “made and served” ice cubes automatically.
Members of the West Pittston Junior Women’s Glee Club were selected sing the invocation at the Junior Day program of the Pennsylvania State Convention of Federated Women’s Clubs. Members of the glee club were Mary Pace, Virginia Pinola, Mrs. Clifford Troup, Mrs. John Portelli, Mrs. Sylvester Grablick Jr., Mrs. Joseph Bonomo, Kathleen Kane, Mrs. Joseph Linskey, Mrs. James Ruane, Mrs. Joseph Saraceno, Catherine Brenna, Mrs. Santo Volpe Jr., Mrs. William J. Rowe and Mrs. Eugene Ambruch.
The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “What advice would you give to this year’s high school graduates?” Sam Giamber of Pittston answered, “I’d advise them to decide what they want to do and get some kind of schooling, business, college or vocational training. You’ve got to go to school to land something worthwhile.” Regina O’Donnell of Pittston said, “I’d advise all of them to go to college. I think America needs more serious-minded people than we now have if we mean to compete with Russia and the communist countries.”
1968 – 48 Years Ago
Piano students of Immaculate Conception Parish in West Pittston, Mary Louise Korzeniewski, Janet Hanusin, Patricia McClurg, Catherine McClurg, Paula DeGuglielmo, Mary Anne Kashuda, Laura Tracy, Ann Marie Balzano, Catherine Thornton, Eileen Golden, Maria Del Serra, Jo-Ellen Devers, Rebecca Yount, Barbara Del Serra, Louise La Nunziata, Barbara Botteon, Deborah Mueller, Diane Hanusin and Ann Manganiello, received membership in the National Fraternity of Student Musicians sponsored by the National Guild of Piano Teachers. According to The Piano Guild website, it was founded in 1929 by Dr. Irl Allison. “Forty-six entrants participated in the first audition. The guild has grown to more than 850 audition centers where thousands of students enroll annually in international auditions, which are held throughout the U.S. and abroad.”
The Duryea V.F.W. Post 1227 installed new officers Stanley Turkos, senior vice-commander; Michael Tetlak, commander; Daniel Moskaitis, installing officer; Carl Switkowski, quartermaster; Chester Korpusik, trustee; John Water, judge advocate and Frank Kremitski, chaplain.
1978 – 38 Years Ago
The second annual West Pittston Run was held with 78 runners participating. Pittston Area High School distance runner Ed Hesten covered the four mile course in 20 minutes and 59.7 seconds. Elaine Yurek placed first in the women’s 20-30 age bracket with a time of 25.54. Eleven-year-old Jonathan Uritz finished last but was hailed as the crowd favorite.
The Wyoming Area High School Band under the direction of Allen Marini performed at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia before a Phillies-Dodgers game. On Oct. 2, 1967, ground was broken for Veterans Stadium. It was originally scheduled to open in 1970 but was delayed due to labor strikes, bad weather and construction delays. The 2003 season was the last for Veterans Stadium. On Sept. 28, 2003, the Phillies played their last game against the Atlanta Braves. On March 21, 2004, Veterans Stadium was demolished.
The last graduating class of St. John the Evangelist Grade School earned diplomas in 1978. The class included Susan Donovan, Anne Connors, Carole Donovan, Donna Laffey, Mary Ellen McLean, Bronwyn Finan, Sharon Dankulich, JoAnn Dileo, Lorraine Schriver, Tracey Proeger, Michael J. Lapsansky, Kevin Seidel, Elwood Richards, Thomas Connell, Robert Moran, David Williams and Jeffrey Battista. The building housing the grade school was to be utilized by Seton Catholic High School students.
1988 – 28 Years Ago
A program developed by Cathy Lapsansky, reading supervisor, and Terri McAndrew, reading specialist at the Pittston Area’s Kindergarten Center allowed parents and first-time students to see the school and participate in activities. The Stepping Into School program was set up to familiarize the new students and their parents with the school so that attending on their first day would be a more comfortable experience. Students who were signed up to attend kindergarten classes were Josephine Russo, Erin Coolblaugh, Stephanie Szumski, Walter McCormick, Michael Sompel, Jonathan Kotula, Rachel Brogan. Along with Lapsansky and McAndrew, teachers that welcomed the students were Rosanne Lavelle, Aileen Melone, Jean Wadas, Kathy Belles, and Diane Olesheski.
This Day in History
1918 — The first airplane bombing raid by an American unit occurs in France.
1931 — Gangster Al Capone and 68 of his henchmen are indicted for violating Prohibition laws.
1987 — President Reagan, during a visit to the divided German city of Berlin, publicly challenged Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”
Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage.