1964 — 52 Years Ago
The Inquiring Photographer feature of the Sunday Dispatch celebrated its 15th anniversary in June 1964 noting that over the years, 5,460 photos had been taken of eager participants. The first question published in the June 1949 issue was asked to a group of Pittston graduate students, “Now that you have graduated from high school, what are your plans for the future?” In 1964, the Dispatch revisited those who answered the first question to see if they fulfilled their aspirations. James Dull who wanted to be a radio announcer, ended up being a television personality in Connecticut. John Gillis who wanted to learn more about chemistry found employment as a chemical engineer. Marion Mikitish wanted to do office work and by 1964 was working in the Social Security office and Joseph Ardoline wanted to teach athletics, but stated “military duty came first.”
1974 — 42 Years Ago
With the prospect of a hot summer the announcement the Pittston City pool would remain closed due to dwindling membership and funds was disappointing to many residents and their children. Pittston Area School District Superintendent Martin Mattei decided to take action by recommending to the school board the district operate both the school’s indoor pool and the city pool from July through August. The board agreed to the arrangement took over the maintenance of the city pool and saw to necessary improvements.
The Wyoming Area golf team members were honored for winning the Wyoming Valley Golf League championship for the third straight year. Coached by Joe Satkowski, the Warriors had 57 consecutive league matches without a loss. Team members were Ken Donlavage, Jim Bryja, Russ Goodman, Bob Rodgers, John LaNunziata, Kevin Smith, Rich Donlavage, Tom Novitski, Joe Jumper, John Petrosky.
Construction of the Pittston Township municipal building, the first in the township’s history was nearing completion. Erected on the site of the former Pittston Township High School the cost to build the new facility was $126,000, not including the purchase of the land and demolition of the existing school. The board of township supervisors Sam Iorfida, John Reardon and Wally Shandra announced that taxpayers would not be assessed with additional taxes and that the project was financed through regular income without the benefit of state or federal grants. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics inflation calculator $126,000 is equivalent to $613,990.59 today.
1984 — 32 Years Ago
Harry Jackett of Pittston was awarded the Army Achievement Medal for 30 years of service in the Pennsylvnaia Army National Guard. Serving from August 1950 to July 1977 and again from October 1980 to April 1984, Master Sgt. Jacket was honored for his dedication and devotion to duty.
For the 14th straight year the Sunday Dispatch announced the Student-Athlete award winners. Heralded for their academic achievement and athleticism were Gina Rodeghiero, Pittston Area; Debbie Polkovitch, Wyoming Area; Jackie Higgins, Seton Catholic; Jay Duffy, Seton Catholic; Chris Loughney, Pittston Area; and Rich Ascani, Wyoming Area.
The 33rd annual East-West UNICO football classic was set for Wyoming Area Stadium. Game chairman Bill Anzalone arranged for Miami Dolphin quarterback Dan Marino to serve as the honorary captain of the game. Committee members were John Castrignano, UNICO president; Frank Castrignano, Carl Sgarlat, Larry Medico, Orlando Ruggere, Ray Crisci and John Fiashchi.
1994 — 22 Years Ago
As president of the Pittston Area Key Club and with over 1,400 hours of volunteer service to the community, Lynn Benfante of Pittston was named the top Key Clubber in the state of Pennsylvania by Kiwanis Club judges. Benfante was awarded the prestigious Sandy Nininger Award at the Key Club International district meeting in Herhsey. Second Lieutenant Alexander Ramsey “Sandy” Nininger Jr. was an exemplary high school student and after graduation went on to West Point and into the United States Army. He was one of the heroes of the Battle of Bataan and was awarded posthumously the first Congressional Medal of Honor of World War II.
This Date in History:
1804 – The Lewis and Clark Expedition reached the mouth of the Kansas River after completing a westward trek of nearly 400 river miles.
1974 – In Troy, Ohio, a Marsh supermarket installed the first bar code scanning equipment, made by IBM, and a product with a bar code was scanned for the first time. The product was Juicy Fruit gum.
1979 – Muhammad Ali, at 37 years old, announced that he was retiring as world heavyweight boxing champion.
Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage