1950 – 66 Years Ago
Mr. and Mrs. Walter Reed of Pittston knew their son Ensign William Reed was serving aboard heavy cruiser USS Rochester, and through news reports, knew that the ship was engaged in fighting in the waters off the coast of Korea. Reed entered the Navy after graduating from The University of Scranton. In April 1950, the Rochester left for the Pacific, and was off the coast of Korea when the war broke out. The ship was part of the Carrier Task Force 77 screen during the first UN carrier air attacks on July 3, 1950. On July 18 and 19, she took part in the battle of Pohang Dong.
“Skippy” Murtha, Pittston cab driver, while transporting a fare, came across an elderly man lying in the roadway. Murtha stopped the car and set about lifting the man, who was obviously intoxicated, to the curb. A resident, who witnessed Murtha pulling the man up and moving him, yelled, “I knew you taxi drivers would hit somebody.” Murtha ignored the accusation, continued his good deed and stayed with the man until the police arrived. In a few minutes Murtha was on his way, thankful his fare was in the back seat. Otherwise he may have been on his way to jail.
You may be surprised by the answers to the Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer question, “Do you think a woman should continue with her career after she’s married?” Max Wruble of Pittston answered, “Yes, she would be full of pep and be happy.” Frank Consuman of Pittston said, “Positively, yes! A woman should keep up her career when she is married so after her family is raised she will have something to do.” Eugene Finnan of Avoca stated, “Positively, it would supply a useful outlet for feminine talent, if any.” Naomi Tompkins of Hughestown said, “No, a woman’s place is in her home.” Betty Shaughnessy of Pittston stated, “No. She should automatically devote her time to her home.” Mary Morris of Pittston said, “No! Just plain no!”
1960 – 56 Years Ago
The Wyoming Commemorative Association’s Fourth of July program observing the “courage and valour of the early colonists” at the Battle of Wyoming, was to be held at the monument grounds on Wyoming Avenue. A performance by the Stegmaier Gold Medal Band under the direction of J.S. Sauer was scheduled along with an invocation by Rabbi Abram Barros and speeches by Col. Thomas H. Atherton, president of the Wyoming Commemorative Association and Congressman Francis E. Walter. This year marks the 238th anniversary of the Battle of Wyoming and the 138th observance by the Wyoming Commemorative Association.
Out of state firecracker salesmen were suspected of setting up clandestine spots in wooded areas in order to sell their dangerous products to youngsters. At a block party three teens had tossed the explosives into a crowd. No one was seriously injured but it brought attention to the problem prior to the July 4 celebrations.
1970 – 46 Years Ago
A brand new car from the Stauffer Chevrolet Dealership was a prize offered during Fox Hill Country Club’s 50th anniversary celebration golf tournament in Exeter. All a participating golfer needed to do was get a hole in one on the 7th green. Adam Baginsky teed up and swung, driving the ball approximately 170 yards. The ball rolled toward the hole for what may have seemed like an eternity, observers probably cheered figuring Baginsky would soon be holding the keys to the prize. The ball stopped, just 15 inches short of a hole, producing the closest shot of the day for which Baginsky was presented a consolation prize.
An article in the Dupont section of the Sunday Dispatch published in 1970 chronicled the Fourth of July “huckleberry season” in the 1930s and 40s stretching from Dupont to the Poconos. Many local families participated in the harvest because at 5 to 10 cents a quart families could supplement income. Some claimed the additional income helped them to buy property in the borough. Families walked from Dupont to Suscon along Bear Creek Road to board the Wilkes-Barre and Eastern train or “Huckleberry Flyer” as many called it to travel to camps near Stroudsburg. One of the pickers favorite camps located at High Bridge, Springbrook Township was operated by Frank Fritz of Dupont. According to gardensguides.com, the huckleberry is often confused with a blueberry. “While the term blueberry is almost always correctly used, the term huckleberry is often incorrectly applied to blueberries. Blueberries are mostly found in the Northeast and are harvested from July to August. Huckleberries are harvested from August to September and mostly found in the Pacific Northwest.”
Top 10 Songs of 1970
1. “The Love You Save,” by The Jackson 5
2. “Ride Captain Ride,” by Blues Image
3. “Mama Told Me,” by Three Dog Night
4. “Mystery of Love,” by the Leer Brothers
5. “Wonder of You,” by Elvis Presley
6. “Bank of Gold,” by Freda Payne
7. “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” by Melanie
8. “A Song of Joy,” by Miguel Rios
9. “My Baby Loves Lovin,’” by White Plains
10. “United We Stand,” by Brotherhood of Man
1980 – 36 Years Ago
The Wyoming Area Track and Field team competed in a decathlon sponsored by the West Pittston Recreation Board. Those participating in the event were Howard Rudd, Robert Shugdinis, Chuck Salvo, Mike Mazur, Dave Conti, Any Mazzarella, Todd Piatnik and Bill Prebola. Salvo, Rudd and Shugdinis to first, second and third place, respectively.
This Date in History
1775 — George Washington takes command of the Continental Army.
1901 — The Wild Bunch, led by Butch Cassidy, commits its last American robbery near Wagner, Montana, taking $65,000 from a Great Northern train.
1954 — Food rationing ends in Great Britain almost nine years after the end of World War II.
1962 — Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage.