1948 – 68 Years Ago
After the end of World War II, the bodies of the many of those killed in action were buried in temporary military cemeteries overseas. A five-year project of returning those soldiers to their loved ones and burying them in accordance with the wishes of the family was winding down. By Oct. 3, 1948, the remains of 30 Pittston solders were returned to the United States. At the time there were still 37,000 remains left to be returned, with 18,832 unidentified. There were 16,000 soldiers who were identified but family members had not responded as to what the burial site was. These soldiers were to be buried in one of the 14 permanent American military cemeteries established overseas.
Kehoe Berge Coal Company donated $1,000 to Community Chest campaign. William Bonser, general chairman of the campaign said, “The contribution is proof of the further part the coal company takes in caring for the unfortunate who depend on agencies like the Community Welfare group.” The quota for the 1948 campaign was $78,541. The money was distributed among 11 agencies that made up the organization.
After World War II, enlistments for the armed services were continuing at a “normal rate” as 17 young men enlisted at the recruiting office in Pittston Township. Those who signed up for three years in the Army were Louis Rostock, Avoca; Alfred Romanczak, West Wyoming; Guido Rickabone, Vita Granatiere, Joseph Granatiere, Robert Hrab, George Rucco, Anthony Consenza, John Citerella and Raymond Pope, all of Pittston; and Michael Namotka and Anthony Mazzarella, Exeter. Signing up for three years in the Air Force were Robert Harper and Harold Baker, of West Pittston; and Joseph Ostroski, Duryea.
1968 – 48 Years Ago
For 53 years, the Morgantini Grocery Store operated on Shoemaker Avenue in West Wyoming. Aldo Morgantini ran his family grocery store for 30 of those years, but in 1968, decided that it was time to close the business as people were patronizing the larger grocery store chains. He was also tiring of the long hours in maintaining the store. The landmark building in which the store was located was built by Morgantini’s grandfather, Joseph, in 1915.
The Wyoming Borough swimming pool had been used by residents of the borough for 15 years. But in a letter from the state department, borough council was informed that, “It has come to our attention that we have no record of this pool being approved by a permit. Therefore, the pool must be considered as illegal and its use thereof in violation of the law.” The pool was considered too large for a wading pool and too small for a swimming pool. Regulations for changing the water was at issue. The Wyoming-West Wyoming Lions Club purchased a water filter to hopefully eliminate the problem.
1978 – 38 Years Ago
Jacqueline Littzi and Dawn Humphrey, senior students at Wyoming Area High School, were named Commended Students in the 24th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Students who participate represent the top 5 percent of students who score well. The program began in 1955. Approximately 1.6 million students take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship qualifying test each year.
The Italian-American Association of Luzerne County finalized plans for their first annual Columbus Day dinner dance. Committee members were Joe Infantino, Atty. Mike Butera, Rocco Yanora, Ralph Capristo and John Terrana.
1988 – 28 Years Ago
Agnes Hushelpeck DeFazio, Duryea, was the first female inducted into the Luzerne County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. DeFazio participated in the sport in 1920s. The Duryea High School team on which she played was called the best team in Pennsylvania in 1925. In one game DeFazio socred 67 points leading her team to beat their opponent 101-0. Asked if she felt bad about the whopping victory, DeFazio unhesitatingly replied, “Absolutely not.” Other former players who were inducted in the hall of fame were Tom Kelly, Duryea; John Hopkins, Pittston Township; George “Nippy” Nowakowski, Duryea; Wally Pupa, Pittston and Lou Tomasetti, Old Forge.
This Date in History:
1909 – Orville Wright sets an altitude record, flying at 1,600 feet. This exceeded Hubert Latham’s previous record of 508 feet.
1950 – The comic strip “Peanuts,” by Charles M. Schultz, makes its first appearance in newspapers.
1959 – The groundbreaking TV series “The Twilight Zone,” hosted by Rod Serling, premiers on CBS.
1964 – Scientists announce findings that smoking can cause cancer.
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