1948 – 69 Years Ago
Dupont High School held its first all-sports banquet at the Dupont Community House. Coach Guy S. Costello awarded letters to team members. Cheerleaders received letters presented by Helen Lukasik. Those honored were Louis Adams, Jim Barbette, Mike Pearage, Mike Lis, Steve Kmetz, Patsy Roots, Ralph Cavalari, Paul Phillips, Sam Nardone, Edward Zielinski, Albert Strelish, Dominick Bau, Frank Halat, Alfred Ramanko, John Chmiel, Paul Trojancki, Ed Massakowski, Richard Larnard, Bernard Zielinski, Mike Andusko, Norbert Novabliski, Nicholas Patte, Pete Pasquariello, Joe Kusbinski, Joseph Lello, Frank Snopek, Margaret Cronick, Beatrice Marsh, Betty Cebula.
For all the anglers eager to get out on Pennsylvania water ways, Zambor’s Fish and Sport Equipment on North Main Street in Pittston advertised South Bend and Shakespeare casting reels and a large assortment of fly rods and reels and tubular steel fly rods for $15, creels for $1.95, landing nets for $1.50 and hip boots for $5.95. For those staying home to tend to the lawn, they offered mowers for $12.95, rakes for $1.50 and grass seed for 25 cents per pound. Kids could get a tricycle for $6.25. An avid fisherman, William Shakespeare Jr., invented a device in 1896 that wound fishing line evenly back on to the spool. By 1897, Shakespeare had a company with 12 employees producing the popular reel. South Bend started out in 1895 as a bait manufacturing company and later offered reels and bamboo fly rods. The company was sold in 1958, but continued to produce the products.
1949 – 68 Years Ago
Graduation exercises were being planned for 895 seniors from 13 area high schools. Of that number, 463 were girls and 432 were boys. A breakdown published in the Sunday Dispatch showed the school and respective graduates, Avoca, 48; Duryea, 108, Hughestown, 36; Dupont, 66; Moosic, 40; Jenkins Twp., 54; Pittston Twp., 44; Pittston city, 154; St. John’s, 100; Exeter, 59; Wyoming, 52; West Wyoming, 45; and West Pittston, 89.
The DeSellem Preparatory Masonry School, Inc., located in the Miner-Hillard Building on Cron Street in Pittston, was one of a few private trade schools in operation after World War II. The school, which trained returning soldiers as tradesmen, was formed in March 1948 and had 50 students. By 1949, 250 students were enrolled. The school operated on two six-hour shifts per day five days a week, with three days devoted to theory, mathematics and blue print reading. Additional 16-month courses were offered, one in bricklaying the other in plastering. Fifty men were scheduled to graduate in 1949.
1950 – 67 Years Ago
In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Scouting in this area, the John D. Stark American Legion Post and Pittston Kiwanis Club presented two American flags to the Pittston District Girl Scouts. Legion representative Robert Sammon and Kirwanis representative John McNamara presented the flags to the 16 troops of the district represented by Mrs. H.M. Galloway and Mrs. Myrrdyn H. Evans,
In 1939, The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Angelo Cupona, of Pittston, left America and became a member of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart Order of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Italy. Her family had not seen her for 13 years. During that time, she attended school in the U.S. and, after arriving in Italy, became an English teacher. During World War II, she and other members of her order were captured by Germans and were held as prisoners of war for four years. The nuns somehow managed to escape. After the war, Sister Giorgia had an audience with Pope Pius XII, and then headed back home to United States. Under the order’s religious vows, a certain number of years had to pass before members were allowed to see relatives. Sister Giorgia, however, was given special permission to visit her parents in Pittston before traveling on to Chicago where she was assigned to a permanent station.
Members of Pittston Camp No. 17. Spanish-American War Veterans held a program to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of their mustering in April 1898. As part of the Ninth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, many from Luzerne County were sent to Camp Thomas in Georgia. With so many soldiers arriving, the conditions at the camp were unsanitary and most were sickened by disease. Pennsylvania Governor Daniel H. Hastings commissioned a special train to travel to Georgia to bring home Pennsylvanians too sick to be moved to other camps. The war ended with an armistice between the United States and Spain on August 13, 1898.
1960 – 57 Years Ago
The Greater Pittston Business and Professional Women’s Club honored these outstanding senior girls, Sandra Begliomini, West Wyoming; Patricia Beretta, West Pittston; Lucille Maceina, Jenkins Twp.; Eleanor Jennings, Avoca; Helen Kravitz, Hughestown; Ruth Harmanos, Exeter; JoAnn Melone, Wyoming; Theresa Ann Pennachioli, Pittston and Lorraine Perrins, Pittston Twp.
David Blight, owner of David Blight Dance Studios, and members of the Teen Tappers, Mary Kay Hines, Carol Ann Redington and Helen Ann Gitkos celebrated their third win after appearing on the Ted Mack of the Original Amateur Hour in New York City. They thanked the thousands of people who helped them keep their first-place standing on the show. According to the show’s format, viewers were asked to call in or mail a post card to vote for their favorite act. Three-time winners could go on to compete for the grand-prize of a $2,000 scholarship. Some famous people who got their start on the show were Gladys Knight, Pat Boone, Ann Margret, Tanya Tucker and, during the early days, Frank Sinatra.
1976 – 41 Years Ago
Mary Lou Zurenda, of West Pittston, was awarded the Department of the Army certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service and the Patriotic Civilian Service Pin. Zurenda was honored for her “Outstanding performance of duty and distinguished patriotic civilian service through the exercise of an exceptional degree of leadership, organizational ability and initiative while an executive director of the U.S.O. in Mannheim, West Germany.”
The Pittston Bicentennial Horizons ‘76 Committee sponsored a dinner dance with more than 200 people in attendance. Dignitaries present at the event were Mary Mullarkey, Joseph Augello, Rep. Ray Musto, Lorraine Taft, Ronald Mortimer, Pittston Mayor, and Mrs. Robert Loftus, Rev. and Mrs. William Eder, Mr. and Mrs. Gerard Mullarkey, Msgr. Thomas Knight, Mrs. Maria Capolarella and Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Ferrara.
This date in history:
1789 – President George Washington moves into Franklin House, New York.
1896 – Motion pictures premiere in New York City.
1924 – The U.S. Senate passes the Soldiers’ Bonus Bill.
1945 – The Soviet Army fights its way into Berlin.
1966 – President Lyndon Johnson publicly appeals for more nations to come to the aid of South Vietnam.
1969 – Sirhan Sirhan is sentenced to death for killing Senator Robert Kennedy.
1971 – The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 10, becoming the first mission to the Salyut 1 space station.
Reach Judy Minsavage on Twitter @JudithMinsavage