1947 – 70 Years Ago
With the blessing of John C. Kehoe Sr., The Sunday Dispatch set about promoting Anthracite coal in the United States, Canada and England. In an event reported to be the very first time coal was transported by air, the Dispatch arranged for the Anthracite to be sent to New York and London via American Airlines and to Canada and Washington DC by Colonial Airlines. Kehoe hoped the publicity regarding how the coal was shipped would boost interest in the mining of Anthracite. The London shipment was sent to David Carter, a former Pittston resident who had gained fame as a singer and actor, and who was said to have given a command performance before the King and Queen of England. Carter was the brother of Fred Carter. of West Pittston. Coal dealers were targeted to receive the shipments in other locations. According to the Pennsylvania Anthracite Council, most Anthracite reserves are found in the five counties of Schuylkill, Carbon, Northumberland, Lackawanna and Luzerne. The Anthracite coal fields extend 50 miles east and west and 100 miles north and south, covering 484 square miles. Current estimates show 4 to 6 billion tons of reserves of Anthracite are left in the region. “ According to American Geo-sciences Institute The United States, in the fourth quarter of 2016, exported 19.3 million short tons of coal to various countries, the largest being Netherlands, Brazil and South Korea.
John Kehoe Jr. purchased the Edward Miller farm located in Center Moreland, “one of the best farms in Wyoming County.” Kehoe thought the farm, which consisted of 160 acres of prime land, would be perfect for breeding thoroughbred horses and general farming. Kehoe engaged Joseph O’Meara, formerly of the Jock Whitney Stables in Virginia, to manage the new enterprise.
The Pittston City Baseball League, started by Dr. Sylvester Tracy and Roland Weiscarger, was winning support from sportsmen interested in promoting youth baseball. Donations were rolling in from various sources and, as the prize for the pennant winning team, Tracy and then Pittston Mayor, Frank T. Horan attempted to arrange a plane trip to New York to take in a big league game. This, of course, would happen, providing the mothers of the players approved.
1949 – 68 Years Ago
The Pittston and West Pittston Posts of the American Legion faced off over when each could begin selling hand-made poppies during their annual fundraiser. West Pittston complained that Pittston started selling two days before a scheduled start. Pittston complained that West Pittston used their auxiliary to distribute the flowers and they “could not compete with female competition.” A meeting was scheduled to iron out the differences. The poppy program actually started in France and was brought to the United States in 1919. In 1921, the American Legion opted out of the program and adopted the daisy as its official flower. The Veterans of Foreign Wars took over the poppy program and its ideals. In 1923, the American Legion re-joined the poppy program. In 1924, in an effort to differentiate between the two organizations, the VFW named their fundraising program “Buddy Poppy” and registered it with the U.S. Patent Office.
Edward Maziarz, of the Pittston office of the American Committee for Resettlement of Displaced Persons, reported a large amount of activity to gain sponsorship of persons from European countries. Maziarz explained the increased activity was due to the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, which made it possible to fill the normal yearly admittance quotas of refugees by a sponsorship program. At the end of World War II, an estimated 7 to 11 million displaced persons were living in Germany, Italy and Austria. The law enabled 200,000 of those persons to be sponsored into the United States. The applicants had to guarantee that their sponsors had housing for them upon their arrival and also guarantee they would not become “public charges.”
1950 – 67 Years Ago
It was Pittston’s third largest fire and the 55th fire alarm in the city as buildings from 143 to 159 South Main Street were engulfed in flames. Thirty firemen were injured fighting the blaze and companies from as far as Wilkes-Barre were called. The estimated damage of the five buildings involved totaled $350,000, most of which was not covered by fire insurance.
The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “Should the wife go with her husband to select his clothes?” Mrs. Walter Brogan, Avoca, answered, “Yes! Definitely! I don’t think anything a man would buy himself would be very flattering.” Joseph Pupa, Pittston, added, “I don’t approve, He-men pick out their own clothes. Men who have women pick them out are pantywaists.” Sam Falcone, of Pittston, said, “A wife should go along to act as a stop-check against high pressure salesmen. A woman, though, should never have a choice of a man’s tie. Women don’t have the right idea about ties,”
1960 – 57 Years Ago
Mr. and Mrs. Art Prandy and family, of Pittston, were visiting Mrs. Prandy’s parents in Dagenham Essex, England. While there, the Prandys were witness to the royal wedding celebration of Princess Margaret and photographer, Anthony Armstrong-Jones. The Prandys joined the line of spectators who watched as the bride was driven by carriage to Westminster Abbey for the ceremony. They eventually made their way through the crowds to Buckingham Palace where thousands of onlookers got a glimpse of the couple as they made their appearance on the balcony. The royal couple separated in 1976 and divorced two years later. Princess Margaret passed away in 2002, Armstrong-Jones passed away in January of this year.
1976 – 41 Years Ago
The Wyoming Area Warriorettes softball team captured the division championship in the Wyoming Valley Girls Softball League by defeating Abington Heights, 9-5. The team was set to play the winning team from the Lackawanna League in hopes of winning the district title. The members of the team were Debbie Gross, Sandy Selenski, Annie Galli, Karen Kitchilinski, Karen Rome, Nadine Greco, Gina Granteed, Becky Edmunds, Cathy Pope. Sandy Chiampi coached the championship team.
The Wyoming Area and Pittston Area track teams had a great showing at the District 2 PIAA Championship meet with the two teams finishing second and third, respectively. Pittston Area team members who qualified for the State Meet were Mike Corcoran, Mike Lokuta, Tom Sabetta, Frank Czerniakowski and Joe Yanchis. Wyoming Area track team members who qualified were Ray Smith, Mark Kendzor, Steve Sickler, Tony Sindaco, Henry Mikolaichik, Joe Radzwilka, Andy Hreha, Mark Casseri, Mike Clonan, Lou Mischianti, J Rubbico, S. Rubbico and Paul Rushefski.
This day in history:
1853 – Gail Borden applies for a patent for condensed milk.
1897 – “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Phillip Sousa is performed for the first time in Philadelphia.
1940 – Holland surrenders to Germany.
1942 – The British Army, in retreat from Burma, reaches India.
1948 – Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion establishes the State of Israel.
1961 – A bus carrying black and white civil rights activists is bombed and burned in Alabama.
1969 – Three companies of the 101st Airborne Division fail to push North Vietnamese forces off Hill 937 in South Vietnam.
1973 – The U.S. space station Skylab is launched.
1991 – In South Africa, Winnie Mandela is sentenced to six years in prison for her part in the kidnapping and beating of three black youths and the death of a fourth.
Reach Judy Minsavage on Twitter @JudithMinsavage