June 14 is Flag Day. What fact about this official state holiday makes Pennsylvania unique?
1959 – 56 years ago
Duryea resident John Runski, chief personnel officer Flag Administrative Unit U.S. Navy, retired after 20 years of service. The recipient of many medals, ribbons and citations, Runski was first assigned to the USS New York in 1939. During World War II, he participated in the battle of Saipan, the invasion of Leyte in the Philippines and the invasion of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. While serving aboard the USS Newcomb a DD-586 Fletcher class destroyer, in 1945, seven kamikazes descended on the ship. According to destroyerhistory.org, “as many as five” hit the vessel. Runski survived the attack, but 40 of his crew members were killed and 24 injured.
1969 – 46 years ago
Four hundred and thirteen seniors made up the first graduating class of the new Greater Pittston Area High School. Diplomas were presented by school board president John Adonizio. Major General George B. Simler served as principal speaker. The first honor grads of the new school were Yvonne Rolek, Florence Oliveri, Valerie Marriggi, Janice Deice, Sally Kazinetz, Anita Fragale, Marie Draus, Maria Orlando, Judy Gross, Terrie Washinsky, Patricia Halat, Deborah Fritz, Regina Maurizi, Helen Waytack, Mary Ann Lombardo, Ronald Bechtold, James Morris, Robert Ciali, Patricia Clark, Leo Novak, Jane Gall, Ellen Kane, Doris Kubick, Patricia Hensley and Mary Lou Arnone. To see photos of the graduation held at the new school stadium and the honor grads, log on to psdispatch.com and click Peeking into the Past.
Duryea Lumber Home Center on Stephenson Street advertised a 3 x 5 ft. American flag kit for $2.47, an inflatable kids’ pool for $2.99 and a 50 ft. garden hose for $4.99. Charles Vullo in Dupont listed all-weather Goodyear tires for $9.95 and Rosedell, fashions for women, advertised bell bottoms for $4.77 and swimsuits for $8.90.
1979 – 36 years ago
As the borough of Yatesville celebrated 100 years of its incorporation, a monument was dedicated at the location of the birthday celebration. Joseph Zambetti Jr., Lorraine Rodeghiero and Lillian Burke participated in the dedication ceremony.
Ann Postupack’s love for the ocean came across in the design she chose to submit to Bigelow-Sanford, Inc. after attending the American Society of Interior Design Conference in Washington, D.C. Postupack was chosen from a group of 2,000 designers to receive from the Greenville, South Carolina company a 4 x 6 ft. area rug sporting her winning design.
After winning the AAA title in the Wyoming Valley Conference and the District 2 PIAA Triple A crown, the Wyoming Area girls softball team traveled to Reading to participate in the state championships. Although they were not successful in obtaining the championship title, the girls, most of whom were underclassmen, were already looking forward to 1989. Team members were Ann Taddei, Karen Kichilinsky, Gina Granteed, Sandy Chiampi, coach; Barbara Yunkunis, Karen Rome, Donna Angeli, Cindy Weiskerger, Ann Holland, Jamie Harned, Michele Porasky, Sharon Manganiello, Sherie Carbino, Suzanne Christian, Carol Lepore, Ann DeGraba, Lynn Kichilinsky, Kenley Hoats, Jackie James and Sue Newman. To see a photo of the team, log on to psdispatch.com and click Peeking into the Past.
1989 – 26 years ago
After two years and $75,000 in renovations, the West Pittston Pool opened. Years prior, the pool was shut down due to financial difficulties. Built in 1960, the pool was originally owned by the West Pittston Little League. Facing declining membership, the league turned over the ownership to West Pittston Council in 1988.
According to America’s Favorite Holidays written by Richard T. Stanley, “Pennsylvania became the first state in the Union to celebrate Flag Day as an official state holiday on June 14, 1937.” According to the trumanlibrary.org, President Harry Truman made his first announcement of Flag Day as approved by Congress on May 27, 1950 giving each state an opportunity to observe the holiday.