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Excerpts and summaries of local news stories from the pages of the Intelligencer Journal and Lancaster New Era appear here each Monday. They focus on events in the county's past that were noteworthy, newsworthy or just strange. Full versions are available on microfilm at Lancaster Public Library, 125 N. Duke St.
Also, during the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, excerpts from Lancaster's Civil War-era newspapers, as well as new stories, can be found on the "Lancaster County and the Civil War" blog, at Lancaster Online.com, keyword: Civil War.
A SHOW ENDS, A SHOW BEGINS: The New Era reported on the Armstrong Cork Company changing its television sponsorship.
The company had sponsored its own show, "Armstrong Circle Theater," on a biweekly basis, alternating with "The U.S. Steel Hour" on CBS.
"Circle Theater" was an anthology drama series featuring 30- or 60-minute stories by a range of authors and starring actors such as Jackie Cooper, Patty Duke, Robert Duvall, Grace Kelly, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.
Armstrong sponsored the series from 1950 until 1963, when it canceled the show, choosing instead to sponsor "The Danny Kaye Show," a new variety show. (Jan. 29, 1963)
SUBZERO: Temperatures in Lancaster County dipped below zero for the third time in a week, the New Era reported.
The official temperature reading for Lancaster was 11 below zero, but temperatures as low as 18 below zero were reported across the county.
The coldest official temperature ever recorded in Lancaster County was 27 below zero in 1912, according to the New Era. (Jan. 29, 1963)
MERGER: The New Era reported on the merging of two county municipalities into one:
"The annexation of the village of Florin to Mount Joy Borough was upheld by Judge Joseph B. Wissler today who said it is in the best interests of the future development of the area.
"Judge Wissler's ruling culminated a court fight dating back to 1957, when Mount Joy Borough passed an ordinance to annex Florin."
The annexation nearly doubled the size of Mount Joy. (Feb. 1, 1963)
THE GLORIES OF THE BACK YARD: The Intelligencer reported on an address by Albert M. Herr to the Lancaster Florists' Association, in which a call was made for Lancaster and its residents to take more pride in properties:
"Your first duty as a citizen is to see that you have a back yard, not only in your own home but in any that you may build for others. A good big back yard is fully as important to a perfect home as a front yard or a porch.
"Every family individually, and the city as a whole, would be better morally, physically and mentally (every other betterment following in the wake of these three) if a city ordinance could be passed compelling home builders to have their back yards not less than 50 feet in depth.
"There is nothing more pitiful, nothing more repulsive to the lover of a home than the back yard of a house with 16 feet frontage where the back yard is 16 feet wide and six to eight feet deep, with a tight board fence surrounding it not less than six feet high, yards on which the sun shines about 70 minutes out of the 24 hours. A back yard of this type is a crime. ...
"It is to be hoped that by the time property reaches an abnormal value ... that we as a nation will have devised a remedy for the congestion of our large cities, realizing that no amount of sanitation will make up for the loss of the vitalizing pure air generated by large open back yards filled with growing vegetation." (Jan. 30, 1913)
Flashback Lancaster is compiled from the Lancaster Newspapers archives by Jed Reinert.
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