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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.
PRESERVATION: The Intelligencer Journal reported on the first actions of an organization formed to preserve the Fulton Opera House:
"Nathaniel E. Hager, whose great-grandfather built the Fulton Theatre 111 years ago, Monday night was named president of the Fulton Opera House Foundation, an organization of Lancaster area residents dedicated to the acquisition and preservation of the historic showhouse. ...
"Hager announced that, as the first step in the direction of the Foundation's objectives, an agreement to option the property -- at a price of $60,000 -- had been obtained from the Coho estate, present owners of the Fulton." (Feb. 12, 1963)
FASHION POLICE: Penn Manor School District officials cracked down on rising hemlines, the Intelligencer Journal reported.
The trend of junior and senior high school girls' skirts getting shorter proved worrisome enough to school board members that they amended the school dress code to specifically state that skirts must be worn at "modest lengths." (Feb. 12, 1963)
NEW GROUND: The Intelligencer Journal reported on some debate over a court case involving police use of traffic radar.
A Harrisburg truck driver was found guilty of speeding in Brecknock Township, but Lancaster County Court set his conviction aside because the constitutionality of police radar was being challenged in the State Supreme Court.
The man had been nabbed by a state police radar detail from Bowmansville, and he appealed his district court conviction to the county level. (Feb. 16, 1963)
DEATH OF THE VALENTINE CARD?: The New Era reported on the Valentine's Day rush at the post office.
The holiday mail load was noticeably lighter than in previous years, though it still required additional personnel to handle.
The New Era speculated that the rise of flowers as the preferred Valentine's Day token might be replacing mailed cards and letters. (Feb. 14, 1913)
FEDS ON THE FARM: The New Era reported on a federal program to educate farmers:
"The Federal Government will expend about $125,000 this fiscal year in promoting the cause of better farm management through the medium of county agents, who will impart instruction directly to the farmers and to farmers' organizations. ...
"Farm management efforts of the Department of Agriculture have thus far not been of a nature to bring the farmers of the county and the farm management experts of the department in close touch. But a new order of things is at hand. ...
"What is going to be done by the Government this year is only a beginner. Next year there is good reason to believe Congress will largely increase the amount allowed for the spread of instruction and suggestion to farm management. That the Government soon will be paying $1,000,000 a year for this purpose is not only possible, but probable." (Feb. 17, 1913)
Flashback Lancaster is compiled from the Lancaster Newspapers archives by Jed Reinert.