Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
50 years ago 100 years ago
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 LancasterOnline.com, keyword: Civil War.
ICE SHOW: Thousands of Lancaster County residents spent a balmy Sunday afternoon watching the breakup of the rapidly melting ice on the Susquehanna River, the Intelligencer Journal reported:
"Thousands of countians, out for their Sunday drive, turned toward the river, jamming all roads in the area. Mountville police checking autos moving west through that borough Sunday afternoon said they counted 1,400 vehicles in an hour's time."
Lured by the spectacle of near-calamity -- the river had flooded nearby communities during past ice-melts -- people flocked to prime viewing spots along the riverbanks.
The ice across the river had been measured at 19 inches thick, and temperatures pushing into the 50s resulted in a quick thaw.
However, despite the occurrence of severe flooding further north, no flooding was reported in Lancaster County. (March 11, 1963)
IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM ENDS: The Intelligencer Journal reported on the final week of a mass-immunization program.
The Sabin Type III oral polio vaccine was given to more than 108,000 county residents in the last of three weeklong drives.
Over the course of the three weeks, the county fell slightly short of its goal of an 80 percent immunization rate. However, project coordinator Dr. E.W. Meiser said he was pleased with the result, and that many areas nationwide engaged in similar drives and failed to even reach the 50 percent mark. (March 11, 1963)
TRAILBLAZER: The Intelligencer Journal reported on the first woman to run for Lancaster City Council.
Marguerite Herrold was selected by the city Democratic Committee, along with Richard Shane, to run in the May primary.
Herrold, a secretary at Penn Dairies, was a Democratic committeewoman in the Ninth Ward and ran a telephone campaign for President John F. Kennedy.
(She was not elected to council but continued a lifelong interest in local politics by serving as city Democratic committee chair and county committee treasurer.) (March 16, 1963)
ON STRIKE: The New Era reported on a strike by railroad repairmen.
Most of the trackmen with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company's Philadelphia Division, which served several lines in Lancaster County, were striking.
According to the New Era:
"Their demands for an increase of wages were not acceded to. They were receiving $1.66 a day, working ten hours, and their demand is for a nine-hour day and twenty cents per hour. ...
"While most of the strikers are Italians, a number are Americans. ...
"One of the Italians who returned to work was given to understand that if he continued to work he would be killed, if it had to be done in his home, and, as he did not have the nerve to disregard the threat, he went back on strike."
Trackmen were responsible for maintaining the rails and rail beds, which were damaged easily by the large heavy steam trains of the day.
During the course of the strike, groups of trackmen gathered at the Lancaster train station, where several were arrested.
Crews were brought in from Southern states to replace the workers during the strike, which lasted five days.
Ultimately, the men returned to work with no improvement to their pay or hours. (March 11-15, 1913)
Flashback Lancaster is compiled from the Lancaster Newspapers archives by Jed Reinert.