Excerpts and summaries of news stories from the former Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster New Era and Sunday News that focus on the events in the county’s past that are noteworthy, newsworthy or just strange.
A Willow Street man was killed when his ultralight aircraft overturned and crashed in Eden Township in 1995. The victim, Jacob LeFever, 56, had more than 30 years experience as pilot, and had volunteered to take the plane out for a test flight on behalf of its new owners, a pair of friends who were studying for their pilot licenses.
LeFever was intending to fly the plane from a home near Strasburg where it was being stored to a private airstrip in Little Britain Township. One wing of the plane caught on a utility pole wire, causing the craft to flip over and crash upside down.
In the headlines:
Serbs release 108 hostages // Deny U.S. pilot is being held
O.J. jury sees photos of autopsy
Lawmakers make 65 mph legal on some roads in Pa.
In June 1970, the Philadelphia Phillies were suffering from a truly stunning series of injuries, and had decided to turn to Pennsylvania Dutch superstitions to try and turn their luck around.
It all started May 2, when Phils catcher Tim McCarver had his right hand fractured by a foul ball during a game in San Francisco. Mike Ryan replaced him and, literally minutes later, broke his left hand in a play at the plate.
Three weeks later, starting May 21, five more players were out with injuries over the span of just six days.
Thus, the power of the hex sign was enlisted.
Jacob Zook, a "hexologist" from Paradise, was enlisted to create three large hex signs to be mounted on the dugout roof at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia. The signs were installed without injury, but only time would tell if their mojo was successful in protecting the players.
The upcoming Park City Center would feature Sears as one of its anchor stores, Lancaster County residents learned in June 1970.
The county's Sears store was currently in Lancaster Shopping Center, but the new location would be much larger and feature added amenities such as a coffee shop, snack bar, optical department and much larger auto center.
The first anchor store to open at Park City would be JC Penney in July 1970, though the mall's official opening wasn't until September 1971. Sears was the last of the four original anchors to open, welcoming its first customers in 1972.
In the headlines:
Red forces bear down in Cambodia
Finch leaves cabinet for advisor post
Soviet elections hold no surprises
The June 7, 1945, New Era told the story of Cpl. Gilbert Beamesderfer, an Ephrata soldier who, after being injured on the battlefields of France, was held as a Nazi for 30 days - because he was overheard speaking Pennsylvania Dutch.
Shot in the arm while leading his men in an assault against a machine gun nest, Beamesderfer was overheard responding in Pennsylvania Dutch to a surgeon's questions while he was being etherized. When he awoke, he was being held as a German POW.
Efforts to convince his French captors that he was an American were unsuccessful - despite speaking perfect English. German soldiers commonly posed as Americans to try and get out of POW camps. After 10 days in France, Beamesderfer was transferred to a POW camp in England for another 20 days, after which he was able to convince a nurse from Philadelphia that he knew enough about Pennsylvania to make his story plausible.
Fingerprints confirmed his identity, and he was soon on his way back to the United States.
In the headlines:
U.S. general sees fall of Okinawa in a week
No secret pacts, says Churchill
It's not only meat and eggs! Cakes, pies getting scarcer