Hersheypark Wildcat opening, 1996

Hersheypark's fifth roller coaster, the Wildcat, opened for a press preview day on May 22, 1996.

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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.

In 1996, Hersheypark celebrated its 90th operating summer by opening a new roller coaster - the Wildcat.

Named for the park's first roller coaster, which closed in 1945, the new Wildcat was an exercise in "controlled terror," according to Hershey Partnership executive director Bob O'Connor.

Intelligencer Journal reporter Cheryl Meyer agreed, describing in terrified detail her experience riding the coaster at a press preview day.

The $3 million coaster features an 85-foot first drop and speeds up to 45 mph - impressive numbers for a traditional wooden coaster.

When it opened, the Wildcat was Hersheypark's fifth coaster, joining the Comet, Trailblazer, SooperDooperLooper and Sidewinder. The park now boasts 15 coasters.

In the headlines:

Astronauts shoot lasers at satellite

Angry Democrats say loophole sabotages minimum wage hike

Ridge signs 'Megan's Law' revision

Check out the May 23, 1996, Intelligencer Journal here.

We ranked the 15 rollercoasters of Hersheypark; here were our favorites

The Sunday News marked the 10th anniversary of the end of "organized baseball" in Lancaster County with a column and photographs commemorating the former Stumpf Field, located along Fruitville Pike just north of Lancaster city.

The ballpark was built in 1938, and five years after the last game was played there in 1961, the adjacent Lancaster Malleable Castings bought the property with the intention of using the land for a future expansion.

As of 1971, the only elements of the ballpark that remained were a few parts of the outfield fences, the old administration building and some bleachers along the third-base line.

However, a softball diamond on the property was kept up by Lancaster Malleable as a community service.

In the headlines:

Turkey hit by severe earthquake

Johnson's library dedicated in Austin

Kennedy Center's unveiling Thursday

Check out the May 23, 1971, Sunday News here.

7 classic stadiums that were crucial to Lancaster County sports history

Lancaster was ready for the opening of "Art Alley" in May 1946, as artwork by more than 700 city students was set to be displayed in Market Street and the alleys around Lancaster Central Market.

Sophomores from McCaskey High School would be displaying 10 pieces of art each, while upperclassmen would show 20 each. Younger students, including elementary school children, would display at least one piece each.

That added up to an estimated 2,000 pieces of art to be shown for the one-day outdoor exhibit.

In the headlines:

Truman calls carriers and unions as hopes of railroad peace fade

One-third of miners quit jobs despite U.S. seizure

Pa. liquor ration period extended

Check out the May 23, 1946, Lancaster New Era here.

A 300-year-old tree fell in 1996; a four-day work week was tested in 1971 [Lancaster That Was]

Residents of Manor Township may have had something to celebrate in May 1921, as Pennsylvania governor William Cameron Sproul had just signed a bill adding the Lancaster and Manor Turnpike to the system of state highways.

This meant that all toll gates along the route would be removed and the road - which is now state Route 999 - would be free. The roadway connected Lancaster and Millersville, then went on through Windom to Washington Boro.

That roadway, combined with the road along the eastern side of the Susquehanna River that is now Route 441, was the primary route connecting Lancaster to Columbia.

In the headlines:

Polish insurgents driven back by German soldiers

Forty nations at manufacturing conference

Check out the May 23, 1921, Lancaster Intelligencer here.

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