Inauguration of Lancaster mayor Frank Musser, 1922
Frank Musser is sworn in as mayor of Lancaster city in this photo from Jan. 2, 1922.
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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.

25 years ago

"What in the world is the World Wide Web?"

That was the headline on a story in the Jan. 2, 1997, New Era about the rapid growth of the online world and how the average person might take advantage of it.

At the time, the were only about 25 million internet users in the world, a tiny fraction of today's 4.6 billion. That's why the New Era explained the new technology in terms that seem quaint by today's standards, using terms like "electronic mail."

Here's a longer example:

"Information is kept on "sites" you visit using your browser. In this online world of sites, also referred to as "Web pages," you can "surf" from site to site or page to page in your quest to explore."

The article also contained detailed information about what hardware and software was needed to get online, plus a guide to early internet service providers.

What other online activities could an adopter of the internet engage in, aside form sending "electronic mail?" The New Era suggested looking for recipes, searching real estate listings, and downloading tax forms, all of which are still done today.

Endlessly scrolling social media? Posting cat memes? Spreading disinformation? No one predicted those things - at least not in the New Era.

In the headlines:

Parents of slain 6-year-old pageant winner offer reward for tips on killer

Suspected Nazi to be charged in wake of shootout in Kansas

Gingrich to escape censure?

Check out the Jan. 2, 1997, Lancaster New Era here.

50 years ago

Toward the end of 1971, St. Joseph Hospital in Lancaster completely changed its policies around maternity care, in keeping with a growing trend nationwide.

The new "Family-Centered Maternity Care Program" was launched in in the fall and by January 1972, the program had seen its first couples through the process of pregnancy and childbirth.

Historically, fathers were separated from mothers as soon as they arrived at the hospital, and were allowed very limited visiting time. Mothers were kept separate from their babies as well, only seeing their children at mealtimes. The process was, for many women, a frightening and lonely one.

The new policies stressed the unity of the family. Mothers and fathers took classes for expectant parents together, after which the father was allowed into the delivery room to witness and participate in the process of birth. 

After delivery, babies spent significant time out of the nursery and in the hospital room with their parents.

In the headlines:

Maurice Chevalier dead of heart attack at 83

Million spectators cheer 60 Rose Parade floats

Mummers stage gaudy performance

Check out the Jan. 2, 1972, Sunday News here.

Sledding in Lancaster city, 1947
David Shreiner, 7, and his dog, Jackie, pause in their sledding on Reservoir Street on Jan. 1, 1947.

75 years ago

In Lancaster, 1947 began with an exceptionally quiet day, with the downtown area "deserted" in the wake of an ice storm.

Shortly after sunrise, snow began falling, with about three inches accumulating before the precipitation turned to sleet and freezing rain. County roads were turned to "ribbons of ice," and city streets were empty, as local residents stayed inside, starting their new year under blankets or sitting by the fireplace.

Children, however, will always make the best of a winter storm, and sledders took to the streets of the city to take advantage of the snow, before it was covered by ice.

In the headlines:

Chinese beat U.S. officer in new protest

Rayburn seen as Democratic House leader

Top ranking officers of Little Rock slain in murder and suicide

Check out the Jan. 2, 1947, Intelligencer Journal here.

100 years ago

Hundreds of city residents turned out to watch the inauguration of Lancaster Mayor Frank C. Musser on Jan. 2, 1922.

Musser unseated incumbent Horace Kennedy in a contentious campaign. The new mayor's inauguration speech, however, focused on unity among the city's residents, working toward common goals such as a cleaner city (physically and morally), keeping political influence out of law enforcement and patriotism over partisanship.

Many other reforms were promised by the new mayor, from improving the condition of streets and parks to overhauling the city's accounting systems.

Musser would remain Lancaster's mayor until 1930.

In the headlines:

Earth and moon are out of step, say scientists

Great Mummer pageant staged in Quaker city

Check out the Jan. 2, 1922, Lancaster Intelligencer here.

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