Miss Lancaster 1922
Elsie Mae Blumenstock, 19, was voted Miss Lancaster 1922. This photo, printed on the front page of the Lancaster Intelligencer, shows her in her bathing suit.
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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

A new school year began at McCaskey High School on Aug. 27, 1997, after a massive renovation and expansion project that cost $18.5 million.

But it wasn't just new classrooms and infrastructure that students were exploring - they also got their first taste of a few new concepts in education.

Perhaps the most wide-reaching change was the idea of bringing the internet to education. Each classroom had four computers - three for students and one for the teacher. Previously, computers at McCaskey existed only in the writing center and computer lab.

The "restructuring" also saw students of different ages grouped together to study certain topics, and teachers working in teams instead of alone.

first day at new McCaskey High School, 1997
McCaskey High School students Jennifer Benson, left, and Jessica Shepps were happy to learn they were in the same journalism class in this photo from their first day at the new McCaskey High School, Aug. 27, 1997.

In the headlines:

Espy is charged with taking gifts as ag secretary

North Korea calls off talks with US

Diet drug tied to higher risk of heart disease, experts say

Check out the Aug. 21, 1997, Intelligencer Journal here.

50 years ago

A federally funded job placement program aimed at helping Vietnam veterans find work was unveiled in Lancaster on Aug. 28, 1972.

The program would involved training five people to be job placement interviewers, and encouraging both employers and prospective employees to use the Bureau of Employment Security as a shared resource.

Something like a pre-internet LinkedIn or Monster, the Bureau allowed job-seekers to register their names and a list of their skills. Bureau employees could then alert local companies of potential employees with skills matching posted job requirements.

The Lancaster program was part of a larger initiative to set up systems that could then be established in other cities nationwide. 

In the headlines:

Spitz wins two U.S. gold medals

Nixon plans to end draft

Pathologist hits theory of single JFK assassin

Check out the Aug. 21, 1972, Lancaster New Era here.

75 years ago

In August 1947, food prices were on the rise, and the New Era surveyed local homemakers for a front-page story about how they were trimming the cost of putting food on the table for their families.

Among the solutions city women had found:

  • Using half the usual amount of meat when making chili, and compensating by adding more beans.
  • Wearing clothes longer before replacing them, and shifting the clothing budget to food.
  • Playing meat bingo to win your dinner.
  • Buying hamburger instead of steak or pork chops.
  • Buying margarine instead of butter, or cutting back on butter in recipes.
  • Growing vegetables at home.
  • Serving occasional meatless "vegetable plates" for dinner.

In the headlines:

Military training for able-bodied youths is urged by Dewey

Truman, Pope trade views on freedom

$2 billion a year urged for US scientific research

Check out the Aug. 21, 1947, Lancaster New Era here.

100 years ago

A week after the final call for entries, the Miss Lancaster competition sponsored by the Lancaster Intelligencer, had selected its winner.

Elsie Mae Blumenstock, 19, of Poplar Street, took the prize and would soon be departing by train for Atlantic City, where she would compete for the title of Miss America.

Blumenstock and her chaperone would travel by parlor car to Philadelphia, where she would join other beauties from around the country for a film session with "moving picture men" before departing later in the day for the shore.

In Atlantic City, Blumenstock would be staying at The Breakers, a lavish boardwalk hotel. The next two days would be a whirlwind of appearances, entertainment and gifts, culminating in the final pageant.

In the headlines:

Rail board receives demand of 400,000 trackmen

75 miners trapped 3,000 feet below in gold shaft

Check out the Aug. 21, 1922, Lancaster Intelligencer here.

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