Mrs. Fiske, 1921

Famed actress Minnie Maddern Fiske, known professionally as Mrs. Fiske, appeared on the Fulton Opera House stage in 1921.

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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

Just days before he was set to square off against President Bill Clinton in a televised debate, Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole visited Elizabethtown College - where he had plenty to say about Clinton.

Tucked into his speech, which focused mostly on his proposed tax cuts, were harsh criticisms of Clinton's anti-drug efforts, which Dole said were failing. Dole also chided Clinton for not releasing his full medical records, as Dole had done.

Local voters and Elizabethtown students turned out in force for the GOP candidate, with an estimated 3,500 people gathering to hear him speak. Dole also visited classrooms and met with students while he was on the campus.

In the headlines:

Palestinians say summit was fruitless

Drug use in workplace declines

Big cars found safer for drivers

Check out the Oct. 3, 1996, Lancaster New Era here.

50 years ago

Sometimes something is such a commonplace part of modern life that we forget there was a time - perhaps not so long ago - when it was a newfangled concept. Such was the case for the humble garage sale in 1971.

The Sunday News of Oct. 3 ran a front-page story called "The garage sale makes the scene" about this new trend sweeping the nation.

Selling old secondhand items was nothing new, of course, but according to the Sunday News, in bygone days such sales generally happened via auctions and estate sales.

Of course, there was also the tried-and-true "rummage sale," where people would donate items to be sold to raise funds for a charity. But those sales were generally larger - and also didn't put money directly into the pockets of the sellers.

The smaller storage spaces in modern homes, the Sunday News speculated, was also a driving force in encouraging people to pile their unwanted items in their driveways or garages, take out an ad in the newspaper, and wake up early Saturday morning to start haggling.

In the headlines:

Rocket attacks rip Viet cities on voting day

Legislature to tackle redistricting

UK, Soviet spy battle smoldering

Check out the Oct. 3, 1971, Sunday News here.

75 years ago

Agriculture has always been a part of Lancaster County life, and agriculture contests for young people were often front-page news. One example comes from Oct. 3, 1946, when the Southeast District 4-H Dairy Calf Club held its first ever cattle show, featuring young competitors from 12 counties.

More than 200 people turned out to watch the competition, which featured 61 head of cattle. 

Lancaster County fared well, capturing the county championship ribbons for the best group display of four animals in a county herd in both the Holstein and Guernsey categories.

The prize Holsteins were shown by Shirley Rutt of Ephrata, Richard Hess of Strasburg, Rhelda Royer of Lancaster and Robert Groff of Strasburg.

The top Guernseys were shown by Mary Witmer and Rohrer Witmer of Willow Street, Donald Rohrer of Lancaster and Mervin Breneman of Willow Street.

Breneman also won an individual trophy for presenting the best Guernsey in the show.

In the headlines:

Trieste statute wins approval

Baruch raps Wallace for atom 'errors'

Foreign press calls Nuremburg sentences of Nazis 'too soft'

Check out the Oct. 3, 1946, Intelligencer Journal here.

100 years ago

In October 1921, Lancaster's theater fans were getting ready to welcome a singular talent to the stage of the Fulton Opera House.

Minnie Maddern Fiske - known on stage simply as "Mrs. Fiske" - would be appearing in a new comedy, "Wake Up, Jonathan!," which had run for more than 100 performances at the Henry Miller Theatre on Broadway. 

The play, written by Hatcher Hughes and Elmer Rice, was well reviewed by New York critics, and the one-night-only performance at the Fulton was expected to draw the typically large crowds that turned out whenever Mrs. Fiske visited the local stage.

Fiske was regarded as one of the leading American stage actresses of her day, starting out as a child performer in the 1870s and continuing to appear on stage into the 1930s. She was known for her versatility, performing comedy and tragedy with equal skill, and for her social activism. According to her obituary in Time magazine, she was a lifelong advocate against animal cruelty and was a strict vegetarian.

In the headlines:

Japan to tell her troubles to arms conference

Boy Scout heroes save passenger train from wreck

Check out the Oct 3, 1921, Lancaster Intelligencer here.

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