Nazis in Holtwood, 1945

This headline appeared in the April 26, 1945, New Era.

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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. 

Car into home, 1995

A car, with a sleeping driver at the wheel, crashed through the Landisville home of Donald Smith in April 1995.

A sleeping driver got a rude awakening in April 1995, when his car plowed though the walls of a Landisville home.

Homeowner Donald Smith, a teacher at Centerville Elementary School, was at work when he received a phone call telling him what had happened. The 42-years-old driver had fallen asleep while driving on Harrisburg Pike, then veered off the road, driven across two lawns and driveways, and crashed through the brick-and-cinderblock side wall of the home's attached garage.

No one was injured in the incident, including the driver.

In the headlines:

Unabomber says he wants end to technology

Ito gets tough to speed pace of Simpson trial

Ashburn to begin 45th season with Phils

Check out the April 26, 1995, Intelligencer Journal here.


In April 1970, what would become Lancaster County's largest shopping mall was under construction.

Park City Center was slated to open in phases later that year, but city officials were concerned about its traffic impact, as the state Department of Highways had not yet begun work - or released a work plan - for the necessary widening of Harrisburg pike and adding of deceleration lanes on Route 30.

At that time, approximately half of the mall's proposed 104 stores were expected to be open by the end of July. The required roadworks were expected to take about six months to complete. (In reality, the mall opened in stages, from July 1970 into 1972.)

In the headlines:

First China satellite soars across U.S.

Bradshaw signs with Steelers

Gloria Steinem - Modern Cinderella

Check out the April 26, 1970, Sunday News here.


Though the front page of the April 26, 1945, New Era was almost completely filled with news of World War II nearing its climax in Europe, the back page of that paper bore a short story about an unusual local effect of the war.

Two Nazi soldiers who were being held as prisoners of war at Camp Holabird in Maryland had escaped, and were captured near Holtwood.

The men had been members of Gen. Rommel's Afrika Korps who were captured and transported to the U.S., then escaped their imprisonment.

The pair was on the lam for about two weeks, and had been living in a small oil shed near the railroad tracks in the Holtwood area. They were still wearing their prisoner-of-war garb, though they had covered the large "PW" emblems with other clothes they had bought.

In the headlines:

Bremen falls, Yanks near Austria

Patriots seize North Italy cities

Russians capture port of Berlin

Check out the April 26, 1945, New Era here.


Jewelry store robbed, 1920

This photo from April 1920 shows the broken window of J.D. Wood and Co., a downtown Lancaster jewelry store that had just been robbed.

A smash-and-grab jewelry store heist was front-page news on April 26, 1920.

The J.D. Wood and Co. store at North Queen and Orange streets in downtown Lancaster was hit by a thief or thieves in the early morning hours. A brick was lobbed through the front window of the store, and five watches and at least one ring were taken. 

The ring was dropped on the sidewalk nearby, but the watches, valued at $200, were not recovered. As of press time, city police had no leads whatsoever.

In the headlines:

Government plans to crush outbreak in northern Mexico

Why sun baths and frequent brushings help blonde hair

Check out the April 26, 1920, Intelligencer Journal here.