Marion Court opening 1970

Helen Watt, proprietor of the newly opened Butler's Pantry shop displays some of her gourmet cooking wares. The shop was the fourth store to open in the new Marion Court shopping courtyard off East Orange Street in Lancaster.

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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. 

A newspaper reviewing a local production of "The Nutcracker" isn't too surprising in December, but the Dec. 13, 1995, New Era took an unusual approach in their choice of critic.

Eight-year-old Lauren Smedley, daughter of New Era writer Janet Kelley, was well acquainted with the ballet, having seen it on stage, on television and on film "many times."

Her verdict on the Lancaster Mennonite High School production, which featured dancers from the Donetsk Ballet in the Ukraine, was purely positive.

"They must have practiced forever, because they never messed up," Lauren wrote of the dancers, who also received praise for their costumes.

Lauren's only complaint? There should've been more boys in the show, instead of the boys' parts being played by girls.

In the headlines:

Backers of flag-desecration ban see hope in '96 election

Clintons urged to turn over lawyers' notes on Whitewater

120-mph winds rip West Coast

Check out the Dec. 13, 1995, Lancaster New Era here.

At the end of 1970, the newly-opened Marion Court, a Colonial-style shopping area located off East Orange Street in Lancaster, was filling up with stores.

The latest of these, The Butler's Pantry, was featured in the Sunday News upon opening. The shop sold gourmet cookware and specialty kitchen items, and was the fourth shop to open in the "Williamsburg-style" courtyard tucked away behind the former Atlee Medical Building. (The other three shops were The Higglers Basket, a gift shop, The Pendulum 1776, a clock and watch shop, and the Marion Art Supply Center.

A restaurant was slated to open alongside the courtyard in 1971.

In the headlines:

Gambling raids staged in 26 cities

Muskie to start drive for nomination early

Stock market moves up despite selling pressure

Check out the Dec. 13, 1970, Sunday News here.

A 15-year-old boy was lucky to have sustained only bruises after a minor car accident in Annville led to a bizarre series of events that ended with a traffic light falling on him.

Young Henry Reiner was standing on a street corner on the afternoon of Dec. 12, 1945, when a motorist sideswiped another car, then careened across the street into a telephone pole. The pole fell, and wires attached to it were pulled taut, snapping another pole on the far side of the intersection. That pole in turn knocked over a traffic light, which landed squarely on Reiner.

However, the boy was struck only in the leg, and thus escaped potentially severe injury. Neither motorist involved in the wreck was hurt.

In the headlines:

Truman asks price ceilings on U.S. homes

40 Dachau camp defendants found guilty by court

82 passengers hurt as trains crash in Chicago

Check out the Dec. 13, 1945, Intelligencer Journal here.

In December 1920, Warren Harding was America's president-elect, and he was hard at work planning out his Cabinet.

And one of the possible candidates for Secretary of State was a Lititz native.

James M. Beck, born in Lititz but at the time a resident of New York City, was on the short list for the prestigious position, according to the Lancaster Intelligencer. Beck was described as a "renegade Democrat" who served as an assistant attorney general under President Grover Cleveland more than 20 years earlier.

He was highly regarded for the State position by influential Senator Boies Penrose, who was a close adviser of Harding.

(In the end, though, Beck didn't make the cut - Harding appointed Charles Evans Hughes as his Secretary of State.)

In the headlines:

Secretary Daniels urges larger Navy in 3-year program

Chicken pox reaches epidemic proportions

Check out the Dec. 13, 1920, Lancaster Intelligencer here.