front page 1944

On June 18, 2019, LNP celebrated its 225th anniversary. The earliest newspaper to which today’s LNP traces its roots was the Lancaster Journal, first published on June 18, 1794, by William Hamilton and Henry Willcocks from a news office located in a tavern building at the King Street site of the current LNP building.

To celebrate 225 years of Lancaster newspapers, we present this series of 52 front pages from the history of the newspapers which would eventually become LNP. 

Plane crash

At 2:15 p.m. on Friday, March 24, 1944, onlookers watched in horror as a plane circled 500 feet overhead before crashing onto a field at a 45-degree angle.

That afternoon, U.S. Navy aviation cadet Nicholas Bianchi, 18, and his instructor, John Grassi, 28, took a training flight and ended up on a farm owned by John Brubaker a mile north of Harrisburg Pike near Salunga. Bianchi was stationed at Franklin & Marshall College, while Grassi was from Camden, New Jersey. Farmers and motorists removed Bianchi and Grassi from the wreckage and carried them out of the mud to a nearby road so an ambulance could transport them to St. Joseph’s Hospital.

A few days later, Grassi died of his injuries. Bianchi survived. Franklin & Marshall naval authorities deemed the incident an accidental crash.


In 1944, the world at large experienced what would be the last full year of World War II. While the Battle of Stalingrad - which took place from late 1942 into early 1943 and resulted in a massive defeat for Germany - is rightfully seen as the turning point in the war, it was an event early in the summer of 1944 that signaled certain victory for the Allied forces. At 6:30 a.m. on June 6, nearly 150,000 Allied troops, 7,000 sea vessels and 2,400 aircraft stormed the German-controlled beaches of Normandy on the coast of France. Not only did the landing troops face heavy artillery from the hilltops overlooking the landing area, the beach itself was riddled with barbed wire and angled metal beams, sometimes known as “Czech hedgehogs,” making it difficult to traverse. Allied forces had expected to take the beach on the first day of combat operations, but it ended up taking an additional four days.

The invasion would quickly segue into a full-fledged battle, which would drag on to the end of August. All told, Allied forces sent more than two million troops to Northern France, with over 20,000 killed in the span of two months.

Within a year, Hitler would be dead and the Allies would claim a decisive victory in the war effort.