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: County schools were forced into early dismissal due to “searing heat and high humidity.” A string of 98-degree days resulted in a very high volume of calls to repair services for air conditioning fixes, and the units themselves flew off of store shelves. Ice cream and cold drinks were also hard to keep in stock. Meteorologists saw some chance for cooling over the next few days. The June 16, 1994, New Era had the story.

The same edition reported that volunteers were busy preparing for the American Cancer Society’s Lancaster Relay for Life. Millersville University planned to host the event, which was part fundraiser, part memorial and part celebration. Cancer survivors and those currently fighting the disease would be especially celebrated.

National Headline: Blood at murder scene ‘was same type as Simpson’s.’


50 Years Ago: The June 16, 1969, Intelligencer Journal reported on a “sparkling” opening to the Lancaster Summer Arts Festival. The Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Louis Vyner, played to an enthusiastic and appreciative Long’s Park audience. Concertgoers who braved the chance of rain were rewarded with stellar music and two special guests: Dr. Mary Bainbridge Vyner and John Darrenkamp.

Also in that edition, it was reported that authorities from the State Department of Health were investigating a fish kill in the Lititz Spring Creek. Farmer Edward Hess said his sheep refused to drink from the creek. When he noticed an increasing number of dead fish in the area he alerted district fish warden Samuel W. Hall. Hall suspected that a problem in the sewage disposal plant was the cause.

National Headline: Nixon’s surfboard might remain dry


75 Years Ago: The cases of six draft objectors who did not report for civilian public service camp were turned over to the U.S. Attorney. All six men were Wenger Mennonites who left the Sideling Hill work camp before their appointed time. The men faced possible prison sentences after failing to report to camp a second time. The June 16, 194,4 Intelligencer Journal had the story.

In the same edition, a call for volunteers for the sugar ration board was published. The extra hands were needed to dispense sugar necessary for canning. Paul G. Murray, chairman of the Lancaster Price and Ration Board, was concerned about large amounts of food spoiling if sugar for canning was not immediately available.

National Headline: FDR reveals U.S. plan to keep peace through international organization


100 Years Ago: The June 16, 1919, New Era reported on a lightning strike at the Sinclair silk mill. Lightning struck a corner of the building, tearing away bricks. More damage was done as the bricks fell, breaking glass at the Nagel hot houses. The wires carrying power into the building were also damaged, making a temporary shutdown necessary.

The same edition reported that human bones ended up in the junkyard. Herman Lyon, an employee of junkyard owner Harry Proler purchased some unusual bones from a boy and found them to be human. Lyon did not want the bones to “go the route of common bones” at the Locust Street yard, so he took them to a police station and asked that they be buried.

National Headline: London to fete first non-stop ocean aviators