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: The Aug. 18, 1994, New Era reported that Saturday Night at Nissley Vineyards was “Vine and Dandy.” Patrons gathered on the candle-lit vineyard grounds to share picnic dinners, wine, music and dancing. The summer concert series featured big band and jazz music. Guests brought dinners, but wine and snacks were available for sale. Patrons called the winery evenings “a local treasure.”
In the same edition, president of the Lancaster County 4-H Swine Club Tina Umbrell reported she was ready for a busy Elizabethtown Fair week. Umbrell had three swine to show at the fair. The veteran 4-H-er showed pigs many times over the years, and knew all the tricks of the trade.
National Headline: Launch aborted at last second // Overheated fuel pump is blamed
50 Years Ago: The Aug. 18, 1969, Intelligencer Journal published an explanation of the draft system. Director of PA Selective Service Brig. General Henry M. Gross told a reporter that officials met every year to make changes as needed. Gross was the senior member of the 176-strong group of State Draft Boards. All members served without pay. Gross outlined the appeals process, teacher deferments and the birth date selection order. He assured the public that the process was both fair and necessary.
The same edition reported that seven county residents qualified to compete in a National Junior Achievement event. The National Achievers Contest would see Lancaster teens competing for JA President of the Year, Safety Director of the Year, and competitions with national JA participants.
National Headline: Hurricane pounds Gulf Coast
75 Years Ago: About half of Lancaster County’s industrial and manufacturing plants planned to observe the Labor Day holiday by working. The Manufacturer’s Association surveyed plants in the city and found that while half would remain open, some plants would indeed shut down for the day. All manufacturers said there would be “no let down” in war-related goods. The Aug. 18, 1944, Intelligencer Journal had the story.
Also in that edition: A former actress was set to visit Lancaster. Joan Mortimer, a seaman first class, planned to bolster WAVE recruitment in Lancaster before the WAVE Travel Board arrived Aug. 21. Mortimer planned to interview interested girls at a booth in Hager’s Store over the weekend.
National Headline: FDR says Germany and Japan will be occupied after surrender
100 Years Ago: The Aug. 18, 1919, New Era reported that Lancastrians were eager to buy cheap leftover army food. People lined up outside post offices in Lancaster and Ephrata (and across the county) to snap up Lancaster’s allotment of government surplus foodstuffs. Even though Lancaster’s share was 75 tons, postmasters expected that the whole allotment would be gone quickly.
In the same edition, it was reported that “yeggmen” - aka safecrackers - used nitroglycerin to blow open a safe in Elizabethtown. The burglars hit the Pennsylvania Rail Road Ticket Office early in the morning and made off with $140 in cash. Two detectives were investigating.
National Headline: Mexico called on for quick action to release airmen