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: It wouldn’t be summer in Lancaster County without the arrival of Fresh Air children. The June 30 edition of the Lancaster New Era proved that summer 1994 was no exception. Regular visitors greeted their host families like old friends while first-timers cautiously explored their new surroundings. Two more groups would follow, bringing the total to more than 300 children for the year.
In the same edition, former television reporter Nelson Sears told of an experience early in his career at WGAL. Covering a mine collapse, Sears crawled under the tracks of the drilling device in order to record the scene. He told the story 45 years later as he was retiring as the station’s program director. Sears started at WGAL in 1949, two months before the station went on the air.
National Headline: Bald eagles fly back from brink of oblivion
50 Years Ago: Lancastrians endured a third day of 90-degree heat in the June 30, 1969, Intelligencer Journal. The mercury had topped 82 degrees for eight days straight. Thermometers in some locations registered 100 degrees or more, but a drop in humidity made the high temperatures just a little more bearable.
Also in that edition, it was reported that a youngster in Paradise was the subject of a frantic search effort. It was feared that the boy had drowned in Pequea Creek. The search ended when two fisherman said they’d seen the boy drifting lazily over the dam in the creek in an inner tube. He rejoined his worried brother and the two left for home before anyone could get his name.
National Headline: Crippled jetliner lands with 260 aboard
75 Years Ago: Two families lost furniture and clothing when a stove exploded in a shared farmhouse. The families of J. Clayton Shank and Harry H. Smith escaped safely, including two babies that the fathers ran in to rescue from the burning lower floor. The men then went in search of the nearest phone to call the fire brigade. Firemen arrived in time to save the barn. The June 30, 1944, Intelligencer Journal reported the story.
The same edition reported that the members of the Junior League were planning to restore the kitchen at James Buchanan’s Wheatland. The plans were announced at a meeting of the James Buchanan Foundation. Also announced were plans for a buffet supper to be served on the lawn at Wheatland, under the auspices of the USO.
National Headline: Press freedom cited as peace insurance
100 Years Ago: The nation was set to go dry on the night of June 30, 1919. Local alcohol sellers said they planned to abide by the Wartime Prohibition Act, a piece of legislation proposed in an effort to reduce domestic grain consumption for the war effort, but not actually passed until after the Armistice ending the First World War. Some tavern keepers said they would sell low-alcohol beer, but hotel bars were “closed tight to the sale of intoxicants.” Sales on the last pre-Prohibition day were very brisk.
The same edition told the story of city dwellers who were treated to a day-long show by the aviators of the Stinson Flying Corporation of Atlantic City. The aviators had placed a newspaper ad offering flights to the general public. So many people wanted to take flight that the three aviators stuck around for three days and offered continuous flights from dawn until dusk, ultimately taking 125 aloft.
National Headline: Nation goes dry tonight under Wartime Prohibition proclamation