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: Postal carrier Craig Lefever opened a lot of blue mailboxes in his time on the job. Only once did the mailbox hiss at him. The box at Pine and West King Streets contained a small black cat along with the usual mail. Lefever took the terrified cat to the Organization for the Responsible Care of Animals. ORCA discovered that the female kitten had a dislocated hip, likely from getting tossed into the mailbox. Lefever gave the cat her first name the moment he found her: Maily. The Sept. 1, 1994, New Era had the story.
The same edition reported that a national leader in preservation visited the county to help residents deal with the incoming “big box” stores. Part of a “Superstore Summit,” the group focused on the choices communities had when the “giants” came to town. The event was coordinated by the Historic Preservation Trust.
National Headline: Court says military can’t oust gays simply for “coming out.”
50 Years Ago: The Sept. 1, 1969, Intelligencer Journal reported on a seaplane crash in the Susquehanna River. All three passengers – Gail C. Getz, David Martz, and owner and pilot Paul Steigerwald - survived when the plane “hit the water wrong” and slammed down into the river. The plane, an old Navy seaplane built in 1943, was listed as the reason all three passengers emerged with fairly minor injuries. “If we’d been in any other plane, we’d be dead,” said Martz.
Also in that edition, Lancaster Countians were told they could look forward to a hot, humid, sunny day for their Labor Day plans. State Police brought out their "Bring ‘Em Back Alive” campaign to ask returning vacationers to drive carefully. Crowded highways were anticipated as the holiday and the summer drew to a close.
National Headline: Syrians release 4 Israeli captives // Were on hijacked aircraft
75 Years Ago: Plans for the re-opening of county schools were on schedule in the Sept. 1, 1944, Intelligencer Journal. Timely re-opening had been in doubt because of a new polio outbreak. The latest illness brought the county’s total to 21 cases of infantile paralysis. That number, however, was still below the state’s threshold and officials were told they could open schools on time. State and local doctors felt that closing schools was “a vain gesture toward the prevention and spread of polio,” and they supported the opening as well.
In the same edition, Lancaster Mayor D.E. Cary announced his support for a new city police station in the “post war years.” A site had yet to be chosen, but any considered site would have to have easy access to the courthouse.
National Headline: Truman warns U.S. against choosing inexperienced man // Accepts Democratic nomination for vice president; praises Roosevelt
100 Years Ago: The Sept. 1, 1919, New Era reported on a “hearty” welcome for returning soldiers in the eastern end of the county. Soldiers coming home to Paradise, Leaman Place, Kinzer, Gordonville and Intercourse were feted in a “jubilee” at Beiler’s Meadow. Music, homemade chicken corn soup, treats and a baseball game were offered to the 75 uniformed soldiers.
Also in that edition: Labor Day was big at Rocky Springs. The Central Labor Union Picnic drew “probably twelve thousand people” to the park. There was a baby show, a full sports slate and many guessing contests. Prizes included wristwatches, newspaper subscriptions, cigarettes and packs of tobacco.
National Headline: Big ports of Europe glutted with food, says Herbert Hoover.