Excerpts and summaries of local news stories from the pages of the Intelligencer Journal and Lancaster New Era appear here each Sunday. They focus on events in the county's past that were noteworthy, newsworthy or just strange. Full versions are available on microfilm at Lancaster Public Library, 125 N. Duke St.
25 Years Ago: An armed robber hit the same Lancaster grocery store twice in 19 hours, the Dec. 4, 1989 New Era reported. The thief robbed Suzie's Grocery store on East Walnut Street, two block from the police station, Saturday night and returned again Sunday afternoon and robbed the store again. Police said there were seven holdups or attempted robberies in the area over the past month. In three instances, the thief sprayed mace into the faces of his victims.
The argument between Columbia Borough and the Columbia Water Company over damages caused by a massive sinkhole went to court, the Dec. 5 New Era reported. The sinkhole, caused by a burst water main in 1985, damaged 11 homes in the 200 block of South Fourth Street, and did over $1.5 million in damages. A financial settlement between the water company and the homeowners had been reached in 1988.
Prime time Friday night television viewing included "Baywatch," "Dallas," "Full House" and "Falcon Crest."
National Headlines: Caller ID to be available here in '91 or '92
50 Years Ago: The Lancaster Redevelopment Authority gave National Land and Investment Co. of Philadelphia until mid-January to come up with an acceptable plan for the revitalization of North Queen Street. Many delays, coupled with the developer's failure to find a large department store to anchor the revitalized area, promoted the redevelopment authority's action.
Lancaster Mayor George Coe and city Street Commissioner Daniel S. Templeton took heat after it was disclosed that they spent over $45,000 in city funds to remove reservoirs from Reservoir Park, while ignoring a local excavation firm which said it could have done the job for just $23,000, the Dec. 3 Intel reported. Rather than bid the job, the city did the work with its own workers.
National Headline: Russians launch spacecraft to race U.S. to Mars
75 Years Ago: Settlement of a strike launched by workers at Chrysler Corp., America's second largest auto manufacturer, was all in a day's work for Mount Joy native Kaufman Thuma Keller, who was head of Chrysler. As reported by the Dec. 4, 1939 New Era, Keller, who took over at Chrysler in 1935, began his working career was an after school job as a mechanic at the Rollman Manufacturing plant in Mount Joy. Keller never forgot his local roots. When he herd that the Friendship Fire Company in Mount Joy needed a new truck, he offered to supply the chassis. He took over at Chrysler when Walter Chrysler stepped down as CEO.
In time for Christmas, Shenk Brothers was selling Lionel electric trains from $6.76 to $38.23, boys and girls bicycles at $18.88 and cameras from $1.25 to $30. Watt & Shand had tricycles from $1 to $12.95, pedal cars from $5.50 to $7.50 and Dy-Dee Dolls from $2.95 to $9.75
National Headline: Finland invaded by Russia
100 Years Ago: A pistol-wielding Rodney Hart, 22, confronted 19-year-old Jeanette Aucamp at Woolworth's in Lancaster, demanding she marry him by noon, or he would shoot her, according to the Nov. 30, 1914 Lancaster Intelligencer. The girl's mother, who had gone to the store to warn her daughter about Hart, grabbed the gun and the two struggled. Mrs. Aucamp got the pistol and Hart was subdued by male employees of the store and turned over to police.
Lancastrians shipping goods by rail or trolley, were forced to purchase federal war tax stamps starting Dec. 1, the Nov. 11 Intel reported. The tax was to raise $100 million in new revenue.
National Headlines: Germans plan another concentrated onslaught on Allies' line in west
Flashback Lancaster is compiled from the Lancaster Newspapers archives by Larry Alexander