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: Red Rose Transit Authority agreed to purchase three trolley style buses for $473,141, the Dec. 21, 1989 Intelligencer Journal reported. The 24-passenger buses would travel the tourist circuit of Route 30 between downtown Lancaster and the Strasburg Railroad. RRTA had experimented with rented trolley buses in 1985 and 1988.
A dog lost by a New York family while vacationing at Circle M Ranch near Millersville in November, was found safe and sound, the Dec. 21 Intel reported. Longshot, a Blue Tick Coonhound, was found "half-starved and had some sores on him" at the Faylor-Middle Creek Quarry on Wabank Road, and returned to the family in Stoney Brook, N.Y.
The worst cold spell in six years had the county shivering, according to the Dec. 22 Intel. Nighttime temperature was expected to hit 5 below zero with wind chills at minus-50.
National Headline: U.S. puts $1 million price tag on Noriega
50 Years Ago: The explosion of a coal furnace used to heat a chicken house in East Hempfield Twp. hurled a four-ton boiler 800 feet, the Dec. 21 New Era reported. A "couple hundred chickens" were killed and the explosion that car-sized boiler sailing was heard more than a quarter mile away.
As Lancaster city prepared to move from a commission-style government to a mayor-council form, seven men were selected to draw up a new city charter, the Dec. 23 New Era reported. Led by Bruce P. Ryder, the committee, announced by Mayor George B. Coe, consisted on G. Theodore Storb, Samuel W. Loss, Charles F. Blumenstock, H. Clay Burkholder, John A. Neimer and Clark McSparren. Among their tasks were to decide on the number of departments in the new city structure and what bureaus each would contain. The switch-over would take place in January 1966.
Mercury on Christmas hit a balmy 70 degrees, the Dec. 26 New Era reported. It was the warmest Christmas on record locally.
National Headline: Viet Army chief tells U.S. to stop meddling
75 Years Ago: Guy K. Bard became the first Lancaster Countian ever to be named a federal judge, the Dec. 21, 1939 Intelligencer Journal announced. The Ephrata-area native was appointed by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Movies playing locally included "Roy Rogers in Old Caliente" at the Fulton, "Daytime Wife" (Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell) at the Lititz Theatre and "The Cat and the Canary" (Bob Hope) at the Strand in Lancaster
National Headline: Roosevelt Lauds Peace Efforts
100 Years Ago: Burglars were foiled in an attempt to crack the safe at the Pennsylvania Railroad ticket office in Elizabethtown, the Dec. 21, 1914 Daily New Era reported. An explosive attached to the safe cracked the shell, but left the safe unopened. Their efforts yielded just $5.60 rifled from drawers.
While Lancaster and Columbia both erected community trees for Christmas, one dedicated in Marietta was the county's largest, the Dec. 23 Daily New Era proclaimed. In 1913, Marietta was home to the county's only community tree. The article gave no tree sizes.
Three AT&T linemen driving a company-owned covered wagon were struck by a train at a railroad crossing near East Petersburg, the Dec, 27 Daily New Era said. It was believed the men did not hear the train coming. All three were hospitalized, and two suffered possible life-threatening injuries. The horses, which had cleared the tracks, were uninjured.
National Headline: Russian forces compelled to retreat from Cracow
Flashback Lancaster is compiled from the Lancaster Newspapers archives by Larry Alexander