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 March 17, 1994, New Era covered the 45th Annual Lancaster Science & Engineering Fair. Judges had begun wandering through the 404 entries, regarding projects “from silly to serious.” Just two of the questions asked: “Does a peanut butter and jelly sandwich always land peanut butter side down?” And “What are the effects of ozone depletion?” Awards were presented to students that evening.
In the same edition, it was reported that the first Demuth Foundation Premium Art Auction was a success. The Foundation sold about 65 pieces of original art by artists ranging from 19th-century Jacob Eicholtz to more current modern artist Sandra Fruitman. The group had about 150 registered bidders and netted $10,000.
National Headline: Sparks fly during health care debate
50 Years Ago: The March 17, 1969, Intelligencer Journal told the story of “an Irishman’s Irishman.” Michael Patrick O’Malley celebrated his 69th birthday on Saint Patrick’s Day. With him were his son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Edward O’Malley and their children Kevin, Ellen and James. The younger O’Malleys were residents of Nursery Lane.
The same edition reported that the Grand Theater in Lancaster showed its final film: "The Swiss Family Robinson." The next showing would be of the wrecking ball, due to arrive within a week. Record crowds had attended the final two weeks, but the last showing drew just 40 people and “melancholy” staff members.
National Headline: Buddhists repressed by U.S., monk claims
75 Years Ago: The March 17, 1944, Intelligencer Journal reported that a blow torch exploded at the Hamilton Watch Factory. The explosion in the research laboratory injured four men when they were “showered with flaming gasoline.” One window of the lab was blown out, but the company’s new war wing was not damaged. No other workers were in the area.
National Headline: Will sacrifice to meet draft demands
100 Years Ago: When Nathan C. Shaeffer, State Superintendent of Public Instruction passed away, every school in Pennsylvania honored his memory and his illustrious career in education. Shaeffer served the cause of education his entire working life. He was survived by his wife and six children. The March 17, 1919, New Era announced his death and shared his life story.
That edition also reported that the morning and evening services at St. Paul’s Reformed Church adopted a “strong protest” against a bill before the state legislature. The bill would allow "motion picture shows" to be shown on Sundays. St. Paul’s Dr. Meminger said the movement was “obnoxious” and “an insult to the intelligence of Christian people."
National Headline: Nationwide fight against the drys // Cigarette and cigar interests join liquor men in forming the Association Opposed to National Prohibition