Pages From The Past

Curated by staff librarian Brian Fulton, Pages from the Past is your outlet for regional local history stories, discussion and the treasures of the Times-Tribune archives.

Time Warp – Rock 107, nightclub team up to celebrate ‘General Hospital’ wedding

Time Warp – Rock 107, nightclub team up to celebrate ‘General Hospital’ wedding

Nov. 16 and 17, 1981:

Millions tuned in to witness the wedding of Luke Spencer and Laura Webber Baldwin of Port Charles, New York.
This two-day television wedding was part of popular ABC soap opera “General Hospital.”
Since the pair joined the show in the 1970s, the characters had their ups and downs in the fictional upstate New York town. The wedding was a big deal for the daytime soap – so big that movie legend and frequent bride Elizabeth Taylor wanted to be part of it. Taylor was hired to play the role of Helena Cassadine, widow of Mikkos Cassadine. Her character held a grudge against Luke and Laura for the death of her husband and cursed the pair on their wedding day.
To join in the national excitement of nuptials, WEZX Rock 107 and the Station, a nightclub in Wilkes-Barre, co-sponsored a local wedding reception at the club the night of Nov. 17. The reception featured a replay of the wedding episode aired that afternoon, the cutting of a wedding cake and the traditional tossing of the bouquet and garter.


Advertisement for the wedding reception party for Luke and Laura held at The Station in Wilkes-Barre on Nov. 17, 1981. TIMES-SHAMROCK ARCHIVES

The festivities also included a Luke and Laura lookalike contest held aboard the Station’s double-decker bus because state liquor laws prohibited contests on premises that held liquor licenses.
The six women and six men believing they were the best lookalikes for actors Anthony Geary (Luke) and Genie Francis (Laura) climbed aboard the bus. Judy Zitterman and Thom Welby, both of Rock 107, and Dan Gallagher, Mike Igoe and Paul Douglas, all of WNEP-TV, judged the contest as the bus drove around Wilkes-Barre and Kingston. The bus then returned to the Station so the contestants could join the others gathered at the party.
Laura Kaminski of Mountain Top and David Jones of Wilkes-Barre won the contest, but then questions arose about how the two were selected. Kaminski shared the same first name as the television character she resembled, while Jones worked at General Hospital – in Wilkes-Barre.

Welby said he was unaware of those facts when the judging took place. Gallagher declined to comment on whether the television station would investigate how the contest was judged.

Today in History – the Kennedy Assassination

Today in History – the Kennedy Assassination

Today in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was gunned down by assassin’s bullet in Dallas, Texas.

To mark this sad day in our nation’s history, here is collection of images from our archives dealing with young president’s visits to our area during his campaigning for the office and during his time as president.

Here are pages from our collection dealing with the assassination –

A Friday Yarn – Lake Scranton Monster

A Friday Yarn – Lake Scranton Monster

Here is fun story for Friday. The article appeared in the Scranton Times on Nov. 20, 1958. Enjoy.


Thu, Nov 20, 1958 – 3 · The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania) ·

Jefferson Airplane lands in Kingston

Jefferson Airplane lands in Kingston

50 years today on Nov. 18, Jefferson Airplane landed in Kingston for a concert at the Armory.

Days before the concert, the promoter ran an ad in the Scranton Times that was reproduction of telegram stating the Grace Slick would be joining her band mates at the Kingston show. Performing with band at the time was Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Papa John Creach, Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen and Joey Convington. At the time, Slick was several months pregnant.

The lighting for the show was done by Glenn McKay’s Headlights.

Not much was written about the concert in the pages of the local press except for a lone article from the Wilkes-Barre Record on Nov. 20. The Record wrote about the preliminary hearing for young man from Shickshinny who was arrested after he climbed to roof of the armory on Nov. 18 during the concert and began yelling “I’m an airplane, I’m an airplane.”

When police arrived on the rood and approached the young man, he started shouting “The Jefferson Airplane is not here, but I am an airplane!”

In addition to climbing to the top of the building, the young man also broke several windows at the Armory.


newspaper clipping

The Scranton Times – Nov. 13, 1970

A few days after their appearance in Kingston, Jefferson Airplane took the stage at Rec Hall at Penn State University on Nov. 21, 1970. That day was All U Day, where Penn State students from the small campuses came to main campus. That day the students went to a football game, Penn State played University of Pittsburgh. Following the game, students were treated to a buffet dinner. Some 200 students from the Penn State Scranton campus traveled down to main campus to participate in All U Day.

After dinner, the fun turned to Rec Hall where Jefferson Airplane performed for the students.

A review of the concert appeared in the Daily Collegian, student newspaper at Penn State University, on Nov. 25, 1970. The reviewer, Ken Silverman, said the concert “was directed at a drug-loving crowd. The light show could not be fully appreciated straight.”

The review went onto say that show didn’t start till Grace Slick and Paul Kantner came on stage. “The real show (in most people’s mind) didn’t start till “rock-goddess” Grace Slick and Paul Kantner, the reputed father of expected child, “God,” made their appearance. It looked like “God” might even make his appearance judging from Gracey’s disproportionate middle.”

“Gracey can sing. There’s never been any dispute over that fact and her show Saturday night bore her legend out.”

The reviewer ended with “overall the concert was an experience – for some, thrilling, for others, terrifying. It all depended on your state of mind, or your lack of it.”

Related –

Time Warp – Riot breaks out at 1980 Blue Oyster Cult concert at the Kingston Armory

Time Warp – Queen takes tour to Wilkes-Barre in 1974 as supporting act

Time Warp – High-schoolers put modern spin on ‘Nutcracker’

Time Warp – High-schoolers put modern spin on ‘Nutcracker’

March 9, 1944:

The auditorium at Technical High School in Scranton transformed into a candy wonderland for the production of “King Nutcracker.”
The show was a fantasy suite for ballet and choral music based on the beloved ballet created by Pyotr Ilyich Tschaikowsky, Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, which itself was based on the 1816 book “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffmann.
Franz Bornschein, composer and faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, created the libretto, lyrics and vocal transcription for the newer version of the popular tale.

news clipping

TIMES-SHAMROCK ARCHIVES Scranton Times cartoonist Jim Walsh captured with pen and ink a few members of the cast and crew of the Technical High School’s production of  “King Nutcracker” in March 1944.The cartoon appeared in The Scranton Times on March 10, 1944

A total of 125 students from the high school participated in the production under the direction of Margaret Hosie and music direction of Stella Gallagher. The cast included Eileen Garber as King Nutcracker, Marie Tierney as the narrator, Betty Moran as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Jean Lewis as Spring’s Fay. Other students portrayed dancing bon-bons, mints, candy hearts and candy fairies. The school’s Glee Club played the woodland sprites chorus that handled the show’s choral parts.
Students throughout the school also participated in the show through their classroom lessons. In art classes, students made posters for the show, while home economics students created the costumes.
Marywood College’s Glee Club and orchestra previously presented “King Nutcracker” in May 1933 at the Ritz Theater on Wyoming Avenue in Scranton.

newspaper clipping

The Scrantonian – March 3, 1944

Armistice Day marked by parades in 1920 and 1945

Armistice Day marked by parades in 1920 and 1945

On this Veterans Day, we honor the men and women who have served in the defense of the United States.

Here are two articles dealing with how the day was marked in 1920 and 1945.

newspaper clipping

The Scranton Times – Nov. 11, 1920

100 Years Ago – Nov. 11, 1920: The Armistice Day parade in Scranton started with a bang. Prior to the start, “bombs” were launched over the city and gently descended from the sky thanks to American flag parachutes.
Once on the ground, the parade got underway. Leading the parade was Anthony Narish, grand marshal, P.L. McGee, parade chief of staff, and Leo Van Gelder, aide to the grand marshal.
Following behind were 3,500 representatives of the Army, Navy and the Marine Corps, veterans and nurses who served in field camps and hospitals. Disabled veterans, many of whom were blinded by the use of gas on the battlefield, were carried in automobiles.
A riderless horse with empty boots and turned saddle was led along the parade route to remember the servicemen who died in service of their country.
Several of the veterans marching in the parade were carrying signs and banners to bring attention to the fact that they have not received a bonus for serving in the war.
A few banners read that our European allies in the fight gave their soldiers bonuses of $1,000 to $1,600. Our soldiers received $60.

75 Years Ago – Nov. 12, 1945: Hundreds gathered in silence along Washington Avenue as a solemn parade made its way to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument for Armistice Day exercises. This was the first peacetime Armistice Day since 1941 and took place on Monday since Nov. 11 fell on a Sunday.
The parade started in the 400 block of North Washington Avenue with members of the Koch-Conley American Legion post, Gold Stars Mothers, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Jewish War Veterans; American Red Cross volunteers; and Spanish-American War veterans.

group of veterans

The Scranton Times photographer captured this moment during the 27th annual Armistice Day service at Courthouse Square on Nov. 12, 1945. The wreaths were carried by girl members of the veteran’s junior auxillaries were later placed around the Solider and Sailor Monument on the square to honor our nation’s war dead. TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES

Among the many veterans was A.E Perkins of Adams Avenue, who served with Lt. Col. George Custer in the Indian Wars of the 19th century. Perkins had participated in Armistice Day exercises each year since 1918.
Once the parade arrived at Lackawanna County Courthouse Square, events got underway with the Rev. William Golightly of Immanuel Baptist Church giving an invocation. Edward Crowley, commander of the Koch-Conley post, then gave some short remarks. A firing squad stepped forth and fired off a salute followed by the sounding of “Taps.”
The service ended with the placing of wreaths around the monument by members of auxiliary groups from various veterans organizations.
Following the service, Lackawanna County Judge T. Linus Hoban, a lieutenant colonel in the Pennsylvania National Guard, spoke at the Koch-Conley post. Hoban fought in both World Wars and was a prisoner of war during the most recent one.
“If we do not make democracy work, then we will again hear the drums and bugles of war,” he told those gathered.
In addition to the events in downtown Scranton, American Legion Post 675 in West Scranton held a patriotic service on the morning of Nov. 12 at Allen Park at North Main Avenue and Price Street. The service featured music from the Salvation Army Band and an address by Attorney Ernest Gazda.
In the Midvalley, the Ambrose Revels American Legion post held a short service at the Archbald Borough Building that included the playing of “Taps” followed by a moment of silence.
The area also marked Armistice Day on the football field with two annual high school games: Central took on Dunmore, while Blakely faced Jessup. An estimated crowd of 7,000 attended the Central-Dunmore game at Athletic Park, which Dunmore won 26-6. And about 4,000 people filled the stands at Blakely High School Stadium, which ended in a scoreless tie.

Podcast – Episode 2.3 – She Persisted

Podcast – Episode 2.3 – She Persisted

Hosts Brian Fulton and Caitlin Heaney West take a look back at the passage of the 19th Amendment, the role Pennsylvania played in the suffrage movement and much more as the nation celebrates the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the United States.

1919 – Suffrage Ratified by Pennsylvania House

Tue, Jun 24, 1919 – 1 · The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania) ·

Rose Cain

Wed, Feb 16, 1898 – 5 · The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania) ·

The Burn Letter

Tennessee State Rep. Harry Burns received a letter from his mother, Febb Ensminger Burn, during the suffrage debate in 1919. The letter from a mother to a son changed his vote and the women of America gained the right to vote.

Take our presidents quiz this Election Day

Take our presidents quiz this Election Day

On this Election Day, test your knowledge of the Presidents of the United States with our quiz.


Remembering Sean Connery

Remembering Sean Connery

On Saturday, October 31, 2020, acting legend Sean Connery died at the age of 90.  The actor best known for his role as James Bond also played a historical character that played a role in the history of coal mining in Pennsylvania.

In 1968, Connery arrived in Hazleton to started filming the film “The Molly Maguires.” In the film he played the role of Jack Kehoe, a member of the Molly Maguires. Joining Connery on set was Irish actor Richard Harris and Samantha Eggar.

Here is a Time Warp piece about the movie –

Eckley village outside Hazleton became the set for a major motion picture dealing with an infamous part of Pennsylvania’s past in the Summer of 1968.
In May, Paramount Pictures started production on “The Molly Maguires,” starring Sean Connery as Jack Kehoe, Richard Harris as James McParland/McKenna and Samantha Eggar as Mary Raines. Martin Ritt directed the film off a screenplay by Walter Bernstein.
The Molly Maguires were an underground organization of Irish mine workers in Northeast Pennsylvania who fought violently against mine owners in the 1860s and ’70s. The film deals with “the Mollies’” latter days, when Pinkerton detective James McParland infiltrated the group to gather evidence against its members. Kehoe led the group, and he and several members eventually were arrested, convicted and executed for their crimes.
To prepare Eckley for its close-up, Paramount spent $500,000 to build a coal breaker, transform buildings with antique weatherboards and bury electric and telephone wires. The studio also paid the rent of the residents of company homes in Eckley for six months. In the end, the film cost $8 million to make — $55.7 million in today’s money when adjusted for inflation.
Some residents also found work as extras in the film, making $15 per day. One extra from Hazleton was said to have become frustrated with Ritt’s numerous takes for scenes and said, “Believe me, I’m not going to make another picture,” leaving the Hollywood folks laughing.
The film was shot on location in Eckley, Jim Thorpe, Llewelyn and Bloomsburg with interior scenes filmed on Hollywood soundstages, wrapping there that September. Three people died during production: Elmer Rogers, chief of set construction, after a heart attack at Gus Genetti Moter Inn in Hazleton; Robert McCrellis, property master, also after a heart attack; and a third unidentified person who worked in the catering department.

The bright lights of Hollywood shone on Scranton at the premiere of “The Molly Maguires.”
Attending the screenings were cast members Malachy McCourt, Bethel Leslie and Frances Heflin plus the film’s co-producer and screenwriter, Walter Bernstein.
The film premiered to sold-out crowds at the Strand Theater on Wyoming Avenue and Center Theater on Lackawanna Avenue. Those going to the premieres also attended a cocktail party prior to the screening at the Hilton Inn on Washington Avenue.
The film also was shown in Wilkes-Barre at the Paramount Theater on Public Square and at Feeley Theater in Hazleton. The Scranton and Wilkes-Barre screenings raised money for charity, including $14,000 for United Cerebral Palsy.
The funds raised in Hazleton went to help establish Eckley as a “living museum” to be operated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Prior to the premiere, George and Elizabeth Huss, owners of the strip-mining company that owned Eckley village, donated $100,000; Paramount Pictures donated $25,000; and area residents donated another $61,000. Paramount also spent $500,000 to transform Eckley back to the way it would have looked in the mid 19th century for the film. At the Hazleton premiere, Gov. Raymond Shafer accepted the village’s deed.
Connery was scheduled to attend the local premieres, but a Paramount Pictures spokesperson said he wired a message explaining said that “personal difficulties” made it impossible. The spokesperson also said Connery would not be able to attend premieres of the film in Chicago, Pittsburgh and New York City. Also unable to attend were Harris, who was working on a film in Israel, and the director, Martin Ritt, who was finishing filming “The Great White Hope” in Barcelona.

Editor’s Note – “The Molly Maguires” article was originally published on Sept. 13 and 20, 2017. 

Halloween in Scranton in 1910

Halloween in Scranton in 1910

Halloween in Scranton was described to be a “wild, weird and hysterical celebration” affair. There was large parade organized by the Scranton Elks and numerous balls and dances held throughout the city. 

The Scranton Times also marked the holiday in print by running two cartoons dealing with the role of children play in this holiday.

The cartoons deal with what happens on Halloween Night. The panels remind me of the Halloween sequence from the movie musical “Meet Me in St. Louis.”


Halloween Cartoon – Oct. 31, 1910. TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES



Halloween Cartoon – Oct. 31, 1910. TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES

Here are few articles on Halloween pranks and a recipe for Halloween cake:
Sun, Oct 30, 1910 – Page 13 · The Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania) ·

Sun, Oct 30, 1910 – Page 23 · The Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania) ·

Sun, Oct 30, 1910 – Page 13 · The Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania) ·

Here is a report from the Nov. 1, 1910 edition of the Scranton Times on Halloween happenings in Scranton –

Tue, Nov 1, 1910 – 5 · The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania) ·

Happy Halloween!

Related – 

Halloween Recipes for 1968

Podcast – A Spooky Good Time

Podcast – Haunted Northeast Pennsylvania