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.

Throwback Thursday – Fun at the Playground

Throwback Thursday – Fun at the Playground

Here is a collection of images of children having fun at playgrounds in and around the Scranton area in 1959 –

Time Warp – Concert 10 draws thousands to Pocono Raceway

Time Warp – Concert 10 draws thousands to Pocono Raceway

Close to 120,000 people converged on Pocono International Raceway, Long Pond, on a Saturday, July 8, 1972 not for fast cars but for rock ‘n’ roll.
Called Concert 10, the day of rock featured acts such as Three Dog Night; Faces with Rod Stewart; Emerson, Lake & Palmer; Humble Pie; the J. Geils Band; Cactus; Edgar Winter; Mother Night; Clare Hamill; Ramatam and Bullangus.
The audience started arriving July 6, and by the afternoon of July 8, state police reported that traffic was backed up all the way to Delaware Water Gap. Some concertgoers using Route 115 to get to the show abandoned their vehicles and walked to the racetrack because of the traffic congestion.
The concert started with sets from Claire Hamill, Mother Night, Cactus, Ramatam and Edgar Winter. When the music started, so did the rain.

At top, rock and roll enthusiasts file into the infield of Pocono
International Raceway on July 8, 1972, for Concert 10, the
largest regional rock concert since Woodstock. Above, at left,
the front page of The Scrantonian and at right, the front page
of The Sunday Times, both from July 9, 1972. Times-Tribune Archives

The music and rain continued. At night, concert organizers paused the show because of the precipitation. It started back up at 4 a.m. with Emerson, Lake & Palmer taking the stage. Next came Faces with Rod Stewart, Humble Pie, J. Geils Band and Three Dog Night, with the music finishing at 8:30 a.m. the next day.
Despite the large number of people attending, the concert stayed pretty peaceful. On-site medical staff reported treating 15 people for bumps and scrapes. The state police only arrested one person, on a charge of malicious mischief. The individual smashed a window with a rock at the nearby state police substation in Fern Ridge. However, Dennis Ferment, 17, of Wallington, New Jersey, died in a traffic accident on Interstate 80 while trying to reach the concert on July 7.
The audience did leave behind a lot of trash once the concert ended Sunday morning. One-hundred Boy Scouts worked alongside maintenance workers to clean the racetrack. A spokesperson for Pocono Raceway said some concert-goers stayed to clean up as well and that the racetrack gave them money for a ride or food for their help.
Bernard Ruttenberg, one of Concert 10’s promoters, reported that they sold 100,000 tickets to the show.
“This looks like the first rock concert that worked,” he told The Scranton Times.

Contact the writer: bfulton@timesshamroc­; 570-348-9140; @TTPagesPast on Twitter

Cat Attack

Cat Attack

While reading back issues of the Times-Tribune in preparation for the daily feature “Day in History,” I came across this headline – “Man Attacked by Cat In His Home May Have Rabies” in April 12, 1944 edition of the Scranton Times.

The cat’s victim was named Garfield.

April 12, 1944 – The Scranton Times

Throwback Thursday – Ice Cream

Throwback Thursday – Ice Cream

Ice Cream images from the Times-Tribune Archives –

Flashback Friday – Burning Comics

Flashback Friday – Burning Comics

In February 1952, as part of the observance of the Catholic Book Week students at St. Paul’s High School in the Green Ridge section of Scranton took part in a comic book burning.

The students destroyed over 1,000 comic books that were deemed “undesirable.”

Members of St. Paul’s School AA (All-Comic Anonymous) throw “undesirable” comic books on a bonfire in the school yard on Feb. 21, 1952. The burning was to mark Catholic Book Week.
Standing from left: Joseph Riley, James P. Flynn, Anne Ryan, Mary Claire Ferguson, Paul J. Flynn, Jane St Pierre, Annette Basalyga and Marlene Roth. John Earles kneels at left. Gilbert O’Connell and Edward Ruane are at right. Times-Tribune Archives

Here is the article that appeared in the Scranton Times dealing with the burning.

Related –

Celebrating Batman – March 27, 2019

Adam West – June 10, 2017

Three Mile Island

Three Mile Island

On March 28, 1979, a mechanical failure at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant caused the release of radioactive steam into the air. The power station is located on an island in the Susquehanna River about ten miles down river from Harrisburg.

Read the first and second day articles from the pages of the Scranton Times.

Wednesday, March 28, 1979


Thursday, March 29, 1979

The Nuclear Regulator Commission has a summary of the accident – 

In Pop Culture –

Twelve day before the accident at Three Mile Island, the film “The China Syndrome” premiered on March 16, 1979. The film, starring Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Michael Douglas, deals with a nuclear meltdown at a fictional California nuclear reactor.

Advertisement for ‘The China Syndrome’ from the March 30, 1979 edition of the Scranton Times. Times-Tribune Archives

A few days after the accident, Saturday Night Live, did a sketch based on the accident and the film “The China Syndrome”. The sketch was called “The Pepsi Syndrome.” They changed the name of the reactor to “Two Mile Island.”  You can read a transcript of the sketch here –

In the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine,  Three Mile Island was the site of secret government facility were mutants were experimented on for the Weapon X program.  In the climax of the film, Wolverine played by Hugh Jackman, fights Weapon XI, played by Ryan Reynolds, on top of one of the cooling towers of Three Mile Island. The battle leads to the destruction of the cooling tower.  Check out the scene in the trailer at 2:07.

Celebrating Batman

Celebrating Batman

80 years ago this week readers of Detective Comics were introduced to a new crime fighter – The Batman. By day he is wealthy Gotham City socialite Bruce Wayne, by night he dons a cape and cowl and fights crime.

As Batman’s popularity grew, a second comic entitled Batman was introduced to readers a year later in 1940. Batman No. 1 introduced readers to Bruce Wayne aka Batman’s back story that deals with the death of his parents – Thomas and Martha Wayne and the introduction The Joker and The Cat (later renamed Catwoman).

In 1965 John Whalen of Dunmore re-discovered his cache of the first 15 issues of the Batman comics which including No. 1.

Here is the article about his find –

Related –

Adam West – June 10, 2017

Ides of March

Ides of March

Today is March 15 – the Ides of March – the day that Julius Caesar was told to avoid but he didn’t listen.

Why is it called the Ides of March and not March 15. This article from published in the Times on March 15 , 1960 explains that with the Roman Calendar on nights when a full moon is in the sky that day is called Ides.

The moon is not full tonight. It just reached first quarter yesterday morning. 

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” – Matthew 22:21

For years in the United States your taxes were do on March 15. Following the passage of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, the first Tax Day in the United States was set as March 1, 1913. In 1918, a new revenue act changed it to March 15. It would stay on Ides of March till 1954 when it was changed to the current day – April 15.

Scranton Times – March 15, 1957

Through not named for him, enjoying a Caesar Salad today would be great way to remember the Roman general and politician. Here is recipe from the files of the weekly feature Local Flavor Recipes We Love –

Kristy Mitchell’s Caesar Salad

Time Warp – St. Patrick’s Day Parade crowd on of largest in history in 1979

Time Warp – St. Patrick’s Day Parade crowd on of largest in history in 1979

March 17, 1979: Thousands lined the streets of downtown Scranton on a overcast Saturday for the 18th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Maurice Cawley, a member of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Association of Lackawanna County, told the Times that it seemed that the crowd was one of largest in the parade’s history.

The parade association awarded numerous honors to participants. Taking top honors for best float was AAA Motor Club of Northeastern Pennsylvania for “Safety in Driving.” The best overall drum and bugle corps went to Queen City Queens of Warwick, New York, while Pittston Area High School Marching Band was named best high school marching band. The honor for best high school twirlers went to Dunmore, and Miss Devilette of Old Forge High School was named best featured performer.
Contact the writer: bfulton@timesshamroc­; 570-348-9140;@TTPagesPast on Twitter


Previous Pages from the Past Post

Parade Day Front Pages – March 8, 2018

Throwback Thursday – Parade Day 1968 – March 8, 2018

A Friendly Shindy – an account of St. Patrick’s Day in Scranton from 1868 – March 12, 2016

Vice Presidents and Friendly Sons – March 14, 2015

Robert Kennedy visits Scranton – March 17, 2014

Gerry Adams and Scranton – May 1, 2014

Photo Galleries

Vintage Parade Photos

Parade Day 2005 – 2010

Parade Day 2011

Parade Day 2012

Parade Day 2013

Parade Day 2014

Parade Day 2015

Parade Day 2016

Parade Day 2017

Parade Day 2018



Peanuts at Home

Peanuts at Home

Come across something interesting the other day – a full page ad for Planters’ Peanuts in the Scranton Times.

The ad announced that you can get Planters’ “Pennant” salted peanuts for your home. The ad touts that their peanuts are so good that “children forget their playthings, ladies their tea parties, gentlemen their choice Havanas, old people their infirmities when Pennant Peanuts are served.”

March 5, 1919 – The Scranton Times

The ad lists all the locations of in Lackawanna County where you can purchase their salted peanuts.

Reading through that edition of the paper I found a short article dealing with this new advertising campaign to get people to eat peanuts in the home. The article also details how the peanuts are grown in Suffolk, Virginia and then go to Wilkes-Barre where the company has their manufacturing and confectionery plants.

Planters’ Peanuts was founded in Wilkes-Barre in 1906 by Amedeo Obici and Mario Peruzzi.

To learn more about Planters’ Peanuts here are few links –

Planters through the years – Planters’ Peanuts

Get to know Planters – Planters’ Peanuts

Mr. Peanut – Planters’ Peanuts

The Big Nut – Pennsylvania Center for the Book