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 – Now pitching …

Throwback Thursday – Now pitching …

On May 28, 2007, seven time Cy Young award winning pitcher Roger Clemens played with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees at PNC Field in Moosic.  This appearance brought 11,310 people to ballpark.

Clemens pitched six innings against the Toledo Mud Hens. He struck out six players and walked two. The Yankees won 2-0.

Clemens moved back up to the New York Yankees a few days later. He would stay with team until September when he was sidelined by an injury.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders are honoring Clemens on Friday, June 23. Clemens is scheduled to appear at the PNC Field where he will be throwing out the first pitch. Also on Friday, the RailRiders will be unveiling a statue of Clemens at the park to mark his time with the team in 2007. The statute according to a team officials is a 7-foot tall bobblehead.    

Previous Throwback Thursday posts –
Agnes Flood, 45 years of memories …

Agnes Flood, 45 years of memories …

45 years ago this week, Pennsylvania was the epicenter of one of the worst natural disasters to hit the United States. The natural disaster was the Agnes Flood. The flood was caused by the rains of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Agnes. The flooding started on June 23, 1972 when the water broke through the Susquehanna River Levee system.

The flood waters covered a large sections of the Wyoming Valley, causing an estimated $1 billion worth of damage. The flood damaged some 20,000 homes, 2,728 businesses and 150 factories. With disruptions to the businesses, one third of the work force in Luzerne County had to file for state employment benefits.   In today’s money, that $1 billion worth of damage to Luzerne County would be $5,828,285,183.65.

(To purchase images  visit the Agnes Flood gallery in our photo store)

Additional articles:

Flood of 1972: Hurricane Agnes – National Weather Service

Hurricane Agnes: a look back after 40 years — Capitol Weather Gang, Washington Post, June 21, 2012

As Agnes swamped Wilkes-Barre, Scrantonians banded together to help their neighbors recover from the flood, The Sunday Times, 6/24/2012

Residents remembers recovering from Agnes’ fury 40 years ago, The Sunday Times, 6/24/2012

Storm Fronts exhibit gallery —, October 10, 2011

Two floods, same house — The Citizens’ Voice, June 17, 2012

Agnes Flood had lasting impact on Back Mountain — The Citizens’ Voice, June 20, 2012

Hurricane Agnes floods memories 40 years later — The Republican-Herald, June 22, 2012


Throwback Thursday – Tonight at Tink’s

Throwback Thursday – Tonight at Tink’s

20 years ago on June 19, Weezer performed at Tink’s Entertainment Complex in Scranton. Their opening was Mercy River. Tickets for the show were $12 in advance, $14 at the door.

Ad for the Weezer show at Tink’s. Scranton Times June 19, 1997.

Here is the set list for the show –

Over the years, Weezer has performed several times in our area. In March 1999, they performed again at Tink’s with the opening act Eve 6. In February 2002, they would return again this time playing the First Union Arena at Casey Plaza (now the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza) in Wilkes-Barre Twp. Their opener that time were Saves the Day and Ozma. And just last year, Weezer headlined FuzzFest 2016 at Pavilion at Montage Montage Mountain. Performing with them were Panic! at the Disco and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.
– Brian
Previous Throwback Thursday posts –
Thousands turned out in West Scranton for Flag Day celebration in 1917

Thousands turned out in West Scranton for Flag Day celebration in 1917

As our country celebrates its 240th Flag Day, I would like to share with you a special event that took place in West Scranton on June 14, 1917. The United States had just entered the Great War and men across the United States just finished registering for the draft, the residents of West Scranton wanted to show their patriotism.

It was decided that a large flag would be made and a flag pole to support it would be erected in small park at the corner of Main Avenue and Price Street. In addition to the flag raising, a grand parade marched down Main Avenue featuring marching bands, children dressed in patriotic outfits and veterans from the Civil War.

The article below details the event.

Scranton Times – June 15, 1917

West Scranton Made Flag-raising Parade Holiday Occasion

Old Glory swung to breeze by Mrs. Laura Gregory, oldest native Scrantonian – School children featured parade

Twenty thousand of West Scranton’s population yesterday afternoon proved their patriotism in turning out to the general flag raising and participating in the parade in which six thousand marchers were in line, thus making the greatest celebration in the history of that section. From other parts of the city and valley people interested in the mammoth event came and did their bit to make the day one long to be remembered. The rain a damper on the festivities and all during the program heavy clouds hung over the city.

The success of the affair is due to George W. Thomas, the chairman of the general committee, and the men selected to put the program over.

Emulating the spirit of Betsy Ross, who 140 years ago, made the first flag which all Americans love, the Betsy Ross workers of the West Scranton branch of the Red Cross Society, made the great flag that was unfurled to the breeze.

Raised by Oldest Native

The honor of raising the flag was given to Mrs. Laura Gregory, aged 91, the oldest native Scrantonian. She was given a prominent place in the parade in an auto, and regardless of her advance years, enjoyed the exercises and was unusually active.

Before the parade started, the members of the Betsy Ross workers assembled at the West Side Hospital, where a picture of them, together with the flag, was taken.

The parade formed at the corner of Luzerne Street and South Main Ave under the direction of General Marshal Colonel David J. Davis, who was assisted by the following aids: Dr. James O’Toole, John Reynolds, Thomas McHugh, G.A. Bender, Capt. M.J. Murphy and Richard Phillips, and proceeded north on Main Ave led by Superintendent of the Bureau of Police Lona B Day in a auto driven by Dr. T.D. James, followed by six mounted officers. Forty of the city firemen in uniform, led by Assistant Superintendent Harry Glaesman and Edmund Lewis, after which the flagmakers and Mrs. Laura Gregory, the honored guests of the people, rode in autos. The members of the Grand Army were provided autos and were given an honored position.

George W. Thomas and George W. Daniels who conceived the celebration at a noonday conference rode at the head of the general committee in an auto. The committee was composed of George W. Thomas, W.H. Jones, D.J. Davis, George W. Clarke, Frank Hagen, F.K. Debry, John G.Hayes, John F. Durkan, Thomas H. Saville, W.C. Price, A.E. Morse, W.C. Bruning, John E. Evans, P.H. Walker M.D., G.W. Daniels, William Snow and Benjamin G Eynon.

Times’ cartoonist Jim Walsh captured some of the prominent people at the flag raising.

13th Band in Line

The 13th Regiment Band was given the right of the line all along the line of march played patriotic airs. Superintendent S.E. Weber, of the public schools, led the great throng of pupils from the West Scranton schools. They made a splendid appearance the girls attired in white and each child carried a small flag. The children were led by the splendid music of Bauer’s Band.

The Italian societies and the children of St. Lucie’s Parochial School, led by the Rev. Victor Gurisatti, formed a division was led by the F.O.E. band, of which Allen Lawrence is director.

The honors of the parade with common consent were carried away by the division from Lincoln Heights section led by the Rev. J.J. Kawalewski, of Sts. Peter and Paul Polish Catholic Church. The division was composed of the Polish Falcons and the children of the parochial school of the parish. Many of the little girls were attired in Red Cross uniforms and the boys who followed appeared in the sailor’s white uniforms and caps. The remainder of the children were attired to represent a large American flag – first came a section of red, then white with the blue following – and as they went into Jackson Street they made a spectacle that will long be remembered.

Rev. Eugene H. O’Boyle led the division from St. Patrick’s parish and parochial school. The cadets’ drum corps, which is one of the best of the boys’ musical organizations in the city, furnished the music. The children of the school made a great appearance. The children of St. John’s German Catholic School were also well represented.

Flag – Raising Exercises

The parade ended at the park and the gathering of humanity was the largest that ever gathered in West Scranton. Stretching from Stark Place to Wymbs Place on Main Ave, filling the park and Price Street, crowded to Hyde Park Ave, with hundreds of people perched on the tops of buildings and in the windows of the same, the great assemblage watched the exercises.

David J. Davis was the chairman of the afternoon exercises and delivered a short address of welcome, telling of the history of the flag and what it stands.

“My friends,” he said, “let me invite your attention to what our flag represents. It always has been and is today on the side of national liberty. The flag today is on the soil of one of our best friends, Lafayette, and methinks of the joyousness of the Frenchmen in the trenches on the western front as they see the starry banner floating down the line with our General Pershing at the head of the American troop.”

Following his remarks Mr. Davis called upon Mrs. Gregory, who, with the assistance of Dr. Weber, unfurled, the great flag while the band played “The Star Spangled Banner.”

The chairman then introduced Mrs. Gregory to the vast assemblage, when she was given many rounds of applause. Thomas Beynon sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” and the children joined in the chorus and sang from the depth of their hearts.

James A. Linen Jr., president of the city council, in the course of his address said:  “This autocracy in unflinchingly opposed to the rise of democracy, is irrevocably committed to the principle that brutally unjust but efficient force justifies itself. Such a principle established and triumphant would imperial America. It would undermine the very foundation of liberty and freedom upon which this country rests.”

“When our blood is shed in western France it will be shed to avert this danger. It will be shed to make it forever impossible for any group of men to bring a world war. In short, as our president has so eloquently said, it will be shed to make the world safe for democracy.”

Allen Park, Main Ave and Price Street in West Scranton, was the scene of the massive Flag Day ceremony on June 14, 1917. Brian Fulton/Staff Photo

Father O’Boyle Talk

Rev. Eugene H. O’Boyle, of St. Patrick’s parish, was the first speaker on the program. Father O’Boyle urged a better citizenship and a higher patriotism. A political life free from small bickerings and religious, racial or sectional rancor. It makes no difference here, or at least it should not, whether our ancestors – for we are a nation of immigrants – came over with Columbus, Miles Standish, Balboa, De Soto, Lord Baltimore, William Penn, today we are all Americans. The starry flag of America guarantees us freedom, said Father O’Boyle, but is does not give us a license to do as we please regardless of the rights of others. Liberty is based on law and law on religion or the divine guidance, “for without religion there is no law and without law there is no liberty,” said the speaker.

Rev. T. Teifion Richards, of the First Welsh Baptist Church, was scheduled to deliver an address, but instead recited an inspiring patriotic verse on the flag.

The veterans in line were: Samuel Rodgers, W.D. Jones, John L. Pierson, Walter S. Evans, David X. Roberts, Fred Kettle, Thomas H. Allen, J.G. Sanders, William Cohen, David W. Moser, George H. Taylor, S.B. Mott, John Hopkins, George Winterstein and W.E. Thayer.     


Adam West 1928 – 2017

Adam West 1928 – 2017

Adam West, star of the 1960s Batman series, died yesterday. He was 88. According to the article about his death, it says that West had leukemia.

Back in August, I shared this post below about opening of the 1966 Batman film that starred West.

You will be remembered old chum,


August 17, 2016

“Holy Widescreen, Batman !”

“Yes, Robin you are correct. We will be on the widescreen starting today.”

– fictional conversation between 1966 Batman and Robin –  

50 years ago today, the Cape Crusader and the Boy Wonder took crime fighting to the big screen with the local debut of “Batman: The Movie.” The film based on the hit television series of the time starred Adam West as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Burt Ward as Dick Grayson/Robin, Cesar Romero as The Joker, Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, Frank Gorshin as the The Riddler and Lee Meriwether as Catwoman. The movie was shown in Scranton at the Comerford Theater on Wyoming Ave.

Here is the article from the August 13 1966 edition of the Scranton Times previewing the film –


Display ads for the film as well:

Here is the original trailer for the film –

– Brian


Throwback Thursday – Celebration

Throwback Thursday – Celebration

Students of Riverside High School Class of 1968 got to celebrate on last time as a class following their commencement ceremony on June 13, 1968.  The Taylor Lions Club and and St. George’s Recreation Association sponsored a dance for the graduates at St. George’s Recreation Hall in Taylor.

Times-Tribune Archives

Do you recognize anyone in this photo? If so, let us know.

This year’s Riverside commencement ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, June 14.

The Times-Tribune will publish a special section for high school graduations on Sunday, June 25.

Congrats to all the graduates,


Previous Throwback Thursday post

June 1 – Burning Up The Charts

May 25 – Psycho



Today, June 6, 1944 Allied Forces set off for the French coastline to start the liberation of Nazi Germany held countries in Western Europe. Some 156,000 Allied soldiers were involved in this massive operation.

Here are the front pages of the Scranton Times and The Tribune for June 5, 6 and 7, 1944.

You can read more about D-Day at

National Doughnut Day

National Doughnut Day

Today is National Doughnut Day. A day our country sets asides to honor the tasty treat that was served to the troops during World War I. Doughnut Day is celebrated on the first Friday in June.

Searching for more information on this deep fried treats, I came across an article from June 25, 1942 dealing with an explanation of what a doughnut is. The writer starts with informing the reader on the difference between a doughnuts, fried cake and cruller.

A doughnut is spherical in shape, made of raised dough; a fried cake is in the shape of ring made from batter not dough; and a cruller is made by rolling the fried cake batter into a rope shape, folding it on itself, then twisting it.  All three are deep fried.

After the discourse on doughnuts, fried cakes and crullers, the writer shares the recipe for doughnuts used by the Salvation Army since the Great War. The recipes yields 250 donuts. The writer notes that housewives and cooks will know how to reduce this recipe to make doughnuts at home.

Krispy Kreme waitress Ellen Lynott holds a tray of fresh doughnuts at the company’s shop on Wyoming Avenue in September 1999. Times-Tribune Archives

Here is the recipe as it appeared in the Scranton Times:

7 1/2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup of lard, 9 eggs, 3 large cans of evaporated milk, 3 large cans of water, 18 cups of flour, 18 teaspoons of baking powder, 7 1/2 teaspoons salt, 9 teaspoons nutmeg.

Cream sugar and lard together, beat eggs, add evaporated milk and water. Add liquid to creamed mixture. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in large sieve and sift into other

mixture. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Roll and cut.

Five pounds of lard are required to fry the doughnuts.

For those who would like to try to make this recipe at home, here is a reduction chart from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln – Food Extension – .

Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts are offering free donuts. Here are the links for more information about the promotion:

National Donut Day – Dunkin’ Donuts 

National Donut Day – Krispy Kreme 

Save a cruller for me,

– Brian

Throwback Thursday – Burning up the charts

Throwback Thursday – Burning up the charts

In early June 1967, the latest James Bond film premiered in Scranton – Casino Royale. This film took a different take on the spy franchisee, it was a comedy starring David Niven, Woody Allen, Peter Sellers, Orson Welles and Ursula Andress. The film, maybe forgotten by some, the soundtrack was a hit thanks to Burt Bacharach.  He composed the soundtrack which included the hits – “The Look of Love” performed by Dusty Springfield and the theme song “Casino Royale” performed by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. The theme song went to number two on the Billboard’s Easy Listening chart and to number 27 on the Billboard Top 100. “The Look of Love” would be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song.

Ads for the film and soundtrack to “Casino Royale” in early June 1967.

With the local premiere, Mello-Dee Disc Shop at 302 Spruce Street, was promoting the soundtrack. An ad from the album appeared in the Sunday Times on June 4, 1967. Three days later on June 7, the Mello-Dee Disc Shop was destroyed by fire.  The fire started shortly before 3pm that Wednesday. A passerby noticed the fire and alerted the Scranton Fire Department. By the time the fire department arrived flames were shooting out of the front of the business.

Flames shot from Mello-Dee Disc Shop, 302 Spruce Street, as fire of undetermined origin destroyed the outlet and caused damage to several neighboring businesses shortly before 3pm on June 7, 1967. No injuries were reported. Times-Tribune Archives

The manager of the record shop, Anthony Lemmo, was not in the store at the time of the fire. He told authorities he was having a cup of coffee across the street at the time.  The cause of the fire was marked as undetermined. The blaze caused damage to neighboring businesses – Altier’s Jewelry Shop, Pittle’s Men’s & Boy’s Wear, Nealon’s Cigar Store, Times Barber Shop and Chum’s Cafe.

Lemmo would reopen the record shop. The shop and it’s manager would be back in the news in 1971. Starting in November of that year and continuing to March 1, 1972, Lemmo was cited 6 times by Scranton Police with disorderly conduct following complaints of loud music coming from his shop by area businesses and residents of Spruce Street.

Casino Royale trailer

Dusty Springfield’s “The Look of Love”


Previous Throwback Thursday post

Psycho – May 25, 2017

Three Mile Island

Three Mile Island

Today, the owners of Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, announced that they will be closing the plant down in 2019 if it doesn’t receive financial help from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.   The plant, which is located near Harrisburg, experienced a partial core meltdown on March 28, 1979. As you can imagine this was big news in our area and the entire nation.

Here are few of the headlines from the Scranton Times following the accident –

Clips on the Three Mile Island accident

The Associated Press earlier today shared their original story of the accident. You can read it here –

The Nuclear Regulator Commission has a summary of the accident – 

and a video



In a coincidence, 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.

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.