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.

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


Jack Dempsey, Sports Editor

Jack Dempsey, Sports Editor

Boxing legend Jack Dempsey traded his gloves for a typewriter in Scranton 100 years ago. Dempsey volunteered to serve as the sports editor of the Scranton Times for one day.

According to an article that appeared in the March 5, 1919 edition of the Scranton Times, said Dempsey arrived early to start his duties as sports editor and writer at the Times. In the end, Dempsey wrote a total of six articles for the paper all on boxing.

Jack Dempsey, world’s heavyweight champion aspirant, at his typewriter in The Times newsroom on March 5, 1919. Dempsey served as sports editor and writer for the March 5 edition of the Scranton Times. Times-Tribune Archives

The articles appear below –

March 5 1919 – The Scranton Times

March 5, 1919 – The Scranton Times

To read the article follow this link – 


Time Warp – Waverly Twp. Playwright Finds Success on Broadway

Time Warp – Waverly Twp. Playwright Finds Success on Broadway

February 1956: A Waverly Twp. resident had her moment in the spotlight when the Broadway play she penned turned into a hit.
Carolyn Green’s work, “Janus,” opened on Nov. 24, 1955, and made a full return on its initial investment of $60,000 and a net profit of $70,000. The show was grossing $32,700 a week at the Plymouth Theater (now the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre) on West 45th Street in New York City.

Playwright Carolyn Green with her three children (from left) Nicholas, Loring and Lynn. Times-Tibune Archives

The comedy, named after the Roman god with two faces, deals with a housewife, Jessica, who meets up with her lover, Denny, for a few months each year in Greenwich Village, where they write a novel. On a recent writing trip, her tycoon husband, Gil, turns up unannounced, and an IRS agent also stops by. The agent reveals that Denny has not been paying the proper amount of taxes on the profits from the couple’s successful historical novels, and Gil may be on the hook for back taxes.

The play starred Margaret Sullavan as Jessica, Claude Dauphin as Denny, Robert Preston as Gil, Robert Emhardt as taxman Mr. Harper and Mary Finney as Miss Addy. During the show’s run, Imogene Coca and Claudette Colbert took over the role of Jessica.
“She has never got the quips off a middle-grade level and in this sort of skylarking, chuckles aren’t enough,” Walter Kerr of the New York Herald-Tribune said of Green in his review of the show.
Jean Collins Kerr, Walter Kerr’s wife and a native of Scranton, rebutted her husband’s comments by saying that Green’s play was “good entertainment. It should be a natural for the movies and TV.”
The play closed June 30, 1956, after 251 performances.

In April 1965, Green’s second play, “A Sign of Affection,” had an out-of-town premiere at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. The show starred Lesley Ann Warren, John Payne and Lois Markle and was directed by Ron Winston. Following that opening, an article in the Asbury Park Press explained that the show’s next two engagements at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, and the Mineola Playhouse in Long Island were postponed for rewrites.
Green died in 1996.
Contact the writer: bfulton@timesshamro­; 570-348-9140; @TTPagesPast on Twitter

Time Warp 1972: Scranton Soap Box Derby competitors race down Luzerne Street

Time Warp 1972: Scranton Soap Box Derby competitors race down Luzerne Street

July 16, 1972: Luzerne Street in West Scranton looked more like a racetrack then a residential street on a Sunday afternoon. The street was the location for the All-American Soap Box Derby, which originally was scheduled to take place in June but was postponed by rain.

After a day filled with racing, it came down to two competitors — Tommy Koes Jr. of Kingsley and Jerry O’Brien of West Scranton — for the Scranton championship. Koes won the race by a full car length and went on to represent the area at the national Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio, on Aug. 26.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Koes won his first and second races, but in his third race, he was defeated by Eric Raber of New Philadelphia, Ohio. After 267 races, Robert Lange Jr. of Boulder, Colorado, was crowned derby champion by defeating a racer from Detroit with a time of 27.33 seconds.

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

Images in this gallery are available for purchase

Time Warp – Placido Domingo delights Masonic Temple with opera hits

Time Warp – Placido Domingo delights Masonic Temple with opera hits

Feb. 12, 1969: Placido Domingo, rising star of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, brought his voice to Scranton on a Wednesday night.

The tenor’s appearance at the Masonic Temple was part of the 1968-69 Community Concert Series. The first part of Domingo’s performance was filled with a hit-parade of opera that included “Il Mio Tesoro” from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” “Tombe degli avi miei” from Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor,” “E lucevan le stelle” from Puccini’s “Tosca,” “The Flower Song” or “La Fleur Que Tu M’avais Jetée” from Bizet’s “Carmen” and, for his finale, “Vesti la giubba” from Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci.”

Placido Domingo, Metropolitan Opera tenor, was featured performer at the Community Concert Association’s second concert for the season on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 1969 at the Masonic Temple. From left: George Eisner, Mrs. Leo Giombetti, Placido Domingo, George Posell, Domingo’s accompanist; and Mrs. Jerome Thier. Times-Tribune Archives

With Valentine’s Day just two day away, Domingo filled the second part of his performance with love songs. He delivered two romantic pieces from his home country of Spain followed by the Neapolitan ballad “Core ‘Ngrato” and “Ideale” by Tosti.
For his encore, he treated those gathered to “Amor ti vieta” from Giordano’s “Fedora.”

The reviewer of his performance wrote in The Tribune “that audience hung on every note” and that “the lucky members of the Community Concert audience will not forget the name Placido Domingo.”

Domingo’s star continued to rise. He performed around the world and later became the director of the National Opera in Washington, D.C., and the Los Angeles Opera. In the 1990s, along with fellow world-famous tenors Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti, Domingo formed the trio known as “The Three Tenors,” which performed around the globe.

Tenor Jose Carreras, center, gestures while he and tenors Placido Domingo, left, and Luciano Pavarotti perform in front of thousands of people gathered on the Champs de Mars field, Friday July 10, 1998, in Paris. The Three Tenors are staging their third World Cup concert.(AP PHOTO/Remy de la Mauviniere)

Today, Domingo continues to perform and conduct. In late February and early March, he will conduct Verdi’s “Aida” at the Metropolitan Opera, and in late April, he will return to the Met’s stage to perform in Verdi’s “La Traviata.”

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

Placido Domingo: 50 Years at the Met

Shot In The Arm

Shot In The Arm

Back in early January, while searching for sledding images, I discovered a folder marked “Stop Measles.” I found it interesting and thought I could use this folder some day.

Vaccinations and measles have been in the news of late due to the outbreak of the disease in Washington state.

These images are from June 1977 when the State Health Department and the Scranton School District conducted an measles inoculation program at the Willard Elementary School in West Scranton.

Time Warp 1968 – ‘Candy’ actress maid of honor at Plymouth wedding

Time Warp 1968 – ‘Candy’ actress maid of honor at Plymouth wedding

Nov. 21, 1968: Eyes at the wedding of Bonnie Ruth Bassett, New York City, and Alexander Rebar III, Plymouth, were on the happy couple, but chances are they might have drifted to Bassett’s maid of honor, too.
Bassett’s close friend who held that role was movie star and former Miss Teen Sweden Ewa Aulin. John Shadow, aka Roberto Loyola, Aulin’s husband, served as Rebar’s best man. The wedding took place in St. Mary’s Nativity Church in Plymouth with Monsignor J.J. Podkul officiating.
During the nuptial Mass, Aulin fainted from exhaustion. She was revived, and the service continued.
While in Luzerne County, Aulin stayed with Rebar’s parents.
“She (is) just a sweet girl,” Mrs. Alexander Rebar Jr. said of Aulin. “She was so appreciative of everything.”
Alexander Rebar Jr. operated Paramount Photo Studio in Plymouth. His son was a director for Cinema Synchronization in Rome, Italy.

Ewa Aulin, second from left, Swedish movie star who plays title role in “Candy,” is maid of honor for Nov. 21 wedding of Miss Bonnie Ruth Bassett, New York City, to Alexander Rebar III, of Rome, Italy, formerly of Plymouth, in St. Mary’s Nativity Church in Plymouth. At left is John Shadow, aka Roberto Loyola of London, England, husband of Aulin, who was best man. In center is John Daley, who gave bride away. Submitted Photo Paramount Photo Studio.

Aulin starred in several films, but her biggest one was 1968’s “Candy.” The film was based on a book of the same name by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg. The sex satire centers around Aulin’s character’s “adult” encounters with men, who included Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, John Astin, John Huston, Ringo Starr and boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. Additionally the film’s soundtrack featured Steppenwolf songs “Magic Carpet Ride” and “Rock Me.”
The younger Rebar also went on to have a career in television and the movies. He starred as Vince Holliday on “The Young and the Restless” on CBS and as Steve West in the 1977 film “The Incredible Melting Man.”

Trailer for “Candy” Trailer (NSFW)

Trailer for “The Incredible Melting Man”

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