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.

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 –

Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato draw thousands to pavilion, downtown Scranton

Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato draw thousands to pavilion, downtown Scranton

Aug. 1, 2008: A delayed plane didn’t sour the 19,000 fans who filled Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain to see Nick, Joe and Kevin, better known as the Jonas Brothers.
The concert, which also featured opening act Demi Lovato, was delayed by about 90 minutes because her plane arrived late at the airport.
Once at the Pavilion, Lovato kicked off the show with a cover of the song “That’s How You Know” from the film “Enchanted.” She also performed “Two Worlds Collide,” “Until You’re Mine” and a cover of Miranda Cosgrove’s “Daydream.”
Following Lovato’s performance, the Brothers took the stage for an almost two hour-long set. They performed songs such as “Pushing Me Away,” “A Little Bit Longer” and “Love Bug.” Lovato later joined the brothers on stage to sing “Gotta Find You” from the popular June 2008 Disney Channel movie “Camp Rock,” in which the four starred.

During the day, Jonas Brothers fans (and their moms) filled downtown Scranton, hoping to catch a glimpse of them. But a good stand-in for the brothers was a Verizon Wireless-sponsored bus parked at Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel.
This bus had larger-than-life photos of the Jonases on its sides and was covered in graffiti and Post-It notes left by fans. People stopped to take photos with the bus and left the boys messages such as “I love you all. Call me.”
The bus driver and hotel management said the brothers were not staying at the Radisson.
The Jonases continued to perform and release music until October 2013, when they decided to go their separate ways.
In February 2019, however, the trio announced that they were getting the band back together. Days later, they released a new track called “Sucker” with a music video starring their significant others, Danielle Deleasa, Priyanka Chopra and Sophie Turner.
The Jonas Brothers are set to play at the Armory in Minneapolis on Satuday, April 6, as part of a series of performances held in conjunction with the NCAA Final Four tournament taking place in the city. The other acts performing during the tournament are the Chainsmokers, Katy Perry and Zedd.

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

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


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 –