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.

Presidential Elections 1904 – 2012

Presidential Elections 1904 – 2012

On this President’s Day here is a collection of front pages from The Scranton Times and The Times-Tribune dealing with the election of the president –

Pages from this gallery are available for purchase here –

Toasters and Dusters – Valentine Day Ads

Toasters and Dusters – Valentine Day Ads

Throwback Thursday – Fight Club

Throwback Thursday – Fight Club

Throwback Thursday this week is all about fight club. I know we shouldn’t talk about fight club but the purpose of the boxing clubs at the Boys Club in Scranton were to keep boys “from going down the dead-end road of juvenile delinquency.”  Here two images and article from the Times-Tribune Library dealing with boxing at the club.

Two unidentified Scranton boys are boxing under the watchful eye of professional referee Manny Gelb in September 1952 at the Central Boys Club in Scranton. Times-Tribune Archives


Young boxers from the Central Boys Club and the West Side Boys Club participated in a interclub competition on May 8, 1953 at the Central Boys Club gym at Adams Ave and Mulberry Street. Times-Tribune Archives


To learn more about the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania visit

Remembering Louis Weitzenkorn

Remembering Louis Weitzenkorn

Have you ever heard of Louis Weitzenkorn? No. Me either. He came to my attention the other day when I was writing “This Day in History.”

Weitzenkorn was a newspaperman and playwright who made his home in Wilkes-Barre. According to his obituary that appeared in the paper 75 years ago today –  he was born in Wilkes-Barre in 1893, he graduated from Columbia University, worked for sometime at the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader but then moved on to work at the New York Times, New York Tribune, the New York World and the New York Evening Graphic. During World War I, he served in the 302nd Tank Battalion in France.

While working at the newspaper, Weitzenkorn started writing plays. His first play, First Mortgage, was performed on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre in 1929.  His next play, Five Star Final, was a hit on Broadway. It opened at the Cort Theater on December 30, 1930 and would run until June 1931. The play centers around an editor at a tabloid newspaper who is “asked” by the paper’s publisher to rehash a 20 year old murder case to help sell newspapers. The articles caused ripples through society that leads to suicides. In September 1931 the play was turned into a motion picture starring Edward G. Robinson as the editor and Boris Karloff as the reporter. The film was nominated for Outstanding Production (now known as Best Picture) by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1931/32. It lost out to Grand Hotel.

Five Star Final would be remade in 1936 by Warner Brothers. This version was called Two Against the World and it starred Humphrey Bogart and Beverly Roberts.

Weitzenkorn also wrote the screenplays for the films – 24 Hours (1931), Ladies of the Big House (1931), Men of Chance (1932), The Devil is Driving (1932) and King of the Newsboys (1938).

Weitzenkorn died tragically in a kitchen fire at his home in Wilkes-Barre on February 7, 1943. According to his obituary, he returned from an early morning walk and decided to make a pot of coffee. It is believed that he accidental caught his clothes on fire and he tried to use a  towel to smother the flames but it caused the flames to spread. Police reported that his wife, Ilse Lahn Lichtbau, found him slumped in a chair with the burnt towel on his badly burned face.

According to his death notice in the February 27, 1943 edition of Billboard, Weitzenkorn was buried on February 9 at the B’nai B’rith Cemetery in Lee Park section of Hanover Township. He was survived by second wife, two sons – Joseph and William, and sister Mrs. Mortimer Schwager.

Trailer for Five Star Final


Throwback Thursday – Be Prepared

Throwback Thursday – Be Prepared

For those who were in Boy Scouts, you will remember the motto – “Be Prepared.”  That was the point of this winter sports information session that took place in December 1959 at the South Abington Elementary School. Young men from two Explorer Posts – 172 in Nicholson and 55 in Tripp Park – gave a demonstrations to younger scouts on items that would come in handy if you were participating in a winter activity.

A winter sports demostration was staged by Explorer Post 172, Nicholson, and Explorer Post 55, Tripp Park, when about 50 scouts from Pioneer Council, Dan Beard Council, Boys Scouts of America, held a round table on December 8, 1959 at the South Abington Township Elementary School. Among those participating were, from left, Robert Gritman, Paul Brown, both of Post 172; Edward Petcavage, of Post 55; and Robert Cornell, district commissioner. Times-Tribune Archives

The Boy Scouts of America still offer the Exploring and Venturing programs. Both programs are co-ed.  Exploring gives the opportunity to explore careers. Venturing gives them opportunities to get outdoors.

Have a slice of Pie

Have a slice of Pie

Today is National Pie Day.

Here are a few pie recipes from the past few years that have been featured in the weekly Local Flavor: Recipes We Love feature in The Times-Tribune.


July 2 – Rebecca Masci’s Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

June 18 – Dolores O’Bell’s Lemon Meringue Pie



Dec 11 – Carly Rudzinski’s Peanut Butter Pie 

Oct 5 – Wesley Mech’s Savory Pumpkin Pie


Nov. 18 – Pat Mattei’s Crustless Pumpkin Pie

July 22 – Jasmine Kowalski’s Dessert Pizza 

Feb. 04 – Susanna Haines’ Blueberry-Apple-Peach Pie 


Grated apple pie by Connie Buberniak of Carbondale. BUTCH COMEGYS / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER


Dec. 03 – Connie Buberniak’s Grated Apple Pie

Nov. 12 – Jay Sochoka’s Pumpkin Pie Decadence 

June 11 – Patty Esgro’s Pistachio Cream Coconut Delight

May 14 – Sandra Mazzuca’s Coconut Cream Pie


Nov. 20 – Janet Loewe’s Peace Pipe Pumpkin Pie

July 24 – Linda Patton’s Apple Rhubarb Pie

July 17 – Judy Smith’s Crumb-Top Blueberry Pie

May 29 – Peg Fox’s Rhubarb Custard Pie

Feb. 13 – Clara Stubbs’ Raisin Pie

Judy Smith’s Crumb-Top Blueberry Pie Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer


Nov. 14 – Aunt Bernie’s Cran-Apple Pie

June 13 – Fran Koloras’ Macaroni Pie

April 11 – Dorothy Riviello-Johnson’s Peanut Butter Pie

Jan. 11 – Liz Grier’s Pork Pot Pie



Scranton Auto Show

Scranton Auto Show

100 years ago today, the 8th Annual Scranton Auto Show got underway at the 13th Regiment Armory (now the Watres Armory). The auto show ran until January 26.

Illustration for the Scranton Times January 22 1918 Scranton Auto Show special section. Times-Tribune Archives

Here are the pages from the auto show special section that appeared in today’s Scranton Times 100 years ago today. To read the articles on the pages follow this link –

View images from the a more recent car show at the Armory –


Throwback Thursday – Swim Lesson

Throwback Thursday – Swim Lesson

On this cold winter day, I thought a reminder of summer was in order for Throwback Thursday.

One of the more popular summer playground programs in 1952 was the learn-to-swim classes held throughout at the summer playground system’s 22 wading pools. Pictured is a class at the wadding pool at the Robert Morris School on Boulevard Ave.

The class is being taught by swim instructor William Haggerty (far right) with assistance from Robert Hutchinson.

Looking on at the class were officials with the city and school district. From left: John Washo, Scranton DPW director; Miss Eleanor Deviney, director at the playground, Mayor James Hanlon, William Feldcamp, Scranton Recreation Bureau director, Miss Ann Haggerty, Mrs. Barbara Davis, and Richard McNichols, superintendent of Scranton School District. In front of the officials are three of the younger users of the playground, from left, Jack Davis, Ann Haggerty and Mary Ellen Haggerty.

For more images of summer fun check out this Throwback post from last year –


Time Warp Extra – The Death of Versace

Time Warp Extra – The Death of Versace

In today’s edition of Weekend Times, I wrote an article about how Andrew Cunanan possibly stopped in Scranton and had a few drinks at the Pub Charles while he was on the run for murders in Minneapolis and Chicago. Weeks later, Cunanan killed fashion designer Gianni Versace in Miami Beach, Florida.

This case is the subject of the second season of the FX Network series – American Crime Story. This season’s title is “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” The series’ first season dealt with the O.J. Simpson case. The show premieres tonight on FX at 10pm.

Here are the some of the headlines from the Scranton Times dealing with the case –

May 14, 1997

July 16, 1997

July 24, 1997

Throwback Thursday – Ice Skating at Nay Aug

Throwback Thursday – Ice Skating at Nay Aug

Even in winter people need to still get outside and have some fun. That is what these folks were doing on February 28, 1950. They got in some ice skating at Lake Lincoln in Nay Aug Park. The lake was finally opened for skating on February 27.

Skating was a fine on Feb. 28, 1950 at Lake Lincoln when the Times cameraman took this picture. Enjoying themselves on the silver blades were from left: Mrs. Henry Sokoloski, New York City, who is visiting relatives in Scranton; Marion Service, and Mrs. John May, both of Scranton. Times-Tribune Archives


Ice skaters at Lake Lincoln in Nay Aug Park in Scranton on February 28, 1950. Times-Tribune Archives

Happy Skating,