A STORY OF HAZLETON AND SURROUNDING TOWNS
IN LUZERNE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

The following RED LETTER DAYS dating from 12,000 B.C. to 1990 A.D.in the Hazleton Area were posted in the September 6, 1991 article in the Hazleton Standard Speaker. You can scroll down to the date that interests you.

INTRODUCTION

It's been 100 years since the state of Pennsylvania chartered the Hazleton as a city. A hundred years before that , the land Hazleton now occupies was part of Pennsylvania's hinterlands, just across the border from Connecticut.

Until 1799, that New England state had claimed territory extending as far south as Milnesville, where planes now fly in and out of Hazleton Municipal Airport. That year a court decision established the land as Pennsylvania's territory, leading to the establishment of Luzerne County, which was carved out of sprawling Northampton County a few years later.

For the Hazleton area, 1809 was pivotal. Sugarloaf Township, named for the famous mound rising from its center, was organized that year. By that time, a few hardy settlers already had been living in nearby St. Johns and Drums in present day Butler Township.

Up the mountain, on a plateau that Northampton County's Moravian missionaries called "Hazle Swamp," a pioneer named JACOB DRUMHELLER had built an inn at the crossroads of two trading routes. Over the next two decades, lumberers (sic) and other traders traveling the roads stopped at Drumheller's State House on trips between Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe) and Columbia County between Wilkes-Barre and points south.

Aside from the forests that attracted a few loggers and led to the construction of a sawmill in present-day Hazleton, there was nothing to draw pioneers to this cool, green but riverless(sic) plateau. Then someone realized what lie(sic) beneath the earth.

Anthracite coal, the black rock that would fuel an industrial revolution, brought prospectors, first to Beaver Meadows and later to Hazleton.

By the 1830's an industry had been born. Its offspring would bear names like Weatherly, Freeland, and Drifton. Their stories "written" by their founding fathers and the thousands who settled in the coal region's patch towns, formed the foundation for more than a century of change.

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RED-LETTER DAYS, A KIND OF OUTLINE OF THE AREA'S HISTORY

( Unlike the actual newspaper article, asterisks precede entries: And given and surnames of local people are in upper case letters to help researchers). National Events such as Wars and Ends of Wars and such happenings, although important, are, for the most part, rarely mentioned as "Red Letter" because the events below are meant to show how local events affected the population.
12,000-40,000 B.C.

*Pennsylvania's first human inhabitants walk the land.
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1500 A.D.

*Muncee and Lenape Indians make the woods around present-day Hazleton their home.
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Late 1500's

*The Nanticokes, Shawnee and other Iroquois tribes move into Northeastern Pennsylvania.
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1600

*Early in the 17th century, STEPHEN BRULE, said to be the first white man in the region, visits Iroquois villages.
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1780

*Sept. 11 A band of Indians and Tories ambushes a company of Northampton County malitiamen killing 15 as they rest in a clearing at the site of present-day Conyngham some of the troops who arrive to bury the victims of the Sugarloaf Massacre become the Hazleton Area's first settlers.
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1786

*Sept. 25 Luzerne County is founded.
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1791

*A hunter stumbles upon anthracite coal while walking along the Lehigh River , according to an account in Harper's weekly in 1857.
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1792

*A congregation forms St. John's Reformed Church in St. Johns. Seven years later, St. John's Lutheran Church is organized, and, in 1808, they build a church together.
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1804

*The Lehigh and Susquehanna Turnpike Co. builds the Berwick Turnpike (Broad Street in Hazleton) between Mauch Chunk and Berwick.
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1806

*Surveyor BARNEY HUNTSINGER arrives in what is now Black Creek Township.
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1809

*Sugarloaf Township is formed from part of Nescopeck, less than a decade after Connecticut lost its claim to land extending as far south as Milnesville.

The first building in Hazleton, a tavern operated by JACOB DRUMHELLER, is completed on Broad Street.

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1810

*A man named BOWMAN builds a sawmill along a creek off East Broad Street in Hazleton. MARTIN and WILLIAM RITTENHOUSE build a sawmill and grain mill along the Black Creek in what is now Black Creek Township.
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1811

*St. Matthew's Reformed congregation in Packer Township and another in Mountain Grove are established.
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1813

*Welsh prospectors from the Panther Creek Valley discover coal on Spring Mountain, leading to the settlement of Beaver Meadows.
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1824

*White Haven gets its first settler, JOHN LINES.
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1826

*The village of Conyngham gets its first postmaster: WILLIAM DRUM.

*According to legend, hunter JOHN CHARLES finds coal while digging for a groundhog in woods that are part of present-day Hazleton.

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1829

*EPHRAIM LADD, a Beaver County resident who fought in the Revolutionary War, settles in Beaver Meadows. He died May 4, 1936 and was buried in the town's Maple Grove Cemetery.
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1830

*April 7 The Beaver Meadows Railroad and Coal Co. is incorporated by NATHAN BEACH
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1833

*ARIO PARDEE arrives in Beaver Meadows.

*HENRY SEYBERT opens a general store, helping to spur growth of what now is known as Seybertsville.

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1836

*The Hazleton Coal Co. is incorporated on March 18 and lays out and sells town lots on Nov. 18.
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1837

*Hazleton's first schoolhouse is built on the northwest corner of Church and Green Streets. Miss FANNIE BLACKMAN becomes the first teacher.

*Oct. 9 Hazleton's Methodist Episcopal Society, forerunner of St. Paul's Methodist Church on West Green Street, is incorporated. Early Protestant congregations worship in the town's schoolhouse.

*Oct. 9 The first birth of a child in Hazleton is reported. That same autumn the body of Mrs. THOMAS B. WORTHINGTON becomes the first to be interred in a Hazleton graveyard.

*The Lehigh Navigation and Coal Co. cuts a road from Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), through Denisen Township near White Haven and on to Wilkes-Barre.

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1838

*The First Presbyterian Church is organized in Hazleton.
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1839

*Denison Township is formed from part of Hanover Township.

*April 7 The Beaver Meadows Railroad and Coal Co. is chartered.

*March 13 Carbon county is carved out of sections of Northampton and Monroe Counties.

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1847

*The region's first Roman Catholic Church, St. Mary's, is built to serve Irish immigrants in Beaver Meadows.
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1848

*Black Creek Township is established on Aug. 8 from territory taken from Sugarloaf Township.
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1850

*Feb. 18 The village of Stockton is founded.
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1851

*April 3 The Borough of Hazleton is incorporated.
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1853

*Hazleton's one-room schoolhouse burns down.
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1854

*ASA L. FOSTER begins mining exploration in the southwestern part of what is now Foster Township.

*The Beaver Meadows Railroad build a track stretching from 1 miles from Hazle Creek Junction to its grade at the top of the Weatherly Plane. The North Star, the first engine built in the Weatherly shops, is completed.

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1856

*Hazle and Butler Townships are created from a portion of Sugarloaf Township.

*St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church of Beaver Meadows established St. Gabriel's as a mission Church in Hazleton.

*Fifty-four people take up residence in the new Carbon County Home for the poor at Lowrytown.

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1859

*St. Peter's Episcopal Church organized in Eckley.

*Hazleton Liberty Band is founded as JOHN GLIEM's Band.

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1860

*St. Paul's Methodist congregation builds its first church on West Green Street.
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1861

*ARLO PARDEE and his family move into their new mansion on Pardee Square.
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1862

*Members of the Union Lutheran Church at Broad and Cedar streets form their new Christ Lutheran Church and retain the Reverend R.S. WAGNER as their first pastor. Christ Lutheran's first church building was consecrated.
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1864

*July 8 Lehigh Valley Railroad assumes control of the Beaver Meadow Railroad Co. and all its property.
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1865

*The town of Upper Lehigh is plotted by the Upper Lehigh Co. *Jan. 25 The village of Drifton is founded by ALEXANDER, ECKLEY B., and HARRY B. COXE.

*April 9 The Hazleton Liberty Band plays after ceremonies marking the sur- render of Robert E. Lee to Gen. Ullysses S. Grant at Appomatox Courthouse, VA.

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1866

*Hazleton's fire department is organized.

*The Lehigh Valley Railroad erects a 16-stall roundhouse on the east side of the creek across from lower Hudsondale Street. The roundhouse was torn down in June of 1929.

*The Hazleton Sentinel prints its first edition.

*Dec. 26 The Hazleton Post Grand Army of the Republic chartered by local Civil War veterans.

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1867

*The Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co. carries the first trainload of anthracite on a route linking Upper Lehigh, Pond Creek and White Haven.

*May 23 Markle Banking and Trust Co. is founded as PARDEE, MARKLE, and GRIER.

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1869

*April 14 The Hazleton Building and Loan Association is organized.

*Dec. 18 A mine cave-in at Stockton Swallows two houses killing 10 people. The event led to the passage of new mining laws.

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1872

*Jan. One of Hazleton's worst fires destroys a half block on Broad Street between Pine and Wyoming Streets. The temperature was 23 below zero.
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1874

*Feb. 14 The Central Hotel, later the Hotel Loughran and the Hotel Gary, opens on east Broad Street, between Wyoming and Pine.
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1875

*The Hazleton Sentinel becomes a daily newspaper when it absorbs the Daily News , which was founded 5 years earlier.
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1876

*St. Michael's Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church, a forerunner of St. Michael's Ukrainian Church, is organized in Hazleton.

*June 25 the cornerstone for St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Freeland is laid.

*Oct. 10 RUDOLPH LUDWIG is elected the first burgess of the borough of Freeland. WILLIAM JOHNSON, who built the first home within the borough limits in 1858 on Walnut Street, was named high constable.

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1877

*The Harleigh Creek breaks into a mine and washes away several miners. The colliery remained idle until the Jeddo Tunnel drained the flood waters near ly 20 years later.
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1880

*July 8 Fire destroys the Lehigh Valley Railroad car shops on Railroad Street in Weatherly. Rebuilding was completed in 1881 and in 1883. The shops built 175 coal cars and repaired 45,900.
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1881

*Emmanuel's Reformed Church now Emmanuel's United Church of Christ in Hazleton is organized.

*March 16 The Weatherly Herald, formerly the Carbon Herald, is published for the first time.

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1882

*Jan. 4 Weatherly Water Co. is chartered.

*Feb. 6 JOHN H. DERSHOCK and J. WARREN LEWIS begin publishing the Plain Speaker, an afternoon daily.

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1883

*The Edison Electric Illuminating Co. of Hazleton is organized during a meeting at the YMCA on Oct. 15. A generating plant was constructed at Wyoming and Green Streets and the lights went on inside the plant on Jan. 1884. During the next few months incandescent lights went on all over town.

*Sept. 17 The Freeland Citizens Hose Co. is established by men who, until 1922, continued to use bucket brigades, hand pumpers and hand-drawn hose carts to fight fires.

*Nov. 12 The worst fire in the history of the anthracite region destroys nearly one-fourth of the borough of Shenandoah. Damage was estimated in the millions of dollars, but no lives were lost.

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1884

*GEORGE B. MARKLE, the coal operator and banker, acquires the Hazleton Sentinel and moves it from West Broad Street to a new office at 32 N. Wyoming Street.

*Jan. 24 Electric lights for the first time illuminate the interior of the Edison Electric Illuminating plant on North Wyoming Street in Hazleton. The new plant was dedicated 11th of Feb.

*Oct. 18 CASSLER's Roller Skating Rink opens in Weatherly. Five years later Edison's new gramophone was demonstrated there.

*The first Lehigh Valley Railroad train passes through the 1400-foot-long Rockport Tunnel near Weatherly. A crew of 125 men worked almost two years to complete the tunnel.

*Nov. 11 Street lights are turned on for the first time in Weatherly.

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1885

*Mar. 25 The Daily Standard is founded as a semi-weekly by L. G. LUBRECHT and HENRY A. BUCHENAU. It begins daily publication seven years later. *Sept. 25 Hazleton's Memorial Park with the Civil War monument is dedicated. An estimated 20,000 specatators watched a parade featuring Civil War veterans and they saw ECKLEY B. COXE unveil the granite shaft-shaped memorial.

*Dec. 10 The "Diamond Addition" land north of Diamond Avenue, is annexed by the Borough of Hazleton.

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1886

*The Salvation Army establishes a citadel here.
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1887-88

*Early at unionization fail when the Knights of Labor call strikes in Lattimer, but gain nothing.

*Dec. 4 Holy Trinity R.C. Church dedicates its new house of worship on North Laurel Street.

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1888

*Feb. 10 An explosion kills four workers at the Dupont Powder Mills in Wapwallopen. The blast was heard 14 miles away in Hazleton.

*July 1 The Buck Mountain Post Office opens. The facility closed 14 years later.

*Oct. 10 A speeding train carrying passengers home from a festival at Hazleton crashes into the rear of another, killing 66 people near White Haven. The Mud Run disaster was one of the nation's worst train wrecks.

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1889

*A Pennsylvania Senate committee is asked to consider a plan to create a new county out of parts of Schuylkill and Luzerne Counties, with Hazleton as the county seat. Although the proposal won strong local support, Hazle County was never approved.

*May 3 Hazleton celebrates the centennial of George Washington's inauguration with a parade and meeting in Hazle Hall.

*May 15 Barnum & Bailey's "Greatest Show on Earth" comes to town with a big street parade and two performances.

*Sept. 5 The Diamond Fire Co., Hazleton's second oldest, is founded.

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1891

*Feb. 4 Thirteen lives are lost when when a mine was flooded at Jeannes- ville. Five survivors were rescued 20 days later.

*Dec. 4 Hazleton is chartered as a third-class city and N.L.GAVITT becomes the first mayor.

*Dec.22 Fire destroys the Brill block on East Broad Street in Hazleton, burning out the PLATT & CO. general store, the First National Bank and several apartments and other rooms.

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1892

*May 14 A spectacular fire in downtown Hazleton destroys the Grand Opera House, the Lehigh Valley Railroad freight station, two dwellings, two stables, four horses, three freight cars, and a portion of the Valley Hotel.

*June 2 Thomas Edison stops at Hazleton's Central hotel on the way to Audenried to experiment with his latest invention, the electric drill. While in town, he suggested the establishment of an electric trolley system which was begun the next year.

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1893

*St. Stanislaus R.C. Church and St. John's Byzantine Catholic Church are founded in Hazleton.

*April 3 A mine flood at Laurel Hill kills three miners.

*July 1 McGREADY's Dance Pavillion opens in the village of Pleasant Hill, later renamed McAdoo.

*July 3 The Lehigh Traction Electric Railway, the first trolley service in Hazleton, begins service in Hazle Park.

*Aug. 9 Hazleton area bicycle racer HARRY MEYERS rides ten miles in 54 minutes, setting a record for the speed.

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1884

*Mar 23 Hazleton's East End fire co. is organized.

*Oct. 19 The new Williamsport Bicycle Co. at Weatherly applies for a charter. The plant went into production the next January, but it was forced to close in 1895.

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1895

*The new Beaver Meadows Elementary School is dedicated in the late fall.

*Zion Evangelical church is organized.

*Aug. 30 The first post office opens in McAdoo.

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1896

*The Church Street School at First & Church Streets is dedicated.

*Six men are killed in a dynamite explosion at the Silver Brook Colliery south of McAdoo.

*Mar. 11 The engine of the D.S.&S. Railroad train blows up at Gum Run, between Tomhicken and Derringer, killing four crewmen, all of whom were from Freeland.

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1897

*Sept 10 A posse fires into a column of striking miners at Lattimer,killing 20 and wounding 36. The Lattimer Massacre would be a catalyst for the anthracite region's nascent labor movement.

*Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish, the only Tyrolean church in the United States, is founded in Hazleton.

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1898

*Apr. 15 Construction of the Hazleton Shaft Breaker begins.

*Apr. 21 Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, known for his oratory skills, makes a speech at the Grand Opera House.

*May 13 JOHN J. MORAN & Sons Bottling Works opens for business.

*July 29 ALVIN MARKLE and SAM PRICE try out their new Winston Motor Carriage. The car, the first automobile to appear on Hazleton streets, was capable of going 20 miles per hour.

*July 30 The Hazleton YMCA opens.

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1899

*United Mine Workers Local 82 is established at Yorktown between Hazleton and McAdoo after John Mitchell visits the Hazleton area. Soon after Hazleton Local 172 is organized in Beaver Meadows and Local 1376 is established at the Hazleton Shaft.

*May 21 St. Paul's United Methodist Church dedicates its new church on West Green Street in Hazleton.

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1900

*Sept. 17 The first big strike hits the anthracite region when 112,000 men refuse to work. John Mitchell who had been manning an office in Hazleton's Valley Hotel meets JOHN MARKLE in Jeddo two days later and works out negotiating principles. The strike ends on Oct. 29th.

*The Jehovah's Witnesses begin a church in Hazleton.

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1901

*Ss. Peter & Paul's Lutheran Church is founded in Hazleton.

*The 10-room brick Poplar Street School building opens.

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1902

*MAR 1 Floods hit Weatherly and White Haven hard.

*Two people are killed when a Lehigh Valley Railroad engine goes down with the White Haven bridge.

*In Weatherly a store is swept away by flood waters.

*May 13 the greatest strike in local history begins after a historic vote in the Grand Opera house on Broad Street. A total of 147,000 miners and 357 collieries were idled for 151 days.

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1903

*Christ's Memorial United Church of Christ is founded.

*Sept. 19th -- Weatherly's SCHWAB School is dedicated.

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1904

*Aug. 7 --The cornerstone is laid for Trinity Lutheran Church at Church and Hemlock Streets.

*Oct. 29-- Famous orator and lawyer Clarence Darrow delivers an address at Hazle Hall.

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1905

*Most Precious Blood R.C.Church is established in Hazleton.

*A 16-room brick building is built to replace the old Walnut Street School.

*Aug 23 John Mitchell, founder o the United Mine Workers of America, speaks at the Lehigh Valley Railroad Station at Freeland.

*Sept. 18 The Family Theater opens in Hazle Hall at Broad and Wyoming Streets.

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1906

*A fire destroys several businesses and houses at Wyoming and Hemlock Streets in Hazleton. Damage is estimated at $32,000.

*July 29 Hazleton begins observance of Old Home Week.

*Sept. 17-19 Freeland marks its 12th anniversary with Old Home Week.

*Nov. 3--Weatherly dedicates its 21-foot-high Civil War monument.

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1907

*Holy Trinity R.C.Church in Hazleton and Transfiguration R.C. Church in West Hazleton are established.

*Mar. 7--Excavation begins on Hazleton's Lehigh Valley Railroad Station on south Church Street. It was completed the next fall at a cost of $95000.

*Mar. 14 Hazleton's mysterious "Woman in Black" makes another appearance when she points a revolver at ALLEN WEIR at Hazle and Mine Streets and then disappears into the night.

*July 11 Nine men are asphyxiated by "white damp" (carbon dioxide gas) while fighting a mine fire at the Honey Brook workings of the Lehigh and Wilkes- Barre Coal Co.

*Oct. 1 Hazleton Public Library, with a collection of 4,111 books, opens in rooms in the Junior Mechanics Hall on West Broad Street.

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1908

*Hazle Township's 5th , 9th, and 15th districts are annexed by the city of Hazleton.
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1909

*Our Lady of Grace is founded in Hazleton.

*Mar. 8 The lavish new Palace Theatre opens on the east side of North Wyo- ming Street, just south of Green Street. It would be destroyed by fire just three years later.

*Mar. 15 J.G. EADIE opens Weatherly's Star Theatre in an addition to his store.

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1910

*Anthracite Mission, under M.E. Church, later BLODGETT Community, is established.

*May 22 Halley's Comet, which has been attracting attention throughout the country, brings out a crowd of 600 spectators on Blaine Street in McAdoo.

*June 21 The Hazleton Motor Club is organized.

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1911

*Ss. Peter and Paul's Lithuanian church, Diamond Avenue and Lincoln Street, is founded.

*Aug. 11 The PATTERSON Hotel opens in Weatherly.

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1912

*Hazleton's City Hall is dedicated.

*HENRY WALSER and GEORGE T. KIRKENDALL purchase the Hazleton Sentinel.

*Hazleton's new high school, later to become GREEBY Jr. High, opens on Vine Street.

*Oct. 1 Fire destroys the opulent Palace Theatre, less than three years after it opened at Wyoming and Green Streets.

*July 17 West Hazleton displays its new steam-driven fire engine.

*Aug. 12 Capacity crowds visit Hazle Park for Hazleton Day. Balloon races and a specialty fireworks display are featured. The next day John Phillip Sousa and his marching band gave two concerts.

*Oct. 3 The new Hazleton Public Library building, donated by JOHN MARKLE in memory of his parents, is dedicated at Church and Green Streets.

*Oct. 12 The Temperance Society stages a huge anti-alcohol parade in Hazleton.

*Nov. 12 Vine Street School is dedicated. It served as Hazleton's high school and later became H.F.GREEBEY Junior High School.

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1913

*Jan. 2 J.DONALD GEIST receives the first package delivered under the new Parcel Post service at the Hazleton Post Office. The package contains newspaper plates for a concert advertisement.

*Dec. 1 Hazleton changes to a commission form of government.

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1914

*Jan 29.-- The Hazleton Y.W.C.A. is organized.

*Feb. 15 A blizzard hits Hazleton area, bringing 15-foot snow drifts to the Freeland area and knocking out trolley lines. On March 1rst the worst blizzard since 1888 isolates Hazleton State hospital and leads to the deaths of a young couple whose horse-drawn sleigh got caught in a gigantic snow drift near Drifton.

*Feb. 16 The REFOWICH Theatre opens on Center Street in Freeland.

*March 3 BLAKESLEE's Grove at Weatherly is renamed Eurana Park in memory of Mrs. CHARLES (EURANA) SCHWAB who donated the 23.5-acre tract to the borough.

*Apr. 6 Hazleton's first bus line, The Motor Transit Co., is incorporated.

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1915

*Hazleton's Locust Street School is dedicated.

*Dec. 6 The Savoy Theater opens on Diamond Avenue. It operated under several names until the 1940's.

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1916

*Company G, 9th Regiment, and Battery A, 109th Field Artillery of the Pennsylvania National Guard, were sent to the Mexican border.

*Mar. 29 Fire guts the Diamond Theater on Alter Street. It was later rebuilt.

*Nov. 16 Six miners die when the rain-swollen Black Creek roared into the mines at Tomhicken. Five others survived eight days underground with- out water, food, heat, or light.

*Holy Rosary R.C. Church and Beth Israel Temple, Hazleton are established.

*Sept. 14 The Hazleton Steam Heating Co. begins excavation for laying the pipes under West Broad Street. The system furnished steam heat to homes and businesses.

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1917

*HENRY WALSER and GEORGE T. KIRKENDALL acquire the Daily Standard , giving birth to the Standard Sentinel.

*April 16 The Palace Theatre, Wyoming and Green Streets is destroyed by fire.

*June 5 With the Great War in progress, the Hazleton Draft Board goes into operation.

*Sept. 3 The Arthur Street Elementary School is dedicated in Hazleton.

*Sept. 14 The Hazleton Heights Fire Co. is organized.

*Sept. 17 After a parade from City Hall to the Lehigh Valley Train station, members of Company G and Battery A ship out for Europe.

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1918

*An outbreak of Spanish influenza hits the Northeast killing thousands of people in the Hazleton area alone in the late fall.

*Mar. 23 The Church Street School, on the site of the present D.A.HARMON Junior High School building, is dedicated.

*Sept. 10 Weatherly residents report spotting an airplane that carried mail from Chicago to New York City. It was the first plane seen in the Hazleton area.

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1919

*Dorr Oliver Inc., Manufacturers of filters, established a plant in Hazleton.
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1921

*St. John's Lutheran Church, Hazleton ,is established.

*Construction of the $105,000 Heights School is completed.

*Nov. 11 D.A. HARMAN School is dedicated.

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1922

*Feb. 12 Hazleton voters defeat a proposal to have the city purchase Pardee Square for use as a public park. The Pardee mansion at the center of the square was subsequently raised and lots were sold for business use.

*Feb. 22 The former Grand Opera house on Broad Street, Hazleton is converted into a motion picture theater seating 896 patrons.

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1923

*Shirtcraft Inc. opens a plant on McKinley Street.

*St. John the Baptist Polish National Church is founded in Hazleton.

*Sept. 3 -- The new Freeland High School is dedicated.

*Oct 22 Babe Ruth, playing with his Big League Stars before a crowd of 4,000 at the Cranberry Ballpark, goes hitless in a game against Hazleton area players.

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1924

*Mar. 25 Famous stunt performer Helen Austin drives blindfolded down Broad Street in Hazleton while her brother, stuntman Jack Austen makes a parachute jump after performing on the wing of an airplane flying above center city.

*July 5 -- The 175-room Altamont opens at Broad and Church Streets in Hazleton. Rates range from $2.50 to $5.00 per day.

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1925

*Jan. 10 DAVID J. LEWIS organizes the first Hazleton High School Band.
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1926

*The Standard Sentinel and The Plain Speaker are merged by HENRY WALSER and JOHN R. DESHUCK.

*Mar. 1 SOPHIA COXE the "Angel of the Coalfields" dies at age 67.

*June 12 The Crystal Pool containing 600,000 gallons of pure water opens for swimming in Weatherly.

*Sept. St. Patrick's Catholic School in McAdoo is dedicated.

*Sept. 6 Grand opening ceremonies are held at Hazleton's Capitol Theater, the city's largest and most luxurious.

*HARMAN-GEIST Stadium opens.

*Nov. 16 Six men are trapped by water in a mine at Tomhicken. Five were rescued eight days later.

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1927

*The Freeland Rotaryary Club is organized with A. L. MITKE serving as first president.

*Workers complete St. Kunigunda's School in McAdoo to replace quarters in the church basement, where students began attending classes in 1916.

*May 12 Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians provide music at Lakewood Ball- room opens for its third season.

*June 13 "Talkies" come to Hazleton as the first talking motion pictures to appear in the city open at the Grand Theater. The program included Vitaphone short subjects and featured MARJORY HOWE presiding at the theater organ.

*DEC. 8 The new St. Gabriel's Church building is dedicated.

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1928

*Most Precious Blood School, the first Italian parochial school in the Diocese of Scranton, opens on Seybert Street in Hazleton.

*Motorman HARRY CUNIUS is killed in a headon crash of two cars of the Wilkes -Barre and Hazleton Railway near the powerhouse at St. John's.

*Sept. 8 Hazleton Senior High school, the district's first million-dollar building, opens.

*Oct. Drs. JOHN, JAMES, and LAWRENCE CORRIGAN open the Corrigan Maternity Hospital on North Church Street at the present site of the Hazleton-St.Joseph Medical Center.

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1929

*Flyer Charles Lindbergh stays overnight at the Altamont hotel after his plane was forced down at RIEFENBERG Airport in Drums.

*Conyngham's new elementary school opens. It would be extensively renovated 30 years later.

*Jan. 11 ANNA POSTUPACK becomes the first postmistress of McAdoo.

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1930

*Apr. 9 The Pioneer Fire Company founded in 1869, dedicates its new fire- house on N. Wyoming Street, Hazleton.

*Apr. 27 The first radio broadcast originating in Hazleton is aired by WBRE of wilkes-Barre from the Hotel Altamont.

*Aug. 7 There were major traffic jams near Barnesville as Rudy Valley and his Connecticut Yankees appear at the Lakewood Ballroom, making his national broadcast from DAVID GUINAN's bungalow at the park.

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1932

*Jan. 25 JAMES G. HARVEY, one of Hazleton's most popular mayors dies at age 72.

*Feb. 19 Six members of the ROMANELLI family die when fire sweeps through their Tresckow home.

*May 14 WILLIAM DEISROTH, a pioneering Hazleton businessman dies at the age of 32 (sic) 82?. DEISROTH started his grocery store in 1870 and switched to the clothing business in 1878 and later opened a department store.

*May 26 The first public commencement is held by graduating nurses at the Hazleton state Hospital School of Nursing, which began in 1908.

*July 2 A small cyclone tears through Freeland causing considerable property damage.

*Dec. 19 Radio Station WAZL begins broadcasting.

*Dec. 5 More than 1,000 crowd the Hazleton's Masonic Temple at Church and Green Streets to hear Helen Keller speak. Miss Keller, blind and deaf since birth, "heard" a concert by the Hazleton Conservatory of Music by placing her fingers on the instruments.

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1933

*First Church of Christ is founded.

*Apr. 21 The A&P Store at 26 West Broad Street displays 0 and later sells a tub of butter weighing 1,730 pounds that was the product of 15,800 quarts of milk.

*June 23 Hazleton gets its first Chinese Restaurant, which opened inside the Club Crystal.

*Nov. 8 The Green Gables nightclub opens on the Hazleton-Wilkes-Barre highway as 700 guests dance to the music of two big bands, Cato's Vagabonds and Austin Wylies NBC orchestra.

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1934

*Mar. 1 MYER RAUSIN buys the Paris Shop, formerly operated by OSCAR POLLAKOFF at 521 Center Street, Freeland.

*Apr. 9 A 15-day dance marathon begins at the FEELEY Hall in the Feeley Theater Building.

CHARLES VERANO, a 59-year-old grandfather was still going strong after 264 hours of continuous dancing.

*Apr. 21 The Roxy Theater opens on Diamnd Avenue. It formerly was known as the Savoy, Pleasure Parlor, Temple, Liberty, and Mayfair.

*Aug. The Pennsylvania State Undergraduate Center is established.

*Nov. Snipers fire at a groupof Democrats holding a political rally on Center Street in Kilayres . Two people were killed and more than 20 others wounded in the Kilayres Massacre.

*Political leader JOSEPH BRUNO, from whose home the shots came, eventually was given three life sentences. Four others received lesser jail sentences.

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1935

*DEISROTH demolishes its Department Store at the southwest corner of Broad and Laurel streets and builds a brick, four-story structure in its place. The original building was purchased by PETER DEISROTH in 1897.

*Feb. 4 A fire forces the Capitol Theater to close for two days. The blaze destroyed the Betsy Ross Confectionary and Helene's Hat Shoppe.

*Apr. 29 Radio Comedians Amos 'n' Andy appear on stage at the Capitol Theater.

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1936

*June 17 Two and one-half years after the repeal of Prohibition, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board opens a store in Weatherly.
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1937

*Aug 28 Hazleton's new Grant Street School, later named A.D. THOMAS Elementary School, is dedicated.

*Nov. 20 The number 1 song on the Hit Parade was "Once in a While," written by MICHAEL EDWARDS (MICHAEL EDWARD SLOWITZKY) who was born in Hazleton September 29, 1893.

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1938

*West Hazleton High School opens.

*Feb. 17 One miner was killed and 8 other trapped men were rescued in a flood at Jeanesville.

*Apr. 18 The 500-seat Alton theater opens on Alter Street. In 1959 the building became the Alton Bowling Alley. It was destroyed by fire in 1967.

*Dec. 15 Former heavyweight boxing champ Joe Louis referees a boxing match in the Feeley Hall on Wyoming Street.

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1939

*Jan. Several miners are killed in an accident at the Hazleton Shaft Colliery.

*Apr. 27 Genetti's opens a modern market on North Laurel Street. The first Genetti Market opened in 1901.

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1940

*St. Francis of Assisi, West Hazleton, and Good Shepherd Church Drums are established.

*Seniors at Hazleton High school graduate with the best sports record in the school's history. During the Class of 1940's three years, the basketball and football teams posted a combined record of 87 wins, 8 losses and 1 tie.

*Aug. 7 Hazleton installs its first 300 parking meters.

*Sept 4 Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour troupe appears at Hazleton's Capitol Theater.

*Oct. 19 Heavyweight boxing champ Jack Dempsey appears in Hazleton.

* Nov. 2 -- Sunset Diner is opened by PAUL and MICHAEL MAHOLICK at 21st and Church Streets.

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1941

*Drums Elementary School is opened.

*Feb. 21 The new Crystal Inn opens in Weatherly.

*Apr. 13 A relatively unknown comedian named Red Buttons appear on the Feeley Theater's vaudeville bill.

*Nov. 12 Mrs. JOHN R. DERSHUCK becomes half-owner of the Standard Sentinel and the Plain Speaker on the death of her husband.

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1942

*Dec. 16 The Hazleton Chapter of Hadassah is founded.
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1943

*St. Joseph Hospital under the auspices of the Bernardine Sisters, takes over management of the Corrigan Maternity Hospital.
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1945

*Tung-Sol Electric, Inc, manufacturers of radio and television tubes, opens in Weatherly.
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1946

*Oct. 31 The Green Acres Airport, featuring a 2000-foot runway, opens at Weatherly. The hanger was destroyed by a lightning strike June 17, 1960.
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1947

*Mar. 6 A banquet is held to celebrate an Industrial Fund Drive that raised $620,00 and helped bring Electric Auto-Lite to Hazleton.
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1948

*The Hazleton Drive-In Theater, one of the first drive-ins in the Northeast, opens on Route 309 in Butler Township.

*Apr. 9 A fire at Beaver Brook leaves 29 homeless.

*June 17 An airliner crashes into a mountain near Mt. Carmel killing 43 people, including Earl Carroll.

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1949

*St. Joseph Hospital is dedicated.

*June 5 Fire kills five children of the STEVEN GAIZICK Family in West Hazleton. A sixth child died the next morning.

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1950

*Faith Assembly of God Church in Hazleton is established.
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1951

*Aug. 2 Country Western singer Hank Williams appears at Evergreen Park, St. Johns.
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1952

*Apr. 29 The Hazleton Chapter of the Barbershop Quartet Society holds its first meeting.

*Sept 21 Lattimer native Jack Palance (WALTER PALANUIK) appears at the Capitol Theater in conjunction with the showing of his film "Sudden Fear," co-starring Joan Crawford.

*Oct. 28 Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevens speaks in Hazleton.

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1953

*The Duplan Silk Corp. closes its Hazleton plant, ending 54 years of producing silk cloth in what once was the world's largest silk mill.

*Jan. 1 WBRE-TV, Northeastern Pennsylvania's first television station, takes to the air.

*June 11 Superior Sleeprite Corporation dedicates its new factory in Hazleton.

*June 14 the Jewish Community Center is dedicated.

*Aug. 31 A nine-week strike begins at the Hotel Altamont.

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1954

*Hurricane Hazle sweeps in, blowing down trees and utility poles, damaging scores of buildings. An insurance adjuster says 3,400 claims for property damage were filed in the Hazleton Area.
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1955

*The CAN DO drive for industrial development, organized by the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce, successfully ends its fund-raising campaign.

*Valmont Industrial Park is purchased by the Hazleton Industrial Development Corporation.

*May 22 Hazleton Municipal Airport is dedicated.

Aug. 17-18 Hurricane Diane ravages Northeastern Pennsylvania, causing unprecidented floods in Hazleton and the Pocono Mountains. Two men drowned in the swollen Nescopeck Creek near Conyngham.

*Two men RICHARD MOORE and FRANCIS O'DONNELL escape serious injury when their plane slams into the roof of St. Gabriel's R.C. Church.

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1957

*June 1 Allegheny Airlines establishes service at service at Hazleton Municipal Airport with four daily flights.

*July 4-13 Hazleton holds its centennial celebration.

*May 7 Woody Herman and his band appear at St. Joseph's Gymnasium on North Laurel Street.

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1959

*Grace Baptist Church in Hazleton is founded.

*Mar. 5 Five people die when the Hotel Gary on east Broad Street is destroyed by fire.

*July 29 Thousands of children jam Angela Park to see the Howdy Doody show.

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1960

*Oct. 28 Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy addresses thousands in Hazleton.

*Nov. 6 Actor-dancer Ray Bolger delivers a campaign speech for presidential candidate Richard Nixon during an appearance at Genetti's nightclub on North Laurel Street.

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1961

*Feb. 4 The Lehigh Valley railroad stops passenger service from Weatherly, the last Hazleton area to offer rail service.

*July 16 A new post office is dedicated in McAdoo, with STEVEN GERLACH acting as postmaster.

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1962

*June 28 Wyoming and Laurel Streets are made one-way streets beginning a trend that would extend throughout the city in the next decade.

*July 19 Schools in Hazleton, McAdoo, Kline Township and Butler Township merge.

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1963

*St. John Bosco R.C. Church is established.

*Mar. 1 A $1-million fire destroys St. Joseph's R.C. Church at 6th and Laurel Streets.

*May 11 Hazleton's spacious and luxurious Capitol Theater closes its doors for the last time following the spring concert of the Philharmonic Society.

*Aug.13 Three miners trapped in a cave-in at Sheppton. HENRY THRONE and DAVID FELLIN emerge alive after a two-week rescue that attracted world-wide attention. The body of a third miner, LOUIS BOVA was never recovered.

*Dec. 11 Carmen's Italian-American Restaurant, formerly located in the basement of the Northeastern Bank Building, opens at 44 E. Broad St.

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1964

*Jan. 13-14 A blizzard leaves 22 inches of snow on the Hazleton area. A second storm Feb. 18-19 adds 20 to 28 inches, paralyzing the region.

*Mar. 14 Hazleton's new post office on North Wyoming Street is dedicated.

*May 1 Allan's Shoe Store moves from the Hazle Hall annex at Wyoming and Spruce Streets to 28 W. Broad Street, prior to the razing of Hazle Hall.

*July 31 The B.F.DAVIS and Sons Feed Mill in Freeland is destroyed by fire.

*Sept. Marian High school's building at Hometown opens, consolidating schools that had been operating in Tamaqua, Coaldale, and Lansford.

*Oct. 18 Hazleton's new Y.M.C.A.- Y.W.C.A. id dedicated.

*Nov. 28 Retail stores and offices open in the former Capitol Theater building on Thanksgiving weekend.

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1965

*Apr. 19 The Hotel Altamont, sold to the Sterling Hotel System on Mar.14, officially closes down.

*May 18 An explosion kills MICHAEL RUGGIERRO, 17, of 626 Harrison St., when he starts his father's car on Cleveland Street between Diamond Avenue and First Street.

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1966

*Feb. 11 Hazleton's Staff Sgt. HARRISON BELL and another wounded soldier in Vietnam appear on the cover of Life Magazine in an award-winning photograph.

*Aug. 22 The junction of Interstates 80 and 81 is dedicated.

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1967

*Feb. 20 Weatherly's "four-ward" political system is abolished.
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1968

*May 6 Shooting of the Paramount film "The Molly Maguires," begins at Eckley.

*Oct. 18 -- PP&L switches on its new mercury street lamps illuminating 7 blocks in central city.

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1969

*July 3 The first of 14 Bavarian festivals opens at Lakewood Park.

*Sept. -- Hazleton Area Vocational-Technical School opens.

*Apr. 5 The Church Hill Cinema opens as a one-screen movie house.

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1970

*Jan. 23 -- Fire levels a block of businesses and apartments on Alter Street between fifth and Sixth Streets.

*Jan. 26 The Village of Eckley is presented to the state as a living anthra- cite museum.

*Jan. 27 "The Molly Maguires" premiers at the Feeley Theater.

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1971

*A four-month dry spell drops water levels in Hazleton City Authority reservoirs and prompts a search for new sources of water.

*Construction of the new Laurel Mall begins.

*June Days of heavy rain associated with hurricane Agnes flood Pennsylvania Creeks and rivers, causing millions of dollars in damage at Wilkes-Barre and other towns along the Susquehanna River.

*Sept 1st -- DANIEL C. FARRELL replaces JULIUS SCHNEIDER as superintendent of Hazleton Public Schools.

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1973

*Hazleton's new bus terminal is constructed at Church & Mine Streets.

*The Hazleton City authority decides to use the Jeddo Tunnel as a source of water providing that the state provides 75 % of the project's $8-$10 million dollar cost.

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1974

*Aug 1 Boxing champion Muhammed Ali appears in Hazleton in a benefit boxing match.

*July 17 A suspicious fire at the Hazleton Area School District's administration building destroys records that had been subpoenaed in connection with a federal grand jury investigation into alleged political corruption in the district.

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1975

*Five Hazleton policemen are suspended after being charged with burglarizing city properties while on duty.

*June 17 The new seven-story Hazleton state General Hospital opens.

*Oct. 10 Hazleton Area School District teachers accept a $1000 across-the-board raise and end a five-week strike.

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1976

*Feb.14 A Valentine's Day firebombing at a Hazle township home takes the lives of Luzerne County Deputy Sheriff EUGENE BOYARSKI, his wife, and three children.

*Sept. 23 JAMES MASTROTA of Hazleton and JAMES V. SANDUTCH of Drums are charged with five counts of murder in connection with the BOYARSKI deaths.

*May 30 Fire destroys the cafeteria-gymnasium annex at Hazle Junior High School on North Church Street. The 66-year-old school would never reopen its doors to students.

*Sept. 23 The Feeley Theater closes its doors for the last time with the showing of Clint Eastwood's "The Outlaw-Josey Wales."

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1977

*Jan. 13 The Hazleton Area's 602 teachers begin a 3 - week strike.

*May 9 A record spring snowstorm leaves nearly 3 inches of snow in Hazleton.

*July 4 Scheduled airline service comes to an end at Hazleton Municipal Airport.

*Aug. 28 An ordinance banning non-essential use of water takes effect in Hazleton at the height of a water shortage that had its origin in the frozen pipes of an unusually cold winter.

*Sept. The $3.8- million Heights-Terrace Elementary School and the $3.2-mil- lion Freeland Elementary schools open.

*Oct. 16- 17 A surprise autumn storm leaves over a foot of snow and fells trees and power lines.

*Sept. 6 The doors of the Grand Theater close for the last time.

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1978

*Feb. 7 A storm dumps more than 20 inches of snow on the Hazleton Area, stranding motorists on area highways. The storm, the fifth in a month, brought the total snowfall to 50 inches.

*Feb. 20 Some 160 residents jammed the Sugarloaf Firehouse to talk about Lansdale resident JAMES JUSTOFIN's claims on more than 60 properties in Black Creek Township.

*May Construction of the McAdoo-Kilayres Elementary school begins and the Hazleton Area Schoold District spends more than a million to repair the leaky roof at the nine-year-old vocational-technical school.

*Dec. 1 Hazleton's new downtown parking garage opens on South Wyoming Street.

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1979

*Aug. 19 Fire levels two buildings on East broad Street in Hazleton killing 54-year-old ROBERT C. HAUZE and destroying HARNER's Jewelry Store, Dick's Drapery Shop, the Palace Bar, and a warehouse rented by WALKER's Furniture Store.

*July 13th Hazleton was abuzz after rumors circulate that President Jimmy Carter was on his way from Camp David for a visit to the Capri Motel on Alter Street. After local television stations broadcast the story, a crowd of 300 gathered outside the Capri to await the arrival that never took place.

*November 7th Rep. Daniel J. FLOOD, accused of accepting bribes, resigns from Congress after serving northeastern Pennsylvania for 30 years.

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1980

*Another drought drops Hazleton area reservoirs down to 20% capacity the lowest ever and prompts Gov. Casey and local officials to impose water rationing.

*October Albert Boscov, owner of the Reading-based department store chain, purchases Boston Store at the Laurel Street Mall and reopens it with a brand-new look.

*October 20th Bus drivers and cafeteria workers go on strike in the Hazleton-Area School District.

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1981

* The MacAdoo Associates Dump Site in Kline Township makes the federal Environmental Protection Agency's 10 worst toxic waste dumps in the nation.

*May 19th The Standard Speaker enters the computer age of news gathering and advertizing as it begins using 24 video display terminals in its newsroom and classified advertizing department.

*September 13th Hazleton holds its first Funfest.

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1982

*The state orders Hazleton to close its landfill at Crystal Ridge. Later in the year Hazleton imposes its first garbage collection fee of $3 per month.

* Fire destroys the Capitol Theater Building on Broad Street in Hazleton. The loss is estimated at $1.5 million.

*September 25th Ex-convict-turned-prison-guard GEORGE BANKS kills 13 people during a shooting spree in Wilkes-Barre .

*November 12th Hazleton City Council lays off 27 employees to deal with $197,000 budget deficit.

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1983

*April 16th Four inches of rain fall within 24 hours, causing the Nescopeck Creek to overflow its banks and leading to the worst flood damage in the Butler Valley since Hurricane Agnes in 1972.

*April 19th A spring storm socks the Hazleton Area with 15 inches of snow.

*September 9th Approximately 70 licensed practical nurses begin a five-week strike against St. Joseph Hospital.

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1984

*October 15th Sixty-two of Hazleton's 105 employees are scheduled to be laid off as a result of fiscal crisis. Many stayed on the job for most of the last ten weeks of the year.

*November 6th Voters of the 11th District elect Paul Kanjorski, a 47-year- old lawyer from Nanticoke. He became the 5th man to represent the district since Rep.Daniel FLOOD at the beginning of the decade.

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1985

*Plans are announced for cogeneration plants facilities that would produce electricity by burning culm at Hazleton, Kline Township, and Mahanoy Townships.

*October Joseph Scheidler, director of the Pro-Life Action League in Chicago, holds a mock trial in Nuremberg to dramatize the abortion issue.

*April 28th The Sugarloaf Landfill closes on state orders, leaving the Hazle- ton Area without a waste disposal site.

*June 26th FRANK "FROGGY" PALERMO of Drums becomes one of the Hazleton Area's few heart transplant recipients when he undergoes a "piggyback" transplant operation at Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh.

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1986

*February 19th The state Department of Environmental resources advises Hazleton, West Hazleton, and Hazle Township residents to boil their water after a local gurl is found to be suffering from giardiasis. The ban was lifted, for most, 8 days later.

*September 29th Hills Department Store opens at Valmont Plaza.

*September 27th The state government turns over Hazleton State General Hospital to a community-based board of directors.

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1987

*A five-alarm fire destroys three commercial buildings in downtown White Haven. An arsonist was arrested later in connection with the $2.3 million blaze.
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1988

*March 10th The Hazleton Area School Board ends more than 20 years of debate when it votes to proceed with the $26.1 million central high school.

*June 12th Fire destroys the Discountland USA supermarket, built in the 1960's to house the Auto Bowl Lanes, at 22nd and Vine Streets.

*August 25th The school board hires Dr. EUGENE GATTY, who headed a small district in western Pennsylvania, to succeed DANIEL J.PARRELL as superintendent.

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1989

*January 31st Police make the first of many arrests when they break up the so-called "Empire" drug-trafficking ring that imported more than $100 million in cocaine and heroine from Florida to Hazleton.

*April The Reverend JOSEPH FERRARA opens the Greater Hazleton Philharmonic Cultural Center in the former Skateland Rink on West Broad Street.

*August 4th Fire destroys the GENETTI Dinner Playhouse.

*December --Deisroth's Department Store closes on West Broad Street, ending the firm's 118-year presence in the downtown Hazleton.

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1990

*Hazleton Area School District officials break ground for the new central high school at Maple Manor.

*June -- St. Stanislaus School in Hazleton closes its doors.

*March 2nd Fire destroys a building at 15-19 E. Diamond Avenue. A second fire on March 4th guts an adjacent building. Several businesses were affected and 37 people left homeless.

*March 22nd Fire guts two Wyoming Street buildings housing apartments and the Coloial Restaurant and Uniforms by Marty.

*October 18th Senapes Bakery, a landmark business on 17th Street in Hazleton, is destroyed by fire.

*November 21st CAN DO opens its new 30,000-square-foot Renaissance Center office building at Broad and Church Streets.

*November 21st Former Luzerne County Judge ARTHUR DALESSANDRO is released from Allenwood Federal Prison Camp after serving nine months for attempted income tax evasion.

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NOTE: We are aware that the events of November 16, 1916 and November 16, 1926 appear suspiciously similar. It was indeed printed as noted above. Please take this as a reminder that not all things found in "black and white" should be taken at face value.
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