“April is a month of melody, in April, you can hear the warbling of mockingbirds and the chattering of squirrels.”

— Ellen Jackson

THIS WEEK IN U.S. HISTORY

April 30, 1789, George Washington became the first U.S. President. He was administered the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall at the corner of Wall and Broad streets in New York City.

May 1, 1931, The Empire State building in New York officially opened.

May 3, 1932, Tuberculosis cases continued to grow in the U.S. and around the world.

May 5, 1891, Carnegie Hall, originally called Music Hall, had its’ official opening in New York City.

20 YEARS AGO (2001)

Linda Smith, volunteer resources coordinator for the Danville State Hospital, was pictured in the local newspaper congratulating Joanne Aurand, of Danville, and Tom Beiter for their dedication to the Danville State Hospital at the Award Volunteer Recognition Banquet held at the hospital.

Aurand received the Dolly Schwartz Spirit Award for her long devotion to the hospital while Beiter received the Superintendent’s Award for Volunteering Excellence.

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The Danville’s girls track and field had an easy 118-32 win over Williamsport. Junior Carolyn Deegan, who was pictured in a photo in the Danville News, won the 800-yard run. Junior Erin Meschter won high hurdles in 17.7 with teammate Bethany Riley finishing third 18.7 and then she won the 300-yard hurdles 50-3 with Katie Harlor (55-7) coming in third. Meschter’s biggest win came in the high jump where the two-time district champion cleared 5-4, her best mark of the season at Danville.

One of Danville’s biggest surprises came in the javelin event, during which freshman Kristie Moodie beat the defending district champion with a toss of 106-9. All members of Danville’s team were at the top of their game at this meet with the “Millionaires.”

40 YEARS AGO (1981)

Scott Reidinger, Danville’s designated hitter, plated the Ironmen’s first run at the State Hospital Field while Danville’s “on deck hitter” Johnny Morris, looked on in a photo in the local newspaper.

Reidinger scored on a ball that got past the Montoursville catcher. The 2-0 shutout win by the Ironmen put the team in sole possession of the Susquehanna Valley League’s (SVL) first place. Junior right-handed hurler, Alby Gerst, got the win for the local team. It was his second shutout of the year.

Dick Martz, the Danville coach, described the game as “one of the most emotional games we’ve been involved in. It was a good game for the fans and a great day for Danville baseball.”

It was the Ironmen’s fifth straight shutout and the game marked another milestone for the team: 35 innings without allowing an opponent to score a run. Montoursville and the Ironmen were tied for first place in the SVL before the game.

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The Danville High School Drama Club presented ‘Tom Sawyer’ in the high school auditorium. The musical was under the direction of Adviser Jean Knouse. Bob Bookmiller as ‘Huck,’ Andy Knouse as ‘Little Joe’ and Al Sceski as ‘Tom’ were pictured in the local newspaper discussing their predicament around a campfire.

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Students at the Mahoning-Cooper School held an Academic Fair in connection with Parents Conference Days at the school. Students Mike Walters, Sabrina Varano and Jack Becker, from Miss Lois Bryner’s fifth-grade class, were pictured in the newspaper looking over a Revolutionary War mural made for the fair by fifth-grade students.

60 YEARS AGO (1961)

The Danville Retail Merchants Association received many well-deserved congratulations with what became the most talked about event of spring; the Fish Derby for youngsters.

The retailers “deserved plaudits” for this goodwill gesture toward Montour County-Riverside area boys and girls.

Children from ages 6 to 14 were invited to fish and vie for a number of prizes in a selected section of Mahoning Creek near the community parking lot under constant supervision of volunteer adults. Parents cheered for their children.

The winners in Danville’s first Fish Derby were Robert Oshetski, 13, of Riverside, and Karen Farnsworth, 13, of Elysburg. Other prize-winners were Pat Shipe, second place; Kenneth Houseknecht, third; Richard Garman, fourth; Scott Riley, fifth; Kenneth Sedler, sixth; Garey Shultz, seventh; Raymond Mausteller, eighth; and Norman Troutman, ninth.

Community police and leaders joined with the association to make the first event of its kind in Danville a huge success.

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Cheerleaders and boys basketball champions of the Danville Area intramural basketball leagues received trophies and awards for their achievements at assemblies held at the winners’ schools.

Walter McCloskey, local basketball coach, presented the awards to members of the Delong team, sixth grade champions, Third Ward, fifth-grade title holders and First Ward B, fourth-grade kingpins. It was the first championship in school history for Delong.

Since its inception in 1955 the small fry basketball venture grew from twelve to an area wide operation of 38 teams.

Award winners from the First Ward B team were Scott Wagner, Mike Stauffer, Tim Long, Terry Lewis, Kim Houck and Billy Curry. Third Ward team winners included Orin Woodruff, Doug Harvey, William Hollabaugh, Terry Reader and Ronnie Anderson; and members of the Delong team Joe Fleming, Leslie Henrie, John Foust, Frank Carr, Neal Bower and George Schrawder.

The champion cheerleaders were Fourth Ward fourth-graders Jill Beyer, Susan Huntington, Suzanne Corey, Gabriele Fausnaught, Sharon Jones and Elaine Cooke.

75 YEARS AGO (1946)

“A grand show” was the consensus of opinion of an enthusiastic audience who saw “Madison Square Garden come to Danville” when the YMCA presented a regulation boxing exhibition in honor of the organizations that came to the aid of the YMCA with donations for its re-opening.

The exhibition featuring “juvenile stars of the ring” was developed by Frank “Scootie” Hoffman, physical education director and member of the Board of Directors.

The program opened with Larue Stump singing The Star Spangled Banner as a solo accompanied on the piano by Ted Snyder.

The boxers, in the seven bouts, wore light and dark robes and trunks donated by the Danville Sportswear Co., were introduced by Alex Foster who came from Bucknell University to serve as the announcer.

All bouts were three rounds and no decision;.“Scootie” was the referee and the YMCA boosters served as seconds. The opening bout was between Edward “Slug” Deibert and Ronald “Bruiser” Knauer; the second bout with Ed Donahue and Bill Haney; the third featured Ray Leitzel and Donald Wemple; and the fourth, Jack Reilly and Bill Sterner.

Following a short intermission, the fifth bout was between Eddie Reilly and Jimmie Shutt and the sixth bout was between Jack Doresky and Bob Hickey.

The final bout was a junior heavyweight class affair in which Bob Leedy met Jimmy Connolley.

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According to an article in the local newspaper, the long years of service and devotion to an ideal was honored by the Ex-Residents Association of the Geisinger Memorial Hospital when it paid a special tribute to Dr. H. L. Foss, surgeon-in-chief at its annual reunion.

The tribute was a portrait of the surgeon painted by the eminent Johansen of New York City, regarded as the leading portrait artist in America, to be hung in the hospital to remain as a token of esteem to a doctor of medicine who devoted a lifetime to the hospital.

The portrait presentation was at a luncheon followed by a reception at the Foss home. The celebration concluded with a dinner and dancing at the Shamokin Country Club.

Sis Hause is a Danville historian. Her weekly columns appear in The Danville News.

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