“I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”

— William Wordsworth, Daffodils

Thursday at 11:50 p.m., earlier than it has been in 124 years, brings about the beginning of the March equinox — also called the vernal or spring equinox — marking the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. On this day, the sun stands directly over the Earth’s equator. In the Southern Hemisphere, this date marks the autumnal equinox and the beginning of autumn.

3/23/1775 “Give me liberty, or give me death.” Patrick Henry's quotation from a speech he made to the Second Virginia Convention. Henry is credited with having swung the balance convincing the convention to pass a resolution delivering Virginian troops for the Revolutionary War. Future U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were delegates.

3/25/1954 RCA produced the first color TV.

 

20 YEARS AGO (2000)

Betty Jean Heffner, Lee Evans and Janie Simpson were pictured in the local newspaper wrapping bunches of daffodils for sale in various stores in Danville to benefit the American Cancer Society.

A photo of the Relay For Life team captain and public relations coordinator, Becky Haney, and her children, Charles, 8, Emily 4, and Sarah 6, were pictured in the local newspaper supporting that event during a pre-event fundraiser at the Magic River Skateland. The night of skating benefited the American Cancer Society’s Montour County Unit of the Relay For Life.

 

40 YEARS AGO (1980)

The Liberty Valley third-graders were pictured in the local newspaper during the school’s Academic Science Fair. In the photo was Christine Stump doing a demonstration on acids, Richard Strausser with his collection of various shells, and Chris Lapos who built a dinosaur.

The tenth- and eleventh-grade history classes of Mrs. Catherine Vanderslice recreated eras of American history through song, dance and plays. The plays were originally used as a learning experience for the students and were done so well that they decided to share them with the community. All students were involved in every aspect of the production, whether it was acting, set design, lighting or singing, dancing or speaking parts. Four plays were presented, "Jamestown," "Upstairs Downstairs," "Amanda American," and an original written by the seniors in the contemporary history class. A photo in the newspaper pictured Kelly Dressler, Shelly Strausser and Amy Konvolinka rehearsing for the event.

 

60 YEARS AGO (1960)

An article in the local newspaper had the headline: Track Resumed at Danville High School. The following boys signed up: Clyde Laubach, Larry Willard, Warren Reibsome, John Hoover, Bruce Malcolmson, Peter Glowaski, Tom Girton, Lindor Hendrickson, Jim Ryan, Harold Davis, Brian Connolly, Bob Cashner, Stewart Holdren, MacArthur Parker, Wayne Myers, James D. Long and Jim Jones.

Danville High School’s paper Orange and Purple won third place in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association contest.

The Orange and Purple was entered in the class for printed newspapers from high schools with an enrollment of 501 to 750 throughout the nation.

Two members of the Orange and Purple staff, Edward Grubb and Robert Gatski, along with their adviser Reynolds Mitchell, attended a conference of the Association at Columbia University, New York.

 

75 YEARS AGO (1945)

Again the tragedy of war was brought home to Danville. The families of Pvt. Jack Tanner and Cpl. James J. Monahan received telegrams that their sons were killed in action. Once again Danville contributed to the tragic cost of war with the loss of the lives of these young men.

Cpl. Monahan was killed while fighting with the American forces in Germany. He entered the service in 1943 and was assigned to an anti-aircraft battalion and subsequently transferred to the armored infantry. He first arrived in Scotland, moved to France and then the front lines in Germany. Prior to his service, he worked at Murray Furniture store.

Pvt. Tanner died while fighting with the American forces in Germany, nine days before his 20th birthday.

The families of the following soldiers, Sgt. William McDermott, Pvt. Richard Faux and Cpl. Donald W. Cashner, were notified that their sons were wounded while serving in action in Germany.

 

100 YEARS AGO (1920)

Hundreds of people were enthralled by the beautifully colored streaks of light that appeared in the northern sky.

It was the aurora borealis, popularly called the northern lights. The aurora borealis phenomena, visible only at night, is believed to be of electrical origin. This species of light usually appeared in streams ascending toward the zenith front, a dusky line or bank. A few degrees from the northern horizon when reaching south beyond the zenith it forms what is called the corona, assuming a variety of colors from a pale red or yellow to a deep red or dark green.

For the first time in a long while the local police had requests for a night’s lodging from members of the “hobo fraternity.” Two able-bodied men approached Police Chief Mincemoyer and asked permission to sleep in the borough "Bastille."

The chief at the time of meeting them was accompanied by Special Officer James Moore of the Reading Iron Company. After the “knights of the road” finished their story of how dull things were and that they wanted work, “the same old line,” Officer Moore informed them that he could give them employment at the iron works. The men consented to try working for a change. They were taken to a boarding house and began work the next day.

Later in the night a "wayfarer" found Officer Voris and asked for a “flop in the caboose.” He was accommodated.

 

While self-quarantined this week, I found myself thinking about the simple, carefree days of my younger years, days with cousins and friends taking advantage of every precious minute. I thought I would mention a few.

March was the time to store the sleds and ice skates and get out the roller skates and bicycles. Starting in mid-March and all through the summer, the neighborhood pavements had children of all ages sitting on anything available to attach roller skates to their shoes, spending hours waltzing through blocks of sidewalks. Often, they carried their roller skates to the Courthouse on Mill Street to enjoy skating on the best pavements in town.

Bicycles, that could be seen everywhere throughout the town, were our means of transportation as youngsters. Families only had one car that was mostly with the father at work. So, bikes took us wherever we went, whether to any of the town’s playgrounds, Sunnybrook, ballgames — even the movie theater had a bike rack — most times riding without a destination, riding, just for the joy of riding a bicycle.

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

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