Hurricane Agnes loomed on the horizon in 1972; 1947 summer fashion [Lancaster That Was] | Story

Excerpts and summaries of stories from the former Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster New Era and Sunday News that focus on events from the county’s past that are noteworthy, newsworthy or just plain weird.

25 years ago

In June 1997, after three years of discussion and planning, Lancaster County’s third-largest shopping center – Red Rose Commons along Fruitville Pike – was closer than ever to grand opening.

The $45 million project, which had become known as the “powerhouse” in local newspapers, received critical tentative approval from city planners, as well as sources of funding for major improvements to Fruitville Pike that would necessary for the project to get the final OK.

The road would be widened to four lanes from Keller Avenue to Granite Run Drive, and traffic lights would also be added.

Although final approvals are yet to come, developers and city officials have agreed that construction of the center is likely and a tentative groundbreaking date of August 1997 has been set.

Many of the stores that were present when the center eventually opened in 1998 are still present almost 25 years later. Others, like Hollywood Video and Circuit City, have been lost in the changing retail landscape.

In the titles:

Baptists vote to boycott Disney

3-year-old boy finds dinosaur egg

US must act to reduce carbon emissions, Congress says

Check out the June 19, 1997 Lancaster New Era here.

50 years ago

On June 19, 1972, the New Era published the first mention of Hurricane Agnes in a local news story—an article about heavy rains that would serve as a prelude to some of the worst flooding in the county’s history.

The rains of the day before were the result of a stationary front which was to leave the region the next day – but on its heels would come the remains of Agnes.

With today’s hindsight and knowledge of the devastation Agnes would inflict on the county, it is a historical curiosity to see an article mentioning the possibility that Agnes could “eventually bring clouds and showers” into the area a few days later.

In the titles:

World pilot walkout has little effect in US

Hurricane Agnes kills 14 in Florida

Nicklaus joins Bobby Jones at the top of golf

Check out the June 19, 1972 Lancaster New Era here.

75 years ago






Among the “functional fashions” available to working women in 1947 were these two dresses, designed for golf (left) and tennis.


“Functional fashion” is the watchword of the summer of 1947 for active women, whether they go to golf, tennis or the swimming pool.

The Intelligencer Journal published a sportswear fashion story for the season, focusing on no-frills outfits that still looked sharp.

Lastex swimsuits were all the rage, replacing “the bulky ruffles of those cute but impractical wartime cotton swimsuits”. Functional tennis dresses were “a welcome post-war addition to the sports wardrobe”.

And golf dresses – “built on classic lines” with sleeves that allowed plenty of swing – had deep pockets to hold balls, tees and the like.

In the titles:

Britain and France give Reds one week to join European recovery plan

Gas shortage curbs Navy air operations

Gromyko raps about the US disarmament plan

Check out the June 19, 1947, Intelligencer Journal here.

100 years ago

On June 19, 1922, the people of the city of Lancaster were ready to vote on whether the city should take out a school improvement loan.

The $1.25 million loan — the equivalent of more than $20 million today — would be used to build two colleges, as well as repair, renovate and refurbish all existing school buildings in the city.

All local newspapers were staunchly supportive of the loan, and most ran front-page editorials on the day of the special election, urging city residents to vote “yes” on the ballot measure.

As noted in the Lancaster Intelligencer: “To vote ‘yes’ is to put your heel on the snake of ignorance and unjust prejudice. May Lancaster not be a laggard in education and progress.”

In the titles:

Eight charged in New York for sending arms to Ireland

The former leader of China took part in the bombardment of Canton

Check out June 19, 1922, Lancaster Intelligencer here.

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