The LuLac Edition #1368, Nov. 11th, 2010
PHOTO INDEX: VETERAN'S DAY, "MR. PEANUT" THROUGH THE YEARS, GOVERNOR WILLIAM WARREN SCRANTON CIRCA 1966 AND OUR 1966 LOGO.
Veterans Day is considered a yearly American holiday venerating military veterans. And both a state holiday and a federal holiday in all states, Veterans Day is generally celebrated on 11th November. On the other hand, if Veterans Day happens on Sunday then the next Monday is selected for the holiday leave, if Veterans Day happens Saturday then either Friday or Saturday may be so chosen. It is commemorated as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day in other part of the world. Veterans Day is celebrated on 11th November, the anniversary of signing of Armistice that finished World War I. The main hostilities of World War I were properly finished at 11th hour of 11th Day of 11th Month of 1918 with German signing of the Armistice. As I was entering grade school, this holiday was still referred to as Armistice Day by the nuns. Since none of my WWII era uncles bragged about their exploits, (I found out about their medals and citations when they were waked) the holiday was distant to me. Mind you, not unimportant just not on the radar screen.
Veterans Day History
The U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed an Armistice Day for 12th November, 1919. And The United States Congress conceded a parallel resolution after 7 years on 4th June, 1926, applying for a President issue another declaration to survey 11th November with proper ceremonies. An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) permitted 13th May , 1938, made 11th of November in every year an authorized holiday; "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'." In the year of 1953, an Emporia, Kansas, shoe store holder named Al King had a plan to increase Armistice Day to commemorate all veterans, not presently those who provided in World War I. the king had been keenly occupied with an American War Dads throughout World War II. Then he started a crusade to turn the Armistice Day into "All" Veterans Day. And The Emporia Chamber of Commerce assumed the reason after resolving that 90% of the Emporia merchants with the Board of Education supported finishing their doors on 11th November, 1953, to tribute veterans. And with the help of then-U.S. Rep. Ed Rees, from Emporia, a bill for holiday was push through Congress. The President Dwight Eisenhower marked it into law on 26th May, 1954. Congress modified this act on 8th November, 1954, replacing "Armistice" with Veterans. It has been recognized as Veterans Day since.
Even though originally planned for commemoration on 11th November of each year, opening in 1971 compliant with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Veterans Day was shifted to fourth Monday of October. And In the year of 1978 it was retreated to its original commemoration on 11th of November.
SWB YANKEE SALE
The sale of the Scranton Wilkes Barre Yankees to the Mandelay Industries is going to keep baseball in town here for the next 30 years. Even though members of the Stadium authority aren’t happy, it does ensure that baseball will be here for a while. The three Lackawanna County commissioners stepped up and did the right thing. However it would have been nice if they included the bunch from Luzerne County. While I think the Yanks should pay the whole freight on the Stadium renovation, especially when the state is cutting vital services, the decision on the money is a done deal from the Governor. So we might as well take advantage of it. And when Ed Rendell becomes baseball Commissioner, he can come and throw out the first ball.
BACK TO WORK
House Speaker Keith R. McCall announced that he is calling the Pennsylvania House of Representatives back into voting session on Monday. "While the Senate has flatly refused to return to session to address legislation passed by the House that awaits their action, after speaking to many House members who are concerned about key issues such as pension reform, I've decided to bring the House back for voting session Monday," McCall said. "We anticipate debate on multiple pieces of legislation sent to us by the Senate in an effort to get many of those bills passed and sent on to the governor to be signed into law." Debate is expected to begin at 1 p.m. on Monday. There are still some unresolved issues going on in the State House and I have to give Keith McCall credit for calling these guys back into session. Maybe they might try to levy a gas drilling tax and put a freeze on those pensions until we have more money in the State.
Maybe it's because no one knows for sure exactly what happened. Maybe it's because so many lives were lost in an instant. Or maybe it's because of the song. It was 35 years ago Wednesday when the Great Lakes freighter Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior. A generation has passed. Memories fade. But interest in the "Fitz" still is keen. "It's not our biggest exhibit, but it's the one we absolutely have to keep up," said Thom Holden, director of the Lake Superior Maritime Museum in Duluth's Canal Park. "We can't touch the Fitz exhibit without people getting upset about it. We still get a lot of questions about it." But most of the people asking the questions are older now. "When I first got here in 1977, it was the young school children who knew the most, who were most interested, because it was recent history for them. ...Now, even the parents of the children who come through weren't born when it happened," Holden said. "For the kids now, it's like the Titanic. It's ancient history. But it's still one of our most asked-about ships or events." Holden said the haunting 1976 Gordon Lightfoot ballad about the wreck is a big part of the intrigue. "I got a call not too long ago from someone in California wondering if the song was about a real shipwreck or just an interesting folk song he made up," Holden said. But it's also the human drama surrounding the wreck, song or no song. There have been thousands of shipwrecks on the Great Lakes, but this is the last one in which lives were lost. The 729-foot freighter left Superior, Wis., on Nov. 9 with a full load of 26,000 tons of Minnesota-made taconite iron ore pellets just before a huge storm engulfed the region. The ore carrier was on its way to a steel mill at Zug Island near Detroit but sunk in waves that some call the largest they'd ever seen on Lake Superior. All 29 crew members on board perished. Late on the afternoon of the 10th, the captain of the Fitzgerald, Ernest M. McSorely, made radio contact with another ship, the Avafor, and reported that the Fitz was listing badly to one side, had lost both radars, and was taking heavy seas over the deck in one of the "worst seas" he had ever been in. Northwest winds were blowing near 60 mph with higher gusts. At about 4 p.m. an estimated 75-knot (86 mph) hurricane-force northwest wind gust struck the ore carrier Arthur M. Anderson. At 7 p.m. the Anderson, trailing the Fitzgerald by about 10 miles, was struck by two waves estimated at 25 feet or higher. The last radio contact from the Fitzgerald to the Anderson was: "We are holding our own," about 7:10 that night. But the Fitz's lights faded from sight in a snow squall and then disappeared from the Anderson's radar screen minutes later. No distress signal was sent. The wreck was found in two pieces 530 feet below the surface just 17 miles outside Whitefish Point and the relative safety and calmer waters of Whitefish Bay. A Coast Guard investigation ruled the probable cause of the sinking was that the deck hatches failed and water filled the ore-filled cargo holds. This report suggests that the Fitzgerald was taking on water due to earlier damage from the storm and that around 7:15 p.m. it plunged headfirst into a large wave and sank abruptly. But findings by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Great Lakes Carriers Association weren't as sure. Another theory says the ship, unknown to the crew, bottomed out in huge waves on a shoal near Caribou Island, gashing the hull and causing buckling on deck. Other theories include structural deficiencies, overloading, hatches that weren't properly secured, or just freak wind and wave conditions that doomed the ship. Whatever the case, the anniversary is a haunting memory for most. To them it is more than a hit record.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
This week in the Times Leader, Bill O’Boyle reported that Mr. Peanut will make his return. After 94 years, Mr. Peanut, the Planters Peanut corporate logo and Wilkes-Barre native, has found his voice. For the first time ever, the loveable icon will appear in a series of new television commercials and he will speak. His voice will be that of Academy Award nominee Robert Downey Jr. Basil Maglaris, associate director of corporate affairs at Kraft Foods, the parent company of Planters Peanuts, said it was time for people to connect with Mr. Peanut. “Planters built a rich history of quality and roots that reach back to 1916 and Amedeo Obici that started in Wilkes-Barre,” Maglaris said from his East Hanover, N.J., office. “Until this day, we still work to the standards that he kept.” Jolyne Dalzell, Obici’s great-niece who led the effort to get a historical marker erected on the former Planters Peanuts site on South Main Street, said she was pleased with the new look of Mr. Peanut. “I was really blown away when I heard about it,” she said. “But it’s time to move along with the times. I never liked the yellow man image. I’m glad they went back to the peanut shell look and kept the top hat, monocle and cane.”
Maglaris said Mr. Peanut will be featured in a series of commercials that will debut today. The first can be seen on Mr. Peanut’s Facebook site, www.facebook.com/mrpeanut
Mr. Peanut was a childhood memory that was ingrained in my very young being. The smell of those fresh nuts in downtown Wilkes Barre and later at the Gsateway DShopping center I is still a constant after all these years. Glad to have Mr. Peanut and the monocle back.