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Take a look back at Franklin County’s history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years ago on September 17th.

25 Years Ago

September 17, 1994  Saturday

“POWS are reunited 50 years later”

Former prisoners of war, from left, Vinson Hatcher, -William Diehl, James Hammond and Frank Adolini, bow their heads during the benediction Friday at Letterkenny Army Depot's ceremony honoring POWs.
Former prisoners of war, from left, Vinson Hatcher, -William Diehl, James Hammond and Frank Adolini, bow their heads during the benediction Friday at Letterkenny Army Depot’s ceremony honoring POWs.

CHAMBERSBURG – Frank Adolini and Paul Seacrest met again after 50 years.

They exchanged a few words Friday before a ceremony at Letterkenny Army Depot honoring prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action. 

The two World War II veterans didn’t reminisce. There was too little time before the ceremony, and Adolini had to hurry home afterwards. 

But also, they didn’t have the best of times to relive. They met in a prison camp. 

They didn’t shake hands Friday. Someone was standing between them. “Maybe we should have,” said Adolini, 74. 

“I hope to get back with him,” said Seacrest, 78. 

“We keep talking that maybe we’ll talk,” Adolini said. “Maybe we’re talking through our hats.” 

“It’s a small world so close, yet so far apart.” 

Adolini has lived in Fayetteville since the war. For years, he’s known Seacrest was in Greencastle.

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50 Years Ago

September 17, 1969 – Wednesday

Seven Area Students Gain Semi-Finals in 1969 Merit Scholarship Examinations

Seven area students are among 15,000 of the nation’s most intellectually talented high school seniors, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The corporation yearly awards nearly 3,000 scholarships to students who qualify through local, state and national testing, the area scholars are semi-finalists in the program. 

The students from the area are: William L. Browder and Kay Shafer of Chambersburg Senior High School; Linda K. Long and Kenneth L. Rotz of Shippensburg Area Senior High School; Richard A. Walker of Buchanan Senior High School in Mercersburg, Walter S. Johns and James B. Kentchof Mercersburg Academy.

The semi-finalists are vying for scholarships based on the youth’s activities as a student, his grades, accomplishments, leadership qualities and extracurricular achievements. The students are evaluated personally along with the testing scores of the scholarship organization and the final selections made by the overall ability, intellectually and talent-wise, of the individual. 

The seven semifinalists have the opportunity to be awarded $1,000 scholarships awarded by the state. Others are selected for four-year Merit Scholarships provided through corporations. foundations, colleges, unions. trusts, professional associations and other organizations which offer aid to the field of higher education. 

Winners of four-year scholar ships may receive up to $1,500 per year for four college years, depending upon the individual needs. 

Names of the 1969-70 Merit Scholarship winners will be announced April 30TH.

100 Years Ago

September 17, 1919 – Tuesday

“New Millinery Shop Open in Mercersburg”

MERCERSBURG – The French Shop will open a branch millinery store in Mercersburg on Wednesday, September 17, in the Holman Building, South Main street.  The same fashionable modes that find display in the Chambersburg store will be exhibited in, the Mercersburg French Shop, thus assuring the customers of the new store brand new styles always. Such good millinery as that made by Johnson of New York will be offered on opening day and thereafter. 

A main function of a millinery shop was to make and sell fashionable accessories for men and women.  Hat making or millinery is the design, manufacture and sale of hats and head-wear. A person engaged in this trade is called a milliner or hatter.

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