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 Jan. 13th.
25 YEARS AGO.
January 13, 1995 – Friday
“Garlic, candles or holy: Choose your weapon”
CHAMBERSBURG – Today is Friday the 13th.
If it turns out terribly, here’s why and what you might be able to do about it.
• First off, Friday the 13th is considered bad luck because Jesus was crucified on a Friday, and 13 people attended the Last Supper.
• Also, Eve supposedly tempted Adam on a Friday.
• Legend says any work begun on a Friday will not turn out well.
• Ocean liners often will not set sail on Friday the 13th.
• Burn a white candle from midnight on Thursday the 12th throughout Friday the 13th.
There are “antidotes:”
• Festoon your house with holly, which is thought to have protective powers.
• In a pinch, wear garlic, a general antidote for bad luck.
And speaking of luck, have a good day!
50 Years Ago
January 13, 1970 – Tuesday
“Halt Train – Firm May Enjoy Strike Picket”
The threat of violence hangs over the strike-bound Marathon-Division American Can Company, in Chambersburg. The strike by workers of Local 712, International Printers and Pressmen Union against the local industry began Saturday and has crescendoed to the point that the state police in Harrisburg has alerted a number of troopers in the event strikers present opposition to a possible injunction, still pending at press time, to keep pickets from halting removal of two-box cars laden with products from the factory.
State police, borough officers and railroad personnel huddled in borough hall through the morning presumably to map strategy for a possible confrontation with workers later today.
The pending injunction is the result of a mass protest of well over 100 workers Monday afternoon when supervisory personnel of Western Maryland Railway attempted to remove the box cars. The fireman and engineer of the train brought the engine to the siding leading onto American Can property. They left the train and walked down the road leading to Wayne Avenue. The workers massed on the siding, let out a cheer as the two men walked up the lane.
Workers began massing Monday at approximately 1:30 p.m. earlier in the day members of the union were told supervisory personnel from WMRR were on the scene to take the cars out of the struck plant.
When the engine pulled up at the siding to back into the can plant, workers threw railroad ties across the track and sat on them saying that they would have to be forceably removed.
A chain was also attached to the siding switch. When an attempt to remove the chain prove futile, the injunction was ordered by the company to avoid a face to face confrontation. The men overheard on two-way radio that company officials were going to come down and cut the chain. This prompted the strikers to form around the switch. Railroad detectives were unable to break them up. Several of the strikers carried cudgels during the two and one-half hour stalemate.
Over 40 officers from various law enforcement agencies watched the proceedings while workers made half-jocular, half-mocking comments.
Railroad officials on the scene said that they were legally bound to remove the box cars if American Car wished them to.
On the negotiation front, both sides held firm to their positions. Labor says the company must contact them for further negotiations and the company remains firm that if the union wishes to negotiate the word must come from that quarter.
The dispute hinges over an 18 cent an hour request from the union for health and welfare programs. The money would be turned over to the union with insurance and retirement benefits purchased through union channels. The company opposes the proposition. A four per cent “cost of living” increment sought next September as part of the 15 month pact is the second area of dispute. The firm has agreed to a 10 per cent with a 30 cent minimum across the board increase and feels the four per cent addition would be financially out of line.
William Wardell, chief negotiator for the company was in conference this morning with attorneys in securing the pending injunction against the striking workers and unavailable for comment.
Lawrence Peck, business representative for District 6 of the IPPU, said the workers are firm in their decision to halt Western Maryland from removing the cars.
Other troubles have arisen in the four-day strike with a man being hit by a car allegedly driven by one of the salaried personnel at American Can. It was reported that Robert G. O’Donnell, Dry Run, went to a local justice of the peace but did not file a charge against the man. O’Donnell was treated and released from Chambersburg Hospital following the alleged incident.
Police Chief J. Byers Schlichter, reported to have been in the area at the time, was unavailable for comment.
100 Years Ago
January 13, 1920 –Tuesday
“Grand Opportunity For Joining K-of-F”
Last call prior to forming the newest lodge in Chambersburg. A large number of men of Chambersburg and surrounding towns have become identified with the Order of Knights-of-Friendship and many prominent business and professional men have joined the ranks of the order. On Wednesday evening, January 14, the Chambersburg Lodge will be duly organized.
To the men of Chambersburg who are Interested in substantial American institutions, there is one more chance to join and get into the order for the small fee of $5.00 and attend the ceremonies and witness the beautiful ritualistic work as exemplified by the crack degree teams of the Knights of Friendship. Be a Knight and a charter member of Chambersburg’s newest Lodge.
The dues are only 75 cents per month; sick and accident benefits $7 per week. Funeral benefits $250. No assessments. Age limit 18 to 50 inclusive. When charter closes the admission fee will be $25.
Call on organizer at local headquarters, room 411, Chambersburg Trust Building, Chambersburg, today, between 9 and 11 a. m. and 1:30 to 5 o’clock in the afternoon and in the evening from 7 to 9 o’clock. Call and avoid the rush. Information and literature free upon request.