This week in local history: Astronomy, ecology, meteorology were hot topics in 1968, 1969, 1970


Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister - ebaumeister@timesleader.com



The moon in December 1968, as seen through the 450 power telescope and f/1.8 camera lens of Abington Heights junior Douglas Holmes.


Abington Journal file photos

A State Highway Department plow hits a rural Dalton road at 30 miles per hour after a major holiday snow storm in 1969.


Abington Journal file photos

Tom Blomaine, of Clarks Summit and Frank Jenkins, of Chinchilla, embark on a canoe trip down the Susquehanna River on the last Saturday of October, 1970. This photograph, along with an account of their adventure, was first published in the Dec. 29, 1970 edition of the Abington Journal.


Abington Journal file photos

1968 — As astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders orbited the moon via Apollo 8, an Abington Heights student studied the faraway surface through a telescope and camera lens. He shared one of his photos with the Journal, which published it across the top half of the front page.

“Like the astronauts, teenage interest in the moon is avid, if from a different perspective,” read the caption. “Douglas Holmes, a junior at Abington Heights, took this photo (250,000 miles away rather than the astronauts 70) from his house on Claremont Avenue, Clarks Summit, during the last full moon. Camera was set at 1/60 of a second at f 1.8 through 450 power telescope. Dark spots are seas with Sea of Tranquility (proposed landing area) in top center. Craters and mountains are white.”

1969 — Those longing for a white Christmas in the Abingtons got their wish and more.

“Five days after the start of the holiday snow storm, the Abingtons began to emerge from the drifts,” read the Journal article. “Even with the constant plowing and digging since Christmas Eve, the State Highway Department still listed between 15 and 20 percent of the local secondary roads closed. Most of these, highway officials said, were in the townships surrounding Clarks Summit, with the greatest proportion in Newton.”

“More than a foot of snow accumulated on top of the what was left from a storm earlier last week. High winds complicated the cleanup. John Petrauskas of the State Highway Department said that work crews had encountered many drifts over six feet in depth.”

1970 — As the Year of the Environment came to a close, the Journal published two articles on its front page on that topic. The first examined several of the year’s accomplishments, such as the March formation of Help Prevent Life’s Pollutants.

The second was a photograph and account of an ecology canoe trip made from Wyalusing to Tunkhannock, via the Susquehanna River, by two Abingtons residents: Tom Blomain, of Clarks Summit and Frank Jenkins, of Chinchilla. One purpose of their trip was to raise awareness of the area’s natural beauty.

“During the ride they saw an abundance of wildlife including blue heron, turkey buzzards, bald eagles, horned owls, and eels, along with turtles, rabbits and various species of wild ducks,” read the article

“Another purpose of the trip was to see if any pollution of the river was taking place which would be easy to check. It was found that only one obvious violator of the health and beauty of the river was located near Laceyville where several junked automobiles were simply dumped over the bank creating an eye-soar as well as a health hazard.”

The moon in December 1968, as seen through the 450 power telescope and f/1.8 camera lens of Abington Heights junior Douglas Holmes.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_ABJ-LH-1230-1968.jpgThe moon in December 1968, as seen through the 450 power telescope and f/1.8 camera lens of Abington Heights junior Douglas Holmes. Abington Journal file photos

A State Highway Department plow hits a rural Dalton road at 30 miles per hour after a major holiday snow storm in 1969.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_ABJ-LH-1230-1969.jpgA State Highway Department plow hits a rural Dalton road at 30 miles per hour after a major holiday snow storm in 1969. Abington Journal file photos

Tom Blomaine, of Clarks Summit and Frank Jenkins, of Chinchilla, embark on a canoe trip down the Susquehanna River on the last Saturday of October, 1970. This photograph, along with an account of their adventure, was first published in the Dec. 29, 1970 edition of the Abington Journal.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_ABJ-LH-1230-1970.jpgTom Blomaine, of Clarks Summit and Frank Jenkins, of Chinchilla, embark on a canoe trip down the Susquehanna River on the last Saturday of October, 1970. This photograph, along with an account of their adventure, was first published in the Dec. 29, 1970 edition of the Abington Journal. Abington Journal file photos

Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister

ebaumeister@timesleader.com

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.

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