Blast from the Past

December 12, 2007

Week of Dec. 9, 1957

· Two work crews labored today to clear away the wreckage of 34 coal cars that were derailed, blocking Pennsylvania railroad tracks between Hagerstown and Shippensburg.

The Pennsylvania Railroad said it would probably be late today before the tracks could be cleared. Trains have been detoured over Western Maryland Railroad tracks between the two communities.

The wreck occurred last night about five miles north of Hagerstown in Maryland. There were no injuries, but several hundred feet of track were torn up.

A PRR spokesman said cause of the wreck could not be determined until the tracks are cleared.

The train included 114 cars and two diesel engines.

·The Eastern Hungarian Pigeon Club's annual winter show at the Leitersburg Grange Hall was an outstanding success, with a total of 566 Hungarian pigeons in all colors on exhibit.


This was believed to be the third largest all-Hungarian show ever held in the Western Hemisphere.

The grand champion bird of the show went to Atlee Shifler of Boonsboro for a yearling Blue Cock. The grand champion of the opposite sex went to H.C. Weber and Son of Hagerstown for an old Red Hen.

·Hagerstown's dial telephone system completed its first year of operation over the weekend. The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company has released figures on its first anniversary to show how local persons have been using the equipment. Telephone use is on the upswing here. The biggest single day in history for the dial system occurred only last week, when the snowstorm produced the greatest number of calls in any one day since it went into operation.

Seated in front of the most up-to-date switchboards, telephone operators with quiet efficiency dispatch over 120,000 calls per day to all corners of the country. Since direct distance dialing has become part of this city's telephone service, more than 22,000 long distance calls are made every month by subscribers, without any assistance from an operator. More than 58,000 long distance calls are made every month through the operators.

Week of Dec. 9, 1982

· When the New York Giants entertain the slumping Philadelphia Eagles Saturday afternoon on CBS, you can be sure Barry Beers will be in front of his TV set. The former North Hagerstown High School sports standout is now a successful football coach at Lafayette High School in Williamsburg, Va., and one of his former players is a gentleman named Lawrence Taylor - the Giants' outstanding linebacker, who was named the National Football League Rookie of the Year in 1981.

Beers was part of the North High football program from 1966 to 1970. Following graduation from William & Mary College, he pursued a professional career in football, but injuries curtailed any hopes of advancing in the pro ranks.

·A Hagerstown police cruiser that went out of control Nov. 29 and hit two parked cars - forcing one of them into a house on East Franklin Street - caused more than $10,000 in damages, according to owners of the property involved in the accident.

The cruiser struck a parked 1978 Ford Thunderbird, then spun around and struck a Ford Pinto before stopping.

The impact pushed the Thunderbird into the front of a house.

Police have said the cruiser went out of control because of a broken tie rod, a piece of metal that connects the car's wheels to its steering mechanism.

- Compiled by Kelly Moreno

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