Time Machine: Jan. 9, 1928
• It was a rainy day and the buzz was about a story involving a local widow, a woman in her 20s, who abandoned her four young children to leave town with what the newspaper of the day described as a “much-married” man. The reporter asked a representative of the Poor District Board — the welfare agency of the day — for a quote, because the Poor Board was responsible for the abandoned kids. The spokesman said the mother had to be “an inhuman brute” and much of the community shared that view.
• The final scenes of a promotional silent movie were shot in Shamokin, sponsored by the newspaper in town. It was called “Shamokin’s Hero,” and was directed by Don New, a well-known film craftsman of the 1920s. New said the final cuts revealed that Thelma Tharp, who played Katrinka, a country flapper, had stolen the picture. To give you an idea of the plot, if the country flapper character didn’t, the broad comedy was shot mainly at the home of Joseph Maus on West Walnut Street, which was the setting for the sumptuous fictional home of Mr. and Mrs. Henpec. The film did not make a big star of Thelma Tharp as director New hinted might be the possibility.
• If you want a case of deja vu, take heed and remember that Ronald Reagan has often said President Calvin Coolidge was an idol of his. On this day, President Coolidge dispatched 1,200 Marines to a little nation where a civil war, between what were then termed the liberals and conservatives, was going on. The liberals were winning and Coolidge was unhappy with that. The leader of the liberal forces was named Sandine. That’s right, present day Sandinistas are named for him, and the country was Nicaragua.