Historical Headlines – February 8

2/8/1969 – Construction of a fourth section of the Allegheny Valley Expressway in Armstrong County may start in a matter of days, pending the award of an unofficial low bid of $8.1 million by Slate Construction Company of Latrobe. The contract calls for 3.52 miles of divided highway in North Buffalo and Franklin Townships between Center Hill and Kittanning. The work includes eight bridges and a complex interchange with Route 422 west of Kittanning. One section of the Expressway has been completed, two are under construction, and a fifth section is in final design.

2/8/1969 – The man who on the bleak evening of December 7, 1941 authored the now timeless “America Forever March” will be honored by Kittanning Elks Club as the “Man of the Year” at a special dinner. The author, James V. Colonna, also known as the dean of high school bands, is being accorded the honor for his “outstanding contribution to his fellow man as a musician, citizen, and gentleman.” Colonna, who was born in Italy and son of a musician who was talented enough to play in the famous John Philip Sousa band, migrated to the United States with his family in 1912.

2/8/1969 – The Jack Lane family of Kittanning MR10 reports that a student from the North African Republic of Ghana who recently visited here was “much impressed with Kittanning and the friendliness of its people.” Koffee Kissi Dompre visted the Lanes last weekend and spoke at a youth meeting at Faith United Presbyterian Church. Dumpre is in the United States studying industrial management. Before coming to America, he taught mathematics at the University of Ghana and also worked as a banker.

2/8/1964 – Kittanning Scares Ford City Before Losing 67-61. A scrappy Kittanning High School basketball team battled Ford City to the wire last night before a capacity crowd of 1500 in the KHS gym, but the Sabers pulled the game out of the fire in the closing seconds to  win.

2/8/1954 – North Buffalo Township officials will throw open the doors of their new $235,000 elementary school building to public inspection.

2/8//1954 – Ford City Eagles began a month-long observance of their 50th anniversary with a special meeting and class initiation in the aerie home on O’Connor Street.

2/8/1949 – The bod of T-Stg. Leslie Silverling of Apollo will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

2/8/1949 – Lt. (jg.) Arthur Morrow of the U. S. Navy was graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. He has been assigned to the USS Toledo.

2/8/1944 – Rated one of America’s leading violinists, Benno Rahinof will present a public performance in Kittanning High School auditorium in the interest of the Fourth War Loan drive.

2/8/1944 – Armstrong County citizens had purchased less than 60% of their assigned $2,460,000 Fourth War Loan quota, as the war financing campaign entered the home stretch.

2/8/1939 – Kittanning Kiwanis Club has a look at local athletic history at a dinner meeting in the Steim Hotel dining room, courtesy of Kittanning high school’s movie cameraman, technicians, and projectionists. The evening entertainment consisted of motion pictures of Kittanning’s 7-0 victory of Ford City High School gridders on Gilpin athletic field last Armistice Day.

2/8/1939 – Assessors valued Armstrong County land and occupations this year at $62,000 more than in 1938, according to records in the office of the county commissioners. Land was evaluated at $44,814,991 and occupations at $4,672,650.

2/8/1934 – John F. Bell, 1318 North Water Street, Kittanning, died at Marine Hospital, Pittsburgh.

2/8/1934 – Announcement is being awaited with keen anticipation by residents of Ford City that the National Bank, closed during the banking holiday, will re-open. It is learned that only permission from the Federal Banking Department is needed as all of the conditions imposed for the opening have been complied with by the bank and the depositors.

2/8/1929 – “Empire Building” is the name given to the new business structure erected by the Crossett-King interests on the north side of Market Street, where a costly fire on March 1, 1928, wiped out several buildings.

2/8/1929 – An estimated 100 well-known horsemen of Western Pennsylvania were here yesterday attending a sale of the racing stable of the late Harry E. Montgomery.

2/8/1929 – George Williams, 36, of Wilson Avenue, Kittanning, died in the United States Veterans Hospital in Aspinwall.