4th of July Through the Decades


West Reading’s Fourth of July celebration yesterday was a double event. Besides celebrating the holiday the citizens and various organizations in the borough joined in a program in observation of the borough’s 50th anniversary. A spectacular feature of the day was the parade which was held in the morning. Shown above is one of the marching groups as the parade moved along Penn Avenue. (Eagle Staff Photo)


Four hundred and fifty-seven children participated in the Fourth of July program sponsored by the city recreation bureau at the City Park bandshell Thursday afternoon. The children, walking to City Park from their respective playgrounds, wore costumes of their own design and carried flags in the patriotic march.

Oakbrook housing, Baer Park and Barbey’s win the top three honors in competition involving number of participants and distance traveled. At the bandshell, appropriate songs were sung and Uncle Sam’s birthday cake was lit. In the left photo, David A. Salvi, dressed as America’s best known symbol, admires the simulated stars and stripes confection, while one playground group, in the right photo, offers an Independence Day songfest.

Below, members of the Brookline playground sport small replicas of Old Glory as they witness the proceedings. -Eagle Photo


As usual, Lancaster Avenue and the New Holland Road intersection was turned into a lake during Tuesday afternoon’s series of thundershowers. Just as regular are these two youngsters who took advantage of the cool water to escape from the humid weather that preceded the deluge. – Eagle Photo

On this Day – June 19th 1972

See what was happening in the June 19th 1972 Reading Eagle-

(click to enlarge)

Hurricane Agnes hits the Florida coast, 14 people were killed. The hurricane would hit Berks County hard just three days later, wreaking havoc on the area.

This morning’s rain delayed until this afternoon the opening of Reading’s playgrounds, but it didn’t dampen things at Hillside Playground where these youngsters decided not to wait and improvised their box hockey equipment – sticks and a stone. Jeffery A. White, left foreground, 10, and Glenn A. Sell, right, 12, square off at the hockey box. Donald P. Boyer, squatting, 12, and Jeffery’s 12 year-old sister, Marcia, watch the contest while Todd D. Evangelista, left, 12, and Timothy L. Clawges, 14, find comfortable perches on the back of a park bench. – Eagle Photo

Schells in West Lawn, now the location of the Ranch House
In the theatre’s in June 1972

Bob Parmer in the Bad Habit AA/Fuel Altered Flat readies to go against Wild Willie Borsch in the Winged Express Saturday night at Maple Grove Dragway in the East vs. West Fuel Altered Challenge. Parmer set two Grove marks in this final run as the East was a 4-2 winner. Parmer, Wrightsville, had a 6.86/205.01 on this run.

On this Day – May 1st, 1973

Above the fold in the May 1st, 1973 Reading Eagle (click to enlarge)
Pee Wee Wallace in the Alabamian Vega Gets a slight jump on the Hill Brothers car Sunday at Maple Grove Dragway where eight funny cars competed in the annual Spring All-Pro Series of drag racing. Pete Hill had to shut off on this final run and Wallace sped to victory, his first in three years at Maple Grove. -Reading Eagle
Joseph A. Leiendecker, state game protector, helps Thomas C. Laucer and Danielle J. Drewett, both kindergarten pupils at Whitfield Elementary School, plant a crimson king maple tree on the school grounds. Looking on are Mrs. Richard E. Woodward, left, committee chairman, and Mrs. Robert E. Frederick, comittee member, both of the Whitfield Woman’s club which sponsored the tree planting Monday in observance of Arbor Day. – Eagle Photo
The current furniture trend
What’s in the theatre’s?

Easter Sunday – 1957

The last time Easter Sunday fell on April 21st was 1957. Here is a look at that day’s Reading Eagle.

Among the egg hunts held for children throughout the city and county to mark the Easter season was the event held by the Berks Athletic Club at it’s home in Rockland Township. The ringing of a bell, as Virginia Illuzzi os doing at left, in the photograph above, set off a stampede which, sent tots scampering over the grounds picking up hundreds of hard-boiled eggs. Most of the young celebrants who participated were armed with baskets or paper bags in which to take home their finds. Separate hunts were geld for children in various age groups. Finders numbered eggs won 250 special prizes consisting of large Easter baskets ladened with holiday goodies, in addition to dolls, Easter gats and other articles. More than 170 dozen eggs were prepared for the hunt by wives of club members who make up the country’s newest sports organization. Special entertainment was part of the afternoon program. Adults helped to dispose of homemade cakes, ice cream, soft drinks and pretzels. The hunt was one of the unfinished projects of the late Dr. R. M. Mulligan, who was the club president. Walter J. P. Kurowski and Miss Illuzzi were co-chairmen of the affair. Miss Illuzzi is the director of physical education for girls at Central Catholic High School. – Reading Eagle

Modern comforts combined with a mellow, lived-in look is the atmosphere a visitor encounters after stepping across the threshold of “Brenemar”, the handsome home of Mr. and Mrs. Earle J. Breneman on State Hill. The exterior is attractive and impressive looking with it’s meticulously groomed landscaped lawn and carefully curved paved driveway.

Friends of the Breneman’s who go through the residence for the first time react in much the same manor. They comment that the home looks as if it belongs to the Breneman family, instead resembling a professionally decorated showplace. Mrs. Breneman’s formula for decorating was largely responsible for this lived-in look. Rather than restricting the furnishings of the home to one special period or type of furniture, she included in “Brenemar’s” interior what she refers to as “the things the family wanted and the things we can use.” … -Babara Snyder
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Pictured Left: Lee Pelliciotti sets his sights on the distant field markers as he gets ready to toss the discus in yesterday’s Berks Scholastics. The Daniel Boone athlete had a heave of 129 ft, 8¾ inches to pace the rest of the competition. He was one of two blazers to score a first. Bob Zuber was the other in the pole vault. (Eagle Staff Photo)

On this day in 1990 – Dempsey’s Dutch Boy Stolen

On this day, April 7th 1990 the Dempsey’s Dutch Boy statue was stolen from it’s location on the 5th Street Highway in Muhlenberg.

Dempsey's Dutch Boy