What’s New?

The Greater Pittston Historical Society is now on Twitter.  Follow us there for updates on the site, goings on with the Historical Society, important announcements, and more.  To follow us, simply visit our Twitter page, at  http://twitter.com/gphs, and click FOLLOW.  We’ll be updating our Twitter account frequently, so don’t miss out.  We look forward to seeing all of you fellow Twitter people, there.

Additionally, we’re looking for some summer interns to work with the Historical Society.  Interning at the Greater Pittston Historical Society is an excellent way to earn college credit, strengthen your resume, and gain real-world experience.  For more information on our Internship Program, check out our Internship Page.

Finally, over the past week we’ve made several additions to the site, here.  Our External Library page has been greatly expanded, our Twitter updates now appear on the sidebar, and in the coming days we’ll be adding more and more content.  And because this website is meant to be a resource for the community, we want to hear from you.  If you have any feedback, just leave a comment anywhere on the site and we’ll be sure to take it into consideration.

Thanks for stopping by!

-The GPHS Staff

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This Date in History – March 30th

On this day in history, March 30th 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr.  Though Reagan was seriously wounded, a bullet lodged in his lung, he survived and went on to to serve two full terms as President of the United States.  Here’s how the event is remembered by the History Channel’s official website, History.com.

“John Hinckley, Jr. shoots President Ronald Reagan outside the Hilton Hotel in Washington D.C. just after the president had addressed the Building and Construction Workers Union of the AFL-CIO. Hinckley was armed with a .22 revolver with exploding bullets and was only ten feet away from Reagan when he began shooting. Fortunately, he was a poor shot and most of the bullets did not explode as they were supposed to. Hinckley’s first shot hit press secretary James Brady and other shots wounded a police officer and a Secret Service agent. The final shot hit Reagan’s limo and then ricocheted into the President’s chest.

Hinckley’s path toward the assassination attempt began in 1976 when he saw the movie Taxi Driver. Robert DeNiro’s Travis Bickle stalks a Presidential candidate in the hopes that he will somehow impress and rescue a young prostitute played by Jodie Foster. Hinckley, who spent seven years in college without earning a degree or making a friend, added Foster to his list of obsessions, which also included Nazis, the Beatles and assassins.

In May 1980, Hinckley wrote to Foster while she attended Yale University, traveled there and talked to her on the phone at least once. Soon after, he began following President Jimmy Carter. In October, he was arrested at airport near a Carter campaign stop for carrying guns. However, the Secret Service was not notified. Hinckley simply went to a pawnshop in Dallas and bought more guns.

For the next several months, Hinckley’s plans changed daily. He pondered kidnapping Foster, considered killing Senator Edward Kennedy and began stalking newly elected President Reagan. Finally, he wrote a letter to Foster explaining that his attempt on Reagan’s life was for her. He kept abreast of the president’s schedule by reading the newspaper.

After Reagan was shot and nearly killed, there was a great deal of confusion at the upper levels of government. In the most notable incident, Secretary of State Alexander Haig told the press that “I am in control here in the White House, pending return of the vice-president,” under the mistaken belief that the chain of command placed him in charge.

Hinckley was later not found not guilty by reason of insanity.”


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Hello and Welcome!

Main Street Pittston

Hello and welcome to the official homepage of the Greater Pittston Historical Society.  Our mission is to document and preserve as much of the Greater Pittston area’s past as possible.  We also work to bring local history into area classrooms.

As you can see, this webpage is still under construction.  In the coming days, weeks, and months, this website will become more and more functional.  Please check back often, as the site will be updated often.  Thank you.

-Dan Cheek
GPHS Intern

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