Pat Shingleton: "Smog, Time-Saving and Corn on the Panes..."
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported recently on an event that happened this date in 1948 in Donora, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh was known as the Steel City and communities surrounding it contributed in the production of steel. On this fateful day, plant emissions and a stagnant air mass allowed pollution levels to rapidly increase. The article noted responses from residents that included the inability to see a football field or not seeing a street curb or the end of your hand. Life magazine ran an article entitled, “Murder From the Mills” with experts noting that if the smog lasted another evening the number of deaths could have topped 1,000. The smog killed 20 and in the Pittsburgh suburb of Donora, the Smog Museum showcases the event... Daylight-Saving-Time makes the sun "set" one hour later and reduces the period between sunset and bedtime by one hour. The idea was first mentioned by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 and was first advocated by London builder William Wellett in his pamphlet "Waste of Daylight." He proposed advancing clocks 20 minutes over four Sundays in April and retarding them by the same amount over four Sundays in September. In 1916, England followed Germany and adopted "British Summer Time." During World War II, clocks were put two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time in what is called Double Summer Time. Days will be getting shorter and nights longer. In closing, cold, rain or snow never stopped our Halloween preparations during my younger years. Numerous vegetable gardens in the neighborhood had lingering stalks of corn still holding an ear or two. Once shucked the kernels were as hard as gravel, easily twisted from the cob. The kernels were separated into paper bags and that’s when the Halloween pranks began - for some. My brother Denis and I didn’t participate in these activities. The Halloweener’s did include the Sudano boys, Dangerous Doug Kelly, Johnny Cornelius, Dumps Wiley, Skunk Tritt and my brothers Kevin and Mike. As we did our homework at the kitchen table, assisting my mother in treat distribution, the rattle of hard corn on the windows sounded like a machine gun.