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Take a look back at Franklin County’s history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years ago on Dec. 1st.


December 1, 1994 – Thursday

“ 5,000-year-old Ice Man’ had arthritis broken ribs in his final days in Alps”

Franklin county history

X-rays of the “Ice Man” reveal he had arthritis as he trekked through the Alps 5,000 years ago, and before he became a mummy in a glacier, he may have had frostbite. 

He also had broken his ribs, doctors said today. 

The medical mishaps of the mummy, dubbed “Otzi” because he was found in the Otzval Valley of the Tyrolean Alps in northern Italy, were reported at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. 

“Modern radiology offers the ideal tool to study an important anthropological treasure such as this, because it enables us to view inside the body without causing damage,” said Dr. William A. Murphy Jr., head of diagnostic imaging at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. 

The mummified corpse, found by hikers in 1991, is the best preserved European known from an age 4,000 to 6,000 years ago when humans were just starting to use copper for tools and weapons. 

Murphy was part of an international team assembled at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, to examine the mummy with X-ray techniques. 

The man was believed to be 25 to 40 years old when he died. 

Despite Ice Man’s relatively young age, the X-rays revealed he had arthritis in his neck, his lower back and in one hip joint. He also had arthritis in one toe, suggesting he had suffered frostbite sometime before his death. 

There were about eight healed fractures in various places in his ribs. The researchers said it was impossible to tell if the fractures were simultaneous or suffered at different times. 

Previously reported X-ray studies have focused on his skull. Analysis of materials with the corpse has led scientists to believe Otzi died 5,100 to 5,300 years ago, then was buried and preserved in accmulating snow and ice. 

The body is being stored in a freezer at the University of Innsbruck and researchers are allowed to work with it only 20 or 30 minutes at a time to prevent it from deteriorating.

**EDITOR’S NOTE: The “Ice Man” – Otzi  – is the well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived between 3400 and 3100 BCE. The mummy was found in September 1991 in the Otztal Alps, hence the nickname “Ötzi”, near Similaun mountain and Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy.  He is Europe’s oldest known natural human mummy, and has offered an unprecedented view of Chalcolithic Copper Age) Europeans. His body and belongings are displayed in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy.

50 Years Ago

December 1, 1919 – Monday

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“Santa Arrives Via North Pole Special”

CHAMBERSBURG – Western Maryland Railway Company’s “North Pole Special” made a stop at the Liberty Street crossing to discharge its most important passenger, Santa CI a us, Saturday morning at 11 o’clock. 

Santa greeted young and old from the platform of the locomotive before embarking on a fire engine, provided by Franklin Fire Company, for the short trip to his temporary workshop at 54 Southgate Mall. 

Mayor John McDowell Sharpe Jr. was on hand to present Santa Claus with the key to the city as well as the one opening the workshop. 

Once settled in his shop, gaily decorated by J. O. Penney Co., he got down to business, listening to children’s wishes for Christmas and presenting each tot with a small gift. His hours for the remainder of the season will be Dec. 1. 5, 8, 12, 15 and 19 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.; Dec. 6. 13, 20, 22 and 23 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Any youngster who cannot visit Santa during those hours may drop his “wish list” into the mailbox next to the shop. 

D. C. Sensenbaugh; assistant superintendent of Western Maryland, was in charge of arrangements for Santa’s train trip.

A coffee hour for store managers, Western Maryland officials and news media, hosted by Southgate Mall, Inc preceded the arrival of the “jolly old gent.”

100 Years Ago

December 1, 1919 – Monday

“Hundreds Take Look Alt Worm”

CHAMBERSBURG – Hundreds of people in the last two days have looked with interest and amazement at the water worm on exhibit in Public Opinion window.  The thin wriggler is over a foot in length which came out of the faucet in the home of Mrs. Roy D. Jones of Burkhart Avenue.

Many children came to look at the worm, which is still lively, their parents evidently having been warned about drinking water without inspecting it for creatures that may come wriggling out of the faucets.


Local History

Franklin County’s history May 29th

Take a look back at Franklin County’s history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years ago on May 29th.
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