While looking through old editions of The News-Herald for the 22 Years Ago column, I came across this little gem of local history.
In the late 1950s, The Derrick closely followed the case of Lydia Dean, a Filipino war bride who was charged in December 1957 with murdering her husband, local Air Force Sgt. Ronald Dean.
The Derrick celebrated a milestone in its long, distinguished history on Saturday, Aug. 14, 1971, with the publication of its special centennial edition to mark the 100-year anniversaries of the newspaper and Oil City.
The first section of The Derrick’s Aug. 14, 1971, centennial edition offered a glimpse into the happenings of the times both here and elsewhere.
From the earliest reports of an attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States' entry into World War II in 1941 to the final victory over the Axis powers when Japan surrendered in 1945, the pages of The Derrick were filled with war news.
Even though the 1930s brought some hard times as the Great Depression took hold, all the normal milestones that people mark their lives by still continued, including high school graduations.
As World War I began in Europe, The Derrick followed the progress of the war from afar, printing accounts of the battles and maps showing what armies were advancing where.
In 1912, the local economy was booming. Although not everyone could afford a first-class ticket on a luxury steamer such as the Titanic, there were plenty of modern conveniences available to the average housewife in the Oil Region.
The tragic April 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic hit home for readers of The Derrick as two women who had made plans to visit Oil City that summer were passengers on the doomed luxury steamship.
Striking oil gave the Oil Region its prosperity and claim to fame, but those same tanks left destruction in their wake during what has come to be remembered as the Great Fire and Flood of June 5, 1892.
Since the early days of the oil industry when derricks dotted the landscape of the region, boom towns sprang up overnight and fortunes in oil were rapidly made and just as quickly lost.
In 1871, six years after the Civil War ended and 12 years after Col. Edwin Drake struck oil in Titusville, Oil City was a booming oil town that was growing more prosperous every day.