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December 13, 2013

Step Back in Time: Dec.13, 2013

The Daily Star

---- — Step Back Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Colorin Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

25 years ago

Dec. 13, 1988

Records for cold were shattered Sunday night when the temperature sank to a bone-numbing 19 degrees below zero in Oneonta, and 21 below zero in Cooperstown, according to local observers for the National Weather Service.

Across the area, people coped with furnaces that wouldn’t heat and cars that either wouldn’t start or burned up when they did, as the cold snapped pipes and froze radiators solid.

Oneonta’s low broke a 1977 record of 12 degrees below zero for the same day, according to weather observer David K. Mattice.

In Cooperstown, the temperature dipped lower, breaking the same 1977 record of minus 12 degrees, said weather watcher Harold Hollins. It also set a new mark for the coldest temperature ever recorded in 135 years for this early in the season. The record was 15 below zero set on Dec. 4, 1940, “and ours broke that,” he said.

Mattice said Monday’s high temperature settled at 11 degrees, 24 degrees below normal, in the vicinity of Oneonta. The high temperature Monday hovered at 12 degrees, while the normal for this time of year is 33 degrees, said Mattice.

Even in the icy-cold weather Monday, Steve Moltere was getting the mail delivered in Oneonta.

“Sometimes, on days like these, I wish I wasn’t a letter carrier,” he said. “But then no one wants to be out on a day like this.”

Fred Hickein, executive vice-president of AAA, said his office alone, not counting the garage, received 40 phone calls from residents whose cars would not start in the morning.


50 years ago

Dec. 13, 1963

Hanukah, the traditional Festival of Lights of the Jewish faith, celebrating the driving out from the Holy Temple at Jerusalem of the Assyrians in 80 B.C., is under way in Jewish homes in Oneonta.

The eight-day holiday, celebrated by the lighting of candles and the giving of gifts, actually started with the traditional Festival of Hanukah Sunday at Temple Beth El, and the eight-day period of observance began Tuesday, Dec. 10 and will continue through Tuesday, Dec. 17.

Temple Beth El congregation president Gabriel Harris explained the holiday, its beginning, reasons and observance last night.

Hanukah, he said, is the newest (in terms of years) of all observances of the Jewish faith. It is primarily a home holiday, “a happy time,” Mr. Harris said.

It celebrates the driving out from the Holy Temple of the Assyrians by Judas Maccabeus and his small army and observes a historic incident of that episode.

When the army had driven out the Assyrians, Mr. Harris explained, they searched for oil with which to replenish the reservoir that fed and kept burning the Eternal Light in the temple.

They found only one small cruze of oil and estimated it would last but one night. Instead it burned for eight full nights, establishing the eight-day period of the holiday that persists to the present day.

Members of the faith in modern times light a candle every night of the eight nights and give gifts to the children on each night, Mr. Harris concluded.