Thursday, November 22, 2018

Montoursville 2018 (One Last Thing)

OK, it's time for the last roundup for the Montoursville 2018 series, which began on August 5. I'm sure I'll have more to write about Montoursville in the future, barring a meteorite hitting my shikibuton in the middle of the night, but we'll bring this particular thread to a conclusion today.

And we're going to finish with one final penny for my thoughts...

In one of the early posts in this series, I wrote a little about Montoursville's history. I highlighted the September 1975 festivities surrounding the 125th anniversary of the borough's incorporation. Among the offerings at that event, according to The Otstonwakin, were "Lincoln-Kennedy pennies," which were to be sold for just a nickel.

The Lincoln-Kennedy pennies were novelty coins created by stamping a small version of John F. Kennedy's head next to the image of Abraham Lincoln on the standard penny. These counter-stamped (defaced, to be honest) coins were sometimes mounted on "Astonishing Coincidence" cards, which could be branded for businesses or big events.

They're fun for some folks to collect, but not at all valuable. (There are a bundle of them selling right now on eBay for $1.00 apiece, plus 50 cents shipping. Go crazy and get them for your kids' Christmas stockings.)

So, as you can see here, I was able to get my hands on one that was originally distributed at Montoursville's 125th anniversary event in 1975! Pretty nifty, eh? It features a 1975 penny, and the ASTONISHING COINCIDENCES card measures 2¾ inches by 7½ inches.

The Astonishing Coincidences centered around the lives and deaths-by-assassination of United States presidents Kennedy and Lincoln. Stuff like — as you can see on this card — "There are seven letters in each name" and, my favorite, "Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse and hid in a theater, [while] Booth shot Lincoln in a theater and hid in a warehouse." That kind of poppycock. According to Wikipedia, these kind of lists began circulating less than a year after JFK's assassination, were immortalized in a 1966 Buddy Starcher song, and were de rigueur conversation topics for proponents of conspiracy theories and/or the supernatural by the 1970s.

I mean, you can find coincidences anywhere you want, if you look hard enough. For example, this post was written and published on the 55th anniversary of JFK's assassination on November 22, 1963. And the Dallas professional football team is playing against Washington today. And it's Thanksgiving, which was made into a federal holiday by President Lincoln in 1863. Those are just facts, and not anything that requires the services of Rod Serling.

I will leave you with this to chew on, though, courtesy of Steven Wright: "If it's a penny for your thoughts and you put in your two cents worth, then someone, somewhere is making a penny."

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