Little Peggy March to JFK: Lansdale Rewinds to 1963

Lansdale Historical Society looks back 50 years ago to the events that shaped our area during a community presentation tonight

Fifty years ago, the radio waves were alive with the voice of Lansdale's own Margaret Annemarie Battavio — better known as Little Peggy March — and her hit "I Will Follow Him."

It was 1963, and Lansdale was basking in the musical glory of one of its own. During this time, the borough would also see new housing developments take over farmland, and shopping centers and new schools being built to meet demands. At one time, the North Penn area was running out of water because of the population boom.

Although Little Peggy March took over the airwaves and Lansdalians took over the community, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy would be the defining event in 1963 for an entire generation of Americans.  

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Lansdale Parks and Recreation Building, the Lansdale Historical Society will revisit the pat in its "Rewind 1963" community presentation.

Historical Society President Dick Shearer and Vice President Steve Moyer will narrate a video presentation that highlights those major events of 1963 that hit close to home: everything from the civil rights unrest and plane crashes to the impending war in Vietnam.

Locally, 1963 was also the year when Merck & Co. began to grow in West Point, Upper Gwynedd. Lansdale Borough would also embark on a massive urban renewal project in its downtown, while the North Penn School District began its plans for a new high school in Towamencin.

"Rewind 1963" will also include some entertaining features, such as local and national advertising, famous births and deaths, and a rundown of top movies, TV shows and records.

Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

The Lansdale Historical Society will hold a distinct community program on Oct. 8 on the Kennedy assassination. As part of this show, audience members will be invited to describe what they were doing when they heard the President had been shot. Those first-person accounts will be videotaped for preservation in the society’s archives.

Check out www.lansdalehistory.org for more details.


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