York Town Square

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Big band serenade too much noise for war workers

Mayor John L. Snyder was controversial in his second stint as York mayor in the 1960s for his K-9 corps and his support of a rainmaker to end a long drought. His first years as York’s World War II mayor also brought controversy, particularly his support of a noise ordinance.

York City Council’s current flirtation with a noise ordinance to reduce vehicular noise and enhance quality of life has a precedent.
Late in 1944, York Mayor John L. Snyder vexed many constituents.
He wanted to ban playing radios, phonographs, jukeboxes, musical instruments, singing or making any noise between midnight and 7 a.m.
Such noise was disturbing the sleep of weary war workers and was aimed primarily at the big band sounds played at public places.

Council defeated the mayor’s initiative after debate.
Councilman Theodore F. Freed made the strongest point.
“If this ordinance should be passed,” he said, “there would be no Christmas caroling this year.”