Blast from the Past

November 16, 2005

Week of Nov. 13, 1955

Now that the Salk serum is a proven preventive of infantile paralysis, this newspaper has learned that the immunization serums for polio, scarlet fever and diphtheria will soon be combined and made available to school children in a single injection.

When the new State Chronic Disease Hospital on the site of Bellevue, the County Home, is opened sometime in late 1956 or early in 1957, Hagerstown will have a fairly sizable boost in population.

The hospital will employ 228 full-time workers, many skilled in rehabilitating and treating about 300 patients from Western Maryland counties.

The prisoners at the Roxbury Reformatory for Males who served as human guinea pigs this past summer in testing a new kind of cold vaccine were paid the "big" sum of 50 cents a day, we learned the other day.

The money wasn't for the risk the men incurred or for the inconvenience endured, but because they were unable to work during the period they acted as guinea pigs.


Week of Nov. 13, 1980

The vanished cavern from which Cavetown gets its name may have been used in pre-colonial days as a sort of hotel by traveling Indians who stopped for a while during far journeys through that section.

The cave, once known as Bushey's Cavern, was destroyed for all intents and purposes by quarrying operations after having been known far and wide as a natural wonder of Washington County. While still intact, a scientist during an 1877 investigation had turned up large quantities of tools, bones, crockery and other things Indians had left behind during the centuries.

The Maryland Theatre will end the year close to breaking even, according to theater director Mike Harsh. Harsh expects the theater's deficit to be less than $5,000.

Although Harsh said formal accounting records were not kept before he took over last December, he estimates the theater had a $25,000 deficit a year ago. "That total picture is much improved," he said.

A Hagerstown man who fought for religious liberty for the Jews in the early 1800s will be inducted into the Maryland Jewish Hall of Fame Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Thomas Kennedy, a non-Jew, fathered legislation promoting equality of rights for Jews. It was passed in 1818, after more than a decade of struggle.

- Compiled by Jean Baraclough

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