Blast from the past

January 11, 2006

Week of Jan. 8, 1956

A .38 caliber bullet, apparently fired during the New Year's Eve midnight hilarity, came to rest inside the Trinity Lutheran Church in the 300 block of North Potomac Street.

City Detective Grason Wigfield investigated and learned that the copper-clad bullet had ricocheted from an outside wall of the building. The case was resolved as that of a New Year's bullet and not that of someone intending damage to the church.

Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County near Oakland has become this winter a 4,000-acre ice skating rink. With ice almost a foot thick covering the entire lake, skaters are coming by train from Washington, D.C., and by motor from Frederick and Washington counties and many points around the state to enjoy the lake's smooth skating surface.

Yesterday's ice caused one of the greatest onslaughts of telephone calls in local history. Switchboard operators at the Hagerstown office of the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. handled a peak of 14,780 telephone calls during the single hour from 4 to 5 p.m. During that hour, telephone calls were being made at the rate of almost four every second.


Week of Jan. 8, 1981

Despite reports of a confirmed case of A-Bangkok type flu in the Baltimore area, local health officials say there have been no confirmed cases here of the strain that has hit California, New York and other states hard.

Nevertheless, Washington County Hospital is treating more than 100 people a day for "flu or flu-like symptoms," and influenza probably has played a part in several local deaths, authorities said.

The walls of the south wing of the old Hagerstown High School building on Potomac Avenue came tumbling down this week, rekindling fond memories for many of the thousands of old grads in this area.

The Washington County School Board is revising its policy for public use of school facilities under a new plan that will allow school groups themselves and nonprofit organizations (except religious-related groups) free use of the facilities.

Profit-making groups will pay for use of school gyms, auditoriums, cafeterias and classrooms under a fee schedule being proposed for a school board vote.

- Compiled by Jean Baraclough

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