Blast from the Past

February 14, 2007

Week of Feb. 11, 1957

The schools of Washington County have received a clean bill of health for their food handling, water supply and waste-disposal facilities, county health authorities announced yesterday. The report also disclosed that the day of the outdoor privy is nearly over for the public schools. All of the county schools except the Yarrowsburg Grade School have indoor plumbing and indoor drinking facilities.

Washington County may have three dual highways instead of the two that were originally expected. The State Roads Commission is considering a dual highway for U.S. 340, all the way from the Sandy Hook bridge to the Frederick bypass. The volume of traffic on that highway has increased so much that original plans merely to improve the existing road may not be sufficient.

Postmaster Thomas Simpson has been advised that the latest 3-cent stamp, commemorating the centennial of the American Institute of Architects, will be ready to go on sale in Hagerstown on Feb. 24.


The redecorated Hotel Alexander coffee shop, which reopened to the public Saturday, boasts a complete new look, with Japanese wallpaper, Danish light fixtures and Scandinavian-designed furniture made in the U.S. Predominating colors are turquoise and bronze-gold. William L. Beard was architect for the job, which was handled by Maidstone.

Gov. Theodore R. McKeldin has proclaimed February to be American History Month throughout the state of Maryland. Conococheague Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, in Washington County, is presently sponsoring an historical exhibit in the museum display cases of the new library at South Hagerstown High School.

Week of Feb. 11, 1982

More than 4,000 federal workers at Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg have signed a petition asking U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, R-9th, to fight President Reagan's tentative plans to cut their retirement benefits. "We feel if we signed a contract to work for Uncle Sam, we signed up to retire as agreed. They should honor the agreement they made with the federal employees. They can't fool around with our pensions and expect to get away with it," said union president Robert Estep.

The Washington County Commissioners decided to seek state bonding authority to build a large structure for the area's social service agency. The agency's director, Tim Griffith, recently told the commissioners that his operations are jammed for space both at the Baltimore Street facility, and at the separate family and children's division on South Cleveland Avenue. The county board hopes to double the agency's space by building a 17,000-square-foot structure that would allow both facilities to serve clients under one roof.

The Stop Smoking Center opened last month in Antietam Professional Center. The center is the business venture of David and Donna Pile, who believe that 20 years after the U.S. surgeon general warned that cigarette smoking is hazardous to the health, the public still is not educated about the effects of smoking.

Since late 1979, when sales of Mack's big rigs began to skid, the firm has laid off more than 1,500 of its 4,800 Hagerstown workers, and thousands of others at its plants in Pennsylvania and Canada. Its California plant was closed permanently several months ago. But because Mack did not wait for a crisis situation before making these moves, it does not foresee the prospect of any additional major cuts.

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