Arundel History

June 18, 2006|By JAMIE STIEHM

1950: Friendship Airport opens

Fifty-six Junes ago, Friendship International Airport in Anne Arundel County was dedicated by President Harry S. Truman. Ten miles from Baltimore and 30 miles from the nation's capital, the parcel of 3,200 acres was meant to serve the burgeoning region's aviation needs. Today, the recently renamed Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is truly an international hub and honors the native Marylander who argued the Supreme Court case that struck down public school segregation in 1954.

Back in 1950, Truman put the brand-new Maryland airport to good use: He took off from Friendship for Kansas City on the presidential plane, the Independence, named for his Missouri hometown. But not before saying a few words to the assembled crowd about peace, country and the age of aviation even as the Cold War was warming up:

"This airport exemplifies the spirit of growth and confidence with which our country faces the future. We would not build so elaborate a facility for our air commerce if we did not have faith in a peaceful future. This airport embodies our determination to develop the marvels of science and invention for peaceful purposes. It strengthens our economy to do its part in maintaining a peaceful world. ... I dedicate this great airport to the cause of peace in the world."

[ Jamie Stiehm]

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