History Matters

May 26, 2011

100 Years Ago — Judge sludge

The two items below were used as fillers at the bottom of a page of the Times, with the first item regarding a judge, followed directly by the bit about Cloverleaf. The items' placement was appropriate, the latter providing great commentary on the first.

"A Rhode Island Judge has decided that a husband has the right to slap his wife when he catches her going through his pockets.

The Cloverleaf Manure Spreader sold by P.T. Bennett of Sykesville is by far the best spreader made."

75 Years Ago — Lift off to war

On the international page of the paper comes a news report on another step in Germany's preparation for possible battles in Europe.

"Reich fuehrer Hitler has made Hermann Wilhelm Goering controller of national economics and he has decreed an era of Spartan simplicity for the German people. Goering summoned the commissars for raw materials to a conference and warned them they must further restrict imports and help draft measures to increase exports.

Only goods vitally necessary to the army and material needed to produce goods for foreign export must be allowed to enter Germany, Goering decreed.

Officials of the propaganda ministry further darkened the picture of the near future by telling the press it must prepare the public for a "stiffening of relations between France and Germany as soon as French elections are finished." They also deplored the fact that relations with England have suffered."

Three years later, the German air force would conduct a blitzkrieg on Britain. During the World War II blitz over England, which was a 6-month period of bombing by the German air force, there were more than 40,000 civilians killed.

Goering was commander of the German air force before and during WWII. After the war he was convicted of war crimes, but committed suicide before he could be hanged.

Interestingly, Goering's nephew was a captain in the U.S. Air Force (Army Air Corps) during WWII. His family, who were Mormons, immigrated to the U.S. before the First World War. During WWII he flew B-17s and made almost 50 bombing runs over Europe, which included Germany.

50 Years Ago - Knobby knees

Included in the Glenwood social column were these notes and added lines of advice:

"Mrs. Thomas Williams of Prince Frederick and Mrs. Howard Davis of Washington, have returned home after spending last week with their sister, Mrs. Charles A. Hobbs 3rd.

Mrs. B. Dorsey Downey visited Mr. and Mrs. William H. Stinson Saturday.

Mr. and Mrs. Milton Beekman are occupying their new home near Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Finding your station in life is easy — your friends will tell you where to get off.

All the safety laws in the world won't help the driver who isn't safety-minded."

Regarding Mrs. Williams of Prince Frederick, I imagine that area was more rural in the 1950s than even Howard County. I don't know how much there was to do in the southern part of the state then, but today there's quite a lot to see and do there; it's an area often overlooked by those of us living in central Maryland.

One site, just south of Prince Frederick, is Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, one of the northernmost bald cypress swamps in North America. It's a county park, with a small interior nature center that has some animal exhibits, and an exterior half-mile boardwalk looped around the swamp.

It doesn't take long to visit the center, but that congregation of bald, knobby knees of the cypress jutting out from the water is quite a sight, one you'd expect to see much farther south.

(And if you're looking for a non-fast food place to eat not far from there, there's Stoney's Seafood on Broomes Island Road. It has nice views of the Patuxent River, not a swamp! Though check their schedule first, as they are seasonal at that location. And take directions.)

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