Part of Lee, North Main become one way in Bel Air

50 Years Ago

Town voted to make 'experiment' permanent

May 27, 2011

From The Aegis dated Thursday< May 25, 1961:

One of the most important stories in The Aegis 50 years ago this week was a vote by the Bel Air Town Commissioners to make parts of North Main and Lee streets one-way.

For several months, the town experimented with making portions of those streets one way before deciding to make the experiment permanent. North Main became one-way north from Lee to Gordon streets. Lee became one-way east from Bond to Main streets.

More than 500 people attended the dispersal sale of Col. Leland Stanford MacPhail's thoroughbred horses at the Bel Air Race Track. MacPhail, commonly known as Larry, was the grandfather of Andy MacPhail, general manager of the Baltimore Orioles. He said at the end of the dispersal that he was "well satisfied" with the sale that grossed $337,900.

With one-sixth of the Harford Baseball League season complete, Sports Editor Robbie Wallis wrote that "Havre de Grace, Perryville and Chesapeake City should stage a season-long fight for the pennant." Wallis didn't have many kind words for another Harford County team in the league. "Another is that the circuit's last place team, Jarrettsville, is in a sorry plight and needs boosting immediately."

Courtland Hardware, at Courtland and Main streets, was advertising the new "Lectro Lawnshear" mowers. They were essentially powered by rechargeable batteries and had an 18-inch wide cut. "Hailed as the 'new concept in lawn mowing,' the Lectro Lawnshear wins its high honors because it is powered by a long-lasting energy cell that provides push button starting and constant blade speed," the ad said. It was touted as mowing as much as 15,000 square feet per charge. The standard model was selling for $19.95 and the deluxe model was sell for $155.95.

Cronin and Archer on Franklin Street in Bel Air was advertising that it was selling five gallon cans of "Sun-Proof" Pittsburgh Paint for $5.98 each.

Bel Air Council 4714 of the Knights of Columbus was advertising its annual bull roast at the Bel Air Race Track. Tickets were $3.50 per person which included the usual bull roast menu: "ice cold beer," soft drinks, music, dancing, games and "fun."

The Bel Air Theatre on Main Street was showing "The Millionairess," starring Sophia Loren and Peter Sellers 50 years ago this week. It was to be followed by "Cimarron," starring Glenn Ford, Maria Schell, Anne Baxter and Arthur O'Connell.

The King was lighting up the big screens outdoors. Elvis Presley was starring in the 1957 movie "Jailhouse Rock" at the Bel Air Drive-In in Churchville. A couple miles east on Route 22 in Aberdeen, he was starring in the 1958 movie "G.I. Blues" at the Harford Drive-In in Aberdeen.

Here's a front page item that appeared under the headline "Aegis Circulation Now 11,996 Net Paid:"

"A report just received from the Audit Bureau of Circulations in Chicago reveals that The Aegis had an average paid circulation of 11,996 for the 6 months period of September through March. It will thus be seen we missed a rather remarkable round figure of 12,000 by only 4 copies. This average would have been easily surpassed had not snow-blocked roads over several weekends during the winter checked travel and cut newsstand sales somewhat.

"Frankly, we are very happy with the 11,996 figure, as it represents a steady increase of copies sold for several years, without any promotional effort on our part. It is our constant aim to put out the best possible newspaper and let customers make their own buying decisions.

"When it is recalled that the audited paid circulation of the majority of rural weeklies ranges, and relatively few in small towns go above 6,500, we are grateful for the very liberal patronage which the buying public accords The Aegis."

Those of us putting out The Aegis a half a century later feel the same way.

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