September 22, 1996

25 Years Ago

Riot Gear Urged For Policemen – Riot gear-including gas grenades and grenade launchers and another unmarked police car for the Westminster police force were discussed as possibilities by a committee of the City Council Monday night. The proposals were among suggestions to “update the police force to give it more effectiveness on the street,” according to Councilman Thomas W. Eckard. Mayor Joseph H. Hahn, Jr., “walked out” of the committee meeting, one council source said, but the mayor later said he had only left because he was expecting a telephone call from his wife who was in Ocean City. Councilman David S. Babylon, Jr., said the mayor apparently “took to heart” some of the things said in the meeting, but commented no further. Also discussed at the meeting was the “goon squad” proposal made recently by Eckard. The squad, which would be made up of off-duty policemen paid by the city, would aim to crack down on unlawful conduct of “goons” or hoodlums in the city. The police chief was to determine how many policemen would be willing to participate in such a squad on a volunteer basis. Mayor Hahn, while saying he left the meeting to receive the telephone call, said “he did not agree, possibly, with some of the areas” under consideration by the council. Relations between the council and the mayor have become strained lately. Democratic Advocate , September 23, 1971.

50 Years Ago

AIR MAIL RATES REDUCED – Effective October 1, 1946, air mail rates will be reduced to 5 cents an ounce or fraction to and from anywhere in the United States and its territories; and you can mail up to 70 pounds in weight and 100 inches in length and girth combined. To members of the armed forces overseas receiving their mail through A.P.O.’s or . . . F.P.O.’s, and civilians authorized to receive mail through A.P.O’s overseas, the same rate, “5 cents an ounce or fraction” will apply, but only up to two ounces of letter mail may be sent. Also effective October 1st, from continental United States, Alaska and the territories of the United States to Canada, the rate will be 5 cents for each ounce or fraction up to 60 pounds. This rate, which is the lowest since the establishment of air mail service on May 15, 1918, is being provided at a time when costs for practically everything else are rising. In 1928, the air mail rate was 5¢ for the first ounce and 10¢ for each additional ounce. This was later changed to a straight rate of 6¢ an ounce or fraction on July 1, 1934. Democratic Advocate, September 27, 1946.

75 Years Ago

When Soap was Home-Made – In the days of our grandmothers, when manufactured soap was an expensive luxury and hard to obtain, every country housewife made her own soft soap. Enough was made at one time to last the whole year. The light of the moon in March was considered the proper time for the soap making, and a sassafras stick must be used for the stirring. When the hogs were butchered for the yearly supply of meat, the housewife carefully cleaned and washed the entrails and salted them down until soap making time. Also all scraps of meat and rinds were saved to be used, too. When the ashes were removed from the fireplaces during the winter months they were placed in a large hopper built for the purpose and kept carefully covered until about a week before the time for making soap. Then the children would carry water each day and pour over the ashes and start the “hopper to running” to make the lye for the soap. When enough lye had run to make the soap, it was placed in a large kettle over an outdoor fire and boiled until it became strong enough to “cut a feather.” Then the soap grease was put in and the mixture kept at the boiling point and stirred continuously until the lye had eaten all the grease and the mixture had become a thick, soft mass of soap. The soap was placed in
barrels and used for all laundry purposes. Union Bridge Pilot, September 23, 1921.

100 Years Ago

Serious Driving Accident – A driving accident occurred on Main street, this city, opposite Derr’s store, last Sunday evening, said to have been the result of fast driving. The buggies in collision were those of William Royer, of Cranberry Valley, and C. Ensor. The shaft of Ensor’s buggy was broken and the buggy of Royer was completely demolished. Miss Grace Hook, of Baltimore, was riding with Mr. Ensor, and Miss Virgie J. Yingling, daughter of Mr. William R. Yingling, of Cranberry Valley, with Mr. Royer. Mr. Ensor and Miss Hook escaped with but slight bruises and also Mr. Royer, but Miss Yingling was thrown out violently to the ground. Her left arm was broken in two places, and received severe bruises about the head and face. The horse also kicked her in the side, breaking a rib and rupturing several blood vessels near the lungs. She was taken into the residence of Mr. Theo. Derr, where she was attended by Drs. Wells and Hering. Later she was taken to her home, and her condition on Wednesday was said to be serious. Democratic Advocate, September 26, 1896.