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Newly opened I-95 to be named in honor of JFK [50 years ago]

From the pages of the Aegis 50 of years ago this week.

The Northeastern Expressway was expected to be renamed Dec. 11, 1963 to honor the late President John F. Kennedy. The State Roads Commission agreed to rename the expressway for the slain president, pending the family's approval, which was expected to be given. The opening of the highway on Nov.14, 1963 was the last public works project to be dedicated by the president, just eight days before his assassination. The 53 mile section was the last stretch of limited access road between Boston and Washington to be opened on the new Interstate. The name rededication would only apply to 42 miles in Maryland.

The Northeastern Expressway had only been in operation two weeks when the Thanksgiving holiday occurred. The new toll road was already considered busier than its predecessor, Route 40. Over the holiday extended weekend, 126,107 motor vehicles went through the Cecil County toll plaza. Route 40 had a count of 75,456 over the same period, this was a drop by 55 percent from the 169,585 on Route 40 in 1962. The bulk of the traffic passed through on Sunday between 4 p.m. and midnight when more than 21,000 cars passed through the I-95 toll plaza.

Final plans were being implemented for Harford County's proposed gigantic sewer and water program. The new service would include Edgewood around the head of Bush River to the Perryman-Forest Green section. The total cost was estimated at $10 million. The treatment facilities plant would either be constructed on leased land from APG or private land just outside the government facility. The county's water and sewer commission was obliged to stop using the Edgewood Arsenal facilities for water and sewage disposal for the Edgewood area by 1967. The new expressway rest stop was also to be included in this new service.

The Bel Air Federal Savings and Loan Association and the Loyola Federal Savings and Loan Association of Baltimore were approved for a merger. When the merger took effect in late December, the local organization would be know as the Bel Air Branch - Loyola Federal Savings and Loan Association.

Burglars broke into the Joppa Post Office and made off with 200 to 300 letters and eight packages. The missing mail was found burned about 300 feet away, alongside nearby railroad tracks. The intruder had broken into the post office through a window on the eastern side and had ransacked the drawers in the building before taking the mail.

A 33-acre property off Laurel Brook Road in Fallston was acquired by the state for inclusion in Gunpowder State Park. The property value was placed at $45,500.

The Commissioners of Bel Air enlarged the town's music committee, which was working on organizing a band. James McMahan Jr. was selected as the committee chairman.

Mayor Werner Buchal turned on Bel Air's Christmas decorations for the holiday season. Merchants of the town paid $2,000 for the decorations, while the $250 electric bill was to be paid by the Town of Bel Air.

The Postmaster General urged early Christmas mailing. So far in 1963, the post office had received and processed 10,000 Christmas cards, letters and packages. The postmaster further suggested: "If you send your Christmas cards by First Class mail, using the new five cent Christmas Tree stamps, and include your name and address on the envelope, you will help your friends to keep their mailing lists up-to-date. Further, you are assured that any cards that cannot be delivered will be returned to you for corrected addresses."

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, would be celebrated starting Dec. 10, 1963. The holiday commemorates the ancient victory of the Jews over oppressors. The most dramatic feature of the festival was the lighting of the Hanukkah lights in the traditional menorah.

At the Bel Air Theatre: "The V.I.P.s", starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, was playing in Panavision and MetroColor.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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