East-West Expressway, from Hickory to Jarrettsville, opens to drivers [50 years ago]

As taken from the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, October 3, 1963:

The practically completed single lane section of the East-West Expressway in Harford County from Hickory to Jarrettsville was opened to traffic. The plan was to eventually extend the road into a two way highway and run from Aberdeen to Hagerstown. In the past few weeks many arrests were made on the new road, which had not yet been opened. Drivers contended that since there was no posted speed limit police had no right to arrest them. In most cases the local courts were quite lenient.

Baby Jerry Wayne Sparks became the 100,000th baby born at Harford Memorial Hospital. Dr. Richard Norment attended the delivery of the baby born to Virginia Lee Sparks of Darlington. Baby Terry weighed 7 pounds and 9 ounces. The hospital expenses were given "on the house." The 100,000th birth covered the period from 1942 to October 1963.

Three people were hospitalized after their car went out of control on Pennsylvania Avenue in Bel Air, jumped the curb and struck the porch of the Odd Fellows Hall.

The Harford County Park Board was awarded a grant by the Board of Public Works for improvement of the boat launching ramp at Otter Point on Bush River. This would be the first grant to Harford County since the initiation of the Boating Act two years ago. The Boat Act provided for licensing of all boats and part of these funds were to be used for boating improvements. It was hoped that the improvements would be completed before the end of the boating season early in the spring of 1964.

The Joppa Post Office was to be relocated to its new quarters in the Joppatowne development. The post office would retain the name of Joppa. The present Joppa Post Office was found to be "entirely inadequate to handle the growing volume of business and mail resulting from completion of homes in the Joppatowne development," according to Rep. Clarence D. Long. About 1,000 people lived in Joppatowne and that number was expected to increase to 12,000 by 1965, according to the Joppatowne's developers.

Patrons of the Southern States Bel Air Petroleum Cooperative stopped by the store this week to pick up their dividends cashed out to them completely in $2 bills. The dividends were payments of Capital Book Equities of patrons of Southern States Bel Air Petroleum Cooperative from 1954 through 1958. Arrangements and advertising were planned and carried out to make this the most unusual thing to occur in Bel Air for a long time. Through special arrangements with the Commercial & Savings Bank the $2 bills were secured and the Bank President Cornelius Cronin personally delivered the money to the store. Payments made to the patrons ranged from a few cents to several hundred dollars. F.T. Gatch, former owner of Gatch's Quarry in Churchville, received the largest payment personally handed to him by the plant manager, all in $2 bills.

Bel Air residents and visitors saw fresh yellow chrysanthemums replace the petunias in the tubs on Main and Bond streets. The replanting was the work of the Bel Air Beautification Committee, operating with funds from the Town of Bel Air and local civic clubs.

President John F. Kennedy proclaimed the week of Oct. 6 to 12, 1963, as National Fire Prevention Week. The president urged that every citizen should support the important job of preventing fires. Ninety-five percent of all fires were because of carelessness or neglect. Faulty or misused heating and cooking equipment started more home fires then any other single cause. Other causes included defective chimneys, chimney sparks, defective electrical equipment, overloaded wiring, matches and careless smoking.

A horse named Patrick G, owned by Mrs. James Richardson of Panorama Farm in Forest Hill and trained by her husband, won his fourth consecutive race at Timonium. No other horse was able to win four times during the 24 days of racing at Timonium.

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