Taken from the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, Dec. 7, 1961:
Harford County officials were up in arms over the Maryland State Roads Commission's decision a half century ago this week to eliminate the interchanges at Routes 155 in Havre de Grace and Route 152 in Joppa from their plans for a Northeastern Expressway.
Harford County had a strong supporter in then Comptroller Louis M. Goldstein. Mr. Gold stein stated, "Are you working for the taxpayers of Maryland or the investment houses of New York?" Mr. Goldstein continued, "you will be neglecting your duty if there aren't four interchanges in Harford County." Goldstein was referring to the estimated cost of the two eliminated interchanges which at that time were projected to be nearly a million dollars.
An 11-year-old Mountain Road youth was listed in critical condition after being accidentally struck in the left arm and left side by a shotgun blast. The teen and a 14-year-old friend were in a field behind the one of the boys' houses shooting at tin cans with a 12 gauge shotgun. The older boy told state troopers he had loaded the weapon and turned to see where the younger one was and at that instant the gun accidentally discharged. The older boy's older brother drove the injured boy to the Joppa-Magnolia Fire Company station then an ambulance took the youth to Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace.
Four young people were hospitalized this week 50 years ago after their car went out of control and overturned. It was reported the car was engaged in road racing with another vehicle. The driver, a 21-year-old man from Aberdeen, told troopers his car ran off Route 155, two miles outside Havre de Grace. He told police he drove on the shoulder before skidding back onto the roadway and overturning his vehicle. The car came to rest on its wheels with one of the passengers, a 17-year-old girl, pinned underneath. The girl suffered lacerations of the scalp and possible fractures of the left elbow, left hip and let shoulder.
Lung cancer was on the rise in Harford County and Maryland in 1961. There was a rise of 9.1 percent in Harford County and a rise of 18.6 percent throughout the State or Maryland. Exactly what caused the disease was a source of bitter arguments. Doctors at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in New York maintained that the increase "closely parallels the rise in cigarette consumption."
"The more a person smokes the greater is his risk of developing cancer of the lung," the institute reported.
Dr. Joseph Berkson, of the Mayo Clinic, however, stated that he doubted that smoking was the culprit. Berkson put forth that air pollution was a major cause of lung cancer. He reported he believed the exhaust gases from automobiles and the fumes from chimneys were an important factor. Steps were being made in many cities to try and eradicate or control air pollution.
The Bel Air Chamber of Commerce displayed its newly-purchased Town Christmas decorations. The new aluminum tri-colored garlands were made of light-weight, polished aluminum. The new purchase, which also included 10 illuminated plastic bells and 15 wreaths, were thought to be a long-term investment. The aluminum could withstand the roughest weather and last indefinitely. It was thought that these new decorations would add to the daytime beauty of the town.
It was announced that a small police booth, erected in 1948 to serve the Bel Air Town Police Department and situated in front of the courthouse, would be a thing of the past. Police headquarters would be moved to a leased space at 102 S. Main Street.
The local Red Cross offered a series of free instruction to prepare people for assisting their families in case of an attack. The classes featured techniques for proper First Aid to accident victims. This training could also be beneficial in one's own home when a member of their family is accidentally injured.
Bel Air unveiled its newest piece of municipal equipment, a vacuum leaf collector. The machine sucked leaves directly into a garbage truck.
Christmas fruit cakes could be purchased at the Bel Air Fire Company. The sale benefited the Ladies Auxiliary. A three-pound cake went for $3.25 and a two-pound cake in a tin could be purchased for $2.50.