History Maters: Spring was the time for social calls in 1912

100 Years Ago

Sunday best

From the county social column:

Miss Carrie Hewitt of Sykesville is visiting her brother, Mr. David Hewitt of Portland Oregon.

Mr. Herbert Hausenfluck of Virginia is visiting his uncle, Mr. Simon Hausenfluck of Savage.

Mr. Welling Iglehart of Simpsonville visited friends in Baltimore on Sunday last.

Mr. George Blake of Baltimore is visiting her daughter, Mrs. John McDonald of Sykesville.

Misses Lillian and Edna Sprigg, of Baltimore are visiting Mrs. Perry Ensey of Unity.

Miss Sallie Mae House of Baltimore, spent several days last week with Miss Lucy Hewitt."

75 Years Ago

Kings and kingdoms

In the Times' international section:

"Fuad I, king of Egypt, died of a gangrenous throat infection at his country place near Cairo at the age of sixty-eight. Crown prince, Farouk, a sixteen-year old pupil in the royal military academy at Wollwich, England was immediately proclaimed king and started for Egypt, sailing from Marseilles on a British liner escorted by a British warship in order to avoid going by way of Italy.

Before his death Faud named a regency to govern the country until Farouk comes of age. The young king, who is six feet tall and well-educated, hopes to return to England to complete his studies at Woolwich. It was feared in Cairo that Fuad's death would have an adverse effect on the negotiations for a new Anglo-Egyptian treaty which will give Egypt a greater measure of freedom from British control. Faud is a descendant of Mohammed Ali, founder of the Egyptian Royal House."

In the first line, I wonder if there was a mistake, if there was a missing "a" and that Faud's country "place" should instead be his country "palace." Country place brings to mind a cottage in Vermont, or a log cabin in West Virginia, you know, the type and size place a king's groomsmen would inhabit.

I'm also not sure why it's important to mention young Farouk's height. Perhaps it was code, alerting any princesses out there from other royal houses that this young prince, suddenly turned king, was a hunka, hunka man and would be quite a catch.

As far as Farouk sailing clear of Italy to get home, well at that time Italy was misbehaving on several fronts. For example, Mussolini wanted to take over a country and with its weaker military, Ethiopia looked like a no-brainer. So Italy invaded Ethiopia and made that conquest in North Africa. By 1937, Mussolini and his pal Adolf Hitler were getting along nauseatingly well and would be moving in on other vulnerable sties.

England then still had some of its empire with claims remaining in, you know, those tiny places like Egypt and India. But World War II would accelerate the process of independence for many countries formerly under British rule. (In 1936 Britain had already began withdrawing some of its troops from Egypt.)

However, for many years the adage, "The sun never sets on the British Empire" was true. But even as their empire was diminishing in the 20th century, the Brits' acumen for both scholarship and accumulating colonies across the globe was not lost on other nations, evidenced by the number of promising young people sent from around the world to study in English schools.

50 Years Ago

And a Magic Kingdom

"Skaggsville Elementary School PTA will meet on Monday May 28 at 8 p.m. in the school auditorium.

Herbert Dyer celebrated his third birthday May tenth and his sister Wanda B. will celebrate her sixth birthday on Thursday with a party held at home. Herbert and Wanda are the children of Mr. and Mrs. Gene Dyer of Fulton.

Mrs. Mildred Mitchell of Scaggsville and Mrs. William Gibson of Baltimore are spending some time visiting with Mr. and Mrs. Hammond and family in Orlando, Fla."

M-I-C-K-E-"Why, oh why didn't we buy that swamp land," my parents lamented back then. That's where it would have been nice to own a little property, in 1962, right before Walt Disney flew over the area looking for a place to open up another theme park.

Disney World opened with its Magic Kingdom theme park in 1971 on what was swamp land and cattle pastures.

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