History matters

100 Years Ago

Way west

In the Times Briefs there were medical warnings:

"Typhoid Fever Season. Boil the water. Eat only ripe fruit.

Further, now, a rat has been found in Philadelphia infected with Bubonic Plague. Swat the rat."

In the Lisbon social column:

"Miss Agnes Flaherty of Baltimore, was a week end guest of friends in the neighborhood.

"Mr. Edward Doherty returned to Baltimore after spending his vacation with his father near here.

"Mr. Walter Black spent Saturday and Sunday with his parents near here.

"Miss Edna Hobbs and Mr. Harrison Mullinix, spent Sunday with friends and relatives in Baltimore."

In the Elkridge social column:

"Mrs. Thomas MacGuire and her two small sons, Thomas, Jr. and William are the guests of relatives near Ellicott City.

"Mrs. E.K. Herold has returned from a visit of several weeks to Mrs. W. M. McCauley, of Baltimore.

Mrs. T.E. Sherlock and daughter, Miss Freda Sherlock, left last week for the West, where they will be the guests of Mrs. Sherlock's father, at Zanesville, Ohio."

Oh my, way out West to the wilds of Ohio! If Ohio was "the West," I wonder what they called Colorado, Montana and Arizona; maybe "Way West."

Though, to put this in perspective, until that year, 1912, Arizona and New Mexico were still territories and there were scattered American Indian "uprisings" in the "Way West" up until 1923.

75 Years Ago

Tacking to New York

From the Lisbon social column:

"Mrs. Charles Flynn of Washington, N.C., spent Sunday with Mrs. G.W. Ridgely and Mr. Ridgely.

"Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Taylor and young son have moved to New York where Mr. Taylor is employed on the yacht of Lawrence Kendall."

50 Years Ago

True stars

The caption under a Times photo of three men and the Medal of Honor read:

"Medal of Honor is 100 Years Old: U.S. Senator J. Glenn Beall of Maryland previews the Army "Medal of Honor" exhibit during its premiere showing on Capitol Hill.

"Display chief Sergeant First Class John Blaine outlines to the Senator the history of the Army's top award for valor. Looking on at right is Display Specialists Sergeant Ted Hatch.

"The exhibit, which will tour the Nation after several appearances in the Washington area, is part of the Army's program to commemorate the centennial year of the Medal."

One day a few years ago at the Naval Academy I got an up close and personal look at the Medal of Honor. I was walking a bit too fast when I almost ran into a short, 80-something fellow with the medal hanging around his neck on that sky blue ribbon with its 13 white stars.

I stood there staring, mouth agape because before then I had only seen the Medal of Honor pictured in books. The medal's owner was a Marylander, Rear Admiral Eugene Fluckey, who, in the Pacific Theater, captained a submarine that sunk the most Japanese tonnage of World War II.

I later learned that Fluckey was a high-energy, tenacious character even before he entered the Naval Academy as a young man. Probably the vast majority of Medal of Honor winners were, and are, tenacious individuals, rather than glory seekers.

There have been 3,476 Medals of Honor awarded, 1,522 awarded during the Civil War. There were 464 awarded in WWII.

One interesting perk of being a surviving Medal of Honor winner is that they receive invitations to all presidential inaugurations and also that evening's outcropping of inaugural balls.

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