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History matters: 75 years ago 'Firemen fight Chimney, Field And Woods Fires'

100 Years Ago

A nickel a night

Times ads: "Interesting, Moving Pictures, change each night, In the Banquet Hall of the HOWARD HOUSE Ellicott City, Commencing Saturday night, Nov. 30th Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights. Admission 5 cents. Wm. F. Kerger, Proprietor."

"For Rent: One new modern house and lot, with garden and storeroom for particulars. Address to C.H. Iglehart, Dayton, Md. or F.B. Cissel, Ellicott City, Md."

75 Years Ago

Fired up

"Firemen fight Chimney, Field And Woods Fires," was the headline of a story in the news.

"Four Calls during Past Week As Result Of dirty Chimneys and Brush Fires: Arriving in the season of chimney and field fires, the Ellicott City Fire Department answered four such alarms during the past week. One other, a garage fire, was also extinguished by the local department.

"On October 29, a chimney on the home of Nelson Sullivan, College Avenue, caught fire. The cause was laid to a dirty chimney. No damage was done to the building.

"Mr. William B. Simmons, Marriottsville called the Ellicott City department on October 30 to extinguish a field and woods fire on his place. No buildings on the property were endangered.

"Another field fire on November 2, occurred the engine to the property of Dallas Brown, Elioak and again no buildings were damaged. Another call was answered on the 2nd to the home of Joseph Natwick, near Ellicott City where a garage was ablaze. The local firefighters were able to extinguish the flames with no damage to other surrounding buildings and it is thought that gasoline running over a lantern caused the fire."

50 Years Ago

Bomb bliss

A warning in a Times article: "Food Stocks In National Emergency: As the Cuban Crises ebbs and flows, Howard Contains become more Civil Defense conscious and phone calls for information flood the headquarters. In an effort to answer as many as possible, Deputy Director Herbert C. Brown has issued the following report:

"The danger of a shooting war is a powerful incentive to all families to prepare themselves for an emergency. In addition to a shelter to protect from the danger of radiation, food and water are needed for the period until radiation danger is gone are absolutely essential. A stock of these items for a period of 14 days should be on hand in every family larder."

That's a tall order from the Civil Defense folks. Fourteen days? Most of us are lucky if we can stay out of a grocery store or eatery for 14 hours, let alone have food supplies for 14 days. And water, that's a lot of water to have on hand at home.

Today the Red Cross reminds people to have at least 72 hours worth of supplies. But that too is not always easy because with all of our suburban conveniences, we're not conditioned to have to think ahead. Nevertheless, all kinds of ill winds can come our way, ready or not.

In the 1962 crisis, gathering food and water didn't seem like much of a defense against the blast of a missile, however, people did rush to the stores to stock up. I remember my mom rather frantically filling up our pantry with canned goods, as if they were some talisman against the nukes.

My junior high friends and I were concerned about the situation and missiles being moved into Cuba, only 90 miles from the United States and there was lots of talk of building bomb shelters. I do recall wondering, though, if kids on the other side, in the Soviet Union, the country which owned the missiles being moving into Cuba, were also worried about the crisis.

I got my answer a few years ago from friends in Ukraine who were teens living under Soviet rule in during this time. It seems they didn't worry about the Cuban missile crisis at all, because they were blissfully unaware. The Soviet government and its press, which chronically committed the sin of omission, left them in the dark. According to my friends, many Soviets knew nothing of such events until years later.

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