The Aegis

Bel Air Chamber of Commerce surveys town residents [50 years ago]

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As taken from the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, April 9, 1964:

The Junior Chamber of Commerce of Bel Air distributed surveys to area residents 50 years ago this week. The results Were to be made available to all governmental, educational and civic organizations in addition to the general public. The questionnaires were five pages long and consisted of questions concerning the likes and dislikes of residents in the area of Bel Air in regard to living, shopping, parking, restaurants, activities for young people, newspapers, radio, professional services, liquor laws, service clubs, recreation, schools and county government. Once the surveys were complete, the chamber members would personally collect them by going door to door. A summary of the results would be available in a few weeks.


Vandals broke into Deerfield Elementary causing significant damage to the building. Thirty dozen eggs were taken from the walk-in freezer and were thrown on the walls in most of the school's rooms. The intruders gained entrance by breaking the glass in an outside door to a classroom. They then proceeded to use a fire extinguisher to smash things in other classrooms as well as the principal's office, the teacher's room, cafeteria and library. Thirty-one windows were smashed, as well as a medicine cabinet and a cup machine. The only articles stolen were a large carving knife and two smaller butcher's knives.

Rep. Clarence D. Long announced that the plans for remodeling of the Bel Air Post Office were revised to preserve the mural in the lobby. Bel Air residents were upset with the original plan to lower the lobby ceiling six feet to make room for new air-conditioning ducts. The General Services Administration informed Long that "we have arrived at a redesign of the lobby area which will not require any changes to the present lobby ceiling or mural and will still provide the improved postal facilities desired by the Post Office." Remodeling of the post office would resume once the blueprints of the revised plan were complete.


Sheriff William J. Kunkel announced the Harford County Jail established a new all time record for prisoners in March 1964. Two hundred people were detained including nine women and 54 juveniles under 18 years of age. The last record high was sent in October 1963 when 178 persons were jailed.

Bel Air's Pigeon-Rid Committee was out again this week. The unseasonably cold weather kept the kill to only 25 pigeons this week. That brought the total to 131 confirmed dead pigeons in three mornings of shootings.

Joseph Foster, owner of the Foster Funeral Home on Broadway, announced plans to expand his facility. The new addition included a chapel area, a large family room, reception hall, entrances from the front and side facing a new parking area and a new double garage. There would also be two paved parking areas as well as heating and air-conditioning throughout. The completion of the expanded funeral home was expected to be late in the summer of 1964.

The body of Gen. Douglas MacArthur passed through Harford County twice this week in 1964. Gen. MacArthur died this week at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington. A 15 vehicle cavalcade with his body in a flag-draped casket in a black hearse, left the hospital and received a police escort as it traveled to New York. The procession was escorted by State Police from Baltimore City to Benson to the Northeastern Expressway and then by Expressway police to Delaware. The 84-year-old general lay in repose at the 7th Regiment Armory in New York and returned to Washington, where he lay in state at the Capitol. Funeral services and entombment would be in Norfolk, Va.