50 Years Ago (week of February 22-28, 1942):
* A trial blackout was staged in Howard County from 9:45 to 10:00 p.m. Friday. Civilian defense agencies, county and state police, and the Ellicott City unit of the Maryland State Guard took part in the exercise. County residents were directed to stay indoors if possible during the blackout and keep their radios on. Vehicular traffic was instructed to pull to theside of the road and turn off all lights. County residents also had been requested not to start any brush fires during the day on Friday,because smoldering embers might still be visible during the blackout. The blackout was declared a success, despite one zealous air raid warden who patrolled looking for lights with a glowing cigar in his mouth.
* A 9-year-old boy from West Main Street in Ellicott City was killed this week when the roof of a cave in which he had been playing with two other boys collapsed, crushing him. The three boys had dug thecave several months earlier, and had been filling it in. The accident occurred when the victim returned to the cave to retrieve a shovel.
25 Years Ago (week of February 19-25, 1967):
* It was announced this week that middle school students in Howard County's densely populated 2nd Election District might have to attend half-day school sessions by the 1969 school year if county commissioners did not authorize money for the construction of a new middle school. Ninth-graders already had been transferred to Howard High School because of overcrowded conditions at Mount Hebron.
* A mobile unit from the MarylandState Department of Employment Security began working in the Howard County area this week. The service offered job counseling and possible Job Corps recruitment for county residents who were unemployed, unskilled or under-employed. Areas scheduled for visits included North Laurel, Ellicott City and Sykesville.
Information for this column was culled from the Howard County Historical Society's Library.