Seventy years ago this month, Ellicott City, which had been an independently chartered town since 1867, had its charter revoked by the state legislature at the request of local residents, according to Howard County: A Pictorial Historyby Joetta M. Cramm.
Blame it on liquor, at least indirectly.
"Before Prohibition, due to a high license fee for saloons, the town charged a very small real estate tax," Cramm writes. "With Prohibition, the tax increase led to the many bitter protests that finally brought about the surrender of the town charter." The date was June 1,1935.