Picture the Army's Fort Meade established as a national forest and not as western Anne Arundel County's engine of population growth and development.
The first national forest in Maryland, it covered about 5,000 acres. But the designation of the pine tree forest, hardly a rare breed, didn't last long.
President Calvin Coolidge gave the little-known executive order on April 14, 1925, and rescinded it three years later.
The back story was political. The plan was to reforest several military posts by putting them under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture.
Coolidge, a man of few words, characteristically never said much about it on the record.
[Source: Baltimore Sun archives, Paul McCardell, Sun library researcher]