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NAACP files suit seeking full integration of Harford schools [50 years ago]

As taken from the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, May 7, 1964:

The NAACP filed suit in federal court 50 years ago this week seeking full integration of Harford County Public Schools for the 1964-65 school year. The legal action was taken because of the original three-year plan announced by the Board of Education. Chief Judge Roszel Thompson ordered local school authorities to show cause why schools in Harford County could not be completely desegregated in the upcoming school year. The suit also asked that the Board of Education not be allowed to discriminate against Negro teachers in the school system.

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Samuel Hopkins, state campaign chairman for the Maryland Association for Mental Health, announced that 700 volunteers would be ringing doorbells through Harford County this week on behalf of the 1964 fundraising campaign for the organization. The funds would be used to enable all the mental health associations to fulfill their pledges to carry out President Kennedy's work in the mental health field. They would continue to heighten their services to mentally ill patients and their families and to provide public education of mental illness.

A group of children from the St. Patrick's parochial school in Havre de Grace narrowly escaped injury when they were trapped on a platform at Memorial Stadium. The St. Patrick's group, like other children from throughout the state, were attending the baseball game as an award for their duties as safety patrol officers during the school year. According to one of the escorts, the children reached the top of the escalator to find their way blocked by an iron barrier, which made them reduce from two abreast to single file. The escalator continued to push children to the top and the local group could feel the push coming up from behind. Fortunately for the local children, the worst incident occurred later when a pileup of children occurred below them which resulted in 45 injuries and the death of a 14-year-old Baltimore girl. Only one of the Havre de Grace children was injured when the tip of his little finger was severed in the mayhem.

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Mayor Werner Buchal was re-elected as the mayor of Bel Air by a 92 percent vote. This was one of the largest votes ever given to a candidate for public office in Harford County to date.

Bel Air Little League began with Werner Buchal throwing out the first ball. Approximately 300 boys on 18 teams paraded through town down Main Street. The ceremony concluded at the senior high school grounds where the new Bel Air Community Band made its first performance.

The State Roads Commission announced the first two roads that would be included in the two-year road construction project. The SRC would complete a 3.3 mile, two lane highway on the Northern Thruway west of Aberdeen to Aberdeen Proving Ground and 1.5 miles of new lanes on Route 24, south of the new Expressway.

Miss Harford County 1964, Sharon Rae Burlingham of Aberdeen, was crowned this week. Burlingham graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1963 and she was a freshman at Towson State College.

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