100 Years Ago: Getting out of town in the summer was the thing to do

100 Years Ago

Escapees return


From the Woodbine social column:

"Miss Mary Roth returned to the neighborhood after spending the summer with relatives in Wilmington, Delaware.


Mrs. John M. DeLashautt and daughter, Miss Mildred DeLashmutt, have returned from their apartments in Baltimore after spending the summer near hear."

Today, it's usually "snowbirds" who avoid the harsh winter weather of the north by flocking to Florida for a few months. But in non-airconditioned 1911 those who could, would escape the heat of the city to spend summers in the cooler countryside.

75 Years Ago

Starlet makes demands

In the Hollywood news section of the Times was this brief:

"Those in the 'know' say that if Bette Davis will get over her mad with the studio, she can have a starring vehicle in 'Danton, Terror of France.' ... Bette has been on the suspension list since she made an exit from Warner Brothers' studio when they failed to meet her salary demands and her request to be permitted to work elsewhere once a year. It is said that Charles Laughton is wanted for the role as Danton."

Bette Davis was one of the actors bucking the studio system in the 1930s trying to get better roles for herself. The studios had major control over most aspects of the movie industry from the 1920s into the 1960s, including the actors.

That year, in 1936, she won a Best Actress Oscar for "Dangerous." She'd also win a second Oscar for "Jezebel," in 1938.

But a few years later, in addition to movie work, she received a different type of award. For her bond drive work during World War II, and for her war time work at the Hollywood Canteen, she received the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal from the U.S. government.

This Hollywood legend also has her picture on a U.S. commemorative postage stamp. It's a nice picture from the movie "All About Eve," but I think the famous shot from Now Voyager, of her looking up from the shadow of her wide-brimmed hat, was better. Davis said that actor Claude Rains was her favorite to work with, and he played the physciatrist in Now Voyager.

In 1942 she received a Best Actress Oscar nomination as Charlotte Vale in "Now Voyager," but she lost that year to Greer Garson who played Mrs. Miniver, an English war-time mom. My heart's with "Now Voyager" and of course it's No. 1 in the cigarette lighting category, but Mrs. Miniver was good war time public relations.

Davis had quite an interesting cache of sayings including:


"If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it."

"If you've never been hated by your child, you've never been a parent."

50 Years Ago

Kaisers, generals and Ellicotts

From the Scaggsville-Fulton social column:

"Recent overnight guests of LuAnn and Joe Archer were Johnny Clark of Glenelg and Miss Marilyn Steward of Scaggsville.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Kaiser and son, Brent, of High Ridge and Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Gaither of Clarksville were the Friday evening dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. Preston Musgrove. On Sunday evening the Musgrove family were dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. William Trumball of Arlington, Va."

In the United States, Arlington County, Virginia is the smallest self-governing county. Actress Sandra Bullock was born in Arlington. A couple hundred years before that, some of George Washington's family members, the Custises, owned the land that would become Arlington National Cemetery. This included Mary Custis Lee, who was the wife of CSA General Robert E. Lee.

In 1791, Andrew Ellicott, one of the Ellicotts, founders of Ellicott Mills, surveyed the boundaries for Washington, which included the Arlington area. Ellicott hired Benjamin Banneker, a free black scientist, also of Ellicott Mills, to help with the surveying.

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