'Ice Fishing Good in Northeast River' [History Matters]

100 Years Ago

Yankee Doodle Dandy

"Ford's Grand Opera House: Week, February 24th, Cohan and Harris offer, a new satirical comedy, The Children of Today, by Clara Lipman and Samuel Shipman. Representative Company.

"Children of Today, a play which will appeal to all classes and to every parent, is a modern satirical comedy full of fun and good sense, entertaining from start to finish. It is by Clara Lipman and Samuel Shipman and produced under the auspices of Messrs Cohan and Harris. The play is absorbing, interest involving the question of authority between a widow and her two children. ... Matinees Wednesday and Saturday. Admission 25 and 50 cents. Week March 3rd."

That was George M. Cohan and Sam Harris who offered this play. The two collaborated on projects for about 15 years. Cohan began his career in the theater as a young child and wore many hats throughout the years: singer, dancer, composer, writer and theatrical producer. Among his best known compositions: "Over There" and "Give My Regards to Broadway." James Cagney portrayed Cohan in the movie "Yankee Doodle Dandy." The play in D.C. for the cost of two bits wasn't a bad bargain.

75 Years Ago

White House visitors

From the "Washington Digest" column by William Bruckart:

"Many times I have written in these columns about the confused state of affairs in the federal government and the Roosevelt administration. ... .

"For several weeks now, we have witnessed a steady stream of callers at the White House. There have been some labor leaders but mostly the list of callers whom the President invited were the greatest of American industrialists, the 'economic royalists' whom Mr. Roosevelt has so roundly denounced from time to time, or whenever it served political purposes to attack them publicly. The purposes of having these men visit the President, as announced at the White House, were to consult and try to find ways and means of checking the current depression.

"In the meantime, the depression has sunk deeper and deeper. I frankly believe that in some localities it is right now as bad as anything we saw in 1932. Business men are frightened to death and will not expand their businesses because of the danger that they will lose everything they have and individuals are frightened and will not spend more money than absolutely necessary.

"In other words, there is again a lack of confidence that is appalling. It seems to center on Mr. Roosevelt, as it centered on Mr. Hoover in 1930 and 1931. ... That is to say, the expressions stressed statements that his policies 'lack continuity,' that he changes 'overnight,' that he attacks business with one hand and kicks it in the pants with one foot and asks it to take the load off of the government at the same time, that he takes advice 'of a lot of nincompoop's on finances who can't even balance their own household budgets.'

50 Years Ago

Fish and flight

Briefs in the Times:

"Ice Fishing Good in Northeast River: The latest sport fishing report from the Department of Tidewater Fisheries of Maryland shows that the ice fishing in the Northeast River, while the ice had started to melt at the beginning of the week, the new cold wave has frozen the ice tight again and fishing should be excellent for the weekend. Good catches of black bass and yellow perch should be available to all."

The Northeast River is in Cecil County, a tributary of the Chesapeake.

"The Army Air Forces were started Aug. 1, 1907, as the Aeronautical Division of the Signal Corps, U.S. Army. The division consisted of one officer and two enlisted men and did not carry out its first mission in its own airplane for more than a year."

In 1908, the United States government purchased a plane for the signal corps from the Wright Brothers. One site for flight instruction for those first pilots was the airstrip at College Park.

In fact, the College Park Airport is the oldest continuously operating airport in the world. If you're looking for something indoors to do on a cold winter day, the College Park Aviation Museum, not far off Route 1 near the University of Maryland, is inexpensive and especially great for kids.

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