Today In Salisbury’s History: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 1974

Tuesday, Dec. 10, 1974 —

  • For the first time in eight years, Democrats have regained control of the Wicomico County Council. Victor H. Laws, Frank P. Coulbourne and Albert J. Bailey were each sworn into office on Monday. Bailey was immediately elected Council President, ending the reign of Parsonsburg Republican Lewis R. Riley. The council was expected to soon replace David H. Clark, the Republican County Attorney, with Democrat Sheldon B. Seidel.
  • Three young men were charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after an election night prank went haywire. The car was taken from the Gunby Road home of Sheriff William E. Shockley, who was inside his residence at the time, hosting an election victory party. The men thought they were taking a car owned by Shockley’s election opponent, Eugene M. Carey. It turned out, however, that the car was owned by Donald Phippin of Hebron. State Police Trooper Larry Q. Taylor found the missing car near a gravel pit off Fooks Road. Each of the three pranksters was fined $30.
  • Movies playing this week in the Salisbury area include: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” at the Rio Theater, Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” at the Mall Cinema and “Dr. Zhivago” at the Boulevard Theater.
  • The National Taxpayers Coordinating Commission, headed locally by S. Denmead Kolb, called on the new leadership of the Wicomico County Council to immediately curtail spending. At a hearing attended by about 40 people, anti-spending advocates cited the ongoing national recession as a reason to cut expenditures. The group also asked that the county’s Capital spending plan should be stripped of any projects labeled as “wants” and only include items classified as “needs.”
  • The Salisbury City Council has given zoning approval to a $5 million expansion of the Salisbury Mall. Developers plan to expand the mall on its east side, adding up to 233,000 square feet of shopping space to the wildly successful retail center.
  • A crowd estimated at more than 10,000 people lined the streets Saturday for the annual Christmas Parade. The parade featured the greatest number of floats and participants in its history, but poor weather — heavy fog, damp conditions and temperatures in the low-30s — is believed to have kept many spectators away. Some 85 units participated, as well as local political leaders, Congressman Robert E. Bauman and Baltimore Orioles baseball stars Paul Blair and Curt Motton. A crowd favorite was the float operated by Delmarva Gymnastics Academy, which featured acrobats performing multiple stunts.
  • An effort to declare Salisbury’s Newtown neighborhood as a Historic District is on hold while city officials consider all of the possible ramifications. City Council President W. Paul Martin Jr. insisted the delay was not an attempt to “sweep the matter under the rug.” Martin said he “likes the intent” of the historic status but still has many questions. The Historic District ordinance states that its intent is to “safeguard the heritage of the city elements of its cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history. 
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