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Allegany County
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Kitzmiller gets a kiss

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information



The little Garrett County town of Kitzmiller, at one time the most prosperous coal mining town in the state, was given a high commendation Wednesday, May 19th. by Governor Theodore R. McKeldin and representatives from West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, for the alertness, patriotism and pioneer spirit of its people in setting the pace for local and national disaster. Sparked by a tragedy which took the lives of five miners in November 1948 fellow employees and citizens began to train rescue units in the event of future emergencies. Since then over five hundred men and women have been trained "what to do when disaster strikes"; the community has also succeeded in erecting a training center. It is the first Civil Defense Center in this area.

"While it is true the big industrial cities are the most vulnerable to enemy attack the more inland areas could have a mighty role in rescue and relief work if such an attack came," the Governor told his audience at Kitzmiller. Speaking of the Dedication of the Civil Defense Training Center Building Gov. McKeldin complimented the citizens for taking the lead in this important program." "If it ever becomes necessary to evacuate cities, Garrett County, might well prove the ideal place of refuge for our people from Baltimore, Washington and Pittsburgh." "Garrett County is to be highly commended by reason of the establishment of this necessary center of civil preparedness." He complimented the citizens and publicly commended Dr. Ralph Calandrella, the town's physician, for the leadership he gives the community and the service he renders over a wide area. Gov. McKeldin noted that Kitzmiller has a national champion mine rescue team whose members did not stop by becoming champions, but continued their preparedness. "This group," he commented, "forms a hard core of trained personnel ready to go anywhere in the state or area if a disaster strikes, and stands out as an example to all other communities." Sherley Ewing, Director of The Maryland Civil Defense Agency, dedicated the new building. Walter W. Dawson, Oakland attorney, who was Master of Ceremonies introduced many guests such as: Ross I. Webb, of the Pennsylvania Civil Defense Agency and a special representative who brought personal greetings from Governor Wm. Marland. Jesse J. Walker, a life-long resident, and one of the town's leading citizens, was General Chairman. Associated with Mr. Walker in the successful completion of this community project were: Melvin Arnold, A. W. Barrick, W. H. Norman, Rodney Selders, J. Paul Ewing; C. C. McIntyre; G. D. Dick, Gerald D. Iman, Frank Burgess, I. C. Hutson; H. B. Buckley, C. B. Kimble, J. Banning, Dr. Ralph Calandrella; R. D. Sowers and E. S. Shank" (the above taken from newspaper accounts from "The Cumberland Daily News" Allan Weatherholt reporting, and "The Republican", Oakland, Md. George Hanst, Editor).


Editor: Felix G. Robinson


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Maryland, History

Western Maryland, 1750-1963

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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