October 8, 1960 (52 years ago today): The model homes for Levitt & Sons' Belair at Bowie housing development opened to the public off U.S. Route 50 on Sussex Lane in Bowie. People waiting to see the homes caused a 1 1/2 mile traffic jam.
Levitt & Sons' President, William Levitt, declared it to be the biggest opening since he joined the firm 30 years earlier. Customers ordered 243 houses in the first five days the model homes were open - a total of more then $4 million in sales.
Customers bought the houses sight unseen. It would be another year before the first houses would be move-in ready.
Customers had a choice of six house designs ranging in price from $14,999 to $27,500.
Levitt's Biggest Opening
The Washington Post, October 15, 1960