Friday, October 25, 2013

"Greaser Gang" Attacks Seven Youths at Bowie High

Bowie High School, 1973 (photo by Arnie Miles)
October 25, 1968 (45 years ago today):  Seven Bowie teenagers were beaten by a Lanham/Seabrook area "Greaser" gang while waiting for rides outside Bowie High School following Teen Club.  According to the Bowie Blade, two car loads of youths arrived at the school looking for "Big John," the supposed head of the Bowie Greasers.  After failing to find Big John, the out-of-town boys attacked the Bowie teens with bats, fists and tire chains.  Two of the local youths were rendered unconscious by the attack.

The Bowie Blade reported that "Greaser" gangs existed in many of the area towns, including Belair, and a "considerable rivalry" existed between the various Greaser factions at the time.  The term "Greaser" is derived from the slick, greasy hair style that was popular among the gang members.  According to one source interviewed by the Blade, Greaser gangs were "composed of high school drop-outs and other toughs."

Photos of Bowie Maryland 1973 through 1975 by Arnie Miles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The First Edition of the Bowie Blade is Published

October 19, 1967 (46 years ago today):  The first edition of the Bowie Blade was published.  The headline near the top of page one was, "Belair's NEWS Newspaper Begins Publication," and Editor Bob Reid declared the paper to be the "first area paper to offer total news coverage."

In his introduction to the newspaper, Reid said, "we are calling The Bowie Blade the 'pajama newspaper.' We desire it to be so well delivered that residents can bring it in without getting out of their pajamas. It should be right at the front door, and if it isn't, we wish you would let us know. It shouldn't happen twice!"

Reid went on to say, "The Bowie Blade will bring to local residents all the news, total and complete. We hope to not overlook anything that can conceivably be of interest to Bowie residents, and in addition, we intend to pack the paper with interesting features, lively photographs, a sprightly woman's page, and a complete sports section covering the local sports picture."

The newspapers staff worked out of offices above J-Mart in 1967.

Here is a sample of some of the headlines from the first edition:

"Wilson, Conroy Clash Over 197"; "Bowie Senior High Enrollment Hits 1,410: Shifting 9th Grad to Junior High Eases Load (Bowie High will double in size with the new edition currently under construction in the read of the existing school.)";  "Students Driving To Bowie Classes Curtailed"; "DuVal Tigers Stun Bowie High With 26-0 Victory: Favored Bulldogs Hurt by Fumbles"; "Mobile Library Use Proves Bowie Readers are Voracious"; "New Home Site for Knights of Columbus"

Here is a sample of some of the advertisers from the first edition:

Mister Chicken, Bowie Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, The Bowie Inn, Rip's Restaurant and Motel, Belair Theater, Belair Maintenance Company, Dwyer Maintenance Company, Tidewater Belair Realty, Hi-Gear Discount Auto Center, Belair National Bank, Bob's Barber Shop, Levitt and Sons, Keystone Footwear, T&T Liquors, V.M. Razanno, W.F. Mann Realty