In foreign minds, the image of a rich America dies hard. But in Maryland, one?
In foreign minds, the image of a rich America dies hard. But in Maryland, one of the nation's depressed areas, a town is dying.
Its name is Hagerstown, in the northwest corner of the State. It is a town now of signs and bill-posters - mostly marked: For Sale. Homes for sale, Offices for sale.
Only 2, 000 people work at the local aircraft factory where once in the bloom days of light aircraft production 11,000 worked.
Six-thousand townspeople are without a job - fifteen per cent of the country's wage earners; that is, twice as much as the national unemployment average.
Assisting them is the County Welfare Board, supplying dried milk and other basic foods, while the Salvation Army distributes clothing.
Unemployment rose again in the U.S. last month, President Kennedy announced Feb 1. Earlier in his State of the Union message was the warning cry: Before things get better, they will get worse. Hagerstown knows the import of the platitude and puts its hope in the production of a new type of aircraft at the local factory, and in the opening of another factory for the mass productions of cars.