3-16-10: How the C&O Canal Was Saved
This Saturday marks the 56th anniversary of a 185-mile hike that saved the C&O Canal from destruction and eventually led to its preservation as a national park.
In the 1940s, after railroads had made the canal obsolete, Congress funded plans to fill in the canal and build a parkway. On January 3, 1954, The Washington Post wrote an editorial supporting that plan.
Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, an environmentalist who adored the canal, wrote the Post, challenging the editorial’s authors to hike the entire canal with him.
Sheilah talks to Cathy Stone, who was married to Justice Douglas from 1966 until he passed away in Bethesda at the age of 80, and to Allen Swope, a Washington County resident who was part of that historic hike in 1954.
Then Allen Swope takes us on a tour of the “golden half-mile” of the C&O Canal in Williamsport, Maryland.