How the C&O Canal Was Saved

November 7, 2011 at 1:32 am Leave a comment

In 1954, The Washington Post wrote an editorial in favor of turning the C&O Canal into a parkway. Justice William Douglas–an ardent naturalist–challenged them to hike it with them. They did, they changed their tune, and the canal was saved. In this March 2010 Maryland Morning piece, meet Cathy Stone, who was married to Justice Douglas from 1966 until he passed away in Bethesda at the age of 80, and Allen Swope, a Washington County resident who was part of the historic hike.

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.

They did. And they changed their tune. Today millions of people visit the C&O Canal National Historical Park each year.

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.

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Entry filed under: Features and profiles, Public radio.

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NEWS
- A much prettier website with my journalistic highlights is at lawrencelanahan.com.
- Disappearing Ink released its first album, "There Is No Time and Nothing's Been," in December 2014. It's available on iTunes.
- After almost five years at WYPR, I'm back to freelancing. Editors can reach me at llanahan@gmail.com.
- The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life includes my chapter "New Possibilities and Old Limitations of Political Art in The Wire."
- You can still buy my 2004 self-titled EP.

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