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General News PuwAaij §staf Washington News - --—>—-*■ •-—•. ■ ' i i- mi 1 11., i ■ I, i i • ' <* y ..■■■<*«' ■ ■ 11 " 1 ■ — b_ »_. _ WASHINGTON, D. C., JUNE 30, 1946. * A—11 District Planning Gala Events to Mark July 4 Federal Workers' Holiday on 5th Appears Unlikely Washington will lead the Nation Thursday in celebrating 170 years Of independence. Patriotic, civic and religious groups are vying with one another to make it the most impressive Fourth of July in the Capital’s history. Prospects of Federal workers get ting a vacation over the 5th ap peared slim, barring unlooked-for House passage of the Senate-ap proved bill to make that day a holiday. The bill is on the House unanimous consent calendar for to morrow. District Plan Discarded. To get the 5th off, Government end District employes alike prob ably will have to ask for annual leave and obtain permission of their supervisors. The Commissioners had considered a plan to give District workers Friday off in return for work to be done Saturday, July 13, but discarded it. Events scheduled for the day marking the birth of the Nation will emphasize for the most part the elation of victory and of free dom reborn out of war. But there will be those, too, which sound a note of humility over the new power and responsibility thrust upon the United States by the world conflict. Highlight of the day here will be the ‘‘America’s Cavalcade of Free dom” show on the Washington Monument grounds, at which an at tendance of 400,000 or more is ex pected. The 3 4 -hour program of enter tainment to begin at 7:30 p.m. will be climaxed by a display of fire works, Including 110 set pieces and 200 aerial units. Sponsors of the affair are the District Recreation Board. Greater National Capital Committee, of the Washington Board of Trade, Motion Picture Theater Owners of the District and the Office of National Capital Parks. 15.000 Seats Arranged. Joseph C. McGarraghy, executive committee chairman for the spec tacle. has arranged for 15,000 seats to be placed close to the big stage being erected for the occasion. Tickets may be obtained from any local hotel, the American Automo bile Association, Keystone Auto mobile Club and Peoples Drug Stores. Thf largest choral group ever to appear here will sing a special ar rangement of “Ballad for Ameri cans” to end the entertainment portion of the program. Ge&e Ford, who is staging the ball&d, has an nounced that its author, John La Touche, will arrive tomorrow to assist Dana Beaschler, director of music for the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, at a dress rehearsal of the choral group. Music for the cavalcade program will be furnished by more than 175 musicians from the Navy, Army Air Forces and Marine Corps bands. Thirty-six loudspeakers will carry the program over an area a mile square. Oldest Inhabitants To Meet. In the morning at 11, the Associa tion of Oldest'Inhabitants will cele brate the Nation's birthday at the Old Union^Sngine House, Nineteenth and H streets N.W. John Clagett Proctor, acting president, will pre side. Kll present will renew the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and sing “America.” Charles H. Bates will recite the Declaration of Independ ence, Mrs. Edward H. Cox Will sing, and William E. Leahy will deliver the principal address. The Rev. Edgar C. Bery, pastor of Emory Methodist Church, will deliver the Invocation. Up to 1,500 members of the Police Boys' Club have been invited to take a cruise down the Potomac aboard the merchant ship “American Mar iner,” The vessel will leave the dock at Seventh street and Maine avenue S.W. at noon, returning at 7 p.m. Special Service Planned. Catholic University will mark the day wjth a special service of prayer at 5 tm. at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on the campus. Sponsored by the Commis sion on American Citizenship of the University, the service will be dedi cated to the spiritual welfare of the Nation and its rededication to the Christian principles of its founda tion. Msgr. P. J. McCormick, rector of the University, will celebrate the solemn benediction of the blessed sacrament, and the Rev. John P. Monoghan, pastor of the Church of St. Margaret Mary, New York, and educational director of the Associa tion of Catholic Trade Unionists, will deliver the sermon on “Education for Christian Living.” Observations in nearby areas will include exercises in Takoma Park, Md., in conjunction with the pre sentation to the town of the Com munity Honor Roll at Carroll and Willow avenues by Takoma Park Post No. 350, Veterans of Foreign Wars, at 5:15 pjn. Dr. Reuben G. Steinmeyer, professor of interna tional relations at the University of Maryland, will be the principal speaker. Athletic Events Arranged. Willard D. Normandy, chairman of the Fourth of July Celebration Committee sjjonsoring the affair, has announced that athletic events for young people also will take place at 2 p.m. at the Takoma Park Recreation Center and that there will be dancing at the tennis courts at Third and Van Buren streets from 8:30 to 11 pjn. The Washington Missionary Col lege Band will give a 15-minute concert prior to the patriotic exer cises and will play during the ceremonies. The band is to be led by George Wargo. Edward Kulda, aoloist, of the Takoma Baptist Church, will sing and also lead com munity songs. Cub Pack No. 243, of which Ellery Denison is leader, will be formally presented with an American Flag by Mr. Normandy, who is commander of the Takoma legion post. ► •j. Beekeepers Get Stung for Fun At Berwyn Heights Contest Ethan Allen Andrews trying to grow a beard of bees. _-—Star Staff Photo. The Maryland Beekeepers As sociation held Its first prewar get together at Berwyn Heights yester day, and the members competed in their traditional contest of bee catching with bare hands. The air was a-busz with bees as the contestants gathered about a hive in the yard of George J. Abrams, apiarist at the University of Maryland. The reporter was frightened at bees zooming past his ear and crawling over his lapels but the nonchalance of the score or more of beekeepers witnessing the con test caused a congregational cour age to prevail. "Why don’t they sting?” the re porter asked. "These bees are so disorganized and confused they don’t know what to do,” said Harold L. Kelly of Sil ver Spring, president of the asso ciation. “They have been wet down and smoked out and now the men are able with bare hands and no masks to break up the combs of an aid hive and transfer the colony 0 a new hive.” Ethan Allen Andrews of Balti more offered to wear a beard of bees. He took the tray holding the trans ferred colony from the hive and held it against his chin. Mr. Andrews is a spare, bald man. Soon both his ears were covered with bees and he had a fine burn side on one cheek but the colony would not cluster on his chin. Mr. Andrews scooped up handfuls of the bees and dropped them on his shin ing pate. He rubbed them along his chin. But they would not take hold there. “It’s too hot," said one of the bee keepers. ’’I’ve seen him with a beard of bees right down to his waist.” Once the reporter saw Mr. Andrews wince. He said later that a bee stung his check. “I try to keep my mouth closed and breath easy when I am doing that,’ ’he said. “I’ve' had them go up my no6e and sting me. I’ve swallowed a lot of bees. I don’t mind that. What I don’t like is their stinging my tongue and ton sils.” In the bee-catching contest the time was limited to 3 minutes. The contenstants picked up the bees with their right hand and deposited them in an open mouthed bottle held in the left hand. The bottle must be capped with the bare left hand but it’s unusual for the bees to sting that hand. It’s the right hand that is vulnerable. John Lindner of Cumberland and Lloyd B. Shearman of Glenarm ad mitted stings and were disqualified. Mr. Shearman was very honest about it. He said, “Ouch!** Mrs. Alice Crew Baker of College Park and Mr. Andrews handled the bees without getting stung. But there was no doubt as to who had won. The judges didn’t even count the beev In his three minutes, Oiion J. Virts of Brunswick ac quired almost a bottle full and he was awarded the prize, a new bee smoker. Curran Says Gambling, Charge in February Is Still Being Probed The gambling charges placed against the Variety Club's barten der, Teodorico Galera, when police raided the club’s rooms February 9, have never been presented to the grand jury. District Attorney Ed ward M. Curran disclosed last night, because the books of the exclusive theatermen’s club are still being in vestigated ,by the district attorney’s office. This disclosure came in the wake of reports that Police Capt. Beverly Beach, former commanding officer in No. 1 precinct, was transferred to suburban No. 6 precinct because he too zealously harried clubs and establishments in the downtown area where gambling is permitted. Mr. Curran said the charges against Galera still are pending. Galera was arrested by members of Inspector Oscar J. Letterman’s anti gambling squad in a surprise raid on the Variety Club's rooms in the Willard Hotel and charged with set ting up a gaming table and permit ting gambling. Police confiscated six slot machines and set Galera free in $1,500 bond. The club, how ever, was not closed. Probe “Takes Time.” The work of investigating the club's books “takes some time,” Mr. Curran said last night, and added that he "didn't rush it or anything.” Both Police Superintendent Maj. Harvey G. Callahan and his imme diate superior, Commissioner John Russell Ypung, insist that the trans fer of Cdpt. Beach was “routine.” He changed places with the com mander of the Sixth Precinct, Capt. Robert Pearce. The transfer of Capt. Beach, im placable foe of gamblers and gaming, has given birth to a number of conflicting theories about what might hqve caused the transfer, however. Popular Clubs Warned. First there is the much-publicized theory that Capt. Beach was shifted to Number Six because he stepped on the toes of influential persons in carrying out his orders to put a stop to rampant gambling in the down town section. Both Capt. Beach and Inspector Letterman have repeatedly warned a number of clubs frequented by prominent businessmen and officials that they must cease operating slot machines or face arrest. Second is the possibility that the -transfer may have resulted from the efforts of Capt. Pearce to return to the First Precinct where he served for 15 years before going to the Brightwood precinct. Capt. Pearce admitted yesterday his reassignment to the downtown section was “happy new/.” Until he took over Number 6 last August, i Capt Pearce had left the precinct, only once, when he served for t, D. C. Accidents Rise For Lack of Inspection In Maryland, Virginia Statistics revealing that more Maryland and Virginia automobiles have figured in District accidents since those States abolished safety inspections were released last night by traffic experts. During the first five months of this year, 5 per cent more cars from the nearby States were reported in District accidents than during the same period of 1940—the year before safety inspections were dropped. Traffic Director George E. Keneipp said the percentage of in crease might not be attributed en tirely to preventive measures, but admitted there doubtless was some connection. "Both Maryland and Virginia authorities are anxious to resume safety inspections and I have prom ised both every co-operation,” Mr. Keneipp said. "Por Instance, W. Lee Elgin, Maryland commissioner of motor vehicles, is planning an ambitious program. He wishes to install two inspection stations in Baltimore and one each in the 23 Maryland coun ties.” Mr. Elgin will try to put his measure through the State Legisla ture next ^January. The Virginia State Police, in charge of safety inspection, also are anxious to reduce hazards with periodic inspection. “I have been told that Virginia is waiting for the time when more parts are available,” Mr. Keneipp said. Inspector Arthur E. Miller of the police traffic division said a recent survey made here showed 25 per cent of all Maryland cars and 7.5 per cent of Virginia cars operating in the District to be defective. Of 20,000 cars checked during the safety drive, 5,000 were found in faulty condition, Inspector Miller said. The records show that Mary land cars make up 22.2 per cent and Virginia cars 16.1 per cent of Dis trict traffic. year before the waf at the United States Capitol. In the meantime, a high-ranking police official said he understood Capt. Beach had made no effort to retain his post in Number 1, the city’s “hot spot” among precincts. MaJ. Callahan yesterday told a re porter he thought Capt. Beach would “be at home in the 6th pre cinct stationhouse because it is one of the most attractive in the city with its spacious lawn and clean building.” He mentioned, In this connection, that Capt. Beach was a “very un usual officer as far as his attire was concerned because he is always im maculately dressed and looks as though he has on a newly pressed uniform whenever he appease on ith# street." | Health Bureau Plans to Tighten Agency Controls / Private Institutions Law Revision Studied by Group By Harold B. Rogers District Health Department offi cials are drafting new and stronger regulations under the local hospital licensing law of 1908, it was learned last night, in order to extend the city's authority over such agencies as private nursing homes, rest homes and convalescent centers. Such licensing and inspection was strongly recommended in the recent Metropolitan health and hospital survey. Study of the problem had been under way at the Health De partment, however, for a long time, prior to the survey, a department spokesman said. Dr. George C. Ruhland, District health officer, who now is on vaca tion, was represented by an as sociate as feeling that the old law, which has penalty teeth in it, could be better implemented by revised regulations to meet modem condi tions. Dr. Oppenheimer Participating. Among officials understood to be making the study are: Dr. Ella Oppenheimer, director of the Bu reau of Maternal and Child Wel fare, and Col. William H. Carey, Jr., director of the Bureau of Sanitation. Tentative drafts of new regula tions already have been drawn, it was explained, and when approved by the health officer, will be submit ted to the District Commissioners for consideration and promulgation. Details of the pending new regula tions were not disclosed. Meanwhile, the newly-organized Hospital Council of the National Capital Area has tackled the sev eral problems presented by the re cent hospital survey and is develop ing a program of action to be laid before the entire council at its next meeting July 17 at Emergency Hos pital. One of the purposes of the council, as outlined in its by-laws, is to “improve standards” of hos pitals. One of the problems still under considerable discussion and con troversy as an outgrowth of the hos pital survey, is what to do with Health Security Administration, a private agency operating an admis sions bureau for hospitals. This or ganization was reported last night to be still gaining defenders in dis cussions throughout the city by those who may determine its fate. In the hospital survey HSA was one »f the most severely criticized of any agency in this area. Tighter Regulations Sought The hospital survey reoently rec ommend “broadening the law,” here on licensing. But in the meantime, with Congress Jammed with a nigh of legislation, It is believed by Health Department officials, and by others conversant with the law of 1908, that much can be accomplished by simply tightening the regulations under the legislation already in ef fect. »■ Hospitals here now are required to be licensed. Dr. Claude W. Munger of New York pointed out in his hos pital survey. The District Commis sioners are empowered to make de tailed rules and regulations, and the health department is expected to in spect the hospitals and enforce reg ulations. But, Dr. Munger added: “There is a distinct impression that, the health department goes little further than to concern itself with sanitation and the. department of public buildings with fire hazards. ' "Governmental concern with hos pital standards in the medical and physical care of the patients is not in evidence.” Many Institutions Excluded. The present District licensing law, Dr. Munger asserted, "does not in clude private nursing homes, private homes for the aged or independent clinics.” He recommended that the Metropolitan Health Council, which sponsored the recent survey with funds from the Community War Fund, "study this problem to the end of broadening the law, securing the formulation of careful sets of standards and work for the estab lishment of an inspection service which will enforce the whole plan.” The present District hospital law was said by health department offi cials to be strong enough to author ize additional action by officials here. This legislation, it was pointed out by experts familiar with it, has much the same objectives as the new model hospital licensing law now be ing developed by the American Hos pital Association. Four Fundamentals Cited. This District “private hospital and asylum act” embodies four funda mentals: t 1. It forbids the establishment or maintenance of any private hospital or asylum unless licensed by the Dis trict Commissioners. 2. It authorizes the Commission ers to promulgate such regulations as in their judgment public inter ests require to govern the establish ment and maintenance of private hospitals or asylums, and to regu late the issue, suspension, and revo cation of licenses for them. 3. *It requires the health officer to enforce the provisions of the act. 4. It authorizes a fine or impris onment, or both a fine and impris onment, for violating or aiding in violating any of the provisions of the act, or of the regulations pro mulgated by its authority. Some lawyers who recently have made a careful analysis of the hos pital law of 1908 believe there is ample authority for the District Commissioners to extend their li censing and inspection powers over private nursing homes and private homes for the aged. As a precedent they point to a decision by the Court of Appeals here? which defined specifically the meaning of the terms "hospital” and "asylum” as they are used in the 1908 Act. ^ Federal Employes' Union Sets Convention Date The American Federation of Gov ernment Employes (AFL) will hold its first convention since 1941 in St. Paul, Minn., starting September 16, it was announced today by Jamas B. Buna, president f UPROOTED TREE TRAPS TWO FAMILIES—Firemen from No. 2 Engine Co. attempt to remove a huge oak tree which fell against a duplex home at 1638 and 1640 Thirty-second street N.W., after being uprooted by yesterday’s storm, trapping the occupants for several hours. One of two automobiles under the tree was crushed while the other escaped damage. Flood waters In the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad underpass in Silver Spring almost covered : this car, one of two stalled in the underpass during the heavy rain. The occupants climbed to : the roofs of their cars and were rescued by Silver Spring volunteer firemen, who carried them I to safety._ __—Star Staff Photos. Belated Drives Listed Caught in Log Jam Belated drives for enactment of a number of major District meas ures, caught in the preadjournment log jam, are to be resumed this week. These include bills authorizing construction of twin spans over the Potomac to replace outworn High way Bridge, granting a pay boost to Washington school teachers, charting a 10-year *20,000,000 slum redevelopment program and au thorizing Federal aid in provision of a 1,500-bed hospital center here. The bridge bill, reported favorably by the House Interstate Commerce Committee, as recommended by its Chapman Subcommittee, is on the House calendar and efforts to bring it up for passage are to be made tomorrow or Tuesday. Prompt con sideration has been promised by Acting Chairman Hoey of the Sen ate District Committee as soon as the House acts. Teacners’ pay Talks Due. The teacher pay question is be fore the McCarran Subcommittee of the Senate District Committee. Other business yesterday prevented a conference with other committee men, but Senator McCarran, Demo crat of Nevada, author of one of the pending bills, said he would try again early this week. On this measure, the House is waiting for the Senate to act first. Action on the slum and hospital bills, both passed months ago by the Senate, has been deferred by the House District Committee to await the return to Washington of Representative McGehee, Democrat of Mississippi. The Mississippi pri maries will be staged Tuesday and Mr. McGehee is expected back here in time for the postponed District Committee meeting to be held Sat urday. Action Promised on July 6. When action was deferred nearly a month ago. the committee pro mised action would be taken on the July 6 meeting. A session of the full Senate Dis trict Committee is scheduled for some day this week by Senator Hoey. At that time action may be taken on the teacher pay bill if it is ready, and some other measures. The controversial child day care center bill is going to conference between the House and Senate. It has been passed by both houses, but the Senate specified that the centers be operated by the Board of Public Welfare, while extending the pro gram for but one year, whereas the House version of the bill makes them an integral part of the public schools system, on a permanent basis. Head Fight for Bill. At the request of Chairman Mc Millan of the House District Com mittee. the House managers on the bill will be himself. Representative Healy, Democrat, of California, au thor of the measure, and Repre sentative Beall, Republican, of Maryland. Other business permitting, Chair man McMillan will ask House ap proval tomorrow or Tuesday of bills authorizing appointment of three additional deputies to the District Register of Wills and authorizing District banks and building and loan associations to close all day on Saturdays. The latter bill was passed yesterday by the Senate. The measure was brought up by Senator McCurran and improved without a dissent. Ha said embank* Auto Salesmen Reverse Patter To Avoid Selling New Cars «.,r. By Chris MaHriseri Not selling automobiles is a big business. It is a business requiring tact and persuasive power in large measures. In fact, it calls for almost as much talent as selling automo biles. This negative form of salesman ship is being practiced daily in the showrooms of Washington dealers, although more than 250 brand new vehicles now are being delivered weekly. These deliveries include trucks, buses and taxicabs as well as private passenger cars. ,, Mitt rn vJOJT fcjts^EE hep r ' Not selling is easier without sam ples. Therefore, those dealers who have not received display models have had fewer headaches. Tech niques vary. Techniques in Vogue. Among those in vogue, a reporter, interested in buying a new car, found, are these: 1. The cards-on-the-table defense —“Now, there isn’t any sense in my putting you on the list. I don’t know when 111 be able to give you any encouragement. However, get in touch with me in a couple of months.” 2. The deadpan, or you-know what-you’re-doing, treatment— “We’ll put your name on the list. We'll need a deposit. Can't say when you'll hear from us.” 3. The get-along-without school— "Now's the time to sell your old car. The new ones are on the way, and prices are dropping on used cars. We’ll give you a handsome price and put you on the list for a new one.” Reminiscent of Old Days. The last is the only routine de livered with the old-fashioned sun burst smile and backslap. It stirs memories of the good old days in which hyper-thyroid types gravi tated to the auto-salesman calling. The practitioner concentrates on the desirability of going careless in fa vor of cash at this time ahd merely murmurs that “it wont be so long” until the shiny postwar model is ready for the prospect. He avoids extended conversation about de livery dates. Prospects without old cars to trade usually get line No. 1. The reporter did not encounter the truculent, "Whaddya want?" salesman of the cartoons. | Dispositions Frayed. Not selling is a frustrating work, and salesmen are trying desperately' to preserve their dispositions for the! day on which they again can seek business in the prewar no-holds barred fashion. Those in the busi ness for many years now are plagued by the "Remember me. Jack?” pleas of the "contacts” they took pains to preserve when cars were plentiful — when a salesman swore a new beauty was good for 10 years but was back to badger the' customer a year later. The reporter received No. 3, and no special promises, from the friend-1 ly fellow who sold him his present transportation in 1941. Meanwhile, automobiles are being! built and some are reaching Wash ingtonians. 3,300 Titles Issued. A check with the District De partment of Vehicles and Traffic revealed that more than 3,300 titles for new motor vehicles Were issued in the period from April 1, be --—- m i ginning of Ure department’s year, through last week. Last week’s is suances averaged about 55 a day. These figures cover all types of motor vehicles. The additions to the total of vehicles on the streets here are being trimmed slightly by loss of cars sent to the junk yard, but these are very few under present conditions. Soon the old wail of fretting drivers will be appropriate once more : “This Washington traffic is get ting worse every day!” and building and loan associations had indorsed the legislation and that business interests generally had not opposed It. Bankers sought the legislation largely because it would give their employes the benefit of the five day week most Government em ployes now enjoy. The banks are unable to close without legal au thorization, it was explained, and the present practice is a handicap in recruiting employes. Junior Police Making Progress in Drive Policeman Oliver Cowan! founder director of the Junior Police and Citizens’ Corps, said yesterday sat isfactory progress was being made in the building fund campaign of the antidelinquency organization. He emphasized that contributions by mall are being welcomed and should be addressed to, the fund at 790 Barry place N.wi \» ■ Navy Band to Give Concert At Coast Guard Pier Todayj The United States Navy Band,' under the direction of Warrant Offl- j cer Richard Townsend, will present a concert at 2:30 p.m. today aboard! the Maritime Service training ves-j sel American Mariner at the Coast Guard pier, Seventh street and Maine avenue S.W. Following the concert, which is open to the public, Comdr. Telfair Knight, commandant of the Mari time Service, will present a Mariner’s Medal- to Lt. John A. Maclnnes, 2817 Fifth street NB., in token of injuries he received aboard the Thomas Scott when the ship was torpedoed. A posthumous Meritor ious Service Medal will be presented to the widow of Capt. Cameron D. Simmons of Baltimore, Md. The American Mariner will be open for public inspection today, tomorrow and Wednesday from 24to S pan. Storm Smashes Tree Into Home, Trapping Six Autos Marooned, Basements Flooded During Heavy Rain A thunderstorm, accompanied by 32-mile-per-hour winds, yesterday blew down a 60-foot tree, trapping six persons in a Georgetown duplex house as it smashed the front door and completely blocked the front of the house. Two automobiles, parked in front of the home were also damaged by the falling tree. Over the District and in nearby areas damage was re ported as basements were flooded, trees and power lines blown down, roadways washed out and houses struck by lightning. In Silver Spring, drivers of two cars were marooned by high water in the Baltimore & Ohio underpass and climbed to the roofs of their automobiles before being rescued by Page Hopkins and Henry Dietle of the Silver Spring Volunteer Fire Department. District Men Rescued. The rescued men were Sam Elli son, 5518 Blair road N.E., and Peter Taulelle, 7129 Georgia avenue N.W. At the height of the storm, which began about 5 p.m., the tre crashed into the front of the duplex home at 1638 and 1640 Thirty-second street N.W. .Mrs. John A. O’Donoghue and her son, Roger O’Donoghue, were sit ting in the living room of their home at 1638 when a branch of the 2 Women Get Burns On Hand as Lightning Plays Through House Lightning "crackled all over the house” of Mrs. W. P. Bar rows, 3511 Legation street N.W:, during yesterday’s storm and "played" around the ring on her finger, causing a slight burn, Mrs. Barrows said last night. Also suffering a slight bum on her hand was Miss Ann Claire Donovan, who lives at the Barrows home. Mrs. Barrows said the light ning struck the chimney, dam aging it badly, then came through the roof into the home. tree smashed in the front door. Mrs. O’Donoghue said one of the living room chairs was thrown to the top of a table. A window on the sec ond floor also was smashed, sha said. In the other section of the duplex. Mr. and Mrs. James F. Leahigh and their two children, Ann, 6, and Jimmy. 21 months, were seated in their living room also. Only dam age done to their home was a broken front window in the livfhg room and a damaged chimney. Aato Top Crushed. An automobile belonging to Mrs. O’Donoghue, who is Mrs. Lealiigh'a mother, was hit by the falling tree, and the whole rear end and too were crushed. Mr. Leahigh's car. also covered by the tree, suffered some scratches. The two families said they could not get out of their homes as there was no back entrance to their yard. After several hours. Mr. Leahigh said he tore down a section of the eight-foot back fence and went through a neighbor's house to get to the street. Mr. O’Donoghue said he did not consider they were trapped because "it was raining and I didn't want to go out anyway.” Firemen began working to clear the damage immediately as the tree had fallen from the opposite side walk, completely blocking the street. Some Districts Escape. The thundershower, the Weather Bureau said, was spotted over the District and nearby areas, with soma sections reporting little or no rain. At the Airport station of the Weath er Bureau only .07 in. of rain was recorded, while in Brookmont, Md., 1.7 inches fell, a large amount for the time involved, Weather Bu reau officials said. The temperature fell from 86 de grees at 4:30 pm. to 71 degrees at 6 p.m. Today will be warm and humid with partly cloudy skies, the Weather Bureau forecast. The tem perature is expected to rise to 90 in the afternoon, with brief showers possible. Tomorrow will be con tinued warm, humid and partly cloudy, Weather Bureau officials said. The District Fire Department re ported 25 calls to pump out flooded basements from yesterday's storm. The Potomac Electric Power Co. said they had more than 200 com plaints of a minor nature. Police said a streetcar ran off the tracks at Fiftieth and Deane avenue N.E. due to water and gravel wash ing over the tracks, but no one wag injured. Police Radio Disabled. The police radio systems in Up per Marlboro, Prince Georges County, and Rockville, Montgomery County, went out of commission shortly after the rainstorm started. Montgomery County police were forced to route all calls through the Silver Spring Volunteer Fire De partment's radio hookup. Lightning struck the home of C. F. Needleship, 1212 Woodside park way, Silver Spring, causing a fire in the attic. Damage was estimated at $25. No one was injured. Several motorists were reported stranded in the Bethesda area when the heavy rain shorted the electric systems of their cars. Many base ments were flooded and a Bethesda Fire Department engine, responding to one call, was forced to stop for about five minutes when it hit a pool of water on Bradley boulevard near Leland street. Electricity was shut off for short periods in Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties when wires were blown down. Scores of trees in the two nearby areas were uprooted. In Prince Georges County, wash outs were reported on Defense high way, Landover road, Qu-cnsbury road, University lane, Central ave nue and Edmonston road when water undermined sections of the roads and caused them to collapse. The area around the j Peace Cross In Bladensburg was fli*jded.