From the Lowell Sun, June 19, 1956
"Which comes first, the chicken or the jet? News out of Bedford indicates that the Air Force is becoming disturbed over the high mortality among chickens which drop dead from fright when jets take off from Hanscom airfield."
Chicken farming has a long history in Bedford. In addition to chicken farmers selling chicks and eggs, many residents kept chickens in Bedford backyards. There are many photos of chickens in the Bedford Society archives, including the one you see above from the Blinn family. Although we don’t have much evidence in our archives to prove that chickens were dying of fright, the Hanscom Air Force base website does state that “the airfield's runways were reconfigured and expanded in 1953.” Perhaps this new configuration resulted in increased noise that affected nearby farms, leading to this 1956 Lowell Sun editorial article.
Kathleen Fahey, Executive Director
Photo from the Bedford Historical Society archives: “Auntie Blinn and her white Wyandotts.”
Thank you to volunteer Brian Oulighan for locating this entertaining article. To read the full text of the article, click on the box below.