It was the year the Maryland legislature voted to save the Chesapeake Bay for posterity, and the year nobody, not even activist Mayor William Donald Schaefer, could save the Colts football team for Baltimore. It was the year that TRIM_the voter-mandated limit on property tax collections_got trimmed by Prince George's voters, and the year that rural Damascus voted to stay dry

1984 was also the year of presidential politicking that brought the bigwigs to the state. It was an off-year in Maryland politics, but some were off and running for statewide office in 1986. Attorney General Stephen Sachs said he wanted to make a difference -- as governor. House of Delegates Speaker Benjamin Cardin (D-Baltimore) was also in the pre-race race.

But not everyone was campaigning for higher political office. In Montgomery County, Charles W. Gilchrist, the Democratic county executive, announced his early retirement from politics to enter the Episcopal priesthood.

The year also marked the passing, at age 91, of a major Maryland figure. He was Col. E. Brooke Lee Sr., scion of a historic family, real estate developer, gentleman farmer, for four decades the dominant figure on the Montgomery political landscape.

"Maryland, My Maryland," the state song, survived an onslaught by historical revisionists and others objecting to its fiercely secessionist Confederate sentiments. New lyrics written by a Baltimore County schoolteacher did not pass in the General Assembly.

The Capital Beltway, which shaped development around the nation's capital, was 20 years old in 1984. Developers turned their eyes to land astride other superhighways, with the approval of the Gaithersburg master plan near I-270 and the amber light given to Konterra, a minicity proposed for the I-95 corridor between Baltimore and Washington.