Events and Exhibits

Maryland on Film II: Free Fall/Bird Flu edition

Choo! We think our birds have the flu. Neither the O’s nor the Ravens can catch a break lately, so why not spend Saturday watching free movies, eating free popcorn, perusing a massive book sale, and pretending sports don’t exist?

Here’s a small but timely sample of what you can expect:

In 2013, the National Film Preservation Foundation awarded the Maryland Historical Society a grant to preserve our film, “Ocean City Hurricane, 1933,” which captured the incredible destruction of the Maryland vacation hot spot. S. Watts Smyth of St. Louis, Missouri captured this harrowing footage of the 1933 hurricane while on vacation with his family. The Smyths had driven fifteen hours—as they did every summer—in their brand new Cadillac LaSalle to visit the beach for their annual vacation only to be caught in one of the worst weather events in Maryland history.

Ocean City flood, 1933. 4x5 inch glass negative by A. Aubrey Bodine. Reference image MC8230-E, MdHS.

Ocean City flood, 1933. 4×5 inch glass negative by A. Aubrey Bodine. Reference image MC8230-E, MdHS.

On August 22, after four days of saturating rain, the hurricane made landfall. Heavy winds picked up and battered the boardwalk, pummeled the city with large waves, and destroyed the town’s railroad bridge and fishing camps. The storm’s greatest and most lasting impact was a 50-foot wide, 8-foot deep inlet that was carved through the barrier island by a continuous four-day ebb tide, flowing from the bay out to the ocean. Three entire streets were submerged at the south end of the town.

In the end, the destruction proved a boon for the town. The inlet made Ocean City the state’s only Atlantic port. The resulting commercial and sport fishing boom greatly shaped the character of the Ocean City we know today, as vacationers flocked to the seaside town in large numbers to crab and fish, and dozens of hotels and restaurants sprang up to meet their needs.

Colorlab, in Rockville, Maryland, cleaned, duplicated, rehoused, and digitized the film to ensure that this fantastic footage will be available to future generations. The NFPF grant also required a public showing of the amazing film, which inspired “Maryland on Film II.” The MdHS Library will also showcase the following films and videos from our A/V collection on October 3, 2015:

“Beatles 1964″ – A man sneaks a small movie camera into the Baltimore Civic Center. Fifty years later a video editor reimagines the experience.
“Snookered + Behind the Scenes at Hutzler’s” (1938+2009) – A Dan Deacon song is paired with a historic industrial film.
“Blueprint for Tomorrow” (c.1996) – If you enjoyed HBO’s Show Me a Hero, you don’t want to miss this BCLM-produced gem.
“Mining the Museum Lobby Tape” (1991) – Revisiting Fred Wilson introducing his amazing 1992 exhibition.
“Mayor Kurt Schmoke Flu PSA” (1998) – Baltimore! Listen to Kurt Schmoke!
“The Last TV Commercials” (1985) The last TV spots for the dearly departed News American.

The approximately hour-long program will screen at the top of each hour,  starting at 10am. The last screening starts at 4pm.

There’s also a massive USED BOOK SALE featuring 6,000 titles along with reproductions of photographs, maps and prints from MdHS’s collection this weekend so plan to spend some time.

Ocean City flood, 1933. 4x5 inch glass negative by A. Aubrey Bodine. Reference image MC8230-D, MdHS.

Ocean City flood, 1933. 4×5 inch glass negative by A. Aubrey Bodine. Reference image MC8230-D, MdHS.

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