mdhslibrarydept

mdhslibrarydept has written 68 posts for underbelly

A Pictorial Tour of the Washington Monument (under renovation)

Underbelly staffers Eben Dennis and Joe Tropea were recently invited by Lance Humphries, chairman of the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy Restoration Committee, to tour the Washington Monument as work on the restoration project was winding down. Along with the many historical facts they learned, amazing views they took in, and vertigo they experienced, Dennis and Tropea came [...]

The Burning of the Peggy Stewart

This Sunday, October 19, marks the 240th anniversary of the burning of the brig “Peggy Stewart,” or as the event came to be known, the Annapolis Tea Party.  It was a relatively minor event during the American Revolution. But, it was one that demonstrated the incendiary climate of Maryland and divided loyalties of the colonists [...]

Lost City: The Burning of Oriole Park

On the evening of July 3, 1944, the International League Baltimore Orioles squared off against the Syracuse Chiefs at Oriole Park on 29th Street and Greenmount Avenue. The Orioles entered the game with a slim first place lead over the Montreal Royals, while the Chiefs were fighting to stay out of last place. Nonetheless, the [...]

Then and Now: the Mayfair Theatre on Fire

When we heard there was a two-alarm fire at the old Mayfair Theatre on the 500 block of North Howard Street last week, many MdHS staffers rushed outside and around the corner to see for ourselves. The once proud building is one of our favorite neighbors and we were all concerned. Most of us instinctually [...]

“Are We Satisfied?”: The Baltimore Plan for School Desegregation

(This is the second part of a two part series – The first part of the story was posted on May 15, 2014 and can be read here.) Baltimoreans, perhaps more than the residents of any other major American city, were poised to meet the challenge of school desegregation. The city’s public school system had already grappled [...]

Beatlemania in Baltimore

As Baltimore celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner and the successful defense of Fort McHenry from invading British forces, there’s another British invasion worth remembering. It occurred fifty years ago and was of an entirely different sort. On September 13, 1964, The Beatles invaded Baltimore for a one-day stop during their first American tour. John, Paul, George, [...]

Head Cases: The Baltimore Phrenological Society

On February 17, 1827 an assemblage of distinguished minds from Baltimore’s medical community gathered at the home of Dr. Richard Sprigg Steuart for the inaugural meeting of a new scientific and medical organization. Among those present were Dr. William Donaldson, Sprigg’s medical partner; Dr. H.H. Hayden, dentist and future founder of Baltimore College of Dental Surgery; [...]

Baltimore and the Age of the Bicycle

The city of Baltimore grew up in the Age of the Bicycle. The introduction of the first precursor to the bicycle, the Draisine or hobby-horse of 1818, corresponds with Baltimore’s triumphant entry onto the national stage in the War of 1812. Baltimore, a mere village during the Revolutionary War, blossomed into America’s third greatest economic [...]

Up, up and away: Maryland’s First Birdmen

When the news broke of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s monumental flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903, it sparked the imaginations of inventors and daredevils across the country and kicked off one of the most important technological revolutions in recent history. Man had reached the skies before in hot air balloons, gliders, and dirigibles, [...]

Capturing the Movement: Before and After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in Photographs

Fifty years ago this week the Civil Rights Act of 1964 voided all discriminatory laws (de jure segregation) in the public arena. It went a step further than each of its predecessors of 1866, 1871, 1875, 1957 and 1960 by outlawing racial segregation in schools, the workplace, and other public spaces. Considered the most important act in its lineage, [...]