mdhslibrarydept

mdhslibrarydept has written 73 posts for underbelly

“The World’s Largest Outdoor Insane Asylum:” Memorial Stadium, Part II

(This is the second part of a two part series. The first part was posted on December 11, 2014.) Oriole Park’s fiery end in 1944 provided a much needed revenue source for Baltimore’s Venable Stadium. The project had become an expensive city-wide joke. The stadium had become known as the city’s “White Elephant.” Venable failed [...]

Unearthing the Calverts: The Search for the State’s Seminal Documents

The story of how the Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) acquired the papers of the state’s founding family is not well known. In fact it isn’t even a singular story. Simply preparing this piece about the collection unearthed a tale that highlights shaky provenance, the concept of authenticity in an archive, and the importance of institutional [...]

“The World’s Largest Outdoor Insane Asylum:” Memorial Stadium, Part I

(This is the first part of a two part series. The second part will be posted in January, 2015.) Baltimore has been lucky enough to host two storied professional football teams: the-team-that-must-not-be-named, ahem, the Colts and the two-time Super Bowl Champions Baltimore Ravens. Not to mention the fantastic local college and high school teams. Marylanders [...]

43rd Annual Monument Lighting and MdHS Open House

Like so much of the City of Baltimore, the annual monument lighting bears the stamp of Mayor William Donald Schaefer. Schaefer, mayor from 1971 to 1987, got the inspiration for the idea following a trip to Indianapolis in 1972, when the beauty of the city’s monuments and statues aglow in holiday lights left him in [...]

Halcyon Days: Lauraville in the 1930s

Recent Saturday morning trips with my mother to Lauraville once again prompted interest in our family’s deep roots in the neighborhood and the lure of the area today. Library staff receives frequent calls and research requests on the subject and claim it is one of the city’s most popular communities. We grew up listening to [...]

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 [...]