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mdhslibrarydept has written 118 posts for underbelly

Visions of Baltimore Pride, 2000

This week, the GLBT Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland is celebrating the 41st year of Pride events in the city. What began as a modest rally at the Charles Center plaza in 1975 has grown over the years into block parties, a massive parade in Mount Vernon, a festival in Druid Hill Park, [...]

Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc.: Maryland’s Fair Housing Pioneer

Baltimore was a deeply troubled city after World War II. Greedy real estate agents created fear and panic among white homeowners by persuading them that their houses were about to lose their value, and that they would be ruined financially.  White families evacuated their urban neighborhoods, to be replaced by black residents. Blockbusting and racial [...]

Port Covington: Baltimore’s Junction with the World

Port Covington long served South Baltimore as an industrial hub of the city. Sharing a peninsula with Locust Point and Fort McHenry, the port was for many years the Western Maryland Railway’s “junction with the world.” It is most remembered as a bustling port, filled with ships and trains ready to send freight across the [...]

Baltimore Sanitary Fair Sesquicentennial

The 1864 Baltimore Sanitary Fair (April 18-April 30) provided the large-scale vehicle for Maryland’s Unionist women to bring together both of their benevolent and patriotic impulses. Other cities across the Union, such as Chicago and Boston, previously coordinated such events. Proceeds from these affairs swelled the coffers of the U.S. Christian and the U.S. Sanitary [...]

History Engaging Youth: Studying Civil Rights History in Maryland

As communities across Maryland and the rest of the country continue to grapple with significant divisions and persistent inequality, people of all walks of life struggle to make sense of the current landscape. How did we get to this point, and what can we do to make positive change? As educators in a museum setting, [...]

“Unwearied in Their Attentions”: Secessionist Women and the 1866 Southern Relief Fair

The Civil War deeply divided Baltimoreans along philosophical and sectional lines. The Secessionist women of Baltimore, those whose sympathies lay with the South, were often singled out for their devotion to the Confederacy. They supported their husbands and brothers in gray throughout the war, often risking arrest, imprisonment, or banishment. During the post-war era, the [...]

The Mastodon in the Museum

The great hall of the Maryland Historical Society is graced with the presence of a mastodon—a replica of a large creature related to the elephant that inhabited North America 10,000 years ago. It is a re-creation of the one assembled by famed artist, scientist, and inventor Charles Willson Peale. By 1786, the Maryland native adopted [...]

Lost City: Baltimore’s Grand Theatres

What happened to the movie business in Baltimore? Between 1900 and 1970 about 235 movie theatres in Baltimore opened and closed. The technological advances that created this once popular form of entertainment also contributed to its demise, as television and later the internet allowed viewers to stay at home to watch a wide variety of program [...]

Lubov Breit Keefer – Baltimore’s Grande Dame of the Symphony

Lubov Breit Keefer – musician, scholar, teacher, arts activist – was born in 1896 in the industrial city of Nikolaev in southern Ukraine. In the 1910s, her father Alfred Breit came to the United States to teach mathematics at Johns Hopkins University, leaving Lubov, her mother and two brothers, Leo and Gregory, in Russia. Following [...]

“We only aspire to save” – The Nursery and Child’s Hospital of Baltimore

The Protestant Infant Asylum of Baltimore City was founded in 1875 to provide refuge for orphaned and abandoned babies. It was one of several similar privately funded charitable institutions which helped give shelter, medical attention, and eventually permanent homes to the city’s less fortunate children. These agencies were often set up by concerned citizens, primarily [...]

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