Politics

This category contains 16 posts

Judge Simon Sobeloff – Moderate to the Extreme

In his home town of Baltimore Judge Simon Sobeloff (1894-1973) was known as a man of principle and conscience. Though a Republican himself, he had strong relationships with party members on each side of the aisle, including mayors Theodore McKeldin(R) and Thomas D’Alesandro Jr(D). As his grandson Michael S. Mayer put it, “[he believed that] [...]

Propaganda in the Free State: MdHS’s Collection of Poster Art

Before the advent of the internet, one of the simplest and most effective ways of getting the word out to people about a local festival, a concert, or a political message was by slapping a poster on a wall, storefront window, or telephone pole. Just recently, library staff completed an inventory of the over 1,300 [...]

A Thorny Path: School Desegregation in Baltimore

May 17, 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling on Brown vs. Board of Education. Activism in Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland had been building toward a case for integrated public education for many years prior to the decision. Maryland has almost always occupied an ambivalent position on racial matters. [...]

Leaving no Stones Unturned: Charles Carroll of Carrollton’s Declarations of Independence

Yes, declarations is plural in the title of this week’s post. The story that follows is another fun example of how we learn more about our collections, the expected and the unexpected. The subject of this puzzle first hit our “to do” list several months ago when identifying library treasures to rotate into MdHS’s “Inventing [...]

“Home-made wines made of dandelions”: Prohibition in Maryland

This Saturday night, the Young Defenders of the Maryland Historical Society will be hosting its second annual Bootlegger’s Bash party at the 1840s Plaza at 29 S. Front Street, the site of the old Peale Museum. In anticipation of this popular fundraiser we have decided to share a selection of photographs, documents, and ephemera of [...]

“President Kennedy is Dead”

Walter Cronkite, respected CBS News anchor, delivered this report fifty years ago this week, on November 22, 1963. A shocked and saddened nation gathered in front of their televisions, following the extensive coverage from Dallas, Texas and later from Washington D.C., mourning the loss of the handsome and charismatic John Fitzgerald Kennedy, youngest elected president [...]

“Only the Instrument of the Law”: Baltimore’s Whipping Post

On a cold March day, three blue-clad guards strapped Baltimore printer Clyde Miller to a cross-shaped wooden post in the Baltimore City Jail, arms outstretched and naked to the waist. As 50 witnesses looked on, Miller was brutally flogged 20 times with a cat o’ nine tails—a whip with multiple knotted thongs—at a rate of [...]

“As for me, I like him”: H.L. Mencken, Judge Morris Soper, and the Vice Squad

A recent find in the Morris Soper Papers brings to light a fascinating series of correspondence between Judge Morris A. Soper and famed Baltimore journalist Henry Louis Mencken (who was featured in last week’s birthday post). This correspondence between the two men gives unique insight into their personalities,  reveals their professionalism and ethics, and hints [...]

Happy Birthday, Henry – A Mencken Mystery

(Editor’s note, 10/21/2013 – Thanks to the kind assistance of one of the best sources on all things Mencken, Mr. Vincent Fitzpatrick, Curator of the Mencken Room at the Enoch Pratt Library, the mystery of the Mencken photographs has been solved. (Captions for the photographs reflect the updates.) According to Mr. Fitzpatrick, the photograph of [...]

“Is He White or Colored?”: Chinese in Baltimore City Public Schools

The story of race in Baltimore has traditionally been presented as a black and white issue. Particularly in discussions about the Civil Rights Era, the focus has been on the interaction between these two racial groups, with Jewish residents representing an ethnic middle ground between them. In researching this pivotal time period in the city’s [...]