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Politics

This category contains 13 posts

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 [...]

Big Stories in Small Pieces of History: President Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment Trial (March 13-May 26, 1868)

On Monday, May 13, the FBI and NARA returned twenty-one of the documents stolen from the Maryland Historical Society Library on June 15, 2011.* Among the invitations and announcements were several pieces of political ephemera, including tickets to President Andrew Johnson’s congressional impeachment trial in the spring of 1868. Johnson (1808–1875), seventeenth president of the [...]

The Quasi-War (1798-1801): Diplomatic Treasures from a Long Forgotten Dispute

MdHS cataloger Kristi Thomas recently pulled together all of the institution’s holdings on the French Spoliation Claims, a little-known group of pamphlets and documents on a long-forgotten episode during which thousands of citizens sought compensation from the federal government for ships and cargoes captured and destroyed during the Quasi-War with France, 1797–1801. This international drama offers [...]

“To die is gain”: Memory and the U.S.-Mexican War in Maryland

On an auspicious afternoon in late September 1903, a crowd of Baltimoreans converged onto the intersection of Mount Royal Avenue and Lanvale Street to witness the symbolic-laced unveiling of the William H. Watson monument. The monument, erected by the Maryland Association of Veterans of the Mexican War, honored Marylanders who lost their lives during the U.S.-Mexican [...]