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Maryland Historical Society

This tag is associated with 68 posts

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, [...]

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] [...]

The (M)ad Men and Women of Hutzler’s

On any given day throughout the 1940s and ’50s, shoppers gathered around the Hutzler Brothers Company’s magical window displays on Howard Street. Costumers gawked at pristinely pressed panaches or furbelowed fashions framed by hand-written advertisements. The window displays became a part of the Hutzler experience. From ads in The Baltimore Sun, to the Art Deco [...]

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. [...]

Maryland on a Half Shell

The waters of the Chesapeake Bay have long sustained life in Maryland, providing both industry and food. Cities and towns sprung up along the banks of its tributaries and quick access to the Atlantic Ocean allowed international trade to flourish and spurred the growth of Baltimore and Annapolis. Seafood was a staple in every Marylander’s [...]

Ponzi’s Plea

My house of cards had collapsed! The bubble had busted! I had lost! Lost everything! Millions of dollars. Credit. Happiness. And even my liberty! Everything, except my courage. I needed that to take my medicine like a man. To meet the future. Unquestionably, I was licked. For the time being. But no man is ever [...]

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 [...]

The Great Fight

Although it’s rare, a sporting event can sometimes transcend its role as pure competition and entertainment. Boxing in particular seems especially suited to seeing its participants elevated to more than mere sportsmen. Rather than just two men trying to knock each other unconscious, the combatants become symbolic representatives of larger social, cultural, or political forces. [...]

A Magical History Tour of Maryland

Almost one hundred years ago, the world famous magician Harry Houdini dazzled a crowd of 50,000 with one of his signature death-defying escape acts. On April 26, 1916, Houdini freed himself from a straitjacket as he dangled upside down, sixty feet above the sidewalk from a cornice of The Sun building in Baltimore. City police [...]