Royal Remembrances

In conjunction with the University Archives’ current exhibit in McKeldin Library, “Royal Remembrances: Celebrating Maryland’s Queen for a Day,” the Archives will be hosting a special event, “Memories of the Queen’s Game,” on October 3 from 1 to 3:30 PM in the Special Events Room in McKeldin.   The event is open to the entire campus community and will feature recollections from President Elkins’ daughters Carole and Margaret, who sat in the royal box in Byrd Stadium, and two members of the 1957 Terrapin football team, LeRoy Dietrich and Gene Verardi, who played in front of the Queen.  The event begins with a light lunch/tea at 1 PM and concludes with a showing of the hour-long, 2007 documentary, “Maryland’s Queen for a Day,” created by UMD alumnus Mike Springirth to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this landmark game.We hope you will be able to join the UMD Archives staff for this very special afternoon.

To whet your appetite, here are a few details about the big day!

Queen Elizabeth II and Dr. Elkins at football game
Queen Elizabeth II with Dr. Elkins at a UMD football game.


On October 19, 1957, just four years after her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II visited the University of Maryland. The Queen was on a tour of Canada and the United States, and wanted to see a “typical American sport.” Our campus was selected as a spot to watch an American college football game, and so Queen Elizabeth and her consort Prince Phillip made their way to Byrd Stadium.

Program for the Queen's Game
Queen’s Game program cover.

The 1958 Terrapin yearbook staff wrote about the day:

A ‘Royal’ atmosphere produced a royal game today as the spirited Terps struck for three second half touchdowns to defeat Jim Tatum and the favored North Carolina Tar Heels 21-7. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, were among the 45,000 fans who packed Byrd Stadium to see the Terps score an upset.”

See photographs and more memories here, here, and here in the yearbook.

Queen Elizabeth's ticket
Ticket stub from the Queen’s Game.

Thanks to our football digitization project, you can watch the football game, which includes footage of the Queen and Prince Phillip. Watch the first half and the second half.

See a Universal Newsreel report about the event here.

If you miss the October 3 event, you can check out Mike Springirth’s full documentary, “Maryland’s Queen for a Day”, from the library here.

The “Royal Remembrances” exhibit will be on display on the first and second floors of McKeldin Library through the end of the fall 2014 semester.

Queen Elizabeth with the Terps football captains
Gene Alderton (#51) and Jack Healy (#23), co-captains of the University of Maryland football team, standing with Queen Elizabeth and Governor Theodore McKeldin, October 19, 1957. The Tar Heel captains are to the left in white.


There are certain smells…

There are certain smells in life that are instantly recognizable.  For librarians, archivists, and all lovers of books, there’s nothing like the aroma of a new book hot off the press or the treasure trove of a used bookstore.  Ever wondered about the origin of those special smells?  Now there’s a clear and clever answer to these musings. Blogger Andy Brunning, a chemistry teacher in the United Kingdom, has explained the chemical mysteries behind such things as red wine, chocolate, Kevlar, fireworks, and even the aroma of bacon. Now he tackles the special smells of old and new books in a new post on his blog “Compound Interest”

Bet your Kindle can’t do that!  Enjoy!

"Aroma of Books" from the "Compound Interest" blog

“Aroma of Books” from the “Compound Interest” blog

A Young Terrapin Chases the Golden Bear

On  October 16,  1971, legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus took to the University of Maryland golf course to compete in an exhibition along with fellow golfers Lee Elder, Deane Beman, and Rick Bendall. The contest paired Nicklaus with Maryland’s team captain, Bendall, against former Maryland All-American Beman and PGA pro Elder. Elder became the first African-American to compete in the Masters tournament in 1975, and his teammate Beman went on to become the PGA Tour’s second commissioner. Of the four, it was Nicklaus’s first time playing the par-71 course in College Park.

The event, which raised money for the M Club athlete scholarship fund, started off with some complications after Nicklaus swung so hard on his first tee shot that he split his pants below the zipper. After a short 20-minute break and a borrowed pair of pants later, the match swiftly resumed. Following a dominating performance by Nicklaus on the front nine, it was Bendall who carried the weight for the pair on the back nine of the better-ball match. With a three-under-par score of 68, Nicklaus finished the day with the best score, followed by Bendall and Elder who shot 69 and Beman who shot 72. Bendall later commented, “That man (Nicklaus) plays a different course than the rest of us. He’s amazing.”

Despite playing among professionals, including the number-one golfer on the PGA tour, it was the young Maryland captain, Bendall,who had the eye-catching performance of the exhibition. In front of a crowd of about 2,500, Bendall proved that he had what it took to play with golf’s best. Bendall, the NCAA’s reigning driving champion at the time, would go on to finish 8th in the 1971 U.S. Amateurs, earning a spot in the 1972 Masters field. Yet Bendall knew he didn’t have enough skill to be a full-time pro and chose to go to medical school. He eventually became a family physician in Virginia.

Mad About Majorettes

In 1938, the University of Maryland Student Band unveiled its coed drum majorettes for the first time.  This was another big first for the band, with women instrumentalists having joined in 1936.  Making their debut on the field prior to a football game against Western Maryland in October 1938, the ladies quickly found themselves at the center of controversy.

Drum Majorettes, 1951

Drum Majorettes, 1951

The Washington Times fanned the flames by mentioning the majorettes in several articles, according to Musical Ambassadors of Maryland: A Centennial Celebration, a 2009 book about the marching band’s history.  The Times focused on the ladies’ physical appearance, including their heights and weights, and commented archly that their first appearance “startled several thousand spectators last Saturday when they appeared at the head of the band…in resplendent uniforms consisting of brass-buttoned jackets, plumed hats, and black boots, but very little else.”

The press was not the only entity questioning the propriety of the majorettes and their outfits, with Dean of Women Adele Stamp actively involved in a hurried re-working of the majorettes’ uniforms.  Miss Stamp did not believe that majorettes should exist, and for a time she seems to have gotten her way.  The following year, 1939-1940, the only women in the band were instrumentalists.

Yet the issue would not die, as a October 1945 letter from Adele Stamp to UMD President Curley Byrd makes clear.  Stamp writes: “The question of drum majorettes has also come up again.  Can we not settle this once and for all?…You will recall the furore (sic) that was created the time they appeared at the Western Maryland game…I am opposed to drum majorettes.  I think they have no part in a college program and I know of no well-known or reputable state university that has them.  They savor too much of the Atlantic City parades and the bathing beauty contests.”

Drum Majorette Jean Weaver and Drum Major Mike Board, 1961.

Drum Majorette Jean Weaver and Drum Major Mike Board, 1961.

Whether the ladies’ roles as majorettes simply offended Stamp’s sensibilities, or whether she was concerned about their being exploited (or some combination thereof) we’ll probably never know.  But the majorettes did re-appear, and by the early 1950s they were around to stay.  Happily, they are no longer referred to as drum majorettes, but drum majors like their male counterparts, with the focus is solely on their leadership, and not on their outfits.

Memorabilia featured in TERP magazine

The most recent issue of TERP magazine includes not only the regular “Ask Anne” column of university history mysteries but also a special feature on some of the most interesting, unusual, and unexpected artifacts from Maryland’s history.  The feature, “Pieces of UMD,” highlights several objects, including former Dean of Men Geary Eppley’s football jersey, the cornerstone box from the cadet Barracks, destroyed in the 1912 fire, and the original Testudo.  Additional artifacts, such as a bottle of Curley Byrd whiskey and a gas mask carried by a student during the Vietnam War protests of the 1970s appear in the online version of the article.  Visit to see the whole array.

Gas Mask and Tear Gas Canister, c. 1970s.

Gas Mask and Tear Gas Canister, c. 1970s.

Maryland Food Co-op in the Smithsonian

Have you been to the Smithsonian Museum of American History recently? Did you notice that there were items from the University of Maryland Food Co-op on display?

In 2012, the Smithsonian opened a new exhibit, Food: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000, which explores the major changes in food in the United States since the middle of the 20th century. The exhibit contains the kitchen of famous chef Julia Child, as well as a variety of artifacts from the fast food industry to farmer’s markets.

Part of the exhibit is called Voting With Your Fork and is about alternative food production and distribution systems that Americans have used as political tools. Examples in the exhibit include the famous grape boycotts of the 1970s and images of the Black Panther Party’s Free Breakfast Program. Also included in this exhibit are two posters dating from 1986 and 1999 from the University of Maryland’s Food Co-op, known as the Maryland Food Collective. Both posters have images of fists punching through sandwiches and the slogan “Food for People, Not for Profit.”

This Co-op poster was designed by artist Artly Gnarly. Courtesy of Smithsonian Museum of American History.

This 1999 Co-op poster was designed by artist Artly Gnarly. Courtesy of Smithsonian Museum of American History.

Still in operation today, the Co-op was founded in 1975 and remains a worker’s collective operation where all workers and volunteers have equal voices. Located in Stamp Student Union, the Co-op sells sandwiches, produce, and other healthy foods.

To see the Smithsonian’s webpage on the exhibit and images of the two Maryland Food Collective posters, click here:

The University of Maryland Archives also has a sizable collection of documents, photographs, and artifacts from the Co-op and recently received more materials from the Co-op to add to this collection. To see the finding aid for records of the Maryland Food Collective, click here:

Maryland’s Incredible “Fish”

Today marks the 30th anniversary of an amazing swim by a University of Maryland alumna, Stacy Chanin. Chanin, a UMD senior at the time, swam three laps around the island of Manhattan in 33 hours 33 minutes, fighting strong currents, floating debris, and cold water temperatures.  She never left the water throughout her swim, eating small meals of banana and honey sandwiches, pasta, hot chocolate, granola bars, and lots of water every 45 minutes.

The Associated Press reported that Chanin treaded water for four hours between laps, waiting for the tide to change. During that time, “she ate, drank, listened to ‘mellow rock music,’ and talked to friends.

Chanin’s remarkable record stood until August 2007, when Skip Storch completed the torturous swim in 32 hours, 52 minutes, and 30 seconds.

Stacy Chanin as a UMD student

Stacy Chanin as a UMD student




Journalism history

David Ottalini, Senior Media Relations Associate for the College of Journalism, has created a great new resource for the history of the college, a timeline on dipity called “Philip Merrill College of Journalism.” Check it out at

Coll of Journalism history timeline


Still looking!!

We’re still looking for a new boss!!  The deadline for applications for the position of Director of Special Collections and University Archives at the UMD Libraries has been extended to July 10.

The job announcement, including details about the application procedure, is available at The full position description is located on the UMD Libraries’ website at:


Pyon Su, America’s First Korean College Student

Pyon Su, 1891

Pyon Su, 1891

This June marks the 123rd anniversary of the graduation of Maryland Agricultural College cadet Pyon Su. Pyon Su was the first Korean student to receive a degree from any American college or university and is a highly venerated figure in his native land. The University of Maryland is proud to claim him as one of our most notable alumni, and the Pyon Su Room in The Stamp is named in his honor.

Pyon Su was born in Korea in 1862 and became involved in national politics at an early age when he passed a very difficult exam to become a high-level government officer in Korea. Through his political connections, Pyon Su was chosen as one of the diplomats charged with establishing the first Korean Embassy in 1883. As a result, Pyon Su was one of the first Koreans to travel around the world, even meeting U.S. President Chester Arthur in New York on one occasion.

A short time after his return to Korea, Pyon Su and his closest friends became actively involved in the political turmoil sweeping his homeland. Pyon Su’s actions as an extreme reformist in this conflict led officials to label him a traitor and an enemy of the Korean government. Facing the penalty of death, Pyon Su and his friends were forced to flee their beloved Korea using money stolen from Hong Kong. Pyon Su’s family was not as lucky, and many of them are believed to have been sentenced to death for his crimes.

After a short time in Japan, Pyon Su’s group landed in San Francisco and traveled to the Washington, D.C. area. It was here that Pyon Su decided to pursue his studies in agriculture. He attended the Maryland Agricultural College (MAC) and was determined to work extremely hard to obtain his bachelor of science degree. Pyon Su met several new friends in America who supported him and even treated him as family. With this encouragement, Pyon Su thrived in his studies and earned his degree in June 1891. He also landed a part-time job with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and published a report on the agriculture of Japan.

Calvert's Store and train station, College Park, Maryland, c.1900

Calvert’s Store and train station, College Park, Maryland, c.1900

Tragedy struck just four months later. Pyon Su was reported to be traveling home from his alma mater on October 22, 1891, when he was struck by a train at College Station (the railroad crossing in College Park) and killed. It is unclear whether his death was an accident, but some sources suggest that Pyon Su may have ended his own life in despair over his exile from his homeland. This is a heart-breaking ending to a story of a man who fought for everything he desired and who set an outstanding example for Korean students in America. Pyon Su is buried in a cemetery in nearby Beltsville, MD.

Pyon Su's original gravestone

Pyon Su’s original gravestone. Photo courtesy of Dave Ottalini.

Richard Calvert, grandson of MAC founder Charles Benedict Calvert and one of Pyon Su’s college friends, served as a pallbearer at his funeral and came into possession of Pyon Su’s diploma. This document was passed down through the generations of the Calvert family and then returned to the Pyon family in summer 2012. Harold Pyon, great-great-great nephew of Pyon Su, determined that this important part of his family’s heritage should be returned to the University of Maryland, Pyon Su’s alma mater. He presented the diploma to Vice President for Student Affairs Linda Clement in a ceremony in the Pyon Su Room on November 2, 2012. This significant piece of our history now resides in the University Archives and is available for viewing upon request.

Pyon Su diploma

Click to see a larger version of Pyon Su’s diploma.