Memories of September 11th

September 11, 2001, is a day that lives in infamy worldwide. For the University of Maryland, the attacks hit particularly hard, due to the campus’ proximity to Washington, DC, and the number of students from the attacked regions.

FrontClasses were canceled that afternoon, and students were in shock. The University provided counselors to the campus community, and administrators immediately spoke about the attack. President C.D. Mote, Jr., said that it was “a day of mourning and reflection.” He also noted how different student groups would be effected by the events.

“We need to keep our free and open society here and not blame groups,” Mote said that day.

Out of fear of repercussions, the Muslim Students’ Association moved their midday services and were protected by four police officers as they prayed. There were no violent attempts to disrupt their observance. Reactions

Meanwhile, students were frantically checking their cell phones and huddling around maintenance trucks to hear the radio reports, according to The Diamondback. In addition, groups of students could be seen all across campus with tears in their eyes and their heads bowed in prayer.

The Health Center began working with the Red Cross that day to organize a blood drive by the end of the week. Other drives within the county were advertised on campus by those trying to help replenish the supply of blood at hospitals.

In Athletics, the first focus was on the safety of family members of the student-athletes. At least three football players had family that worked in the twin towers, and luckily all were safe. ACC Commissioner John Swofford postponed all athletic events in the conference through September 15th, the following Saturday, and the Terps postponed  their football game against West Virginia for two weeks.

On the 12th, The Diamondback reported that two former faculty members had been killed in the attacks. The paper covered the events throughout the rest of the week, including the memorial service on McKeldin Mall, and included more Associated Press news stories than the editors usually tended to do.

The dramatic and extensive coverage of this national and international tragedy in The Diamondback is a vivid reminder of the impact of these events on the UMD community as they unfolded, an impact which continues to this day.

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The Diamondback is the university’s primary student newspaper, and its coverage of campus events provides an invaluable perspective on the university’s history. Thanks to generous donations and a successful Launch UMD campaign, the University Archives is digitizing the entire run of the newspaper, which is currently available on microfilm in the University Archives and McKeldin Library. This post is the part of a series based on information collected during the Diamondback Digitization Project. Check out the Twitter hashtag #digiDBK or the DigiDBK tag on our Terrapin Tales blog for previous posts. Look out for more DigiDBK posts from our team throughout the coming months!

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Visit New Football Exhibit

Calling all Terps fans! A new exhibit in Hornbake Library’s Maryland Room features a selection of photos, programs, pennants, uniforms, and more from the University Archives’ collections commemorating the football team’s 125th year. From the team’s humble beginning in 1892 to today, our Maryland Terrapins have created many memorable moments including 11 conference championships, 27 […]

via New exhibit celebrates 125 years of Maryland football — Special Collections and University Archives at UMD

New Acquisition: The Dick Byer Photograph Collection

In October 2016, the University Archives acquired nearly 750 photographs from university alumnus Dick Byer, Class of 1967. Mr. Byer spent much of his time on campus working for various student publications like the Diamondback and the Terrapin yearbook. He took photos all around campus of various scenes of student life, and he was usually in prime locations to take photographs at sporting events, including football, basketball, and lacrosse games from the 1964, 1965, and 1966 seasons. Photographs of theater productions and Greek life events are also featured in his collection.

The 1960s were a time of rapid change on university campuses across the country, and campus life at Maryland changed dramatically late in the decade, as Mr. Byer’s photographs document.  His collection features photographs of Billy Jones, a Maryland Terrapin noted for being the first African American men’s basketball player in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), as well as a handful of pictures from inside Town Hall, a College Park landmark that just recently underwent renovations. The Dairy is also featured in its former home, Turner Hall. In addition, Mr. Byer documented George Wallace’s visit to Cole Field House in May 1964.

Mr. Byer’s images also record how the campus has physically changed over the years. Some photos feature simple changes, like shrubbery in front of McKeldin Library, while others exhibit how dramatically the landscape around Maryland Stadium and North Campus has been transformed. One photo even shows some of the campus sheep grazing on the land where the Xfinity Center now stands!

sheep_Byer

The University of Maryland Archives is delighted to have this extensive collection of images from the 1960s to add to its holdings and looks forward to sharing Mr. Byer’s photographs with researchers interested in what life was like at UMD over 50 years ago. Please stop by the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library to take a trip down memory lane!

 

Making Beautiful Music

Wakefield CD set coverThe University of Maryland Archives is pleased to announce the availability of 197 digitized recordings from the university’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble via the UMD Libraries’ Digital Collections, http://digital.lib.umd.edu/. These pieces represent the contents of 15 CD’s assembled by John Wakefield, UMD’s Assistant and Associate Director of Bands, 1965-1968, and Director of Bands, 1968-2005, consisting of the ensemble’s best performances under Wakefield’s baton. The selections have been divided into six groupings: Chamber Winds, Wind Band, Transcriptions, Best of “Pops,” Solo (Solo/Group) with Band, and Fanfares/Marches/Encores. To accompany the CD’s, Mr. Wakefield provided brief program notes, which are available in the Archives, in addition to the metadata that accompanies the tracks on the Digital Collections site.

To access this collection and enjoy hours of listening to outstanding performances, enter the search term “Wakefield” on the Advanced Search page in the Digital Collections: http://digital.lib.umd.edu/search, then check off “Digital Collections” under “Limit Search By Collection,” and click on “Search.” You should come up with 197 hits. Once you choose an individual piece, click on the arrow on the black screen to begin to play the recording.

The University Archives is honored to have collaborated with Director of Bands Emeritus John Wakefield on this very special project, and we hope you will enjoy these wonderful recordings!

New Acquisition: The Millionaire Calculator!

Students now enjoy the privilege of instant calculations on their phone or handheld calculator, but when the university was still growing in the 1890s, things weren’t so easy.
IMG_4753Our new acquisition, this “Millionaire Calculator” from the late 19th century, was donated to the Archives from UMD’s Institute of Physical Science and Technology (IPST).

It was discovered in the Institute of Physical Science and Technology building during renovations a couple years ago and was transferred by Dr. Larry Lauer, Director of Administration, on April 17.

While the aforementioned calculators fit in our pockets, this one is much larger. The calculator is made of solid metal and is the size of a piece of luggage, weighing around 50 pounds. According to Wikipedia, only 4,655 Millionaire Calculators were manufactured, and ours is no. 1320!

img_4754.jpgThis contraption was the first calculator able to compute multiplication, a huge leap of technological innovation in the field. It could process 8-digit numbers, far more than previous versions.

The Millionaire works by selecting a number 0-9 from the the crank on the left. You then put in your 8-digit number using the slides seen in the middle of the board. Finally, you crank the handle on the far right, and your calculation is complete. Voilá!

This piece of memorabilia has a tag on it indicating that it is possible that it Tag was used by the US Oceanographic Office, the predecessor to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Unfortunately, there’s no other clue to why The Millionaire ended up at UMD, so the reason it ended up in the IPST building will probably remain a mystery!

If you’re interested in learning more, here is a short video of how the calculator functions:

The University of Maryland Archives is excited to add this amazing object to its memorabilia collection, and we look forward to sharing this unusual piece with visitors. Stop by the Archives in Hornbake Library soon to take a peek!

Ferdinand Revisited

At the end of March, 20th Century Fox released a trailer for a movie that’s a new take on an old favorite: “The Story of Ferdinand.” The popular children’s book was originally published in 1936, and Disney released a short film about the timid bull in 1938, which won the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons) that year.

But what does this have to do with UMD history?

Well, the author of the monroe leaforiginal children’s book, “The Story of Ferdinand,” is an alumnus
of UMD! Munro Leaf graduated with a B.A. in 1927. Upon its release, his short story was considered
anti-war propaganda and was banned in many countries. Leaf defended his work, saying that the story of Ferdinand was simply “a happy ending story about being yourself.” You can read more about Leaf and his infamous book here.

Be on the lookout for the new version of this charming story about the bull who loved to smell the flowers, coming to a theater near you in December 2017!

Lyndon B. Johnson Commencement Address

Only six months before he would become President in the wake of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was in Cole Field House delivering a commencement address to the 1963 graduating class.

FrontMore than 12,500 people were expected to attend the ceremony on the morning of June 8. While the paper wasn’t running when he gave his speech due to summer break, the May 21, 1963, Diamondback carried the announcement of Johnson’s upcoming visit and explained the circumstances surrounding the appearance by the vice president. One factor noted in the report was that both LBJ and UMD President Wilson Elkins were native Texans.

At the time Johnson was simply the vice president Articleunder Kennedy after he had lost to the President in the 1960 Democratic Primary. As President, Johnson would play a large role in advancing Civil Rights and social services while also getting America entangled in the Vietnam War.

Johnson’s future vice president, Hubert Humphrey, would come to campus to speak only two years later.

The Diamondback is the university’s primary student newspaper, and its coverage of campus events provides an invaluable perspective on the university’s history. Thanks to generous donations and a successful Launch UMD campaign, the University Archives is digitizing the entire run of the newspaper, which is currently available on microfilm in the University Archives and McKeldin Library. This post is the part of a series based on information collected during the Diamondback Digitization Project. Check out the Twitter hashtag #digiDBK or the DigiDBK tag on our Terrapin Tales blog for previous posts, and watch for more DigiDBK posts from our team throughout the coming months!

 

MAC Music Returns to Campus

A few months ago, the University Archives received a very special additioncadet2step to our collections: a copy of the original song, the “MAC Cadet Two Step.” It is the oldest published UMD song, dating from 1897! The only other copy of it that’s known to exist is at the Library of Congress, and the song is among the oldest pieces of copyrighted music in its collections.

The song was written by Ira E. Whitehill, an accomplished Maryland Agricultural College student and member of the Mandolin Ensemble.  The student-run club was created in the 1896-1897 school year, but it really didn’t hit its stride until Whitehill,   the only member of the original group who returned to campus the following year, assumed his role as director that fall. His “quick musical insight” allowed him to assemble the highest quality musical talent from among the cadets, aiming to create a group that would be an “honor to the college and to themselves.” That year, the ensemble was lauded by the Reveille (the MAC yearbook) as a “remarkable advancement” from the previous year’s attempt.

97mandolin club
The first Mandolin Ensemble        Whitehill seated second from left

Whitehill went on to compose many other songs,  including the comedic “College Hash” and the “Reveille March and Two-Step,”  which was written to honor The Reveille yearbook. Both songs were featured in the commencement exercises of 1899.

The most recent performance of the “MAC Cadet Two-Step” took place in 2015 at L. Richmond Sparks’ retirement concert. You can listen to the lively tune here. Another very special rendition was part of the half-time show at Homecoming in 2008, celebrating the band’s 100th anniversary; you can find this on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/0UWZcm_LGBs.

Ira Whitehill’s dedication to his craft and his school set a precedent for future student-run organizations. He not only built a lasting example for future installments of the Mandolin Ensemble, but he also created a wonderful piece of University of Maryland history that will now remain on campus for many years to come.

ira whitehill quote

Historical Item Analysis: Mercer Literary Society Minutes

calvert
Charles Benedict Calvert, 1808-1864

When Charles Benedict Calvert died on May 12, 1864, the Maryland Agricultural College (MAC) lost its founder and one of its strongest supporters. As an advocate for the college, Calvert played a key role in obtaining MAC’s charter from the Maryland General Assembly, canvassing in support of the institution and fundraising to launch it. As a result, his death shook the MAC community.

Upon his death, the Mercer Literary Society, one of the college’s earliest student groups, honored him at its regular meeting. The meeting minutes pictured below show the society’s Resolution on the Death of Charles Benedict Calvert, dated May 14, 1864. The society expresses “warmest feelings of respect and sympathy to his bereaved family” and writes that Calvert was a “neighbor, benefactor and friend.” The meeting then adjourned immediately out of respect for Calvert and his family. These minutes offer a unique perspective into how the student body reacted to Calvert’s death.

To learn more about the Mercer Literary Society or Charles Benedict Calvert, visit the websites below, or stop by the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library to see these historical items for yourself.

http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/1658

https://umdarchives.wordpress.com/tag/charles-benedict-calvert/

This is the tenth and last entry in a series of blog posts prepared by students in the current HIST 429F: History of the University of Maryland class taught by University Archivist Anne Turkos and Assistant University Archivist Jason Speck. Each of the students was assigned an historical item to analyze by responding to a series of six questions. They were also required to submit a brief blog post as the concluding portion of their assignment. We will be featuring some of these blog posts and the items the students reviewed for the remainder of the semester, so check back frequently for more of the HIST 429F student projects.