HIST 429F On Display

MD Day poster_intro panel_071615

At the end of October, the University Archives installed a new display of a selection of the posters created by past HIST 429F students in the Portico Room (Room 2109) in McKeldin Library. University Archives staff has taught HIST 429F, whose formal title is Special Topics in History: MAC to Millennium: History of the University of Maryland, each spring semester since 2014 and will welcome a new crop of Terps interested in learning about their alma mater in January 2020.

Each semester, the students are assigned three major projects, an analysis of an historical item, a poster on a UMD historical topic, prepared as a team effort, and a final research paper documenting a year in the life of the university through the eyes of a senior in that graduating class. Sample blog posts prepared as part of the first assignment can be found here on Terrapin Tales by searching the tag “historical item analysis.”

Examples of the posters from these past student cohorts now on display include:

  • Haunted UMD, Spring 2014, Amanda Laughlin, Nicole Main, and Adina Schulman
  • ACC-ya: 61 years of men’s basketball, Spring 2014, Kelsey Knoche, Sapna Khemka, and Brooke Parker
  • Breaking Barriers, Spring 2015, Jenny Hottle, Talia Richman, and Jamie Weissman
  • The Great Fire of 1912, Spring 2015, Dylan French, Christophe Istsweire, and Tyler North
  • Sights on McKeldin Mall, Spring 2017, Samantha Waldenberg, James Wallenmeyer, and Jay Westreich
  • Where Do I Park?, Spring 2017, Eric Segev and Tim Holzberg
  • “There’s Something Happening Here”: The National Guard at the University of Maryland, 1970-1972, Spring 2017, Ian Bucacink, Alan Wierdak, and Adam Levey
  • History of the University of Maryland Student Government Association, Spring 2018, Chris Keosian and Alex Flum
  • A Royal Visit, Spring 2019, Caralyn Anderson and Wes Brown

HauntedUMDPoster

The Queen's Game Poster_2019

The posters will remain on view in the Portico Room (Room 2109) in McKeldin until summer 2020.

Stop by to enjoy our students’ creativity and expertise. If you are a Terp looking for a spring course, we hope you will be inspired to join us on Thursday afternoons from 2 to 4:30 PM to learn more about the history of the University of Maryland. A general description of the course appears below. Hope to see you in class!

HIST 429F: SPECIAL TOPICS IN HISTORY:

MAC TO MILLENIUM: HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

THURSDAYS, 2-4:30 PM, ROOM 3210, HORNBAKE LIBRARY

            Through an extensive review of primary documents and secondary literature, lectures, and guest presentations, students will gain an overview of the history of the University of Maryland, from its founding as the Maryland Agricultural College in 1856 to the present day.  This class will frequently require you to visit the University of Maryland Archives in Hornbake Library to review primary sources or to examine sources online that the Archives has digitized and is heavily research-based. The majority of the class sessions will consist of two parts. The instructor will lecture and lead discussion on the assigned topic for the week and the required readings during the first half of the class.  The second portion of most weekly sessions will feature a guest speaker who will present his/her/their perspective on the assigned topic for the week; as of mid-September, speakers who have committed to present include Missy Meharg, head field hockey coach, Marilee Lindemann, director of College Park Scholars, Marsha Guenzler-Stevens, Director of The Stamp, and former USM Chancellor Brit Kirwan.

Assignments consist of:

  • Poster creation and presentation—30%. Students will work in groups to create a poster exploring an event or theme in university history which will be presented in class and displayed on Maryland Day.
  • Historical item analysis assignment—15%. Each student will be assigned an item from the University Archives’ collections to analyze by responding to a series of questions and preparing a brief entry for the Archives’ Terrapin Tales blog.
  • Year in the Life of Maryland—35%. The final paper (10-12 pages) will consist of a series of letters written from the perspective of a senior student in an assigned academic year. Research into the events of that academic year will shape the content of the letters.

The remainder of the grade for the class will consist of points awarded for class participation and attendance and successful completion of weekly reading assignments.

Questions about this class may be directed to the instructor: Anne Turkos, University Archivist Emerita, 301-405-9060 or aturkos@umd.edu

Testudo dedication 1

 

New UMD Story Map Unveiled

Today, in partnership with the University of Maryland Libraries’ GIS and Spatial Data center, we debut a new story map entitled “From MAC to UMD: How the University of Maryland became the campus we know today.” This new online resource visually chronicles the development of the UMD campus from its earliest days as the Maryland Agricultural College to the present. Terrapin Tales welcomes Story Map author and guest blogger Caitlin Burke, a former graduate assistant in the GIS and Spatial Data center, to describes her research process and the technology she used to create this exciting new UMD history resource. We hope you enjoy Caitlin’s post and the extensive story map she created.

story map top pageAs someone who works with and creates maps, I know maps can tell various stories. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Maps can do the same, especially looking at maps of the same location from different decades. In this project, I looked at old campus maps starting from when the University of Maryland (UMD) was Maryland Agricultural College (MAC) to tell the story of how the campus changed since its charter in 1856.

The creation of this story map took up much of my summer. My former supervisor, Dr. Kelley O’Neal, suggested I create a map that all of campus could enjoy. In the GIS library, I am known as the “story map person,” and I helped create story maps for the 2018-2019 Prange Collection exhibit and the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein for the English Department. Kelley told me about University Archives’ digitized campus maps, so I thought that I could create a story map that shows how the UMD campus changed from a small, rural, 19th-century agricultural college to a large public university in the 21st century.

When I first started coming up with ideas for the map, I thought that this project might only show a few maps and could be finished quickly, but I realized that there was much more to this project. The University Archives digital repository, University AlbUM, has a TON of old campus maps, old aerial photos, and landscape scenery images that illustrate how the campus has changed over time.

caitlin first map
Map of the University of Maryland campus, 1934.

This story map was going to be bigger than I initially thought. I included so much material, but there was so much more that could have been added. However, the story map focuses on landscape, architectural and some social change. Because there is so much history for UMD, there could probably be a story map created for each decade since 1856.

I used ArcGIS, a geographic information software owned by Esri, to create the UMD story map.  For this project, I used their online platform, ArcGIS Online. UMD has a partnership with Esri, so students and faculty can get access to free ArcGIS accounts. If you’re interested in using this tool, visit the GIS and Spatial Data Center’s website for more information, instruction and tutorials.

With this story map, I wanted to show that our campus is constantly changing. New buildings and old are updated with modern technology and features, and they are made to be more suitable for students and faculty of the modern era. In the map, I cover monumental events that affected the Maryland Agricultural College, the Maryland State College of Agriculture, as the university was known from 1916 to 1920, and the University of Maryland, from 1920 to the present. Some highlights include the Great Fire of 1912, the construction of some most-recognized buildings in the 1950s, and the building boom in the 2000s.

caitlin second image
Maryland Agricultural College campus prior to the fire of 1912.

As I was creating the map, I was interested to learn about UMD’s affiliation with military training. I have always known that there is a large population of students involved in ROTC, but I didn’t know this predated World War II. The Maryland Agricultural College benefitted greatly from the Morrill Act, signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, that required colleges and universities designated as land grant institutions to have mandatory military training to receive federal funding. ROTC wasn’t even established until World War I! To be honest, I am more interested in art history than military history, but it was fascinating to learn how involved my university is with American history.

As a UMD alum and current graduate student, this story map was very fun to create. I learned so many interesting facts about UMD from University Archives librarians Anne Turkos and Kendall Aughenbaugh that I was surprised I had not ever heard in my five years of attending UMD. Also, I could spend a whole week going through University AlbUM, the Archives’ digital repository. There are so many interesting photos of various events and people that you get lost in wondering what it would have been like to be on campus decades ago. After working on this project, I pay more attention to details on older buildings. As I walk through campus, the old architectural features and characteristics of the older campus buildings stand out to me more. After going through the story map, maybe you will notice them too.

To view the new story map, <click here>.

 

Terps 100: This Day In History: December 2, 1955

The scene in the newly completed Student Activities Building was a festive one the night of December 2, 1955. University officials, dignitaries from around the state, including Governor Theodore R. McKeldin, and representatives from other Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) schools gathered to dedicate the new structure and celebrate the opening of the second largest arena on the East Coast, dwarfed at the time only by Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The ceremonies, chaired by J. Freeman Pyle, dean of the College of Business and Public Administration, featured addresses by Governor McKeldin and Charles Wickard, president of the Student Government Association. Judge William P. Cole, Jr., Class of 1910 and chair of the Board of Regents, presented the building to the university, and President Wilson H. Elkins officially accepted the structure.

Dedication of Cole_crop_univarch-075288-0001
(left to right) Victor Frenkil, chairman of Baltimore Contractors, Jim Tatum, UMD athletic director, Judge William P. Cole, chair of the Board of Regents, and President Wilson Elkins at the dedication of the Student Activities Building

Following all the speeches and photo-ops, the Terps took to the court against the Virginia Cavaliers.  Bob Kessler scored the first points in the new arena, hitting two free throws in the opening moments, but Virginia answered back quickly, with two free throws of their own from Bob McCarty and a basket by Bob Hardy. The Terps hit a lay-up and capitalized on an offensive rebound to take the lead at 6-4. At halftime, they were in front of the Cavaliers by 4, at 34-30, and they continued to pull away in the second half, thanks to some hot shooting from Kessler and teammate Bob O’Brien.

Ultimately Maryland prevailed in a low-scoring affair, 67-55, the ACC opener for both teams. Kessler finished with 23 points, and O’Brien 15, as the high scorers for the Terps.

DBK_Dec 5 1955_first game in Cole

Who could have predicted at the time that the Terps would also end their playing days in Cole with a game against those same Virginia Cavaliers, winning that final contest on March 3, 2002, 112-92.

Last game in Cole_ticket

Today the historic field house, named in December 1956 for Judge William P. Cole, Jr., has been re-purposed as the Terrapin Performance Center, with a dazzling indoor practice facility; the Center for Sports Medicine, Health, and Human Performance; and the future home of the Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

This is the second in a series of blog posts the University Archives will be featuring as part of the commemoration of the 100th season of Maryland men’s basketball, 2018-2019, with our colleagues in Intercollegiate Athletics. Visit the #Terps100 website for more information about and to participate in the celebration.

Follow Terrapin Tales throughout the season for additional features on landmark days in Maryland men’s basketball history. Next in line is December 30, when we mark Maryland’s first win in the Big Ten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a Walk Down Route 1

Cutting along the eastern edge of UMD’s campus, Route 1 is a familiar site and busy thoroughfare for students. Students roaming the sidewalks of Route 1 have immediate access to food, shopping, and housing. But that’s not all the highway has been used for over the years. Check out these changes to Route 1!

Route 1

Farmers walk oxen down Route 1 near the Rossborough Inn, 1900.

This rural scene shows what Route 1 and College Park were like before the road became a bustling, paved main street. With the rise in popularity of the automobile, traffic on the road increased, and the state mandated that the road be paved in 1904. Officially designated “State Route No. 1,” the College Park segment of the road wasn’t paved until 1910.

Route 2

Dairy cows crossing Route 1, 1933.

Widened and added to the official US highway system in 1926, Route 1 connects the country from Maine to Florida. But even as the road expanded, the sections around College Park remained rural. Cows and other livestock were frequently seen crossing the highway in the 1930s!

The growth of the University of Maryland drastically and rapidly changed the character of Route 1 in College Park. As the university expanded, businesses congregated along its waysides to cater to students. Stoplights were added, and the road was widened again in the 1940s to accommodate increased traffic. Below you can see the lit signs of businesses and the large number of cars parked along Route 1 in College Park after World War II.

Route 4

Route 1 at night, 1949.

In the 1970s, Route 1 became a site of protest. In 1970, UMD students blocked this busy thoroughfare during protests against the escalation of Vietnam War into Laos and Cambodia. Similar scenes occurred again in 1971 and 1972. The National Guard was called to campus three times in three years.

Route 5.png

Student protesters congregate on Route 1, 1970.

Today UMD students continue to have a deep appreciation for Route 1. In 2010, an alum named her online clothing company Route 1 Apparel. The company sells Maryland state pride and Maryland-themed clothing. Additionally, many of students’ favorite hangout spots are in Route 1’s many restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.

Route 3

Route 1 at night, 2018. Photo credit: Washington Post

More changes are on the way for US highway 1. The street will intersect with WMATA’s new Purple Line that is scheduled to open in 2022, and new businesses continue to spring up along the street.

From cows to light rail transit, Route 1 has seen it all!

 

 

 

UMD Then and Now: The Horticulture Department

What was the University of Maryland like in 1928? In 1968? How does it compare to 2018? Then and Now explores the evolution of the University of Maryland over the years. This week’s spotlight: the Horticulture Department!

The Horticulture Department, better known today as the Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture, has been a part of the curriculum at the University of Maryland since the very beginning. Horticulture has been a part of university curriculum since the Maryland Agricultural College opened to students in 1859. Early on, Horticulture was not its own separate department; rather it was coursework in the larger field of agriculture. Students focused on practical experience and fieldwork conducted with the Agricultural Experiment Station. Through the years, focus shifted to academic research and lab work, although practical knowledge and job experience are still key. 

Horticulture 1.pngStudents plant lilies in Horticulture class, 1900

By 1928, Horticulture was its own distinct department with four tracks for specialization: Pomology (Fruits), Olericulture (Vegetables), Floriculture (Flowers), and Landscape Gardening. Professors in the department also worked for the Agricultural Experiment Station, an agricultural research facility affiliated with the University.

Horticulture 2.pngAll dressed up and no place to go…except class! Female students in Horticulture class, 1925.

Horticulture 3.pngStudents in the Horticulture Department in 1928 took a variety of classes including  “Public Speaking,” “Greenhouse Construction,” and “Vegetable Forcing.”

By 1968, the course of study expanded to include Ornamental Horticulture and Processing of Horticultural Crops. The Department also shifted its focus towards industry, preparing students to enter the field as fertilizer manufacturers and equipment managers. 

Horticulture 4.pngCurriculum in 1968 bears strong similarities to the coursework of 1928. However, focus has shifted to lab work and technology. Courses like “Flower Production Laboratory” and “Technology of Ornamentals” indicate the growing role of technology in science following World War II.

Today the Horticulture Department is called the Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture. Specializations are available in Plant Biology, Landscape Management, Turf and Golf Course Management, or Urban Forestry. The department supports both undergraduate and graduate studies, and the four specializations blend elements of science, design, technology, and fieldwork. 

Horticulture 5.pngCurrent courses in the Department of Plant Sciences show more science courses and laboratory work.

The Horticulture Department is a long-standing element of the curriculum at University of Maryland. Since the creation of the Maryland Agriculture College in 1856, the department has changed dramatically. Coursework has shifted, and lab attire has changed. You won’t see fur coats in the lab today! However, the focus on preparing students to make meaningful contributions beyond the classroom has remained constant. Whether they graduated in 1928 or 2018, Horticulture students from UMD are prepared to make an impact in the field.

To see more about changes to academic department through the years, including course catalogs from 1859 to 2018, visit https://www.lib.umd.edu/univarchives/catalogs.

 

“Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Bomb?”

In the early 1960s, the threat of nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union was on everyone’s mind. In the fall of 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world closer to nuclear warfare than ever before. As the Cold War escalated,, and the world seemed to hover on the brink of disaster, many ordinary citizens began to prepare for the worst. In 1961, the federal government started the Community Fallout Shelter Program to create spaces to shelter citizens from nuclear fallout. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy wrote a letter to Time Magazine advising private citizens to prepare for the worst, causing many citizens to construct their own private backyard bunkers. The University of Maryland, like other colleges nationwide, participated in the fallout shelter mania of the early 1960s. The UMD Civil Defense program prepared for the worst by constructing and stocking fallout shelters across campus. Where were these safety havens from nuclear doom at UMD, and whatever happened to these spaces representing life on the brink of nuclear war?

Shelter 1

Shelter 1

In 1961, UMD began the process of constructing 34 fallout shelters on campus to accommodate more than 7,000 people. Shelters were located in the basements and hallways of academic buildings and residence halls. By 1971, there were 43 shelters on campus. The largest shelter, located in the Physics Building, could accommodate 2,472 people while the smallest fallout shelter, in Montgomery Hall, had space for only 50 people. Each shelter stocked enough rations to supply each resident with 8 survival biscuits for breakfast and lunch, 10 for dinner, and 4 cups of water per day. Not the most lavish of meals, but enough to sustain 23,000 people for 2 weeks!

Shelter 2
Students open a tin of survival biscuits during a 1966 fallout center training.

 

 

 

The University’s Residence Hall Council even sponsored a course in fallout center management for interested students. The course involved simulations of conditions and situations that could arise in a fallout shelter during a nuclear emergency. Students could volunteer to participate in the exercise, spending 24 hours overnight in a fallout shelter in Denton Dining Hall. Students ate survival foods and practiced scenarios like decontaminating outsiders who could infect shelter inhabitants with radiation. Female students were even excused from the strict rules of nightly curfews to experience fallout shelter life. The course proved popular and occurred several times and in several different locations across campus in 1966 and 1967. 

Shelter 3
Students sleep during a fallout center management course, 1966.

The University of Maryland also participated in community efforts to prepare for a nuclear attack. In 1961, the Prince George’s County Office of Civil Defense published a call for applicants in The Diamondback. Married college students with families were asked to participate in an experiment in living one week in an underground fallout shelter at Prince George’s Plaza. The Diamondback wrote:

The purpose of the test is to observe the reactions of a typical American family to the confined living imposed by the bomb shelter. The bomb shelter, yet to be built, will be the underground cellar-like type recommended by the Office of Civil Defense Mobilization. Its occupants will live on canned foods. They will communicate with the outside during periodic broadcasts made by radio station WWDC.

We were unable to find evidence in the Archives if the experiment actually happened or if any UMD students participated in the study. However, this call for participants shows the widespread uneasiness of the residents of Prince George’s County, including UMD students, during the Cold War.

The University of Maryland also provided community education about nuclear warfare and emergency preparedness. In February 1963, McKeldin Library featured an exhibit on how to survive atomic warfare, complete with a model basement fallout shelter and recorded messages providing information about survival shelters. The University of Maryland was clearly a part of a larger local community concerned about the impact of nuclear war.

Shelter 4
A model basement fallout shelter on display in McKeldin Library, 1963.

In the mid-1970s, as the nature of the Cold War changed, fallout shelters began to fade from public interest. Funding to replace shelter supplies stopped, food supplies rotted, and vandals ransacked shelter sanitation kits. In 1976, the University gained permission from the Prince George’s County Civil Defense and Emergency Preparedness Office to dismantle the shelters, a process that took place throughout the remainder of the 1970s. As the Cold War continued into the 1990s, nuclear emergency plans shifted to focus on evacuation of students instead of efforts to seek shelter on campus.

Today, there is little evidence of the tension and anxiety experienced by students, staff, and administration as they faced the prospect of nuclear war. The idea of surviving a nuclear blast in a flimsy basement shelter equipped with survival biscuits seems naive and silly to us today. However, after the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, nuclear war seemed inevitable, and a sense of helplessness consumed many American. These citizens, UMD community members among them, clung to the small amount of hope available to them, using fallout shelters to soothe fears of nuclear obliteration.

 Shelter 8.png  Shelter 6

 

Testudo’s Travels: The History of Kidnapping Testudo

DBK 6-7-33 Statue Unveiling

There are many great stories in college and university lore about kidnapping the mascot of a rival school, e.g. the Army mule and the Navy goat or USC’s theft of UCLA’s Victory Bell, among many other tales. Believe or not, our beloved Testudo was not immune from this phenomenon too!

The first Testudo statue was revealed on the afternoon of June 2, 1933, when a 400-pound replica of a Diamondback Terrapin was presented to University President Raymond A. Pearson by Ralph Williams, President of the Student Government Association (SGA). The original memorial, created at the Gorham Manufacturing Company in Providence, Rhode Island, was placed on a brick and stone pedestal, funded by donations from the SGA, outside of Ritchie Coliseum. Major Howard C. Cutler, the architect who designed the Coliseum, finalized plans for the base initially drawn by D.C.-area artist Joseph Himmelheber.

1933 Image of Ritchie-Testudo-Turner - ACC. 72-182, B. 2
Testudo memorial statue outside of Ritchie Coliseum. Summer, 1933.

The Testudo-nappings began not long after the dedication. According to a short article from the September 23, 1958, issue of the Diamondback, Testudo was stolen from his perch outside Ritchie Coliseum twelve times in fifteen years, between its unveiling in 1933 and 1948. This blog post explores the more memorable kidnappings of Testudo from his perch outside Ritchie Coliseum, before the statue was filled with cement and relocated outside the football stadium in 1951.

DBK - 9-23-58 - Testudo Stolen (12th time)
The Diamondback – September 23, 1958

The statue was first stolen on May 28, 1934, on a Monday night, the last day of the semester. At 8 AM the next morning, SGA President Warren S. Tydings and Ralph Williams, former SGA President who presented the memorial to University President Pearson, ordered a search. The thieves left “J.H.U.” painted in green on the statue’s base, hinting that the thieves were from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. University Vice President Harry Clifton “Curley” Byrd called Johns Hopkins’ auditor Henry Iddins, informing him of the theft. Through information obtained from a state policeman, the search party learned that the thieves, “who looked like college boys,” may have stopped at a gas station in Berwyn, where one thief acquired iodine and a bandage for an injured finger. Later in the afternoon, administrators were tipped off by a phone call from a University of Maryland student, informing them the statue was located at a Johns Hopkins fraternity house in the 3100 block of North Calvert Street. Ralph Williams called Baltimore Police requesting a search of the fraternity, to no avail. By the time the UMD search party prepared a trip to Baltimore, the statue had been found in front of a dormitory at Hopkins, surrounded by roughly sixty Hopkins students. The crowd was questioned by Iddins, who then demanded that the students return the statue. “Fun is fun, but this is carrying it too far,” Iddins said, adding that the statue “must have cost several thousand dollars–and is a beautiful piece of work.” University of Maryland authorities echoed similar sentiments, suggesting that the theft “transcended the prank stage.” While Johns Hopkins administrators suggested that the thieves, if caught, would be expelled, Hopkins Dean Edward Berry also said he did not expect the thieves to be identified.

Testudo was stolen again by Johns Hopkins students early Saturday morning, May 17, 1941. When Maryland students discovered Testudo missing from his perch at the Coliseum, they immediately gave chase to the fleeing Hopkins students. After an unsuccessful pursuit, Maryland students alerted Baltimore Police of “the crime of the century,” who then notified Johns Hopkins officials of the theft. This time, Hopkins administrators found the bronze Terrapin locked up at the Homewood athletic field, where Hopkins students planned to bring the terrapin onto the field during intermission of a lacrosse match between Hopkins and the University of Maryland the next day. Instead, the Hopkins administrators sent Testudo back to the University of Maryland, much to the chagrin of their students. According to one Hopkins student, “about a hundred of us, certain that we’d beat the Marylanders this afternoon, got in autos and trucks and went to College Park last night to do something about that Terrapin.” For better or worse, by the time this gang of Hopkins students arrived, Testudo had already been taken by another group of “about fifty.” Police, searching for the terrapin, stopped the gang of Hopkins students several times, but, without Testudo, they were let go. “When we got back to Homewood,” one student said, Testudo was “on the steps of Levering Hall. So we locked it up and decided we’d pull it on the field this afternoon and give it back to its owners.”

Testudo was stolen several times in 1947. In the first instance, Johns Hopkins students captured the terrapin in May before the national championship lacrosse game. Sidewalks on the Johns Hopkins campus were painted by individuals who believed Maryland would beat Hopkins in the upcoming game. In retaliation, Hopkins students traveled to College Park and stole Testudo. As many as 25 Hopkins students were caught, “scalped,” and held hostage by University of Maryland students until Testudo was returned.

Later that same year, Testudo was stolen on Halloween night by University of Maryland students who resided in West Virginia. According to news accounts, on the evening before the theft, a student asked a police officer about the penalty for stealing Testudo. “Don’t know,” the officer replied, “it has never happened to a Maryland student.” In this case, Testudo was not painted or damaged, but temporarily removed and left “camouflaged in the greenhouse shrubbery.”

Only a month later, Testudo was stolen again from his pedestal outside Ritchie Coliseum, this time by students from Loyola College. Maryland students, less than excited by this specific kidnapping of Testudo by Loyola students, cited a lack of an athletic rivalry between the two schools as the reason for their indifference to his disappearance. In this case, Testudo allegedly attended a Loyola pep-rally and spent an evening on “The Block” on East Baltimore Street in downtown Baltimore. He was returned undamaged and without Loyola’s colors painted on him. Loyola students also sent a letter back with Testudo, thanking University President Byrd, for his “generous hospitality” in loaning them the statue and even wrapped Testudo in a blanket for his trek back to College Park.Maryland's Testudo, Abducted Again, Gets Police Escort Home - Sun - Dec 13, 1947

After the abundance of kidnappings, Testudo was moved from his perch outside of Ritchie Coliseum into storage in the General Services Department on the east side of Route 1 for several years. Upon the completion of the new football stadium at the University of Maryland in 1950, Testudo was brought out of storage, relocated outside of the new stadium, and filled with cement to prevent future thefts. Seeking a more central location for the statue, students requested that it be moved to the front of McKeldin Library, where Testudo has resided safely since 1965.

Happy Birthday, Testudo!

A star was born 85 years ago today, June 2, 1933! As part of Class Day festivities celebrating the graduation of the Class of 1933, our beloved “real Testudo” completed her final task and unveiled the original bronze statue created in her likeness that stood in front of Ritchie Coliseum. But what led up to all this hoopla?

Athletic teams at the Maryland Agricultural College/ University of Maryland had had various nicknames over the years–the Farmers, Aggies, Old Liners, even the Ravens at one point–but the university had never had a mascot. Members of the Class of 1933 decided they wanted to correct this and worked with then-Vice President Harry Clifton Byrd to choose the appropriate animal and create the first bronze representation. While the students diligently gathered the necessary funds, Byrd wrote the owner of the Holland Sea Food Company in Crisfield, MD, his hometown, asking him to send

one big Diamondback Terrapin of Maryland variety, and not one of those that come from North Carolina. I want it to use as a model for a sculpture

When this beautiful creature arrived in College Park, SGA President Ralph Williams took her off on a train trip to Providence, RI, to meet up with sculptor Aristide Cianfarani for multiple modeling sessions.  The Gorham Manufacturing Company, led at the time by former UMD quarterback Edmund Mayo, created the statue and dispatched it to College Park, where our plucky terrapin participated in the unveiling.

Testudo kidnappers from JHU_1947The original statue stood in front of Ritchie Coliseum, but, at 300-400 pounds in weight, was subject to frequent turtle-napping by rival schools. When university officials tired of tracking down the missing bronze and arranging for its return, they filled Testudo with cement and steel rods, bringing its total weight to approximately 1,000 pounds, and permanently attached the piece to its base. They also decided to move Testudo to a more secure location, and, after several shifts, positioned the statue in front of McKeldin Library in 1965, where it remains to this day.

The popularity of this university symbol has led to the creation of additional replicas, located across the campus. You can find Testudo near the information desk in the Stamp, at two different spots in Maryland Stadium, at the top of the south stairs at Xfinity, on a brick pathway at the Riggs Alumni Center, and now in the Robert L. and Gertrude M. Edwards Courtyard at Van Munching Hall.

Testudo statue at Van Munching_installed 2018

So when you pass one of the statues today, give Testudo’s nose a vigorous rub for good luck and wish our beloved mascot “Happy Birthday!”

 

 

Fire! Fire!

ruins-after-1912-fireToday marks the 105th anniversary of the Great Fire of 1912, which destroyed the two largest buildings on campus at that time, the Barracks and the Administration Building. The story is a familiar one to Terrapin Tales readers, since we have blogged about this event before. You can find a good overview of this landmark event in UMD history on TT at: https://umdarchives.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/fire-fire-m-a-c-in-flames/.

We mark this important anniversary with the debut of the re-designed website about the fire, available at: lib.umd.edu/fire. This site contains photographs of the conflagration in progress and its aftermath, personal accounts from students, coverage of events in the local press, and images of the Barracks’ cornerstone and its contents.

We hope you enjoy this new resource!

 

Historical Item Analysis: Board of Trustees Minutes

When you think about the cool historical items housed in the University Archives, maybe you think about the original Testudo or the old freshmen beanies. You probably don’t think that meeting minutes would be that exciting. However, these notes often tell us a great deal about the history of the university, with some Maryland-famous cameos to boot.

trustees minutes pageOne example of such a collection is the minutes of the Board of Trustees of the Maryland Agricultural College (the institution which ultimately became present-day UMD) from 1912 to 1916. Picking up only days after the fire that destroyed the two largest buildings on campus, the minutes provide valuable insight into the mindset of the campus community, and their resolve to continue with their educational mission. The minutes record that “…the sentiment and great desire of the students, patrons, and Professors was that the work should go on uninterrupted if possible…”

Careful readers will also recognize the names of H. J. Patterson, who was president of the college from 1913 to 1917 and whose name now graces a building on the Mall, and one “Mr. Byrd,” athletics enthusiast and later university president Harry Clifton “Curley” Byrd, who succeeded in getting the Board to agree to pay for the replacement of college athletic gear lost in the fire out of the university’s insurance funds. The minutes also mention the Trustees’ resolution, apparently without much incident, to allow women to take college classes, and the Board’s condemnation of hazing, which was punishable by expulsion. This last issue is especially illuminating in terms of illustrating how issues that were relevant on campus over 100 years ago remain so today.

You can find the entire run of the Trustees’ minutes during this four-year period online in University AlbUM to learn more about the college’s recovery from the devastating 1912 fire and its progress toward becoming the University of Maryland.

This is the third 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.