Social Justice Day: The Reverend Jesse Jackson’s History on Campus

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Today, the University of Maryland hosts its second annual Social Justice Day, a campus-wide event for faculty, staff, students, and the community. After a day-long series of events and discussions on important social justice issues, featuring a morning keynote speech from Innocence Project Co-Founder Peter Neufeld, the Reverend Jesse Jackson will deliver a closing keynote speech in the Memorial Chapel. University Archives welcomes Reverend Jackson back to campus by revisiting his previous appearances through Diamondback articles accessed from our Student Newspapers database.

Reverend Jackson has appeared on campus multiple times, the first  on April 24, 1985, at Cole Field House, as part of his state primary presidential campaign. Ahead of Jackson’s visit to campus, Chancellor John Slaughter said Jackson “clearly demonstrated to the country that he’s a person of great sensitivity and compassion. He’s a very articulate and thoughtful spokesman on a number of issues, not only on civil rights and human rights, but economics and foreign policy.”

Jackson supporters began rallying several weeks earlier in the Nyumburu Cultural Center on April 4. “The fundamental reason we have to support Reverend Jackson is economic democracy. Our economy is being undermined by corporations. We’ve got to hold them accountable,” said Alvin Thornton, Jackson’s state issues coordinator. Ahead of Jackson’s first appearance, student reactions were mixed. “This rally is not a University of Maryland, College Park deal: it’s statewide,” said Michael White, sophomore computer science major and coordinator for Jackson supporters on campus. “There are a lot of things I don’t like about it, but that’s the way it has been run by the state campaign.” Members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) also anticipated Jackson’s appearance. Campus treasurer Sally Davies considered Jackson’s rally “very historic,” saying it was the first time they requested leave for the entire University of Maryland system. “Jesse Jackson speaks for all the poor and working people,” said campus AFSCME Vice President William Swain. Chancellor Slaughter supported the gesture, expecting department heads to grant leave to employees requesting to attend the rally. “It is through such appearances that citizens of the state are able to make informed political decisions, and such democratic processes should be encouraged whenever possible,” said Slaughter.

Although Jackson’s campaign expected a crowd of 15,000 at Cole Field House, Jackson spoke to a crowd of between 2,000 to 5,000 people. “We need more than a new president, we need a new direction. It’s time for a change,” said Jackson during his speech. For Jackson, this ‘new’, ‘right’ direction included both higher corporate taxes and national health care. During his speech, Reverend Jackson said things such as “in a nuclear age, we cannot fight it out, we must think it out,” and, promoting his progressive tax plan, “those who make the most should pay the most.” The audience, repeatedly interrupting Jackson with applause, responded with a standing ovation, chanting “Win, Jesse! Win!” Regarding the underwhelming turnout, state campaign coordinator Sherman Roberson challenged Ronald Reagan and other opposing candidates to “pick a Tuesday, come here and do what we did.” During Jackson’s rally, Chancellor Slaughter also provided a red-and-white Terrapin jacket, which Jackson immediately donned.

Jackson returned to campus later that year on September 25, sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha and the campus chapter of the NAACP.  Standing on a chair, Jackson told a crowd at the Hornbake Library plaza, “from womb to tomb, you are in the political process. You have no capacity to escape your political responsibilities,” adding “if you want to go to graduate school and not to war, you must give peace a chance and give Reagan a ranch.” Reverend Jackson also emphasized the importance of education, stating “schools and teachers at their worst are better than jail and jail wardens at their best.” In Jackson’s second appearance, he seemed “more animated and in lighter spirits” than his previous visit, when he was “guarded by a phalanx of Secret Service officers.”

Reverend Jackson returned to campus briefly on June 23, 1986, for the public memorial service for Maryland basketball star Len Bias. Jackson’s remarks began with a request for a round of applause for Bias, in which the audience responded with a two and a half-minute standing ovation. “You cannot judge Lenny, or any other player, on the basis of his last shot,” Jackson told the crowd of 11,000 at Cole Field House.

Returning to campus at Ritchie Coliseum on Saturday March 5, 1988, while campaigning for president, days before Super Tuesday, Reverend Jackson spoke to a crowd of roughly 600 who had waited for him for over four hours, promoting corporate taxation and addressing issues such as the War on Drugs.

Jackson spoke on campus twice in 1992, the first time on February 3, at the Hardee’s in Stamp Student Union, to promote voter registration as part of a Rainbow Coalition nationwide effort to empower students through voter registration drives. “Every vote counts. Whenever young Americans have come alive, America has always been made better,” said Jackson. “You are empowered if you have the will to use that strength. If you want jobs when you graduate, vote about it. If you want better housing, vote about it.” After Jackson’s speech, a voter drive registered 242 students. Eight months later, he returned to Stamp in the Colony Ballroom, where he told a crowd of roughly 400 students to support Bill Clinton and Al Gore in the upcoming presidential election. Before his speech and discussion, Jackson watched the Vice Presidential debate with the audience. “Students must identify their interests,” Jackson told the audience. “If their interests are in more scholarships and more aid and less tuition; if their interest is in the American economy and putting people back to work in a cleaner, healthier environment; interest in choice for women, then there must be a one-term limit put on the Bush-Quayle administration.”

Has it really been 26 years since Reverend Jesse Jackson has spoke on campus? Seems hard to believe. We welcome him back to the University of Maryland and look forward to his message as part of Social Justice Day.

Celebration of Women

Each year, the University of Maryland’s President’s Commission on Women’s Issues (PCWI) holds a Celebration of Women, honoring the contributions of campus women of influence. This year’s Celebration will be a particularly special one, and one in which the University of Maryland Archives is proud to play a role.

pcwi inviteInspired by the Archives’ exhibit, “‘We take our hats off to you, Miss(es) Co-eds’: Celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Education at Maryland,” last fall at McKeldin Library, the PCWI decided that their 2017 event would take a bit of an historical bent. Commission members asked the Archives to create a slideshow of historical images of women on campus from 1916 to 1946 which will run as guests at the event gather and mingle, and we are currently putting the finishing touches on that presentation. The event will also feature remarks from four alumnae from different eras in the university’s history, Ellie Fields, Class of 1949, Sallie Holder, Class of 1962, Nicole Pollard, Class of 1991, and Sarah Niezelski, Class of 2016, recounting their experiences as female students at Maryland. Following the panel discussion, the Commission will honor seven outstanding UMD women of influence: Rashanta Bledman, Karen O’Brien, Jandelyn Plane, Nazish Salahuddin, Erica Simpkins, Sharon Strange Lewis, and Katherine Swanson.

The Celebration of Women will be held from 1:30 to 4 PM on March 31 in the Special Events Room, Room 6137, in McKeldin Library. The event is open to the public, and all are invited. Come celebrate some very special alumnae and current members of the UMD campus community, and enjoy some treasures from the UMD Archives!


New additions to digital football footage

This week, we added 185 football reels to the University Archives’ digital collections site, University AlbUM. The reels, which were professionally repaired and converted to digital, comprise the third batch of the archives’ successful football film preservation and access project.

The additions contain portions of 41 football games and one scrimmage, spanning from 1965 to 1988. Reels of particular interest include five games from the football team’s undefeated regular season in 1976 and several close matchups against Big Ten rival Penn State.

With the new films uploaded, we now have 965 reels of digitized football footage available to stream online for free. Simply search for “football film” in University AlbUM to browse all reels. You can add in a year to view games from a particular season (ex. football film 1975) or an opponent to see past games against a specific team (ex. football film Miami).

Use the search field to find UMD football film in University AlbUM

Please email if you are interested in ordering DVDs of the footage, at a cost of $10 per game — a great gift idea for the Terp fan in your house!

September 11, 2001, at the University of Maryland, College Park

September 11, 2001, left a deep scar on American hearts. Over the past fifteen years, september-12-2001individuals have had time to reflect on what 9/11 means to them and how it affected both their communities and their relationship to our country. University Archives would like to take time today, on this solemn anniversary, to reflect on the impact of the terror attacks on the University of Maryland and its surrounding communities.

Falkenberg family photo

Our university has a direct tie to the events of 9/11, as we lost two former faculty members, Charles Falkenberg and his spouse Leslie Whittington, on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. The family was  traveling to Australia where Leslie was going to work at the Australian National University in Canberra.

On September 12, 2001, the University of Maryland and The Diamondback focused on how the repercussions of 9/11 affected the campus community. President Mote cancelled all campus events and designated September 12 as a day for mourning, reflection, and grieving. Throughout campus, The Diamondback reported scenes of students hugging, crying, and praying together. Although everyone was affected differently, the university community pulled together to support one another.

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Flowers lining the ODK Fountain, following the 9/11 memorial service. Photo by John T. Consoli.

At 1:00pm on September 12, the University held a memorial on McKeldin Mall to mourn and remember those who lost their lives at the Pentagon, World Trade Center, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Over 8,000 people paid their respects by lining the Omicron Delta Kappa fountain with colorful flowers following the service, creating a little bit of beauty on a day overshadowed by such darkness. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the flowers were collected and buried in front of the Main Administration building at the foot of the mall. That site is now the University Peace Garden and stands in memory of the events of 9/11.

9/12 Memorial. Shot 9/11/2008
Peace Garden, Main Admin. Burial site for flowers from 9/11 memorial service. Photo by John T. Consoli.

The terror attacks left a lasting mark on the University of Maryland. Students were deeply saddened but immediately willing to help with blood drives and other services to benefit those most personally affected. As the 2001 fall semester continued, and more hardship beset the campus, increased counseling and support services were made available to students.  Six years later, in 2007, the Memorial Chapel dedicated the Garden of Reflection and Remembrance. Each year, the Walk of Remembrance is held there to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11.

We hope you will take a moment today to remember the Falkenberg family and the nearly 3,000 individuals killed on that tragic day.


Trick Question

When did our student newspaper start publishing?

A. 1910
B. 1914
C. 1916
D. 1919
E. 1920
F. 1921

You may have guessed F, since the first issue of The Diamondback appeared on June 9, 1921. Actually, the answer is all of the above! Each of these years represents an important landmark in the history of the university’s primary student newspaper, The Diamondback.

The Diamondback had a number of predecessors:

A. January 1910 (The Triangle)
B. October 1914 (M.A.C. Weekly)
C. October 1916 (Maryland State Weekly)
D. February 1919 (Maryland State Review)
E. October 1920 (The University Review)
F. June 1921 (The Diamondback)

You could also have guessed 1894. A small paper named The Cadet’s Review began publication in spring 1894 for the Maryland Agricultural College (one of the previous names of UMD) but is not considered a direct predecessor of The Diamondback.

All of these papers, with the exception of The Cadet’s Review, are currently accessible on microfilm in the University Archives’ Maryland Room; The Cadet’s Review is available in hard copy. The University Archives has embarked on a digitization project to make The Diamondback and its predecessors available online, and graduate student assistant Jen Wachtel is recording information about over 100 years of issues on microfilm in preparation for our upcoming user-friendly interface. We look forward to posting future updates about the project, including Jen’s discoveries along the way. We hope you enjoyed the New Year’s post about the first issue of The Triangle in from 1910. Now, take a look at the first front pages of the other predecessor papers in our holdings!

This is the first post in a series of features on important and interesting stories in The Diamondback that we’re compiling as part of our project to digitize The Diamondback. #digiDBK

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All-time Terps in the Super Bowl

Getting psyched for Super Bowl 50 on February 7? UMD football fans will be more than a little interested in the game, since two former Terps are on the Denver Broncos’ roster–Vernon Davis and Darius Kilgo. Hoping for game-changing plays from both of them!

To warm up for the golden anniversary of the big game, we decided to do some digging to find all of the University of Maryland football players to ever participate in football’s biggest game. Below is the list of University of Maryland players to participate in the Super Bowl, both those who have won and those who have lost.

Continue reading “All-time Terps in the Super Bowl”

The Great Crater of 1927?

As many University of Maryland alums know all too well, the great fire of 1912 that destroyed the campus’ main administration and barracks threatened the future of the then-named Maryland Agricultural College.  Yet the college responded quickly, building a new dormitory, Calvert Hall, that celebrated its centennial in 2014.  But did you know that the barracks remained in more than spirit for many more years?

In a recent review of the earliest alumni newsletter, the June 1927 Alumni Log, we discovered this intriguing statement:

Alumni Log, June 1927.  Full issue available online at
Alumni Log, June 1927. Full issue available online at

According to the above statement, remnants of the barracks remained for a full fifteen years after the fire.  To verify the statement, we then reviewed aerial photos in the Archives from 1926 and 1927, and we found the “hole” in question:

Aerial of University of Maryland campus, 1927.  The remnants of the barracks are within the red outlined area.
Aerial of University of Maryland campus, 1927. The remnants of the barracks are within the red outlined area. To view the original image, visit our digital image site at

Apparently it’s always taken a long time to get things done at Maryland.

15 of the Most Iconic Front Pages From The Diamondback

The Diamondback student newspaper has been a huge part of the University of Maryland for over 100 years. Originally named The Triangle, The Diamondback has covered everything from local campus news to world events, national celebrations, and tragedies. In connection with our current Launch UMD campaign to raise money to digitize The Diamondback and make it available online worldwide, we have compiled a list of 15 of the most iconic Diamondback front pages dating all the way back to 1910.

Are there events or stories that we missed? With the Diamondback archive fully available online, you will be able to explore and make your own list. Make sure to check our Twitter and Facebook pages for more iconic front pages throughout the rest of April.

Continue reading “15 of the Most Iconic Front Pages From The Diamondback”

University Archives takes a trip to the Pentagon & the Air Force Art Program

On January 20, University Archives staff members Anne Turkos and Amanda Hawk and undergraduate student assistant Kendall Aughenbaugh had the opportunity to tour the Pentagon by invitation of the Air Force Art Program.

We first arrived at the Pentagon in mid-morning, and after some pleasant exchanges with the security team, we waited for our hosts in the press briefing room at the Pentagon (also the general waiting area for visitors). Fletcher Davis, Director of Operations, Russell Kirk, Curator of the Air Force Art Program, and Greg Thompson, of the Air Force Art Program, came to meet us and escorted us throughout the building for the day. Our tour started in the main lobby, which features two gigantic quilts dedicated to the victims of the attacks on September 11th. One quilt has tiles for the names of the many victims, the other features their photographs. Fletcher explained the quilts were hung in the lobby so that the DoD workers would be reminded of their fight every day.

"Operation Enduring Freedom" by Stewart Wavell-Smith (2004.014 - courtesy of AF Art Program)
“Operation Enduring Freedom” by Stewart Wavell-Smith (2004.014 – courtesy of AF Art Program)

After viewing the 8×28 mural dedicated to Operation Enduring Freedom, we moved to an annex where Air Force art is prominently featured and discussed the program. The Air Force Art Program began in 1950 and is comprised of over 10,000 donations of art featuring aircraft or other Air Force-related subjects. Throughout the course of the day, we talked a lot with our hosts about cataloging and keeping track of such a large number of works of art and other difficulties a collection of this size can present. The art program keeps different works in various places all over world – on bases in the US, as well as in exhibits and displays in other countries. Keeping track of every photo, painting, drawing, model, or piece of sculpture can be extremely difficult!

"Iraqi Wreckage" by Harley  Copic (2004.028 - courtesy of AF Art Program)
“Iraqi Wreckage” by Harley Copic (2004.028 – courtesy of AF Art Program) 

The pieces featured in the first annex we visited were all very photo-realistic pieces, but all extremely different. Some were paintings featuring planes flying through the sky, both solo and in formations, and some were what are called “combat pieces.” These pieces are done by artists who are sent to current combat zones (areas where it’s deemed safe for visitors), and they can paint whatever they see in whatever way they choose. One of the most impressive combat pieces we saw in this gallery was a very life-like painting of a destroyed Iraqi plane, laying on the ground (left). Hard to believe it’s actually a painting, right?

Cruse scanner, used by the Air Force Art Program for preservation. The tower in the back allows the scan to adjust for varying sizes of subjects, and the light bulbs used are custom made for the amount of use this particular scanner gets!
Cruse scanner, used by the Air Force Art Program for preservation. The tower in the back allows the scanner to adjust for varying sizes of subjects, and the light bulbs used are custom-made!

We continued through the halls of the Pentagon (in which we were certain we’d get lost!) and made a visit to the art program’s digitization center, where we met John Meade. Digitization is an extremely important part of any kind of collection, but Fletcher explained how the art program sees it as a kind of “insurance policy.” Currently, the Air Force Art Program is attempting to scan and digitally store as many of their art works as possible so they can be absolutely sure they will will have high quality images of these pieces forever. Using their state-of-the-art scanner (right), the art program can preserve these fantastic pieces of art and use them in many different ways. One piece, the “F-86 Sabre Dance,” is one of their most famous pieces, and its digital copy is featured in several exhibits on display in the Pentagon, as well as other publications.

After walking around and seeing a bit more art, we had the chance to meet with Dave Bragg from the Air Force History Office and Col. Sean Monogue of Air Force Public Affairs about how these programs help preserve the history of the Air Force and represent the Air Force to a wide variety of constituencies. It was extremely interesting to hear how the art program partners with the history and public affairs staffs to support the Air Force’s mission.

The last portion of our day was spent with Al Jones, Curator for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (SecDef or OSD). Mr. Jones is in charge of many of the exhibits on display in the halls of the Pentagon. We started at an exhibit about Prisoners of War and soldiers Missing in Action. The exhibit talked about the ongoing efforts to recover missing soldiers after conflict ends, in order to bring closure to their families. DNA and digs in former combat zones are integral in finding lost soldiers, but efforts in the last few decades have solved thousands of cases for grieving families. This exhibit is supported by some of the AF Art Programs pieces which feature POWs as the main subject. More information about this exhibit can be found here. Another interesting exhibit focused on the human side of the Air Force, featuring missions like the Berlin Airlift or Tsunami Relief Efforts.

Korea: The Forgotten Victory
Korea: The Forgotten Victory
Korea: The Forgotten Victory
Korea: The Forgotten Victory

The most recent exhibit installed at the Pentagon, “The Forgotten Victory,” is about the conflict in Korea. Al explained that the committee who designed the exhibit did not want to call it the forgotten war, because the people of South Korea have benefited so greatly since the end of the conflict. While the mission of the war was not entirely successful, he said, it was still a victory for those living in South Korea.The exhibit features panels dedicated to the contributions each branch of the military made to the war effort. Additionally, a chronology of the progress of the wa has been placed on the walls, and photographs of US soldiers in the conflict are everywhere. The exhibit was so well done, and told the story of the Korean conflict so vividly,that representatives from South Korea who were sent to examine it asked that it be duplicated and re-built in South Korea. More information about this exhibit and its dedication can be found here.

Anne, Amanda, and Kendall had a terrific day learning about the Air Force Art Program and visiting many exhibits throughout the Pentagon and are very grateful to their hosts for an amazing, behind-the-scenes tour.