Today we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the graduation of Elizabeth Gambrill Hook, the first woman to take all of her classes on campus and receive a four-year degree from the University of Maryland. Two women, Charlotte Vaux and Grace Bruce Holmes, had graduated earlier, Vaux with a two-year degree in agriculture in 1918 and Holmes finishing her four-year, bachelor of science degree in 1919 after transferring to UMD, but Hook deserves special recognition.
Elizabeth Hook matriculated at the Maryland State College of Agriculture, as the University of Maryland was then known, on September 14, 1916, indicating that she planned to pursue a career in “experimental work.” You can find more information about her undergraduate days and her career following graduation in a recent Terrapin Tales.
Upon her graduation on June 16, 1920, with a degree in entomology, she became a teacher. She married Franklin Day, who later became the superintendent of schools for Kent County, Maryland, in August 1921, and was very active in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Centreville.
When Elizabeth Hook Day passed away in 1950 at the age of 54, Dean of Women Adele Stamp prepared a brief obituary for the alumni magazine, recognizing her pioneering role at UMD. She included a quotation from the citation the co-eds presented to Mrs. Day at the 1937 May Day celebration when they honored her contribution to women’s education at Maryland:
“To Elizabeth Hook Day, the first woman graduate to enter the University from high school, and to spend four years on our campus we present this orchid, with grateful appreciation for opening the way for education of women. By her courage, friendliness, dignity, and ability she cleared the path for other women to follow. To her we pay honor and esteem, and time can never erase from our grateful memories the contribution she has made.”
For many years, the signature song “There She Is, Miss America” concluded the nation’s most well-known beauty pageant, the 93-year-old Miss America competition. Although such contests spotlighting women’s physical appearance have been re-directed to emphasize contestants’ artistic accomplishments, talent, and personal philosophies and have a lower profile in the 21st century, the mystique of the Miss America pageant persists.
As part of a major update to our MAC to Millennium: University of Maryland A to Z website in summer 2019, we have added a list of all the UMD students/alumnae who have been crowned Miss Maryland and represented the state on the national stage to the site. The first Miss Maryland to attend UMD was Marie Lorraine True (Evans), who won the crown in 1959. The most recent was Adrianna David, crowned in 2018. Visit Miss Maryland on the MAC to Millennium site to find the full list.
Perhaps one day Miss Maryland will reach the pinnacle of the Miss America competition. It could even be tonight! The broadcast begins at 8 PM Eastern Time on NBC. When it does happen, wouldn’t it be awesome if Miss Maryland was a Terrapin??!!
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, Veterans Day 2019, we honor all members of the University of Maryland community who have served in the armed forces, past and present, but we also wanted to share some special veterans with you.
The names of over 200 brave Terps who lost their lives in service to our country are recorded in the Memorial Chapel’s Roll of Honor, which is preserved in the University Archives. You can view the digital copy of this beautiful ledger in University AlbUM.
The university also counts two Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, Florent Groberg and Tom Norris, among its alumni.
Captain Florent Groberg
Ltt. Thomas Norris
U.S. Army Captain Groberg, Class of 2006, was honored for his life-saving actions as the commander of a security detachment in Task Force Mountain Warrior in Afghanistan in 2012; you can read his medal citation here. Forty years earlier, Navy Lt. Tom Norris, Class of 1967, led a five-man patrol in Quang Tri Province in Vietnam to rescue two downed American pilots.; you can find his citation and a video about his military career here. The bravery and courage of both men have been recorded in recently published books, 8 Seconds of Courage and Saving Bravo.
Robert Sinclair Booth, Class of 1936, was the first University of Maryland student killed in World War II. He was aboard the USS Arizona when it was attacked and sunk at Pearl Harbor. The Navy honored Ensign Booth by naming the USS Booth, a destroyer escort vessel, in his memory.
RichardDurkee, Class of 1959, was a highly decorated veteran of Army service in World War II and Korea. One of the few survivors of the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, he also was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor, for heroism during an attack near Uijongbu, Korea. You can find more about his military accomplishments in his obituary from the Washington Post.
Ann White Kurtz, who received her M.A. (1951) and Ph.D. (1956) from Maryland, was an early member of the Navy’s WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Services) who worked as a decoder to intercept and read messages sent by the Nazis during World War II and helped to break the code of the Germans’ Enigma machine. A 2018 article published by Kurtz’s undergraduate alma mater, Wellesley College, details some of her wartime experience, and her story is also included in the 2017 book Code Girls by Liza Mundy.
We thank each of the brave men and women from the University of Maryland for their service and honor them this day and always.
The Terps only captured the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Tournament championship three times before leaving the conference in 2014 for the Big Ten. Coach Bud Millikan led Maryland to the first of the three, on March 8, 1958.
The Terps trailed by as many as 13 in the first half, but stormed back to score 59 in the second half, defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels, 86-74. Led by sophomore star Charlie McNeil, who shot 80 percent in the championship game, the Terps outlasted the Virginia Cavaliers (70-66) and Duke Blue Devils (71-65) to reach the final and did not disappoint Terrapin fans with their gritty defense and stellar free-throw shooting to beat the defending conference and national champion Heels. This was the first time that a team from outside Tobacco Road had won the conference championship in the young ACC, so this victory was particularly sweet.
Maryland started the game slowly, shooting only 28.1 percent in the first half, and trailed by 7 at the break, 34-27. Carolina’s 1-2-2 zone plus the Terps’ poor shooting seemed destined to send them to defeat until McNeil took over the game following the intermission. His heroics, combined with the stellar play of teammates Nick Davis, Tom Young, and Al Bunge and the 25 foul shots Maryland made in the last 4 minutes of play, as the Heels repeatedly fouled in an attempt to regain the ball, saved the day for the Terps.
As conference tournament champions, the Terps were the only team from the ACC to make the NCAA Tournament that year, starting a run that has seen Maryland in the Big Dance 26 times since that landmark bid in 1958, when they made it to the Elite Eight.
This is the sixth in a series of blog posts the University Archives will be featuring as part of the celebration 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 March 11, commemorating National Basketball Hall of Fame Coach Lefty Driesell’s only ACC Tournament championship.
The Maryland men’s basketball team has enjoyed a lot of big wins in their 100 seasons on the hardwood, but perhaps none bigger than their 67-66 victory over Notre Dame on January 27, 1979, in front of a sell-out crowd in Cole. The Fighting Irish came to campus ranked No. 1 in the country and riding a seven-game winning streak, while Maryland was unranked and looking for an upset.
The Terps led by as many as 12 during the game, but fell apart in the last 7.5 minutes of the contest, needing some late heroics from stars Larry Gibson and Buck Williams to complement Ernie Graham’s game-high 28 points and eke out the victory. Gibson pulled the Terps to within two, 66-64, sinking two free throws at the 1:26 minute mark. The Irish then passed the ball around until 15 seconds remained (in the days before the institution of the shot clock), and Reggie Jackson fouled Notre Dame’s Stan Wilcox. Wilcox missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Maryland’s Buck Williams grabbed the rebound, one of his 15 on the day. The Terps called time-out with 11 seconds left, then again with 5 seconds remaining to set up the final play.
Coach Lefty Driesell called for the same set-up that had nearly beaten the No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels only a week earlier. Jackson passed the ball to guard Greg Manning who gave up an open shot to drive to the hoop. Just as he was about to go out of bounds, he flipped the ball back to Larry Gibson who sank a layup and was fouled by the Irish’s Bruce Flowers, who later seemed unconvinced that he had indeed committed the infraction. “If the referee [said] I did, then I guess I did,” he told the Washington Post after game.
Notre Dame called two time-outs in an attempt to ice Gibson, whose free throw hit nothing but net with one second left on the clock.
The Irish called another time-out to set up a last-gasp, half-court shot that fell short, and the celebration was on! Terrapin fans, many of them waving Maryland flags, mobbed the court, and Driesell was mobbed by a huge crowd on the floor of Cole while being interviewed on national television.
After the game, Gibson told The Diamondback, “That was definitely one of the biggest shots of my life…I was just trying to concentrate on the rim. But I was thinking about beating the No. 1 team in the country.”
You can re-live this No. 1 upset by watching the four reels of footage from the game in the UMD Archives’ collections, which have been digitized as part of our campaign to Help Preserve Maryland Basketball History:
If you enjoyed viewing this landmark Terps’ victory, please visit go.umd.edu/preservembb and make a gift to support our on-going work to digitize additional footage from 1953 to 2014.
This is the fifth in a series of blog posts the University Archives will be featuring as part of the celebration 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 March 8, the 60th anniversary of the Terps’ first-ever ACC Tournament championship.
As we assembled the all-time roster of University of Maryland men’s basketball players over the summer, we came up with some unlikely finds, some gentlemen who were better known for their achievements later in life than they were for the exploits on the hardwood.
We’ve already told you the stories of Charlie “King Kong” Keller, the only Terp to ever play in baseball’s All Star Game and World Series, and author Munro Leaf, most famous for his beloved work The Story of Ferdinand.
But did you know that we had a future lieutenant general playing for the Terps under head coach H. Burton Shipley in the 1940-1941 season?
George Simler, born in 1921 in Johnstown, PA, entered the University of Maryland in fall 1940 and played freshman football and basketball and ran track for the Terps, but left in June 1941 when he was called to active duty in the Navy.
Two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Diamondback published a letter he sent to the university community, showing his love for Maryland and how much he missed being on campus:
Nine days later, he enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on December 18, 1941, and he received his pilot wings on August 5, 1942.
Simler served two combat tours as a pilot in the European Theater of Operations during World War II. He was shot down in July 1944 but successfully evaded capture and returned to the Allied lines two months later. Following the war, he returned to the university serve as a professor of aerospace science and tactics and to complete his education. As he finished out his student days, he rejoined the football team, participating in the Terps’ first-ever post-season bowl game, the Gator Bowl, versus Georgia on January 1, 1948. Five months later, he received his degree in Military Science and was awarded the Sylvester Watch, given to the man who typified the best in Maryland Athletics.
Following graduation, he took on a variety of assignments for the Air Force in the U.S. and overseas, including command of various fighter groups and director of operations of the Seventh Air Force and the Headquarters of the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam, even flying several combat missions during that conflict. He also served as vice commander of the United States Air Forces in Europe.
Throughout his 30-year career in the Air Force, General Simler received numerous awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and the Vietnam Air Gallantry Cross. You can find the text for many of his award citations here.
He was killed in a jet crash at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas on September 9, 1972, shortly before he was to have been promoted to full general and assigned to head the Military Airlift Command.
Simler played in 14 games as a freshman under head coach H. Burton Shipley, scoring 29 points. While perhaps you wouldn’t characterize as a star on the hardwood, he did make an impact as a freshman baller and is certainly a Terp of whom we can be very proud.
As we assembled the all-time roster of University of Maryland men’s basketball players over the summer, we came up with some unlikely finds, some gentlemen who were better known for their achievements later in life than they were for the exploits on the hardwood.
We’ve already told you the story of Charlie “King Kong” Keller, the only Terp to ever play in baseball’s All Star Game and World Series, who just happened to be a star shooter for Maryland for four seasons, 1933-1937.
We were surprised to find another famous name on an early roster—Munro Leaf! Leaf, better known as the author of the delightful children’s book, The Story of Ferdinand, took to the hardwood for the freshmen basketballers in the 1924 season.
His court career did not last long, however, and didn’t even rate a mention in the list of his activities included with his senior photo in the 1927 Reveille yearbook.
The roster we compiled was recently used by artist Daniel Duffy to create one of his pieces of “word art,” which was distributed to fans at the November 28 ACC/Big Ten Challenge game vs. the University of Virginia Cavaliers.
See if you can find Munro Leaf or Charlie Keller among the 863 names of former players, coaches, and basketball venues that Duffy incorporated into his work!
We found another surprise or two on the roster, so check back on Terrapin Tales to see who we discovered!
Before writing the S.C.U.M Manifesto and attempting to assassinate Andy Warhol, Valerie Solanas was a student-journalist for the Diamondback from 1956 through 1957.
In contrast to her later reputation as a radical feminist, Solanas wrote some fairly generic articles for the paper. In her first article from February 2, 1956, Solanas reported on a female student who donated her eighth pint of blood. The next time she popped up was as a feature reporter on a May 16, 1956, article defending the university’s decision to charge seniors a $10 diploma fee.
The fall semester of 1957 saw the end to her rather bland assignments. On November 19, 1957, the Diamondback editorial staff praised a speech given by Max Shulman at the Associated Collegiate Press Convention. Described as a humorist and national college newspaper columnist, whose column “On Campus with Max Shulman” appeared regularly in the Diamondback, Shulman’s speech declared that in order to “reinvigorate the youth,” the matriarchy must be destroyed. He claimed that when America was run by “restless men,” the country was the light of the world. Shulman suggested that one way to begin the process of reversing the matriarchy was to take the girl with whom you have been going steady since you were 13 and “punch her in the nose” because it will “leave no confusion as to who’s boss.”
Solanas responded with a letter to the editor on November 22, 1957, stating that Shulman was the “nadir of trivia” and that his statements were “pure bigoted drivel.” She went on to defend stay-at-home mothers by outlining all of the work they did while their husbands were at work and noting that two-thirds of married women juggle work and family duties. She then turned her attention to the Diamondback editors by questioning whether or not it was appropriate for this sort of content to be in the editorial section of the paper. Her fiery response was co-signed by ten other female students on campus.
On November 26th, Harry Walsh, writing on behalf of himself and the residents of North Baltimore Hall, responded to Solanas by claiming that “these females” purposefully misinterpreted Shulman’s speech and he doubted that Shulman was serious about revolting against the matriarchy since Walsh doubts it even exists. While he does not believe that men have lost masculinity and that he should he punch his girlfriend in the nose, he and his dormmates believe that Solanas’ response only created more humor around the whole situation.
Over the next two months, anonymous and named men from the UMD campus and College Park community chimed in to defend Shulman’s comments, with the main war waging between Walsh and Solanas. One anonymous writer from December 11th wrote that women are meant to stay home and that “women think they’re too good to do housework and try to think.” Another man, W.E. Parr, wrote on December 12th that Solanas is “Maryland’s own little suffragette.” He stated that when UMD men come across a “certain type of distraught female,” the best thing to do is humor them.
Solanas wrote two significant responses on December 17th and December 18th. In the first, entitled “Verbal Warpath,” she tells men to “maintain your manly composure” and that their replies are “unbecoming to men of your intellectual stature.” After taking a few more shots at the multiple men writing in and insulting her, she signed off with “‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ and my pen is dipped in blood!” The next day, she responded directly to Parr, arguing that men are actually the ones who are wasting away without the women because they are desperately seeking companionship as they lurk around dances and the female dorms.
One female student did come to the defense of Solanas on December 10th when Mary Louis Sparks wrote that Solanas was not trying to wage war, but clarify certain concepts that are held by a large number of men and that those concepts are being held in error. None of the women who signed off on Solanas’ first letter wrote in to defend her, and it is unclear if women wrote in and were not included or if Sparks was actually the only student to defend her.
By January 9, 1958, the editor of the Diamondback had stepped in to put an end to what had become known as the “War of Pens,” as it was unlikely that Shulman or his followers would be converted. He also noted that both sides stated their cases rather poorly due to the sheer number of insults and sarcastic responses to one another. The editor then declared that January 17th would be the last issue that would address the debate.
Solanas was the only person to directly respond to the call for final thoughts. She opted to write a poem rather than a traditional letter:
January 17, 1958, poem on the War of Pens
There were at least 15 exchanges over the course of three months with articles separate from the “Backtalk” column that addressed the debate. Nearly every “Letter to the Editor” section had someone chiming in on the debate. After the war of pens had ended, Solanas did not appear in the Diamondback as a writer again, while Max Shulman’s column “On Campus,” that was sent out to multiple college newspapers, continued to be published. On what could be considered a particularly conservative campus in the 1950s, the Diamondback editorial staff said that War of Pens had permeated every part of campus life. Though it cannot be said that it caused any major changes, this look into gender relations on campus is certainly enlightening, especially since it was led by Valerie Solanas.
Flip through the gallery below to see the entire “War of Pens”!
Once a year, baseball fans flock to the ballparks and TV screens to watch the battle of the American League and National League champions as they go head to head for THE WORLD SERIES TITLE! In honor of this year’s World Series showdown between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers, University Archives thought we would share the story of an early University of Maryland baseball dynamo, Charlie “King Kong” Keller.
A native of Middletown, Maryland, Charlie Keller (1916-1990) was a standout in high school, both as a guard on the Middletown High School basketball team and bouncing between pitcher and catcher on the baseball team. As a two-sport athlete at the University of Maryland, he was instantly recognized as quite the slugger, finishing his first two varsity seasons with batting averages of .500 and .495. By 1936, Keller came back to campus for his senior year with an accepted offer from well-known scout, Gene McCann, to play for the New York Yankees.
As a left fielder for the Yankees, he was praised for his ability to hit massive, wall- reaching fly balls and home runs, earning him the nickname “King Kong.” He played with right fielder, Tommy Henrich, and center fielder, Joe DiMaggio, forming one of the best-hitting outfields in baseball history. This feared slugger hit .334 with 11 home runs and 83 RBI’s in 111 games! “King Kong” Keller was a 4-time World Series Champion (1939, 1941, 1943, 1958) and 5-time All Star (1940, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1947). In his 13- season career with the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers, Keller played in 1,170 games, hit .286 with 189 home runs and 760 RBI. Upon his retirement, he was elected to the Frederick County and Maryland Sports Halls of Fame, The Kingston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame, the International League Hall of Fame, and the University of Maryland Hall of Fame in 1982.
We are also celebrating Charlie Keller as part of the commemoration of the 100th season, of Maryland men’s basketball this year, #Terps100. He is best known for his baseball exploits, but he did hit the hardwood as a guard for the Terps for 4 seasons, 1933-1937. The yearbook from his senior year contains a great description of his accomplishments:
Keller was one of the most accurate potshot artists from long range Marylanders have ever known. Keller was the lone consistent marksman on the team and frequently sent long arches through the hoop to start an Old Line rally.
Charlie Keller definitely knew what it took to win a series like the one that starts tonight! This Dodgers vs. Red Sox face-off is the first in the World Series since 1916, the year “King Kong” Keller was born! May the best team win!