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!”

 

 

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May is National Strawberry Month!

The Maryland Agricultural College has a very interesting connection to the delicious fruit celebrated each year during the month of May! When Benjamin Hallowell, the college’s first president, arrived on campus in October 1859, one of the first projects he initiated with the young men under his charge was the creation of a strawberry bed.

hallowell
Benjamin Hallowell

Hallowell recounts this story in his autobiography, originally published in 1884:

The students were told if they would plant an acre of land in strawberry vines, and divide the plat into two equal parts, they might take their choice of the portions and have all the strawberries that grew on it, subject to such regulations among themselves as they chose to adopt, the other division being for the family. They accepted this proposition with the greatest alacrity, went at it by turns in the classes with earnestness and under competent direction; and like the ice-pond [another project Hallowell began early on in his presidency], it was completed to the perfect satisfaction of all the parties concerned.

The University of Maryland continues to have close ties to the world of strawberries. For example, UMD Extension agents provide farmers across the state with advice on maximizing and improving their strawberry crops, and researchers in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources have even discovered a gene that may greatly increase strawberry production: https://agnr.umd.edu/news/umd-researchers-find-gene-may-greatly-increase-strawberry-production. Perhaps, as they work, they are remembering those cadets from long ago and those very first strawberry beds here in College Park!

Happy eating!

Cadets_Class of 1890

 

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

UMD18_Social_OSC_SocialJustice_V1_TWTR (1)
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.

New Campus Walking Tour Dedicated to African-American History!

African American history tourWith Black History Month winding down, University Archives is excited to share a new learning resource developed by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion: an online tour exploring our campus’ African-American history! The self-guided tour, released earlier this week, features 17 locations on campus.

“All of us need to learn this important history,” said President Loh, “these stories of African-American struggles and contributions span the history of our campus and our nation. We need to make them part of our shared memory.”

The tour can be found here, and an article from the Diamondback announcing the tour can be found here.

The Return of Bobby Seale

Tonight, as part of the College of Arts and Humanities’ “2017-18 Dean’s Lecture Series: Courageous Conversations, ARHU Resists Hate And Bias,” the University of Maryland welcomes the return of Bobby Seale! A career political activist, Seale co-founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense with Huey P. Newton in October 1966. Seale will present “Resistance: From the Sixties to Trump,” which will be followed by a book signing and reception.

Bobby Seale Promo Poster 2018

This will be Bobby Seale’s third time speaking on campus. Seale first spoke on campus at Ritchie Coliseum on February 3rd, 1972. “If you want to wage a revolutionary struggle in this country it is necessary to move forward to feed and clothe the people,” said Seale, to a crowd of 700 people. Seale’s first lecture centered around the Black Panther Party, and he addressed rumors of defection within the party, their primary objectives, and widely debated use of guns for self-defense. For Seale, a primary goal of the Black Panther Party was “to teach and educate the masses of the people,” and that guns were “not the power, but are tools to be used in particular times for particular reasons.”

Seale returned to the University of Maryland on February 11, 1974, at the Grand Ballroom in Stamp Student Union. Echoing his first lecture, Seale’s again focused on defending the Black Panther Party and dispel media distortion of the party’s objectives. “They told you we were picking up guns to shoot white people,” Seale said of the media. “The power structure does not want minority peoples or white people to have unity and control over their lives, especially on a community level,” Seale told the audience at Stamp.

 

The 2017-2018 Arts and Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series will conclude with a lecture from award-winning journalist and NPR correspondent, Mara Liasson on Wednesday April 11, 2018 at the Gildenhorn Recital Hall in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. For more information and to RSVP for tonight’s Bobby Seale lecture, click here. For more information on the 2017-2018 Arts and Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series, click here.

 

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!

 

20 Performers who Rocked UMD

In a letter to the Diamondback in 1969, a disgruntled student complained that other students “don’t know what they’re missing” in the music scene. Other universities hosted big-name bands like Jefferson Airplane, so why not UMD? Someone must have taken his advice because our campus exploded with music, from underground cult bands to big-name artists playing to sold out crowds. Scroll on for our list of 20 epic performers who rocked the UMD campus.

1. Elvis Presley – September 27 & 28, 1974

elvis-performs

How could The King be anything but number 1? Although perhaps not his best years, Elvis still played to sold-out crowds in not one, but two shows in Cole Field House.

2. Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis & Bruce Springsteen – April 28, 1973

Chuck Berry                     bruce

Believe it or not, The Boss was barely mentioned in the advertisements for this epic collaboration. Springsteen was still years from commercial success, but established rockers Berry and Lewis kept the crowds going until after midnight. So hyped was the show that several students were arrested for sneaking in through an open bathroom window.

3. Queen with Thin Lizzy – February 4, 1977

In a show heavy on special effects and skintight leotards, rockers Queen and Thin Lizzy lit up a crowd of 10,000 at Cole Field House, shutting it down with an encore performance of Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock.”

Queen

4. Stevie Wonder with Mandrill, Earth, Wind & Fire, and The Persuasions – March 25, 1973

stevie

 

Yet another historic musical collaboration hit the stage when Stevie Wonder came to town for this soul showdown. The six-hour-long show ended with his latest single, “Superstition,” although we are equally as impressed that UMD offered unlimited free parking for attendees.

5. U2 – April 25, 1983

U2 had yet to hit it big in the United States when they landed in College Park.

U2 review

Before the days of metal detectors and bag checks, enthusiastic concert-goers climbed on stage to dance with the band and Bono rode on a fan’s shoulders through the crowd.

6. Frank Zappa – various dates

frank zappa                Zappa letter

The Baltimore-born rocker played on campus at least five times between 1967 and 1978. After one such stay, several members of Zappa’s team skipped town without paying their hotel bill in full, so the owner of the local Holiday Inn sent a letter demanding payment to Zappa’s production company.

7. Billy Joel – April 30, 1977

BIlly Joel Steve Martin

It’s hard to imagine paying just $6.50 to see an artist who sells out stadiums for $300+ per seat today. The Piano Man just so happened to perform the same week as an up-and-coming comedian… look familiar?

8. The Clash – September 29, 1979

The Clash review

 

The gnarly British punk band almost (literally) blew out the sound system of Ritchie Coliseum. Despite technical delays and a restless crowd, The Clash destroyed their set list – and several guitars – to the delight of the sweaty, jam-packed audience.

 

9. Santana – October 19, 1974

Santana 2

Santana 5

As the title of the Diamondback article suggests, Carlos Santana was the focal point of his eponymous band’s nearly 3-hour-long set. The crowd of over 8,000 clapped and roared with frenetic energy through the popular hit songs and epic guitar solos.

10. The Grateful Dead – March 7, 1981

Grateful Dead review

 

“Deadhead” students started lining up the week before ticket sales started to score seats for this long-anticipated concert. University officials, desperate to clear the Student Union of the throngs of un-showered hopefuls, decided to sell tickets before the band’s contract had even been signed.

11. The Beach Boys – March 28, 1972

Beach Boys 2

 

The Boys may have been past their prime by 1972, but they proved their timeless appeal by drawing thousands to Cole Fieldhouse after the release of their 17th (!) album, Surf’s Up.

 

12. Ozzy Osbourne – February 14, 1983

Ozzy 2                  Ozzy security 3

The Prince of Darkness returned to UMD for a Valentine’s Day solo show after performing with Black Sabbath in 1972. A police report written by the University police expresses their concern of potential unrest due to Ozzy’s “abuse of animals… involvement with satanic groups, and desecration of monuments.”

13. The B-52s – September 11, 1980

B-52s 3

The B-52s rode the wave of their newfound fame to college campuses all over the country after topping the charts with their first hit single, “Rock Lobster.”

14. The Ramones – July 14, 1981

Ramones 4

 

One consistent thread throughout many Diamondback concert reviews is complaints about the terrible acoustics in Ritchie Coliseum. The Ramones were able to bop their way past the technical difficulties to jam through all of their biggest hits.

 

15. Rod Stewart with Faces – October 11, 1975

Rod Stewart 4

As one reviewer wrote, Stewart took the stage in satin pants and sang until his voice gave out, accompanied by guitarist Ronnie Wood (who soon moved onto the band he is most associated with today, the Rolling Stones).

16. Blue Oyster Cult – October 22, 1972

Blue Oyster Cult poster

 

UMD didn’t know it yet, but what it really needed in 1972 was more cowbell. Poor ticket sales actually led to a huge loss of money for the university, most likely because the crowd did not yet know that you Don’t Fear the Reaper.

 

17. Cyndi Lauper – May 3, 1984

Lauper took home the Grammy for Best New Artist soon after she brought her quirky brand of fun to Ritchie Coliseum.

Cyndi Lauper 2

The post-show “security report” noted that there were no incidents… despite Lauper’s late arrival.

18. Devo – November 2, 1981

Devo review

 

True to their quirky style, Devo’s performance was packed with flashing lights, video backdrops, and moving sidewalks. The crowd in Ritchie danced through the synthesizer-fueled “Whip It,” the song that cemented Devo as a cult favorite.

 

19. Steppenwolf ft. Don McLean – March 26, 1971

The Steppenwolf concert gains a spot for the sheer “rock n roll” factor of how it all went down. The Diamondback reported that disgruntled fans were arrested after turning violent and throwing rocks at policemen. The unrest threatened the future of student events on campus, as admins debated whether to invite rock musicians at all.

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McLean, a little known musician at the time, was just a few months from releasing his hit song “American Pie.” His return to campus in 1973 drew a much higher turnout. Check out our previous blog post for more on the event.

20. The Talking Heads – October 13, 1978

Talking Heads 3

Rock music gave way to a tide of New Wave groups as the ’80s approached. Lead singer David Byrne grew up in Baltimore and returned home on one of The Talking Heads’ first national tours.

The Shows That Never Were

bob

As on any big campus, UMD has its fair share of “shows that got away.” Campus legends tell of the promising acts that never materialized – like the Rolling Stones and a Springsteen solo show. Perhaps most tragically, a much-anticipated and sold-out concert by Bob Marley was cancelled at the last minute when the singer grew ill. He was sadly never able to reschedule due to his failing health.

Still, this list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to campus concert history. The University Archives holds the records of Student Entertainment Events (SEE); come in and see what other famous musicians you can find in our archives!

 

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!

A trip down memory lane to the Terps 2004 ACC title

Front PageWith the Terrapins hosting the Big Ten Tournament in Washington, D.C., this weekend, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane to the last time the Terps won their conference tournament: 2004.

Maryland, led by guards D.J. Strawberry and John Gilchrist, struggled for much of the season and finished with a 7-9 record within the ACC, good enough for only the No. 6 seed.


Their path through the tournament required that they defeat the conference’s three best teams: No. 17 NC State, No. 15 Wake Forest, and rival No.5 Duke. Over the course of the 2003-04 season the Terps were a combined 0-5 against those teams.

In addition, the tournament was held in Greensboro, North Carolina, essentially home games for all three of those teams.

Sports FrontSo, while many experts didn’t expect the Terps to win, Coach Gary Williams’ squad believed in themselves.

They narrowly defeated the No. 15 Demon Deacons by one point in the first game before overcoming a 19-point deficit against the No. 17 Wolfpack to win the very next day behind a career-high 30 points from Gilchrist.

That Sunday the Terps faced No. 5 Duke, a team they had already lost to twice that season. The two teams battled intensely, and, after a tied score in regulation, they headed into overtime for the right to an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

The Terps outscored Duke 18-10 in the extra session and ended the Blue Devils’ quest for a fifth consecutive tournament title. Gilchrist notched 26 points, earning him tournament MVP honors and giving the program their first conference tournament title since 1984, when they were led by coach Lefty Driesell and forward Len Bias.CanerMedley celebrates

While the fans who made the trip to Greensboro chanted “Gary! Gary!” as he cut down the nets, students in College Park once again took to the streets in ecstasy.

After the victory, the Terps entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 4 seed. They would beat Texas El-Paso in the first round before falling to Syracuse in their next game.

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!