A legendary politician visits campus

With the 2016 Presidential election in the rearview mirror, the presidency has been on all of our minds lately. But back in 1959, the students got to hear from one of the country’s most iconic presidents: John F. Kennedy.

front-pageThen a Senator representing Massachusetts, Kennedy hadn’t even declared his intent to run for President in 1960 when he visited campus on April 27 to speak to 5,500 students at the Spring Convocation held in Cole Field House. He was joined on stage by University of Maryland President Wilson Elkins and Dean James Borreson. 

Kennedy “called for  more students to enter politics and stressed the need for the American people to do their duty in these days of world crisis.”

While many in attendance enjoyed the speech and Kennedy’s charisma, others reportedly articlefelt the Senator should have taken a harder stance on civil rights and foreign policy issues. 

Kennedy visited the campus once more, on May 14, 1960, before his assassination in November 1963. In that appearance, Kennedy spoke on the eve of the Maryland primary and left Ritchie Coliseum holding on to a stuffed Testudo.

pictureThe 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!

“A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”

On this the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, we remember all the brave members of the University of Maryland community who gave their lives in the service of their country during World War II and highlight resources in the UMD Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives that support study of that conflict.

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Dr. Gordon W. Prange in his office in the UMD History Dept.

The personal papers of Gordon W. Prange are one of the most frequently consulted collections in the UMD Archives. Dr. Prange (July 16, 1910 – May 15, 1980) was an historian and history professor at the University of Maryland from 1937 until his death in 1980. While teaching at Maryland, Prange published many books and articles on a variety of historical topics, but he is probably best known for his research on the attack on Pearl Harbor. Prange conducted interviews and collected accounts from diaries, articles, and correspondence with many of the key participants in the battle, both Japanese and American, as well as completing extensive research on the causes, planning, build-up to, execution, and consequences of the attack. The collection consists of both personal and professional papers and includes unpublished manuscripts, correspondence, interview notes and transcripts, research notes, articles, maps, and photographs related to Prange’s research on the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway, the Russian spy Richard Sorge, and the speeches of Adolf Hitler. There are also materials related to Prange’s tenure as a history professor at the University of Maryland and his service as an historian for the US Army under General Douglas MacArthur during the Allied occupation of Japan.

 

The Prange Papers were most recently used by NHK Television in Japan for a documentary on the life of Mitsuo Fuchida, the pilot who led the first airstrike against Pearl Harbor. This video aired on TV in Japan in August 2016; an English version of the same piece ran on PBS in Hawai’i two days ago.

The Gordon W. Prange Collection on the Allied Occupation of Japan, 1945-1949, an internationally known resource documenting life in post-war Japan, is named in Dr. Prange’s honor.

A selection of additional, World War II-related resources in the University of Maryland Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives may be found in this subject guide: http://digital.lib.umd.edu/archivesum/rguide/wwii.jsp.

The University Archives’ Scrapbook Collection also includes a volume presented to the Alumni Association following the war, which includes a collection of newspaper clippings about University of Maryland alumni who fought in the war. Colonel John O’Neill, University of Maryland class of 1930, is the subject of several pages, with articles detailing his recommendation for a Distinguished Service Cross. In addition to the large collection of clippings about Maryland alumni in the armed services, there are numerous obituaries and notices of those missing-in-action. Similar coverage of Maryland students and alumni serving in the war can be found in the alumni magazines of the period, accessible via links on http://www.lib.umd.edu/univarchives/alumni-magazines, and in issues of The Diamondback, currently available on microfilm and soon to be accessible online.

The University Archives is also proud to preserve the University of Maryland Memorial Book, which contains a Roll of Honor listing the names of University of Maryland alumni who were killed in action in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. The book was engraved by White House calligrapher and 1943 Maryland graduate William E. Tolley, and was dedicated at a service in Memorial Chapel on November 19, 1961. You may find the entirety of this moving tribute to these brave members of the campus community online at http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/5024.

For more information about the resources described here, contact the University Archives at askhornbake@umd.edu or 301-405-9058.

UMD123: 263

As a successful season comes to a close for DJ Durkin and the Maryland Terrapins football team, the curtains are drawn on another fantastic season for the 263-piece ensemble, the Mighty Sound of Maryland.

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The Crown Imperial                                        PC: Ken Rubin Photography

The marching band (also referred to as MSOM) has long been a major part of the University’s culture. The group can find its roots in Maryland Agricultural College, when the college bugler brought together a 17-piece band to perform at military functions in 1908. From that point, the band began growing into the sizable and talented group we know today. The band has passed many milestones within this time period, with the inclusion the first UMD bandswomen in 1937, being integrated as a recognized ensemble in the School of Music in 1955, and even marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2000!

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MAC Cadet Band
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This picture, from the 1937 yearbook, depicts Misses Long, Beach, and Beane performing at All-University Night
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MSOM at the Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2000

Of course, MSOM could never live up to its name without the hard work of over 250 students. These individuals practice up to five days a week, and perform at every home football game. The band as we know it today is made up of 11 sections, which include drumline, clarinets, mellophones, low brass (aka KAOS), flutes and piccolos, trumpets,

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The infamous “Block M”                       PC: Ken Rubin Photogaphy

saxophones, tubas, colorguard, the dance team, and a twirler. This is a far cry from the 17-piece band that was created over 100 years ago! In addition to participating in the ensemble, a select group of students are employed as band staff members who are truly the backbone of the band, ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

 

 

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Often imitated but never duplicated:                    Block and Mess!                          PC: Ken Rubin Photography

The Mighty Sound of Maryland is truly one of the most unique and prized characteristics of the University of Maryland. We wish them luck as they travel to support the football team at the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit on December 26!

This is a post in our series on Terrapin Tales called UMD123! Similar to our “ABC’s of UMD” series in fall 2015, posts in this series will take a look at the university’s history “by the numbers.” New posts will come out monthly; on the Terrapin Tales blog, search “UMD123” or use the UMD123 tag. You can also check out Twitter#UMD123. If you want to learn more about campus history, you can also visit our encyclopedia University of Maryland A to Z: MAC to Millennium for more UMD facts.

 

 

 

The Terps – 2002 NCAA Champions

When the Maryland men’s basketball team advanced to the Sweet Sixteen this past spring,

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The iconic cover commemorating the Terps first, and so far only, title for the men’s program.

it marked the program’s second trip to that round since they won the NCAA Championship in the spring of 2002.

That early April moment will live in forever in the memories of Maryland basketball fans as the squad, led by coach Gary Williams and guard Juan Dixon, defeated elite programs Kansas and Indiana in the Final Four en route to cutting down the nets.

When the Terps finally won on (no joke) April 1, 2002, the fans back in College Park exploded with joy. The University of Maryland student paper, The Diamondback, documented both the victory in Atlanta and the celebrations back home.

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The Diamondback put together a collage of moments from the Terps victory in Atlanta.

With a celebratory cover, the newspaper showed the team’s #1 finger and held a strong quote from Terps coach Gary Williams. “Things have never worked out quite right. This year they did,” Williams said. The rest of the paper was full of coverage, including plenty of pictures from the game and the subsequent gatherings on Route 1.

The Diamondback is the university’s primary student 
newspaper, and its coverage of athletics and other 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, and is the first blog post written by our new undergraduate student assistant, Josh Schmidt. Check out the riot-pictureTwitter hashtag
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#digiDBK or the DigiDBK tag on Terrapin Tales blog for previous posts. Look out for more DigiDBK posts from Josh and the rest of our team throughout the semester!

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).

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

Please email askhornbake@umd.edu 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!

Fire! Fire! M.A.C. in Flames

The 40 cadets who remained on the Maryland Agricultural College (M.A.C.) campus during the 1912 Thanksgiving weekend would never have predicted the catastrophic event that altered the campus’ future.

On Friday evening, November 29, the gallant cadets arranged an impromptu dance.  Their charming dates, in resplendent dress, gathered on the first floor of the Administration Building.

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Thanksgiving dance–M.A.C. cadets and their dates

At the peak of their mirth, around 10:30 p.m., the Cadet Major was notified that a blaze had begun in the Administration Building between the third and fourth floors of the administration building.

The alarm sounded!

Initially, the brave cadets fought the blaze.  They scrambled to rescue their classmates’ property, and miraculously, most of the valuable records in the offices President R.W. Silvester and the college treasurer were also saved.

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R.W. Silvester (Pres. 1892-1912) resigned “broken-hearted” shortly thereafter

The ladies, adorned in evening gowns, contributed to the heroic efforts of their escorts as they worked to fight the flames.

Never was there a more nervy bunch of girls.  The heroic way in which they helped to save our belongings will go down in the history of old M.A.C.  No praise can be too high, no tribute can be too great for them.

Reveille, 1913

Hyattsville fire departments were called and fought desperately against a stiff wind, until tragically the water supply was depleted.

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Saturday morning, the devastation became a reality in the bright sunshine.

The Barracks, M.A.C.’s original college building, and the administration building lay in ruins.Newspaper reports estimated the loss at $150,000. Every dorm room was destroyed, as well as half of the classrooms and offices.  These two buildings housed 200 students and served as the music hall and science hall, in addition to the kitchen, chapel, and laundry.  They served as the backdrop for faculty and athlete photos, such as these shots from the 1911 Reveille yearbook.

The people in nearby towns threw open their doors to us.  The College work went on, almost without a break . . . The old school has emerged triumphant.

Reveille, 1913

It looked for a time as though M.A.C. would have to suspend operations indefinitely.  But four days after the fire, every student, save one, reported for duty, resolved to keep the College going.  The sense of loss was soon overcome with an indomitable spirit.

Today marks the 104th anniversary of this landmark event in University of Maryland history. You can find more information about the Great Fire of 1912 at http://www.lib.umd.edu/univarchives/fire/index.html.

 

Maryland Done a “Dirty Deal”

Ruth Finzel-cropAccording to the diary of 1930’s coed, Ruth Finzel, recently donated to the University of Maryland Archives, the Aggies football team got a “dirty deal” in their loss to the Naval Academy Middies 86 years ago today at Washington’s Griffith Stadium.

The Crab Bowl, as it is presently known, was played on November 22, 1930.  Notable attendees at the game included Charles F. Adams, Secretary of the Navy, Albert E. Ritchie, Maryland Governor, Sir Ronald Lindsay, British Ambassador, and Rear Adm. S.S. Robinson, Naval Academy Superintendent.  By many accounts, the 1930 game proved to be the first competitive contest of the series, with Navy scoring the only points on the second play of the game. The remaining 58 minutes were a defensive struggle

Here’s Ruth’s account of that football showdown:

“Norma, Jake, Morselly, Jane Smith and I went with Ruth Gilbert to the Navy game.  The girls wore chrysanthemums and ribbons to it [sic].  The traffic was terrible and Ruth was driving like wild.  Smacked into someone and nearly upset [sic] another time.  Parked way off.  Lost 6-0 by a dirty deal.  Kennedy came down with me for the last 10 minutes of the game and walked out with me.  He’s so cute.  I told him about my Iota Nu Delta date, so he told me about his.  I’m glad he had a punk time.  Went to bed early.

The dirty deal to which Ruth refers?  Check out the account of the game in The Diamondback: “Byrdmen Beaten by Kirn Plus Ten Men in Annapolis Fracas.  Adverse Decision Turns Possible Triumph into Defeat”

MD vs Navy 1930 clipping_crop

This was the latest installment of an intense football rivalry  between two institutions close in proximity (30 miles) but many miles apart in cultural and institutional differences.  Play began in 1905, ended abruptly 60 years later, but was renewed in 2005.  Losing the first 8 games, Maryland finally won in 1931, the season after Ruth graduated.  One of the highlights of this long series is the September 30, 1951, game at which Byrd Stadium, now known as Maryland Stadium, was dedicated. The Terps topped the Middies, 35-21, that day, and UMD Heisman Trophy runner-up Jack Scarbath scored the first touchdown in the new stadium. A total of 21 games have been played with an overall record of 14 Navy wins to Maryland’s 7.

Jack Scarbath 1st touchdown in Byrd
Scarbath scores!

Historically, the in-state rivalry was fueled by what some young men perceived as the coeds’ attraction to nattily-attired Midshipmen in their handsome uniforms over the more typical casual appearance and behavior of men on the Maryland campus.  There was also an enduring grudge borne out of a single-finger gesture made by a Maryland linebacker after tackling Navy QB Roger Staubach, during a narrow Maryland victory, 27-22, in 1964.  Consequently, the Maryland-Navy competition was suspended for 40 years by Navy.

Here’s a selection of program covers from some of our contests against the Middies:

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We post this today, on the 86th anniversary of this special day in Ruth’s life, and encourage you to check back for future snapshots of this era in UMD history! You can find her account of the 1930 May Day fun with Zingaree and the Gypsies here.

Student Life in the 1870s–new acquisition

“As a general thing we have stale bread, butter & meat (beef) that is hardly fit to eat, for breakfast.” So reported Maryland Agricultural College student Percy Davidson in a March 6, 1871, letter home to his mother, recently donated to the UMD Archives. Some things never change–like college students complaining about the food in the dining hall…

Davidson’s comment and a number of other interesting observations really capture what life was like at the Agricultural College in the early 1870s. He reports on student dress, his daily study routine, and his efforts to avoid “boys that I think would injure my good morals.” Davidson also asks his mother to send some “eatibles,” another necktie for Sundays, and a pair of slippers and comments on previous news from home.

Such early student commentary is rare, so this brief letter is especially valuable, and the UMD Archives is delighted to add this gem to its collections.

Try your hand at reading the letter. If you struggle a bit, the transcription appears below.

You can also stop by the Archives during our open hours and see the letter in person. Hope you will pop in soon.

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Md. Agrl. College

Feb. March 6, 1871

My Dear Mamma

I received your letter a few moments ago I hasten to answer it.

I have two neckties but one is hardly fit for use & I should like very much to have another one for Sundays.

Papa told me when he was out here that I was looking badly & attributes it to want of exercise, but I think the reason is that we never get a change of diet, we have the same thing over & over again, & sometimes dont [sic] get enough of what we do have. It is a very rare thing for the butter or vegetables to pass around. As a general thing we have stale bread, butter & meat (beef) that is hardly fit to eat, for breakfast.

As I do not drink tea or coffee Mrs. Regester gives me a glass of milk for breakfast & supper.

We have supper at 5 o’clock & the bell rings at 6 to study. I study until about 9 1/2 or 10, but I never stay up later unless I have a harder lesson than usual to study, but since Dr. Regester has stopped us from using lamps or candles after the bell rings to go to bed I never stay up later than 10.

Boys hardly ever congregate in my room especially bad boys. I never voluntarily associate with boys that I think would injure my good morals.

I hope I have answered your questions satisfactorily for I have told you nothing but the plain truth, Mamma.

I would like very much to have the eatibles that you mentioned & also some hard-tack & anything at all that would be the most convenient for you to get, but please don’t put yourself to any extra trouble for me, for I expect my visit home will compensate for anything that I dont [sic] get out here.

I would like to have a pair of slippers to put on in the morning when I get up  & at night while I am studying.

Most of the boys out here have got them.

Sister told me in one of her letters that you had a tremendous Newfoundland but she didn’t tell me its name or anything about it. Has sister got her little dog still. Tell Papa I received my suit of clothes a few days ago & they fit me splendidly. I have now got good suits of clothes including my uniform. I am glad to hear that Frankie talks & maybe he will send me a message soon.

I hope when you move you will be able to get a better house than the one which you now occupy for I know you are tired of being all cramped up.

Hoping to be with you soon & anticipating a happy meeting I remain your devoted son

Percy Davidson

 

 

 

A Tiny Treasure

charles-berry-diaryIt’s only 2.25 inches wide and 3.5 inches tall, but the information this jewel contains is unique to the holdings of the University of Maryland Archives. The Archives recently purchased the 1865 diary of Maryland Agricultural College (MAC) cadet Charles Berry who enrolled in the college on September 12, 1864, at the age of 16. Berry’s journal is the oldest account of daily life at the MAC that the Archives possesses, so this was a very special acquisition.

Unfortunately there’s no account of his first semester, but you can learn quite a bit about his second term from Berry’s little journal. Beginning with the January 1, 1865, record of his demerits for bad behavior, Berry lists weather observations, books he read from the library, his grades, guard duty stints, student chores, and various events at the college, among many other topics. Of particular interest to Terrapin sports fans are the earliest known mentions of the cadets playing football (March 13) and baseball (March 18) at the college. Berry’s diary ends dramatically with six entries commenting on Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and its effect on the Washington and Baltimore area.

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Berry’s tiny journal is a rare find and a true treasure! Stop by the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library and ask to see this gem when you get a chance! We’re very excited to share this special piece of UMD history with the research community!

 

Hitler Comes to Campus?

The University of Maryland has had a lot of famous visitors in the past; the Chinese National Ping Pong Team, Elvis, various Ambassadors and… Hitler?!

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Well, not quite.

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Click the article to read in larger format.

 

The year 1942 was a time of great change in America. The world was well into the Second World War, and its effects were being felt across campus. Modifications were being made to the wartime curriculum which allowed students to graduate early so that they could enlist. The government set into motion the construction of a little bomb-proof building called the Reckord Armory. Heard of it?

In an effort to keep the campus atmosphere light and cheery, The Diamondback ran a satirical article about “Hitler’s” visit to campus. On March 31, 1942, Welby Wood, a freshman at the time, took a rubber Hitler mask from his brother and decided to wear it around campus to see what the Terps would make of it. Here we see “Hitler” visiting a classroom during his very busy day of chatting up Daydodgers and planning much needed “improvements” on campus. The article reads like a very early version of the Onion, the satirical online newspaper, but even better because the joke played out in real life!

We can’t help but wonder how things would be different today, given the hindsight of history.  Such an event also makes you question whether if, in such a controversial year in politics, someone dressed up as such a divisive political figure, would it be met with good humor or contention?

hitler-picture-editedThe Diamondback is the university’s primary student newspaper, and its coverage of athletics 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, and is the first blog post written by our new undergraduate student assistant, Madison Sines. Check out the Twitter hashtag #digiDBK or the DigiDBK tag on Terrapin Tales blog for previous posts. Look out for more DigiDBK posts from Madi and the rest of our team throughout the semester!