Royal Remembrances

Just a reminder—In conjunction with the University Archives’ current exhibit in McKeldin Library, “Royal Remembrances: Celebrating Maryland’s Queen for a Day,” the Archives will be hosting a special event, “Memories of the Queen’s Game,” on October 3 from 1 to 3:30 PM in the Special Events Room in McKeldin.   The event is open to the entire campus community and will feature recollections from President Elkins’ daughters Carole and Margaret, who sat in the royal box in Byrd Stadium, and two members of the 1957 Terrapin football team, LeRoy Dietrich and Gene Verardi, who played in front of the Queen.  The event begins with a light lunch/tea at 1 PM and concludes with a showing of the hour-long, 2007 documentary, “Maryland’s Queen for a Day,” created by UMD alumnus Mike Springirth to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this landmark game.We hope you will be able to join the UMD Archives staff for this very special afternoon.

To whet your appetite, here are a few details about the big day!

Queen Elizabeth II and Dr. Elkins at football game
Queen Elizabeth II with Dr. Elkins at a UMD football game.


On October 19, 1957, just four years after her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II visited the University of Maryland. The Queen was on a tour of Canada and the United States, and wanted to see a “typical American sport.” Our campus was selected as a spot to watch an American college football game, and so Queen Elizabeth and her consort Prince Phillip made their way to Byrd Stadium.

Program for the Queen's Game
Queen’s Game program cover.

The 1958 Terrapin yearbook staff wrote about the day:

A ‘Royal’ atmosphere produced a royal game today as the spirited Terps struck for three second half touchdowns to defeat Jim Tatum and the favored North Carolina Tar Heels 21-7. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, were among the 45,000 fans who packed Byrd Stadium to see the Terps score an upset.”

See photographs and more memories here, here, and here in the yearbook.

Queen Elizabeth's ticket
Ticket stub from the Queen’s Game.

Thanks to our football digitization project, you can watch the football game, which includes footage of the Queen and Prince Phillip. Watch the first half and the second half.

See a Universal Newsreel report about the event here.

If you miss the October 3 event, you can check out Mike Springirth’s full documentary, “Maryland’s Queen for a Day”, from the library here.

The “Royal Remembrances” exhibit will be on display on the first and second floors of McKeldin Library through the end of the fall 2014 semester.

Queen Elizabeth with the Terps football captains
Gene Alderton (#51) and Jack Healy (#23), co-captains of the University of Maryland football team, standing with Queen Elizabeth and Governor Theodore McKeldin, October 19, 1957. The Tar Heel captains are to the left in white.


Just How Dirty is Testudo’s Nose?

Tell us if this situation sounds familiar. You find yourself walking past the famed Testudo statue in front of McKeldin Library and really want to give his nose a solid rub for good luck. The only problem is that you don’t know how many dirty, germ-infested hands have touched that same exact surface just moments before. Such a scenario could dissuade anyone, even the most loyal of Testudo lovers, from giving the 80-year-old statue a rub for good luck.

You have no need to worry, though, because it turns out that Testudo’s nose is much cleaner than you may think. Copper and its alloys, including bronze, are anti-microbial surfaces, which in short means that the surface kills bacteria, yeasts, and viruses on contact. This discovery is nothing new or ground-breaking. In fact, early human civilizations, dating back to 2000 B.C., used copper as a means to better sterilize their drinking water. Recently though, copper and its alloys have been put to use in public places in an effort to prevent the spread of bacteria and germs transferred on frequently touched surfaces.

Rubbing Testudo's nose is an easy way to pick up some luck.
Rubbing Testudo’s nose is an easy way to pick up some luck.

So the next time you pass up the coveted opportunity to give Testudo’s nose a rub for good luck, remember that he is killing more bacteria and germs than he is actually spreading. Chances are his nose is much cleaner than a lot of other surfaces we have no problem touching every day. No need to fear the turtle.

From the Oval Office to College Park?

The front page of the evening edition of the Baltimore News-Post on AUgust 11, 1953.
Front page, Baltimore News-Post evening edition, Tuesday, August 11, 1953. (click to read the article)

It was 60 years ago today that the University of Maryland was rocked by a rather remarkable rumor.  The headline on the front page of the late evening edition of the Baltimore News-Post screamed “Truman Being Considered as MD. U Head, Hint.” The report claimed “Former President Harry S. Truman is being considered for appointment as the next president of the University of Maryland it was learned authoritatively late Tuesday.” Continue reading “From the Oval Office to College Park?”

New Exhibit: Testudo Through Time

If you have been in McKeldin Library this past week, you may have noticed a new addition in the lobby in front of reference desk. Just last week, we finished installing our “Testudo Through Time” exhibit, which is the first of a series of exhibits that will be put on display in McKeldin in the coming years.

Continue reading “New Exhibit: Testudo Through Time”