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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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

 

 

 

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?!

hitler-headline

Well, not quite.

hitler-article
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!

UMD123: 1957

1957 represents a very special year in University of Maryland history!

On this day, 59 years ago, 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 in the fall of 1957, 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 Philip made their way to Byrd Stadium on a sunny Saturday afternoon to watch the Terps take on the North Carolina Tar Heels.

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 film 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.

In 2007, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the game,  local videographer Mike Springirth produced a documentary, “Maryland’s Queen for a Day,” full of interviews with players and coaches from the 1957 team.  You can check out the video from the library here.

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.

In addition to the resources listed above, you can view lots of other documents, photographs, and realia relating to the Queen’s Game in the UMD Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives. You can find a description of these items here.

Has Queen Elizabeth ever watched another American college football game in person? As far as we know, she has not, so that October afternoon in 1957 is truly a singular experience for the longest-reigning British monarch and female head of state in world history.

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 “Art” of Football

The search for programs from past football games against our 2016 opponents led us to some of the most colorful and creative sports artwork in our collections.  Renowned 20th-century artists, such as Jack Fagan, Joe Little, and Phil Neel, showcased their unique, humorous talents on the covers of game-day programs. The University of Maryland Archives are fortunate to possess numerous examples of their work. Enjoy their eye appeal, brilliant use of color, and creative, quirky characters.

1961-clemson Cartoon artist Phil Neel (1928-2012) was famous for creating the most recognizable and lovable mascot in college sports, Aubie the Auburn tiger.  Although Aubie was Neel’s most famous creation, he also drew covers for other schools, including Clemson, whose programs featured Neel’s characters from 1959 to 1976. Neel’s drawings became collectors’ items, as seen when Aubie serves up some turtle soup.

1935-indiana Jake Fagan (1910-1993) created this colorful cover for one of our Big Ten opponents this season; the Terps take on Indiana on October 29 in Bloomington. Fagan was best known for his landscape painting and commercial art and served for a time as the art director of the Wells Fargo Bank.

 

 

Joe Little’s football hero evokes gentlemanly courtesy prior to kickoff against Southern Methodist University  and captures the determination of one football hero, with the clock winding down against N.C. State. Little illustrated pulp fiction, magazine stories, and sports programs from the 1940s to the 1960s, specializing in football covers during the 1950s.

Turtle soup is a popular theme, as featured on the October 7, 1950, Maryland vs. Michigan State program drawn by Cahoon. The Terps take on the Spartans this season on October 22.

Another of our historic programs from a contest against a Big Ten opponent is this Dad’s Day beauty drawn by artist Lon Keller. The Terps travel to Happy Valley to take on the Nittany Lions on October 8.1958-south-carolinaOur final, colorful favorite is this gem from the November 1, 1958, Homecoming game vs. South Carolina. Willard Mullin, who described himself as a cartoonist, not an artist, and was known as a keen observer of the human form in action, drew this cover for that special day.

The artists entertained the fans while showcasing athletes, coaches and campuses.  As you can see, the options were endless and entertaining! Art. Football. When they team up on game day, it’s a winning combination!

Terps vs. the Ivies

If you asked the first 100 fans you meet in Maryland Stadium “Did the Terps ever take on an Ivy League team on the gridiron,” probably the vast majority would respond, “No.” They would be surprised to learn that Maryland did indeed face off with Yale, Princeton, and Penn a total of 18 times, beginning in 1919 with a game against the Yale Bulldogs.

Terps’ losses far outnumbered their wins–vs. Yale (2-8-1), Princeton (0-2) and Pennsylvania (1-4). Their most lopsided loss came against Penn, 51-0, in the 1940 match-up.  The last time Maryland played against an Ivy League team was in 1941, losing again to Penn, 55-6. Terps have never taken on Columbia, Brown, Cornell or Dartmouth.

Continue reading “Terps vs. the Ivies”

The Cadets’ Review

cadets-review-title-page-vol-3-no-5The Cadets’ Review is just one of thousands of unique pieces of history held in the University Archives at the University of Maryland. Now fully digitized and available online, The Cadets’ Review is a twelve-issue, small-format newspaper written and published by Maryland Agricultural College students and faculty from February 1894 to March 1896. This newspaper was one of the main predecessors to The Diamondback, today’s independent, student-run newspaper which began as The Triangle in 1910. Columns in this early newspaper covered all aspects of student life, including current events, athletics, military business, humor, and even suggestions to get involved in Glee Club.

One of our favorite columns written comes from the March 1895 issue. “Some Curious Old Laws of Maryland” discusses the bizarre, early-Maryland codification of laws. For example, because tobacco held monetary value, criminals were fined in pounds of harvested tobacco.

march-1895-tobacco

march-1895-cursing

 

Using explicit language was another punishable offense in early Maryland– a law that would be frequently broken today.

 

 

may-1894-well-read-individualsAnother one of our favorite columns appears in the May 1894 issue. “Wasted Hours,”authored by S.T. Rollins, calculates the exact amount of time needed to become “well-read individuals.”

If you devote an hour of your time each day to reading the digitized version The Cadets’ Review via the University Archives website, you can learn a lot about what life was like for cadets early on in our university’s history.

Check out other fully digitized resources from the Archives if you are interested in learning more about additional student publications, course catalogs, UMD athletic guides, the Greek community yearbook The Frieze, Major League Baseball Rulebooks, or University AlbUM. Come visit us in the Maryland Room too, which is open Monday-Friday and on Sunday afternoons. Here you can work with documents and artifacts from the University Archives. We can’t wait to see you in Hornbake Library!

Celebrating 100 years of women’s education at UMD

September 14 is a landmark day in University of Maryland history! One hundred years ago today, a young woman named Elizabeth Gambrill Hook entered the Maryland State College of Agriculture, as the University of Maryland was then known, setting the stage for the over 17,000 female students currently on campus.  The 20-year-old Hook indicated an interest in experimental work in her entrance register entry and fulfilled her dream by earning her degree in entomology in 1920, becoming the first woman to take all of her classes on campus and receive a four-year degree.

Charlotte Ann Vaux joined Elizabeth Hook on campus a few weeks later. Vaux took a two-year course in agriculture and received her degree in 1918.

Charlotte_sr_1918
Charlotte Vaux’s entry in the 1918 Reveille yearbook.

These two pioneers and other early women at Maryland are featured in a new University Archives exhibit on the first and second floors of McKeldin Library. The display chronicles the academic, athletic, and social activities of early co-eds, and also features information on the rules of behavior that female students were expected to follow. Visitors can learn more about Misses Hook and Vaux, the first sorority and women’s sports teams at Maryland, the May Day tradition, and restrictions on women’s movements around campus, guests in the dormitory, and even use of musical instruments and typewriters. The exhibit also contains examples of academic expectations for the pioneering co-eds and the story of early early rebel, Vivian Simpson.

Coeds100YearsPoster_1st floor“We Take our Hats off to you, Miss(es) Co-eds: Celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Education at Maryland” will remain on display outside of the Footnotes Café on the first floor and in the Portico Lounge on the second floor of McKeldin through mid-January 2017. Stop by and learn more about these amazing women from 100 years ago!

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 twice a month throughout the fall; 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.

 

 

‘Let them drink beer!’—King Tom II’s Benevolent Reign

Good morrow! Earlier this week, we began the exciting tale of UMD’s regal history. Gather ’round as we complete the saga of King Tom II and his amazing reign!

Diamondback_01_27_1986_5A_hail

King Tom was a leader for the masses! Oscillating between the regal register and casual “party” lingo, it was his wit and blithe approach to politics that captivated many voters. He and his merry court espoused an extreme platform targeting campus security and safety in an outrageous, neo-medieval vision. Their promises included:

“constructing a moat filled with ‘fine, cold imported lager’ around the campus to protect the ‘peasants;’ breeding larger and slower cockroaches for dorms and dining halls, making it easier to catch and kill them; and installing gargoyles to beautify campus buildings.”

According to His Benevolence, the alcoholic safeguard would deter intruders via intoxication, while also transporting the campus to an Arthurian grandeur. Wading through beer, aggressors would become too drunk to walk before they could ever reach his realm, and students would have a free supply of spirits year-round!

beer_cellar_01
An illustrated medieval manuscript captures the aspirations of the Monarchy Party

The Diamondback also reported a proposal to erect a 30-foot, clear acrylic cube on McKeldin Mall because, as King Tom II stated, “[‘modern’ art [was] in.” Additionally, the King ensured improvements to the Student Tutorial Academic and Referral Center—he decreed that current exams and answer keys be made available during finals.

Continue reading “‘Let them drink beer!’—King Tom II’s Benevolent Reign”

“Of Moats and Monarchs”–Maryland’s First King

Once upon a time…

Long—but, not that long—ago, on a certain campus, lived a disenchanted student body. Political demonstrations brought classes to a halt at the University of Maryland, College Park, as tensions within the institution grew. At the height of the unrest, students and faculty activists found themselves confronted by a hoard of National Guardsmen on McKeldin Mall.  A courageous group of students pledged henceforth to vanquish institutional corruption and partiality in response to the widespread mistrust and animosity of student politics. They solemnly vowed to seek a wise and fair King to lead all Terps on a path to valor. With this solemn oath, the Monarchy Party was born!

Diamondback_01_27_1986_5A_hail
King Tom II salutes supporters in solidarity, The Diamondback, 1985

In conjunction with our ongoing Diamondback digitization project, today we weave you a yarn of the University of Maryland of yore. Join us as we tell the tale of the Monarchy Party’s rise to power during the mid-1980s. Among many brave heroes, we specifically recount the exploits of the valiant leader, King Tom II, who fearlessly combated the banality of student government in a series of farcical adventures.

 Of noble birth: the origins of Maryland’s Monarchy Party

Frustrated students founded the Monarchy Party in an endeavor to protest the perceived preference given to fraternity and sorority interests within the student government of the late 1960s. Mocking the petty jockeying of previous officials, the collective dubbed themselves Monarchists in reference to the tendency of internal cliques—especially Greek life lobbyists—to treat the student government as a school-funded “fiefdom.” The party’s founders felt that this internalized attitude led to nepotism and a grave mis-allocation of SGA funds. While its precise origins remain uncertain, reports in The Diamondback and The Washington Post date the Monarchy party’s inception between 1969 and 1972, which seems to coincide with the establishment of the Maryland Medieval Mercenary Militia.

Medieval_Mercenary_Militia_1970
Medieval Mercenary Militia reenacts the Battle of Hastings, c. 1970-1975

As Washington Post correspondent Barbra Vobejda reported in 1985, ironic campus campaigns became a national phenomenon in the early 1970s after college administrations attempted to “whittle away” students’ rights. Pointing to the contemporary election of a cartoon character at the University of Texas in Austin and the Pail and Shovel party at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she suggests that satirical student groups, like the Monarchy Party, propelled significant conversations about the politics of higher education. An unaffiliated Monarchist regime was even established at Florida State University in, Tallahassee, Florida, in 1989.

Anticipating these anti-establishment collegiate trends, however, Maryland Monarchists blazed a trail for alternative student politics in the wake of early protests for equal rights and against the Vietnam War on our campus. Gaining traction over a period of approximately fourteen years, the party touted the record as the longest existing student-run political party of their day.

Continue reading ““Of Moats and Monarchs”–Maryland’s First King”