From the Vault

Memories of Christmas past

Memories of Christmas past

55 Photos

Article by Jacques Kelly

Baltimore Christmas traditions are not all about having sauerkraut with turkey, or the lights on 34th Street. There’s far more than that.

Before there was Amazon Prime, Baltimoreans shopped for their gifts at Howard and Lexington streets. In the 1920s the city estimated that 90,000 people crossed this intersection during a day. Many carried a Christmas tree home on a streetcar. There was also a large selection of live trees for sale at the old Memorial Stadium on 33rd Street.

Before the suburbs flocked to Hampden for decorations and shopping, city folk flocked to the suburbs for celebrations. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad also had a ceremony to light a decorated holly tree in Cecil County. Trains left Camden Station for a night ride to the tree. The B&O’s glee club sang carols. Baltimore neighborhood bakers turned out cookies for those who did not do their own cookie making.

Of course, some traditions carry on — Santas in local stores, those 34th Street lights, and the Constellation in lights at the Inner Harbor.

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Maryland Hunt Cup Point-to-Point race, 1941

Maryland Hunt Cup Point-to-Point race, 1941

47 Photos

The Maryland Hunt Cup ran its first point-to-point race in 1894 at Worthington Valley in Baltimore County. It’s considered one of the most challenging steeplechase races in the world. The cup’s 1941 race was photographed by Marion Post Wolcott, a photojournalist who covered Baltimore for the Farm Security Administration in the Great Depression and World War II.

This post is part of The Darkroom’s ongoing look at Baltimore during and shortly after the end of the Great Depression (thanks to Yale’s Photogrammar site). All captions are the original text provided with that image.

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From the Vault: Bowie State students stage “study-in” at the State House

From the Vault: Bowie State students stage “study-in” at the State House

15 Photos

ANNAPOLIS, April 4, 1968 – Governor Agnew closed Bowie State College tonight “until I find that conditions there have returned to normal.”

The Governor acted two hours after State Police, on his orders, arrested 227 of the students and a civil rights leader who has refused to leave the State House by the 5:00 p.m. closing time.

The peaceful arrests of more than one third of the full-time student body of the predominately African-American college came after the students demanding to see the Governor and discuss their complaints about decrepit dormitories and underpaid faculty, sat down in the State House lobby, opened textbooks and conducted a 3 1/2 hour “study-in.”

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