Speaking Abilities: Vice President Agnew, Spanish Speakers, and Foreign Born Americans in 1970

The Vice Presidential papers of Spiro T. Agnew contains a transcript of a press conference which took place in the White House on July 7, 1970. Agnew reportedly said,

“It is one of the disabilities of our culture as Americans that we don’t have more attention paid to the need of our citizens to speak the language of our contiguous neighbors. There are very few Americans, I think, that are fluent in Spanish, along with the 2,000-mile border that separates us from Mexico.”

Agnew – a lifelong member of the Republican Party – accepted that speaking Spanish (even as a primary language) was not a disqualification for citizenship in the United States and he addressed the situation of “Spanish-speaking citizens” as a set of linked social “problems.” Seeing himself as “a minority citizen” by virtue of his father’s Greek ancestry, Agnew spoke of the acceptable arousal of the “public conscience” by “members of minority groups” to “use demonstrative measures to trigger the public interest.” (1)

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During an official state visit to Greece in October 1971, Vice-President Agnew dedicated a plaque in Gargalionai, the hometown of his father, who immigrated to the United States in 1897. Official White House Photograph, Spiro T. Agnew Papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

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Exploring Labor’s History Through the AFL-CIO Poster Collection: A Blog Series (Part 4)

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One of the more unexpected items in the collection are two objects from student protests in Paris. 1968 was a tumultuous year in France which saw radical student demonstrations erupt in Paris. Most notably, students held demonstrations and occupied their universities in opposition to Charles de Gaulle. The first item depicts de Gaulle with the now iconic phrase “Le Chienlit C’est Lui!” (one translation: “He is the chaos”.) The phrase appropriates a pun de Gaulle made in a speech.  The second, larger item was created by a student group at the Sorbonne, a Parisian university, la Coordination des Comités d’Action. The poster criticizes de Gaulle along with Georges Pompidou, the president, and Christian Fouchet, the interior minister, claiming “Les provocateurs ce son eux!” (They are the agents of violence)

Contact us at askhornbake@umd.edu for more information about our Labor Collections.


Benjamin Bradley is a second year MLIS student in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. He works in the Labor Collections at UMD’s Special Collections and University Archives. You can also find him over in McKeldin Library where he is the GA for Electronic Resources.

Exploring Labor’s History Through the AFL-CIO Poster Collection: A Blog Series (Part 3)

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The above poster was created decades after the one before. AFL-CIO presidents George Meany and Lane Kirkland made opposing South Africa’s policy of apartheid a major aspect of their tenure. The poster depicted above is from a series of rallies organized by the AFL-CIO called the “Day of Solidarity With the Victims of Apartheid.” The AFL-CIO held a rally in DC along with other cities across the United States, and it memorialized the 26th anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa. The AFL-CIO also encouraged union members to participate in other protest activities such as cutting up their Shell credit cards and mailing them to the AFL-CIO headquarters. For me, not only does this poster help represent the scope of the collection, but it demonstrates the scope of the AFL-CIO, how the organization has changed throughout history and how its mission has led it to work towards national and international goals.

Contact us at askhornbake@umd.edu for more information about this collection in our Labor Collections.

 

Benjamin Bradley is a second year MLIS student in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. He works in the Labor Collections at UMD’s Special Collections and University Archives. You can also find him over in McKeldin Library where he is the GA for Electronic Resources.

A Look Back at 2016

With 2017 right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to reminisce on all the happenings that shaped Special Collections and University Archives in 2015!

We’ve posted stories on new acquisitionsexhibits and events like Alice 150 and Maryland Day, and also UMD class visits to Special Collections and University Archives.

Take a trip back in the year with the top 10 blog posts with the most views in 2016:

  1. Heavy Metal Parking Lot and the Jeff Krulik Collection
  2. Explore ‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’ at UMD!
  3. AFL-CIO Merger
  4. 130 Years of Progress: The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, 1886-2016
  5. LGBT Advocacy and the AFL-CIO
  6. AFL-CIO Artifact Project: Summer 2016
  7. Spotlight on Wonderland: The March Hare
  8. Minikins Miss Dot Sr. and Miss Dot Jr. Return to Campus after a Half-Century
  9. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Speech to AFL-CIO
  10. Spotlight on Wonderland: The Dormouse

Here’s a shout out to posts that were published in previous years, but still rank among our most viewed posts this year:

  1. William Morris, Walter Crane, and Socialist Art
  2. Books Published Before 1850
  3. Featured Novelist from Special Collections: Ferdinand Reyher
  4. Achievements and Milestones in UMD Athletics
  5. Edgar Allan Poe in Special Collections

Is there something you want to learn about Special Collections and University Archives in 2017? Let us know in the comments!

Exploring Labor’s History Through the AFL-CIO Poster Collection: A Blog Series (Part 2)

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Not only does the AFL-CIO poster collection span a great period of time, its items span the globe. The collection includes posters from Poland, Germany, Finland, the United Kingdom, and several other countries. One of the strengths of these international posters are items created by the Polish labor union, Solidarność, “solidarity.” The poster depicted above is one such poster. It reads Głosuj na Solidarność translates to “Vote for Solidarity.” The poster collection not only includes several posters created by the union, but also includes posters created by the AFL-CIO about the movement in Poland and some featuring images of the union’s leader, Lech Wałęsa. Working with these posters required some research as I was unfamiliar with the union and its history. By processing the posters and researching about Solidarity to help with my work, I learned about Solidarity and Wałęsa

Contact us at askhornbake@umd.edu for more information about this collection in our Labor Collections.

Benjamin Bradley is a second year MLIS student in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. He works in the Labor Collections at UMD’s Special Collections and University Archives. You can also find him over in McKeldin Library where he is the GA for Electronic Resources.

 

Happy Holidays from Special Collections

A new exhibit is on display in the Maryland Room will get you in the holiday spirit! We’ve selected the jolliest holiday cards and ephemera from our literary and historical several collections, including the Theodore R. McKeldin Paper, Gordon W. Prange Papers, Djuna Barnes Papers, Robert Frost Book Collection, and Spiro T. Agnew Papers, and  William Addison Dwiggins Collection.

Items from our literary collection include a selection of holiday chapbooks printed by the Spiral Press with the poetry of Robert Frost.  Colorful holiday cards from author T.S. Eliot and socialite Peggy Guggenheim to writer/artist Djuna Barnes are also featured. An impressive oversized edition of A Christmas Carol on display was designed and illustrated by W.A. Dwiggins, and was bound in festive green leather and marbled paper design.

We also pulled interesting holiday-themed items from our historical collection, including a set of beautiful Japanese inspired holiday cards received by UMD professor and historian Gordon W. Prange. A variety of presidential holiday cards given to Governor of Maryland Theodore McKeldin include holiday greetings from US Presidents Nixon, Eisenhower, Johnson, as well as the President of Israel Zalman Sazar. A political cartoon with Santa from the AFL-CIO archives and speech given by Vice President Agnew at a tree lighting ceremony on Washington DC also add to the historical holiday fun.

Visit the Maryland Room to explore the holiday fun! You can also pick up a free holiday card featuring images from our Baltimore News American Photograph Collection!

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Remembering E. Barrett Prettyman

On November 4, 2016, E. Barret Prettyman Jr. (1925-2016) passed away. He was a well-known attorney with an impressive legacy that spans international relations, civil rights, literature, and more. He also holds an interesting connection to American author Katherine Anne Porter and the University of Maryland.

You care about Prettyman if you care about important Supreme Court cases like Brown versus Board of Education, the landmark case that desegregated public schools, and for which Prettyman served as on the advisory council for in 1954. You care about Prettyman if you care about the 1962 release of American prisoners taken during Bay of Pigs crisis during which Prettyman successfully negotiated with then Cuban President Fidel Castro for their return and safe release. You care about Prettyman if you are at all concerned with the House Ethics committee, the First Ammendment, and the death penalty. Over the course of his long legal career, Prettyman became heavily involved with all of these areas of the legal system. The obituaries in the Washington Post and New York Times illustrate his storied career and commitment to the legal system.

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Portrait of Prettyman inscribed to Porter: “For Katherine Anne, With happy memories of lovely, relaxed, and fiery reminiscent afternoons of good talk in the best of company, and with love, Barrett”

As the one of the repositories of Prettyman’s personal papers, Special Collections and University Archives at UMD holds not only the documents that reveal Prettyman’s legal Continue reading