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By ALICIA NOTARIANNI | | May 11, 2013
Three buildings on two sites were dedicated as one museum Saturday, honoring the historical and cultural legacy of South Mountain State Park. South Mountain Recreation Area Superintendent Dan Spedden said Washington Monument and Gathland state parks roughly frame a 12-mile span of ridgetop that forms the battlefield for the Battle of South Mountain that occurred during the Civil War. But that battle is not all that the area has to offer in terms of...
By BOB PARASILITI | May 5, 2013
I got a rare opportunity last Monday. I had a chance to watch history twice in the same day. On April 29, I finally had a chance to see “42” -- the story of Jackie Robinson, who in 1947 was used to break the color barrier in major league baseball against the wishes of a segregated society. That morning, I woke up to find out that Jason Collins, a 7-foot center for the Washington Wizards, decided to become the first active athlete in one of America's four major sports leagues to admit he is gay against the wishes of a skeptical society.
By ALICIA NOTARIANNI | | May 4, 2013
Civil War cannons that occupied Doubleday Hill in Williamsport from the late 1800s until they were removed in 2000 returned to their home during a ceremony Saturday. Williamsport Town Councilman Scott Bragunier coordinated the historic project, through which the cannons were sent away to Kentucky firm Steen Cannons for restoration. Bragunier said in 1896, U.S. Sen. Louis E. McComas donated the tubes that had been stockpiled following the war. The town of Williamsport mounted the tubes on bricks and dedicated them on Doubleday Hill on July 4, 1897.
By HOLLY SHOK | | April 20, 2013
A boom bellowed and black smoke poured from the barrel's mouth, but the caliber of sound the cannon made was only narrowly louder than the subsequent shrieks and gasps from the 12-and-younger crowd on Saturday at Antietam National Battlefield. Junior Ranger Day, which was divvied into sections aimed at Civil War education as well as teaching those in attendance to be “stewards of the park,” drew about 150 children plus their families, park Ranger Christie Stanczak said. Sam Cool of Hagerstown brought two of his daughters to the battlefield on what he termed a “staycation.” “She studied the Civil War in school and this is firsthand experience - can't beat it,” Cool, 47, said of his 9-year-old daughter, Molly, who described the day as “awesome.” Park volunteers Tracey McIntire and Audrey Scanlan, outfitted in uniforms representing the Iron Brigade - regimes from Wisconsin and Indiana that fought in the cornfield at Antietam - demonstrated how soldiers fired artillery using black powder blanks.
By DAVE RHODES | | April 11, 2013
A Sharpsburg man planting trees at his Powell Road home Thursday unearthed a live Civil War-era shell that authorities later disposed of by setting it off at a neighboring farm. “When I saw it I knew what it was,” J.D. Taylor Jr. said. “It was the second one I found here. “It was some kind of experience.” Taylor said he at first thought he hit a rock with his steel shovel while digging in his yard about a mile from Antietam National Battlefield sometime between 8:30 to 9 a.m. He pushed the shovel under the object, which was five or six inches deep, and knelt to pry it out. The Maryland State Fire Marshal's office said in a news release that the object was a 3-inch Federal Navy Schenkl that had not been fired and had an intact fusing mechanism.
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | | March 31, 2013
Many who have not studied West Virginia history believe it became a state in the middle of the Civil War because the people who lived in western Virginia objected to Virginia's vote to secede from the Union. True for some, but the schism between eastern and western Virginia at the time ran much deeper and had its beginnings around the time of the American Revolution, according to “Countdown to West Virginia Statehood,” Charles Town author Bob O'Connor's latest book. Seven of O'Connor's works are centered on the Civil War, including some local events and characters.
March 28, 2013
There was “Crazy Betsy,” a Richmond, Va., woman who pulled off her job as a successful Union spy by acting like an insane woman whom no one would ever get close to. Or the story about “Old Abe,” an Eagle that was a mascot for the 8th Wisconsin infantry in the Civil War. The bird was kept on perch by soldiers and it endured about a dozen battles. And the story of an 11-year-old girl from Upstate New York who wrote a letter to President Abraham Lincoln to tell him that he was a very ugly man. The girl told Lincoln in her letter that she believed Lincoln would be more appealing to voters in his 1860 presidential campaign if he grew a beard.
March 10, 2013
Name: Thomas G. Clemens Age: 62 City in which you reside: Keedysville Day job: retired professor emeritus, Hagerstown Community College; licensed Battlefield Guide at Antietam; president, Save Historic Antietam Inc., a battlefield preservation nonprofit corporation.  Book title: "The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, Vol. I & II," written by Ezra A. Carman, edited and annotated by me.  Genre: Civil War...
February 24, 2013
The Continuing Education and Community Services Division at Hagerstown Community College will offer a one-day Civil War seminar Saturday, March 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Kepler Theater. The seminar is offered as part of the 150th commemoration of the Civil War. Presenters include Dennis Frye, author and chief historian of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, who will discuss “The Trap Door Closed”; Joe Mieczkowski, licensed Gettysburg Battlefield guide and author, who will discuss “The Tycoon and the Snapping Turtle: Lincoln, Meade and the Gettysburg Campaign”; Steve Bockmiller, author and historian, who will discuss “Valor in the Streets: The Battle of Hagerstown”; and Eric Wittenberg, author and historian, who will discuss “One Continuous Flight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14.”  The course fee is $56 for senior citizens and $75 for others, which includes materials, lunch and registration fee. To register or learn more, call HCC at 240-500-2236.
February 17, 2013
The City of Hagerstown, the Hagerstown-Washington County Conventional and Visitors Bureau and the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area were recognized Jan. 31 at a Maryland Historical Trust awards ceremony at the Governor Calvert Ballroom in Annapolis. The Maryland Historical Trust, or MHT, selected 10 projects, organizations and individuals as the recipients of the 2013 Maryland Preservation Awards. The awards, presented annually by MHT's board of trustees, are the highest level of recognition for historic preservation and heritage education projects in Maryland.
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