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Within this Collection:

The battle from various perspectives

Civil war veterans

Antietam Battlefield

FDR at Antietam

The re-enactment

The pageant

Other events

Opinions / Letters to Editor

Newspapers in 1937 scrapbook

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Allegany County
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Garrett County
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Washington County
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Civil War in Maryland
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Genealogy Resources
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Photographs and Prints

75th Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.

In September 1937 Washington County, Maryland hosted the 75th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg. The celebration in the county resulted from a plan suggested by Mark Mellor of the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company to celebrate the settling of Washington County and establishment of Hagerstown. But with the economic situation in the nation in 1935 the plans were postponed. They were later combined with the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam to be a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Antietam, the 200th anniversary of the settling of Washington County and the 175th anniversary of the founding of Hagerstown.

Archival collection, Town of Sharpsburg
President Roosevelt appointed US Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland chair of the National Antietam Commemoration Commission, with Senator Radcliffe, Congressman Lewis and General Reckord of Maryland, Senator Byrd of Virginia, and Congressman Plumley of Vermont. Governor Nice of Maryland appointed a Maryland State Advisory Committee. Park Loy was the Secretary and Treasurer of the Commission and the Chair of the Washington County Historical Society, which was responsible for much of the organization of the events. There were numerous committees, from historical research and Fine Arts to early sports and Girl Scouts. The pageant alone had a cast of 2,500.

The Hagerstown Chamber of Commerce, now the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, was most supportive of the endeavor. They hired a press clipping firm to find coverage across the country. The Chamber recently gave the scrapbook of clippings to the Western Maryland Room at the Washington County Free Library, and the Friends of the Library there paid for the pages to be digitized. The scrapbook is 72 pages of stories from 23 states and more than 320 newspapers. There are also cuttings from some company publications, for example the B & O News and the C & P Transmitter.

The collection is a cross section of the coverage found in the newspapers of that period. Writers from various states retold the battle, adding their own particular emphasis, highlighting in some cases their own brave troops. Other papers covered the veterans of the Civil War who were still alive seventy five years after this battle and more than seventy years after the end of the war. Twenty of the former combatants were reported to have attended the reenactment of the battle. Still other papers covered the events in Hagerstown and throughout the county; the pageant that told the history of Washington County; the events at Fort Frederick, the Battlefield and the Antietam National Cemetery; the guests, balls and fine dinners; and the festivities attended by Miss Antietam and her court.

Many of the small town newspapers have been taken over by other companies or have ceased publication. Only those with a clear copyright holder willing and able to give permission have been included on this website. None of the stories or photographs clearly marked as being produced by a press bureau has been knowingly included.

Western Maryland Regional Library is grateful to the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce for the use of the scrapbook of newspaper cuttings; the Friends of the Washington County Free Library for their contribution towards digitizing it; and the Washington County Historical Society and the Town of Sharpsburg for use of photographs and other materials. Our thanks too to all of the newspapers and companies who gave permission to use the stories they printed. The images from the entire scrapbook are available at the Western Maryland Room, and a list of all the newspapers included in the scrapbook is included on this webpage.
Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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