Gil Sandler

Host, Baltimore Stories

Gil Sandler was born and raised in Baltimore -- a circumstance he considers fortunate and one he does not want you to forget. He attended public school (P.S. #59, Garrison Junior High, Baltimore City College, Class of 1941) and then served in the United States Navy.
Returning, he completed his college education at the University of Pennsylvania (Class of 1949). In 1967 he earned his Master's Degree in Liberal Arts from the Johns Hopkins University. He began to write features for the Sunday Sun and a weekly column ("Baltimore Glimpses") for The Evening Sun. "Baltimore Glimpses" would continue for 31 years. He is the author of six books (Johns Hopkins University Press): The Neighborhood, Baltimore Glimpses Revisited, Jewish Baltimore, Small Town Baltimore, Wartime Baltimore, Glimpses of Jewish Baltimore.
He has received numerous awards for his writing and lecturing, including the Emmert Award for Feature Writing for The Sunday Sun and election to Hall of Fame of his alma mater, Baltimore City College.
Asked how long he thinks, he can continue telling “Baltimore Stories,” he replies, "I'm just getting started." Gil Sandler's Baltimore Stories is made possible in part by

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Baltimore Stories
5:50 am
Fri October 17, 2014

The Time Harvey Hammond Gave Baltimore A Break From Hardship

In the heart of the Great Depression, Baltimoreans looked to escape from its harsh realities by going to the movies, in particular the Century Theatre. There, an organist named Harvey Hammond, seated at the huge Wurlitzer organ, conducted sing-a-longs. The audience "followed the bouncing ball" on the silver screen, singing their cares away. But the sing-a-long came to an end and life in the real world began anew.

Baltimore Stories
5:05 am
Fri October 17, 2014

The Day Joe Howard Got A Judgeship - And A Surprise - From Baltimore

Joe Howard was the very first African American judge to run for and win a 15-year term as judge on the city's highest court. His swearing-in ceremony was historic for at least two reasons. The first was that he represented a breakthrough in civil rights. The second was a small (and unwelcome) surprise from his new employer, the City of Baltimore.

Baltimore Stories
5:02 am
Fri October 3, 2014

The Time Thomas O'Neill Saved His Department Store From Fire--And Firefighters

On Sunday morning, February 7, 1904, the great Baltimore fire swept through downtown. It turned everything in its path to ashes. The only way to stop the fire's continuing destruction, firemen concluded, was to knock down whatever lay in the fire's path--thus giving it nothing to burn. The strategy put Thomas O'Neill's department store in line to be destroyed, but the Irishman had other plans.

Baltimore Stories
5:15 am
Fri September 26, 2014

The Time Count Basie Played The Royal Theatre

On the night of January 6, 1965, the great Count Basie gave a performance at the Royal Theatre on Pennsylvania Avenue, then the most popular movie and stage show theater serving the African American community. The audience cheered and clapped and danced in the aisles and when the show was over, drifted out onto the street. They knew they had just heard the end of another of the Royal's big band stage shows. They also heard the end of an era.

Baltimore Stories
5:11 am
Fri September 19, 2014

The Time The Twist Took Over The Country - And Baltimore

In the 1960s, Baltimoreans were dancing the new Twist, caught up in the national craze. The wild and out-of-control dancing was, according to Chief Officer Horan of the Baltimore Fire Safety Divisions, creating safety hazards. He tried his best to get the mess straightened out. He failed - and some think only because he wasn't himself invited to twist with the dancers.

Baltimore Stories
5:12 am
Fri September 12, 2014

When The Rennert Hotel Ran Out Of Coffee...And Time

On the night of December 1, 1939, regulars of Baltimore's once-famous Rennert Hotel, then at Liberty and Saratoga streets, gathered at the bar to say goodbye to the old place. Among the group was H. L. Mencken. Though they had many fond memories of the Rennert, the farewell evening didn't work out quite the way the regulars had planned.

Baltimore Stories
5:37 am
Fri September 5, 2014

The Time The Orioles Lost The Knothole War

In the 1930s, so many kids were "hooking in" to the old Oriole Park at 29th and Greenmount that Orioles management decided to take firm action: they let the kids in free. With that face-saving gesture, they admitted defeat and started the "Knothole Gang."

Baltimore Stories
5:40 am
Fri August 29, 2014

The Time The Bromo Seltzer Bottle Came Down

Baltimoreans in 1936, walking about downtown, could sense that there was something different about the city.

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Baltimore Stories
7:30 am
Fri August 22, 2014

The Time Bill Haley Closed Keith's Theater

Gil Sandler

By 1955, Keith's Theater on Lexington Street had been in decline for years. Management was looking into ways to close it. To their surprise, a lead act on their stage, Bill Haley and his Comets, did the job for them...in a way nobody could have suspected. 

Baltimore Stories
7:30 am
Fri August 15, 2014

The Time "Wrong Way Corrigan" Chose Chicken Over Maryland Crabs

Gil Sandler

Audio Pending...

In 1938, a 30-year old aviator landed his plane in Ireland. Upon deplaning, he said that he had been headed for California. He became a national hero and was feted in Baltimore - with surprising results.

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