Gil Sandler's Baltimore Stories | WYPR

Gil Sandler's Baltimore Stories

Friday 7:46 am and 9:38 am

Gilbert Sandler is one of Baltimore's most-read and well-known local historians. For more than thirty years, through his articles in the Baltimore Sun, the Baltimore Jewish Times, National Public Radio and his books and lectures, he has shown Baltimoreans, through anecdote and memory, who they are, where they have been and, perhaps, where they are going. He was educated in Baltimore's public schools and graduated from Baltimore City College; in World War II, he served in the United States Navy as a ship-board navigator in the Pacific. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and has a master's from Johns Hopkins.

Archive prior to December 2014.

Tulkoff

Nov 25, 2016


Miller Bros Lottery

Nov 18, 2016


"Brinksmanship"

Nov 11, 2016


General Devereaux

Nov 4, 2016


Spelling Bee

Oct 28, 2016

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Phillip Goodman

Oct 21, 2016

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Marconi's

Oct 14, 2016


Pumpkin Papers

Oct 7, 2016


Dorothy Lamour

Sep 30, 2016

  

Parkway and Poetry

Sep 16, 2016


Tommy's Wedding Day

Sep 9, 2016

Henry Barnes

Sep 2, 2016

Eddie Rosenfeld

Aug 26, 2016

On an afternoon in 1946, a small crowd of spectators were gathered in front of a broken down, boarded up row house on tiny Tyson street, between Park and Read. Looking up they saw a strange sight: several men working on scaffolding set against the exterior wall of a house were panting the front exterior wall yellow...  The owner of the house was Eddie Rosenfeld, whom people called crazy to rehab the house and then to pint it yellow—on the street of broken- down houses. Time would show that in Baltimore, when you speak of people making lifestyle choices, you need to be careful who you call crazy. 

Nobska

Aug 19, 2016

The Inner Harbor along the Light Street quay on the soft spring evening of April 12, 1976, was alive with crowds and music. More than 500 of Baltimore’s beautiful people were milling about, shaking hands, congratulating one another.  The center of the festivities was the Grand Opening aboard the three-decker excursion steamer “Nobska,” majestic in white, sparkling in the late afternoon sun. It was presented as  Baltimore’s first floating—appropriately glamrous--restaurant. But the Nobska could not open because it was closed. Here’s the story.

About 8:45 on a Tuesday morning in the late 1950s, half a dozen mothers and some fathers with their four and five year olds in hand are milling about the lobby of WBAL-TV. These mothers and fathers and children were  going to be on TeeVee , on Miss Nancy’s "Romper Room! " where each child hoped to gain stardom to the tuned in world of “Do-Bees.” The  show was  a huge success in many cities— due in large measure to one little toddler  from Baltimore telling Miss Nancy  that he had to “go” and was in fact,  “going” while on camera!

On the Saturday afternoon of July 25, 1943, something unusual was going on in Baltimore’s Penn station on Charles Street just above Mt. Royal. In those wartime days, the station was a round-the-clock melee of soldiers and sailors and husbands and wives and lovers and loved ones embracing in hellos and goodbyes.  That is why on this wartime Saturday afternoon a couple chose to get married in Penn Station, in a hurry-- while they could still be together, only minutes before the groom was to depart for duty.  The priest who married the couple invited each of the servicemen to kiss the bride, who in a gracious act of patriotism, went along--one kiss per serviceman!

"Cut It Down"

Jul 29, 2016


McKeldin's Speech

Jul 15, 2016

Knothole Gang

Jul 1, 2016


Eli Hanover

Jun 24, 2016


Civic Center

Jun 17, 2016


Mt. Royal Station

Jun 10, 2016


WKC

Jun 3, 2016

Cass Elliot

May 27, 2016

Crowds were lined up on both sides three deep along Holiday Street leading to City Hall, on the afternoon of August 15, 1971, cheering, “We love you, Cass.” The Cass was Cass Elliott, The Momma Cass who popularized such hits as “Make your Own Kind of Music.” She was actually Ellen Naomi Cohen, grew up in Baltimore, attended Forest Park High School and dropped out two weeks before she was to graduate. She went to New York to try her luck as a pop vocalist. Her luck was very good. But Baltimore never took to her, and this welcoming parade was the City’s attempt to make up for that indiscretion. As does this story…  

Odds Maker

May 20, 2016

On the afternoon of October 22, 1933 something unusual was going on at the Pamlico Race track. It was a Sunday, not a racing day, and not a horse in sight, yet more than 7,000 fans had filled the stands. The crowd was there to see a ghost race, run by ghost horses. And the very first trial of the TOTALISATOR, later to be known as the Tote Board. The Tote Board modernized the way odds were displayed at the track between races, replacing manual displays with electronic displays, and because of it, the bettor was thought by many to have more of a chance at winning. Asked about that point of view, one of the officials said,”Absolutely not.” and gave a surprising explanation!

Oriole Cafeterias

May 13, 2016

It is 1960 and you are dining on a starched white linen table cloth with gleaming silverware, enjoying a choice of five appetizers, eight entrees, eleven vegetables, a dozen salads, seven  desserts. From the balcony comes the soft slow dinner music of Jack Lederer’s orchestra. You might think you are dining in one of Baltimore’s most expensive restaurants, but you are dining in a most modesty-priced Oriole cafeteria.  All six Oriole cafeterias closed by 1975 because management said, “the dining community preferred hamburgers and colas and eat and run.” Oriole cafeterias took pride in offering plenty of choice and their customers made one:  fast food over slow music.

First Day of TV

May 6, 2016

At exactly 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 30, 1947, about seven hundred Baltimoreans who owned television sets sat watching Baltimore's first television show telecast over its first television station, WMAR, then Channel 2, in black and white on six inch screens. The show being telecast was the sixth race at Pimlico. There were a lot of winners that day: seven hundred or so TV owners watching he race on their TV Screens, The techie gang that produced the show; a come-from-behind horse names Blue Yonder who would come in first, and mayor D'Alesandro - who told everybody that he would.

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