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.

Birds, Sox, Hex

May 5, 2017
Ian S/flickr

On a day in late September, 1975, two men sat in the cockpit of small plane about to take off from BWI Airport for a four day trip to Nairobi in Africa and back.  They were off on a strange and historic mission: to get a witch doctor to put a hex on the Boston Red Sox. What is this weird story all about? 

In 1938, Baltimoreans crowded Dundalk ave. and welcomed the American hero and aviator, Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan. Baltimore Mayor, Howard W. Jackson, staged the event to promote the city and, in particular, Baltimore's hot steamed crabs.

Eli Hanover

Apr 21, 2017
J Dimas/flickr

Eli Hanover was a grizzled, ex-boxer who ran a gym over the Jewel Box Night Club down on the old and now infamous Block in East Baltimore. He had a dream: to train the boxers who would make Baltimore America’s center for boxing. Fighttown Baltimore, he called the dream. But it never happened. The dream died with the dreamer. 

fly/flickr

In the 1950,s in the days when there were two Baltimore’s—one white and the other Black, there were two Easter Parades. For the white community, Charles Street; for the African American, Pennsylvania Avenue.. The high fashions for the high occasion came almost exclusively from the Charm Center fashion store; and Avenue Easter Parade strollers agreed; you couldn’t have the parade without the store.

Easter Parade on Charles Street

Apr 7, 2017
ulo2007/flickr

Up until the late 1950s there was, every year going back nobody really knows how far, an Easter Parade on Charles Street. It started at the Washington Monument, and ended on 33rd Street, and 1959 turned out to be the last year for it. The story of the decline and fall.

Organ Grinders

Mar 31, 2017
Maryland Historical Society

Up through the 1940s Baltimoreans knew it was spring when they saw the organ grinders and their monkeys appear suddenly on the street corners of downtown. One such organ grinder was Luciano Ibolito, and his monkey’s name was Julia. And this is the story of how together they would usher spring in Baltimore.

Joe Howard

Mar 24, 2017
http://msa.maryland.gov

On December 2, 1968, in the Baltimore City Courthouse, Joseph Howard, the very first African American ever to be elected to a 15-year-term as a judge serving on the Supreme Bench of Baltimore, was being sworn in. But before the afternoon was over, the newly appointed judge would have an experience that as a Judge he did not expect.

Creative Commons

The year is 1929. Baltimore is sharing in the good life of the Roaring Twenties, until October 29, when the stock market crashed and the lights went out. The day marked the beginning of a decade known as the Great Depression. Author Gil Sandler narrates a history he wrote of the Great Depression, as it was lived out in Baltimore.

They were years of sorrow for white and black, young and old, rich and poor. One out of four were out of a job and couldn’t find one.. Paychecks stopped, as did payments of rent and mortgages. Families were evicted from their homes. Money to buy groceries was scarce. Banks failed; some shut their doors forever, taking with them the life savings of depositors.

Though times were dark, people found ways to get through them. And survive them. 

Gil tells this history with small stories that made up the big story-- through to the end of the Depression era in the late 1930s.In the end, you will hear how the Great Depression of the 1930s has affected our lives profoundly—down to today.

The Moon Is Blue

Mar 17, 2017

On the afternoon of July 11, 1953, the Chairman of the Maryland Board of Movie Censors emerged from the viewing room, the fifth floor of the Equitable Building on Calvert Street, and made an announcement that shook the town: the Board would not allow the movie “The Moon Is Blue” to be shown. What happened next was historic.

Danny's

Mar 10, 2017
Maryland Fisheries Service/DNR

Motorists driving north on Charles during March of 1989 were delighted to see, off to their right, high on the two story building at Biddle, a sign, “The Run Is On!” That sign appearing in late March every year was cheering: a favorite Baltimore dish was again available at Danny’s Restaurant—boneless shad and shad roe. But Danny’s is closed, there is no longer public notice that it’s shad season in Baltimore.

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