Thursday 24 Jul 2014

Buried in Baltimore


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We tend to think of history as existing only in the past. But the people who participated in pivotal historical moments are still among us — in final repose. Walking through a cemetery, you may find that history is still very much alive. Names etched in stone speak to you, telling stories about the person interred at your feet and our narrative as a people.

Why did Bob Dylan write a song about Hattie Carroll’s lonesome death? How did the ashes of literary wit Dorothy Parker end up in a memorial at the NAACP national headquarters in northwest Baltimore? You can admire Ottmar Mergenthaler’s ivy-draped obelisk, then go to the Museum of Industry to see his Linotype machine in action and reflect upon his critical role in the evolution of mass communication.

Or just have a nice walk. Grave-visiting is a good excuse to explore unfamiliar parts of town.

Click to read more about each person and details on locating his or her grave, including GPS coordinates and optional driving directions.

This project is by no means complete. The list will be added to as time and resources permit. Coming up: Samuel Chase, Divine, Tamara Dobson, Walter Lord, Philip Berrigan, Spiro Agnew, and Johnny Unitas. If you’d like to contribute to Buried in Baltimore, shoot an email this way.

Your comments, feedback and suggestions are appreciated: Email.

Benjamin Banneker (1731 – 1806) Scientist
John Wilkes Booth (1838 – 1865) Assassin
Hattie Carroll (1911-1965) Waitress
Allen Dulles (1893 – 1969) CIA Director
Johnny Eck (1911 – 1991) Freak
Joe Gans (1874 – 1910) Boxer
Johns Hopkins (1795 – 1873) Philanthropist
H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956) Writer
Ottmar Mergenthaler (1854 – 1888) Inventor
Dorothy Parker (1893 – 1967) Writer
Mary Young Pickersgill (1776 – 1857) Flag maker
Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) Writer
Howard Rollins (1950 – 1996) Actor

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