Clio at College Park: The Teaching of History at the University of Maryland, 1859-1968
Ross, Martha Jackson
Rundell, Walter Jr
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The evolution of the teaching of history at the University of Maryland reflects both the changing role of history as a course of study and the altered status of history as a scholarly discipline. After a succession of history teachers with degrees in English or political science, the first professor with a history Ph.D., Hayes Baker-Crothers, came to Maryland in 1925. Other trained historians followed, but growth was slow. In 1940, President H.C. Byrd hired Wesley M. Gewehr to head the History Department. In the wake of stresses of World War II, dissension between Byrd and Gewehr caused even more neglect than might otherwise have accrued to a "service" department. History appointments, salaries, and facilities all suffered from Byrd's hostility throughout his administration. Four years after Byrd resigned in 1954, Gewehr retired, leaving to his successor, Aubrey C. Land, the task of developing a true university department with the support of the new president, Wilson H. Elkins. With worthwhile objectives but an abrasive manner, Land alienated a significant number of his senior faculty, especially those who had been close to Gewehr. Eventually, Land lost the confidence and support of the administration and withdrew as department head. An interim committee administered the department under the direction of Dean Charles Manning until a new chairman, David A. Shannon, was chosen in 1965. A recognized scholar, Shannon attracted a number of distinguished historians in a variety of scholarly fields before departing after three years. With a faculty of achievement and promise, the University of Maryland moved to capitalize on its advantageous location near the nation's capital to establish a History Department of the first rank.