Ask Anne

Questions for Anne Turkos, the university archivist
IMP photo by Andrew Adams, other photos courtesy of Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division and NAACP Records [LC-DIG-ppmsca-09709]
Q: I have always heard that future U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall was rejected for admission by the University of Maryland School of Law in 1930 because the institution was still segregated. But after he earned his law degree from Howard University, he successfully represented a black applicant to the state law school who had been denied admittance due to race. Do you have more information on the history of UMD’s race discrimination lawsuits? –Jan Pottker M.A. ’71

A: Actually, Marshall stated on more than one occasion that he never applied to the UMD School of Law. He did, however, successfully represent Donald Gaines Murray in his bid for admission five years later. Information about the Murray case and similar lawsuits may be found in the records of the Board of Regents and the president’s office. Coverage of these legal actions also appears in a number of newspaper resources accessible in the UMD Libraries, including The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Afro-American and The Diamondback. In addition, the Libraries hold a number of secondary sources that examine various aspects of these cases.

Q: I recently read a great book, “Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet,” by Katie Hafner (1998). She wrote that one of the devices that made it work was called an Interface Message Processor (IMP). I’ve read online that UMD was the last place to have one, and I’m wondering if the university still has it and if so, where it is. —Dan Hardisty ’10

A: Tripti Sinha, assistant vice president and chief technology officer in the Division of Information Technology, helped us with the answer to this one. Back in the mid- to late 1980s, the university’s old Computer Science Center had an IMP for about a year. It was replaced by the then-new NSFNET network. BBN Technologies, the contractor now known as Raytheon BBN Technologies, removed the IMP from campus when it was decommissioned.

Q: Can you help me find a Fall 1968 article in The Diamondback regarding gays on campus? As a freshman, I answered a request for gays on campus to speak to a reporter, with anonymity being promised. My interview was published, and I’ve never forgotten the experience of being heard regarding my struggle with society to come out of the closet. BTW, I won : )—Christopher Andrew Maier ’72

A: After a lengthy and unsuccessful search of The Diamondback microfilm (I can’t wait until the paper is fully digitized and searchable online!), it turns out that the article you remembered was in a controversial student magazine of the period called Argus. The additional clues you provided, including your quote, helped us locate the article, “The Silent Minority,” in its second 1970 issue.

Questions may be emailed to Terp magazine or tweeted to @UMDarchives University of Maryland University Archives: online | blog | facebook


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