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Thomas J. D'Alesandro, Jr. Papers

 Collection
Identifier: R0121-TJD

Scope and Contents

The Thomas J. D'Alesandro, Jr. Papers document the work and activities of Thomas J. D'Alesandro, Jr. and covers his public career serving as U. S. Representative and Mayor of Baltimore between 1927 and 1969. The collection includes biograpical materials, speeches, correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, and artifacts. Also present are publications and other items related to D'Alsandro's public life in Baltimore City and Maryland politics.

The collection covers D'Alesandro's public career extensively through photographs of public events and political campaigns, speeches he gave for a variety of events, audiences, and community venues, and scrapbooks containing collected materials. Also present are a number of artifacts related to D'Alesandro's political positions and campaigns, photographs documenting local infrastructure, biographical materials, and correspondence. Few photographs document D'Alesandro's family life. Some of the significant topics represented by items in this collection include Baltimore politics and political campaigns, and infrastructure and building campaigns in Baltimore during the 1950s. D'Alesandro's building campaigns resulted in new schools, hospitals, public pools, firehouses, and more. The collection also documents D'Alesandro's support for completion of the Friendship International Airport.

Dates

  • 1927-1969

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Gloves are recommended when handling photographic material.

Biographical Note

Thomas J. D’Alesandro, Jr. (August 1, 1903 - August 23, 1987) served as a member of the Maryland General Assembly, the U.S. Congress, and Mayor of Baltimore. D’Alesandro was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1925 and served in the General Assembly until appointed General Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue in 1933. Elected to the Baltimore City Council in 1935, he left that body after his election to the United States Congress in 1938. D’Alesandro served in Congress through World War II and was reelected for a fifth time in 1946. He entered the Baltimore mayoral race during his fifth term in Congress, and after success at the polls, resigned his seat in Congress May 16, 1947 to become Mayor of Baltimore.

In the 1950s, Mayor D’Alesandro’s activities included an extensive building campaign. In 1955, he broke ground in Wyman Municipal Park for two new wings of the Baltimore Museum of Art. He also broke ground or laid cornerstones for over 50 public schools throughout the City, as well as for numerous recreation facilities, firehouses, hospital additions, and public pools. Mayor D’Alessandro unsuccessfully challenged Republican J. Glenn Beall in 1958 for the U.S. Senate and lost the Mayor’s race to J. Harold Grady the following spring. Despite these defeats, he continued to be active politically, serving as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention between 1944 and 1968. He also served on a Presidential Commission during the tenure of President John F. Kennedy.

Extent

50.8 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement

Collection is arranged in 7 series:

  • Biographical
  • Speeches
  • Correspondence, 1928-1959
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Unprocessed Records
  • Artifacts

Custodial History

The collection was transferred from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to the University of Baltimore at the request of Thomas D’Alesandro, III in 1998. Additional accruals of political cartoons and oversized materials were received from the JFK Library in 2003 and 2010.

Accessing Digital Copies

Digital versions of items in this collection are available online. Locate records by using the "Print" button above, or browse records in “Collection Organization." Records with associated digital objects are identified with a red Digital Object icon.

Title
Finding aid for the Thomas J. D'Alesandro, Jr. Papers
Author
Finding aid prepared by Special Collections and Archives staff. Revised by Aiden Faust (2011). Revised by Laura Bell (2022).
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Baltimore Regional Studies Archives Repository

Contact:
H. Mebane Turner Learning Commons, Room 104
1415 Maryland Avenue
Baltimore Maryland 21201 USA
410-837-4253