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Langsdale Library

TJD Collection Overview

Collection Title: Thomas J. D'Alesandro, Jr. (TJD)

Inclusive Dates: 1927-1969

Size: 50.8 linear feet

Scope and Contents:  
Correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, speeches, publications, artifacts covering Thomas J. D'Alesandro, Jr.'s years serving as U. S. Representative and Mayor of Baltimore.

Historical 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.

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.