- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
For a war that took place in part in Charles County’s backyard, many of the events of the War of 1812 have been forgotten. At the P.D. Brown Memorial Library in Waldorf, however, a small part of that history is being kept alive.
The library held a ceremony last week to honor the war’s 200th anniversary and showcase the traveling exhibit the branch is hosting through mid-October.
Charles County Public Library Director Emily Ferren said the exhibit represents a small part of the library’s commitment to being a source of continuing education for the community.
“We’re a lifelong learning center,” Ferren said. “It’s wonderful to have a chance to bring something like this back to the community.”
The exhibit was coordinated in part by library employee Sally Knudsen, who said she was inspired by Branch Manager Cynthia Thornley to seek this sort of educational exhibit.
“I was motivated in part by how Cindy encourages us to present her with ideas for things to do and to host here, and I have a lot of ideas,” Knudsen said. “I just happened to stumble onto this, and I saw that the ... exhibit was at [the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore] and so that made me wonder how we could bring it down here.”
Knudsen reached out to exhibit coordinator Ernie Dinsmore, who brought it to Waldorf from its previous location at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and set it up free of charge.
Carol Whitsell of the U.S. Daughters of the War of 1812’s Ella Virginia Houck Holloway chapter said the exhibit represents a continuing effort to remind the people of the area, and of the country as a whole, of the importance of this war.
“It’s really sad that children growing up now know little to nothing about the war. Even when I was in school, I can’t recall learning anything about it,” Whitsell said. “They know the American Revolution, the Civil War, the World Wars, but not the War of 1812. We’ve been working with the county board of education to add more education about the War of 1812 to the curriculums, and in the next three years, we hope to see that come to fruition. We’ve been very proud to find our ancestors, and to remember them and give them their due ... they forfeited everything for our benefit, and we tend to forget them over time.”
Although this is the first exhibit of its kind that the library has hosted, Thornley said she hopes to see more come through in the future.
“I think a lot of people tend to forget that this isn’t just about history, it’s about real people who faced daunting challenges,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of things out there like this if you keep looking, and we certainly plan to.”
If you go
P.D. Brown Memorial Library at 50 Village St. in Waldorf will host a traveling exhibit commemorating the War of 1812’s bicentennial until Oct. 12.
The exhibit is open to the public 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 1-5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Call 301-645-2864.