A panel display of MPT's history now is on display at the library in Lexington Park.

A panel display of MPT's history now is on display at the library in Lexington Park.

Maryland Public Television’s launch on the airwaves, marking its 50th anniversary later this year, began the story now depicted through a set of panels, a presentation of MPT’s history on display this month at the St. Mary’s County Library branch in Lexington Park.

Tom Williams, MPT’s managing director of communications, said this week that the exhibit details through words and images the timeline for the broadcasting network’s growth, from its beginnings on UHF Channel 67 in Owings Mills to six transmitters throughout the state, and of course through modern-day cable and satellite services.

“It’s an effort on our part to illustrate highlights of MPT’s accomplishments and value,” Williams said, to viewers all over Maryland.

The traveling exhibit “explores the network’s origins, signature programs, familiar faces and evolution,” according to a release, “fulfilling [its] mission to enrich lives and strengthen communities through the power of media.”

The seven 10-foot-tall display panels guide visitors chronologically through MPT’s five decades of service, the release states, beginning when the network first went on the air on Oct. 5, 1969.

Williams said Wednesday that the panel display followed a similar touring presentation related to a 2016 “MPT Salute to Vietnam Veterans.”

“It was so well received and so popular,” Williams said, leading to a decision that “it would be smart to build on that model.”

And the groundwork for finding venues for the 50th anniversary exhibit also was easy, he said, as “we tapped back into so many of those same people.”

MPT produced two sets of the traveling exhibit to expand the display’s accessibility to communities across the state. Familiar faces on the panels include that of Rhea Feikin, host of the network’s Chesapeake Collectibles, Artworks program and its on-air fundraising.

“She’s the First Lady of MPT,” Williams said. “There’s a panel about her.”

The exhibit at the library in Lexington Park, located at 21677 FDR Blvd., will continue through this month, at least until Monday, April 29, Williams said, and feedback from visitors of all ages is encouraged.

“There’s an opportunity for people to write notes,” he said, “and for children to color a page, and write something to MPT.”

A two-hour documentary, titled “Made Possible by Viewers Like You: 50 Years of Maryland Public Television,” will be broadcast at 8 p.m. on Monday, June 3.

More information about MPT’s 50th anniversary activities and observances can be found online at mpt.org/50th.

Eagle tour and more coming to Sotterley

Historic Sotterley’s calendar at the Hollywood landmark includes eagle watching this weekend, and an upcoming film presentation, plant sale and afternoon pairing of beverages and food.

From 8 to 11 a.m. this Sunday, April 21, David Moulton will lead, in conjunction with the Southern Maryland Audubon Society, a bird-filled exploration of the plantation located by the Patuxent River, offering an Earth Day encounter with nesting bald eagles, meadowlarks, woodpeckers and waterfowl along an extensive trail system.

To make a reservation to take part in the free event, call Moulton at 240-278-4473.

On Thursday, April 25, Sotterley’s ongoing Building Bridges to Common Ground initiative will present a 7 p.m. showing of “With All Deliberate Speed,” a story told by students and teachers who experienced the desegregation process of Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County from 1958 to 1972.

Merideth Taylor, the film’s writer, director and producer, will lead discussions joined by the people who lived the experience. Now a professor emerita at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Taylor took a sabbatical between 2003 and 2004 to work with staff and students at the school, and the year-long oral history/theater project culminated in a public performance in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

To register in advance for this month’s free event, due to limited seating, call 301-373-2280.

Sotterley’s 21st annual Garden Guild Plant Sale will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, and from noon to 3 p.m. on on Sunday, April 28, presented by volunteers with the Colonial Revival Garden who display their passion for beauty through the smallest of details, as part of their horticultural artistry.

A Taste of Sotterley from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, with a backdrop of the 1703 Manor House, historic barn and grounds, will feature pairings of 10 small-craft beers and 10 vintage wines with fruits, vegetables, breads, appetizers and desserts.

Advance reservations are required, by calling www.sotterley.org.

Drug take-back drive on Saturday to include syringes

The St. Mary’s sheriff’s office has partnered with the county health department and Elks Lodge No. 2092 in California for a National Drug Take-Back Day event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, to give the public an opportunity to clear their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted medications, along with needles and syringes.

The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked, to drop off the items, including both prescription or over-the-counter medications, for safe disposal at the Elks Lodge, located at 45779 Fire Department Lane in California, or at sheriff’s office headquarters at 23150 Leonard Hall Drive in Leonardtown.

In 2018, St. Mary’s residents turned in nearly 1,462 pounds of prescription medications at community events and collection sites operated by the sheriff’s office.

The Elks National Drug Awareness Program is “committed to eliminating the illegal use of drugs by all members of society,” a release states.

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse, sometimes contributing to the opioid epidemic, according to the sheriff’s office, and syringes or needles that are not properly disposed of may expose a family, pets, local sanitation workers or emergency responders to needle stick injuries and potential infection.

For more information about the disposal of medical waste, prescription drugs and the April 27 Take Back Day event, go online to www.smchd.org/medical-waste-and-sharps-disposal.

Bingo benefit planned for April 28 at fairgrounds

Southern Maryland Center for Independent Living will hold its second designer bag bingo on Sunday, April 28, in Tolerance Hall at the St. Mary’s fairgrounds, located off Route 5 south of Leonardtown.

Doors will open at noon, and games will start one hour later. More than $7,000 in prizes will be presented, featuring brand new authentic bags and accessories from designers such as Michael Kors, Coach, Vera Bradley and Kate Spade.

Discounted tickets can be purchased in advance by going online to www.smcil.org/events or by calling 301-884-4498.

Southern Maryland Center for Independent Living is a non-residential, nonprofit community based human service agency focused on providing services and advocacy to empower individuals living with disabilities to lead self-directed, productive lives.

Twitter: @JohnEntNews