Plans taking shape for Fort McHenry fete

Two special events will be celebrated on Sept. 11 -- Fort McHenry's 200th birthday and the 180th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore. Plans are a little incomplete at this date, but my friend Alan Walden, president of the Patriots of Fort McHenry, says it should be quite a day.

President Clinton, Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, Gov. William Donald Schaefer, senators and congressmen are among those expected to attend the gala celebration, along with Ed Hale, chairman of the board of the Bank of Baltimore. Actually, it's Ed, who should be the guest of honor. Thanks to him, the bank's corporate contributions committee donated $20,000 to commission the first major work of art done in a half century regarding the Battle of Baltimore and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.


Dale Gallon, one of the foremost historical artists in the country and artist in residence at Gettysburg, has agreed to do the painting, which will be unveiled at the Sept. 11 ceremony. The painting is titled "The Flag is Full of Stars," and will depict the climactic moment at 9 a.m. on Sept. 14, 1814, when, as the sky blows clear after a stormy night of shelling, the British Fleet makes sail in the distance, while Mary Pickersgill's giant battle flag, is hoisted to full staff inside Fort McHenry.

The Patriots hope to sell 900 limited edition prints of the painting for $175 each, with the proceeds going to a capital fund-raising campaign to create a new education and visitor center. The existing one is far too small to accommodate the 600,000 to 700,000 annual visitors to the Fort, which is the only National Monument in the United States that is also designated a historic shrine. So we should treasure and take care of it.


More on this at a later date!!!

While the winter Olympians vied for gold, silver and bronze medals in Norway, nearly a dozen former Olympics winners were raising funds for the U.S. Olympic team. After all, the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta will be here before we know it.

Last Saturday, Jim Sellinger, general manager of IBM/Maryland and chairman of the Maryland State Olympic Organization, held forth at a party that raised more than $30,000.

The 175 Olympic supporters who attended were delighted to meet and chat with Maryland Olympians: Theresa Andrews, Ron Freeman, Charlie Greene, Butch Keaser, Tamara Levinson, Lynnette Love, John Philben, Murray Stephens, Jennifer Taylor, Catherine Yakhimovich and Anita Nall, who was accompanied by her dad, John.

Another highlight was the presence of Jim McKay, Emmy award-winning sports announcer best known as the "Voice of the Olympics," who took to the podium to share Olympic memories with guests. Sellinger gave McKay and his wife, Margaret, an award. Then Nall, who won gold, silver and bronze for swimming events at Barcelona in 1992 and Keaser, who won silver medal in wrestling in Montreal in 1976, spoke on behalf of all their teammates.

Phil Stolz, general manager of WBAL-TV, and vice chairman of the Maryland State Olympic Committee, held the party in the station's party suite. Much to the delight of the guests, on-air personalities Vince Bagli, Gerry Sandusky, Paul Davis, Carolyn McEnrue, Rod Daniels and Tom Tasselmyer, made appearances.

Other highlights included international foods prepared by Atlantic Catering, sports demonstrations by Olympians, studio tours.

Some of the corporate hi-hos who stopped by were: Henry Rosenberg, Crown Central Petroleum; Ed Ludwig, Becton Dickinson; Walter Amprey, Baltimore City School Superintendent; Jim Brady, Arthur Anderson; Bob Newberry, Ernst & Young; Ron McGuirk, First National Bank; and vice chairs of the state Olympic committee Bob Cirincione, Mid-Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists, Jim Eyler, Miles and Stockbridge; and Thad Shelly, Legg Mason.