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MEDIA ADVISORY: Christmas Eve Graveside Commemoration of Johns Hopkins on 140th Death Anniversary

December 17, 2013
To: Reporters, editors, columnists, producers
From: Dennis O’Shea
dro@jhu.edu | 443-997-9912 (o) | 410-499-7460 (m)

Each Dec. 24, a number of us from Johns Hopkins take time from holiday preparations to gather at a plain, unassuming family gravesite in Baltimore’s Green Mount Cemetery.

The annual observance takes place rain or shine or, more likely, wind. (Photo by Jay VanRensselaer/JHU)

Why? Because it’s the anniversary of the death of the man who made Johns Hopkins possible: Mr. Johns Hopkins, who died on Christmas Eve in 1873.

The annual observance in his honor will take place at his grave at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 24. It will be the 140th anniversary of his death. Coverage is invited.

Mr. Hopkins left $7 million in his will to establish a university and hospital in Baltimore that revolutionized higher education and health care and evolved into the worldwide Johns Hopkins institutions we know today.

The 15th consecutive Christmas Eve observance will be led by university Vice President and Secretary Emeritus Ross Jones. It will include informal comments on Mr. Hopkins and presentation of a memorial wreath. Local historian Wayne Schaumburg, who frequently gives tours of Green Mount Cemetery and other historic Baltimore locations, will speak briefly. Schaumburg will place the burial of Mr. Hopkins in the context of the historic importance of the cemetery, which opened in 1839 and is also the burial spot of Enoch Pratt, William and Henry Walters, Mary Elizabeth Garrett, John Wilkes Booth, Betsy Patterson, Walter Lord, Theodore McKeldin, and other significant Marylanders.

Logistics: To reach the gravesite, enter at the cemetery’s main gate along Greenmount Avenue, about five blocks south of North Avenue; drive straight up the hill, park near the crest, and look for our gathering to the right. For information, contact Dennis O’Shea at dro@jhu.edu or 443-997-9912 (cell phone on Dec. 24: 410-499-7460).

Background: To read Mr. Hopkins’ obituary from the Dec. 25, 1873, edition of the “Baltimore Sun,” go to http://www.jhu.edu/125th/links/obit.html.


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