The collection documents the life and career of Joseph D. Tydings: lawyer, Maryland politician, and U. S. Senator. The Joseph D. Tydings papers relate primarily to Tydings' term as senator from Maryland from 1964 to 1970. The collection also relates to Tydings' maternal grandfather, Joseph Davis; his stepfather, Millard Tydings; his term in the Maryland House of Delegates; his appointment as United States Attorney for the District of Maryland; and his work for John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign. Also documented is Tydings' attempt to recapture his former Senate seat in 1976. Document types include hearing transcripts, speeches, voting records, newspaper clippings, and audio-visual materials. Subjects covered include crime in the District of Columbia; gun control; judicial reform; and population control. The Life magazine controversy, revolving around an article published by the magazine that alleged that Tydings had questionable business connections, is also discussed; this controversy was a contributing factor in Tydings' 1970 electoral defeat.
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96 Linear Feet
3 Items (2 oversize framed items and one chair)
The papers of Joseph Tydings cover the years 1930 to 2018, though the bulk of the material dates from 1964 to 1970 when Tydings was in the U.S. Senate. The earlier materials relate to his maternal grandfather, Joseph Davies; his stepfather, Millard Tydings; his term in the Maryland House of Delegates; his appointment as United States Attorney for the District of Maryland; and his work for John F. Kennedy's 1960 campaign. The materials from Tydings' Senate term include hearings, newspaper clippings, press releases, schedules, speeches, and his voting record, among other materials. The materials postdating Tydings' Senate term relate to his second attempt to recapture his Senate seat in 1976 and issues in which he maintained an interest. Documented in the collection are such issues as crime in the District of Columbia; gun control; judicial reform; population control; and the Life magazine controversy.
Joseph Davies Tydings was born on May 4, 1928, in Asheville, North Carolina, to Thomas Cheeseborough and Eleanor Davies Cheeseborough. At the age of six, his mother divorced Cheeseborough; she later married Millard Tydings of Havre de Grace, Maryland, who adopted her son and gave him the Tydings name. Joseph Tydings attended public schools in Aberdeen, Maryland, and the McDonough School in Baltimore County, Maryland. After his graduation from McDonough, in 1946, he joined the army. He served in the European Theater of Operations for eighteen months, from 1946 to 1948, in the Sixth Cavalry Group of the Third Army. Upon his return, he entered the University of Maryland and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1951. While at the university, he became involved in student government and was elected president of the student body. Heavily influenced by his grandfather, a former ambassador, and his stepfather, a U.S. Senator, politics came as second nature to Joseph Tydings. Following in his stepfather's footsteps, Tydings went to the University of Maryland Law School in Baltimore, and he received his law degree in 1953. Upon graduation from law school, he became president of the Young Democrats of Maryland, a position he held from 1953 to 1955.
Tydings was admitted to the bar in 1952. He would eventually become a member of seven local and national bar associations, and he served as president of the Baltimore Junior Bar Association in 1960. He started his career as an associate with the Baltimore firm of Tydings, Sauerwein, Benson, and Boyd and stayed with them until 1957. Tydings then formed the firm of Tydings and Rosenberg in Baltimore in 1958 and remained a partner until 1961.
In 1954, Tydings was elected one of Harford County's representatives to the Maryland House of Delegates where he served from 1955 to 1961. A major figure on the Maryland scene, Tydings gained national attention as John F. Kennedy's campaign manager for the Delaware and Florida primaries of 1960. Kennedy thought highly of his efforts and subsequently appointed him United States Attorney for the District of Maryland in 1961. Tydings resigned from this position in 1964 when he was elected as one of Maryland's U.S. Senators. He served one six-year term during which he was outspoken on such issues as gun control, population control, anti-crime legislation, the environment, and public services. Tydings served on committees concerned with the judiciary, commerce, the District of Columbia, public works, and aeronautical and space sciences. He rose quickly during his stay in the Senate, and was made U. S. delegate delegate to several important international gatherings, N. A. T. O. among them. Also during his senatorial term, William Morrow and Company of New York published Born to Starve by Tydings; this book was a compilation of research and Tydings' thoughts on population control. Tydings also received several awards for his humanitarian activities. One of these was the Margaret Sanger Award given to him by Planned Parenthood of Maryland for his activities related to population and birth control.
Tydings' political career ended rather abruptly when he did not win reelection to the U. S. Senate in 1970. A number of forces contributed to his loss. The gun lobby posed a major stumbling block by setting up an extensive campaign to keep him out of office. Life magazine tarnished his image when they published an article in 1970 that questioned his business connections. Liberals were disturbed by his law-and-order views, and conservatives thought he was too liberal.
Upon leaving the Senate, Tydings joined the law firm of Danzansky, Dickey, Tydings, Quint, and Gordon in Washington, D. C. In 1981 he joined the firm of Finley, Humble, Wagner, Heine, and Untenberg. Tydings was also a member of the Washington firm of Anderson, Baker, Kill, and Olick.
In 1974, Tydings was appointed to the Board of Regents of the University of Maryland. He served as chairman of the Fiscal Committee from 1975 to 1980. The Board of Regents elected him vice chairman in 1979, a position he held until 1982. He then served as chairman of the board until his retirement in 1984. Tydings continued to be an active advocate for the University of Maryland.
Tydings married for the first time in August of 1955. He and his wife, Vicky Campbell Tydings, had four children: Mary Campbell; Millard E., II; Emlen; and Eleanor Davies. After a divorce in the early 1970s, Tydings remarried in April of 1975 to Terry Lynn Huntingdon. This second marriage added two children to his family: Paige Crowly, the first child of his second wife, and one child of their own, Alexandra.
Tydings was an active community member wherever he lived or worked. While practicing law in Baltimore, he joined Doric Lodge #124 of the Ancient and Free and Accepted Masons and the Civitan Club. In Havre de Grace, where he lived with his first wife at Oakington, he served as Senior Warden of St. John's Episcopal Church. He later resided for the most part in Washington, D. C.
Joseph Tydings died on October 8, 2018.
The collection has been divided into the following eleven series.
Joseph Tydings donated most of these papers to the University of Maryland Libraries in December 1976. He donated a second group of materials in January 1988 and August 2006. John W. Frece donated a group of materials in June 2018. Eleanor Tydings Gollob donated a final group of materials in December 2018 after Tydings' death.
As the papers were sorted and filed into ten series, the first two accessions were merged into one collection. All paper clips, rubber bands, and staples were removed; special plastic clips over strips of acid-free bond paper were substituted. At the same time, items were removed from envelopes and folders and placed into acid-free folders. All duplicates were discarded and a few items in poor condition were copied onto acid-free bond paper during the sorting process. Once the items were placed in folders, the folders were labeled and placed into acid-free boxes. All photographs, audiotapes, and film were physically separated. A pen given to Tydings by Maryland Governor Harry Hughes and a bronze plaque from his stay in the Maryland House of Delegates were removed and placed in the Memorabilia collection (#870-871). Joseph Tydings donated additional papers in August 2006; these include additional video and audio tapes and small amounts of correspondence. These materials were integrated into the collection.
Materials donated in 2018 were re-housed into archival quality boxes and placed in acid-free folders. Folders were left in the original order in which they were received; however, oversize items were separated and added to the end of the collection.