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Joseph D. Tydings papers

 Collection 0149-MDHC

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.


  • 1930-2018
  • Majority of material found within 1964-1970

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections Reading Room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Portions of this collection are unprocessed. This means that materials are in the same state we received them and have not been reviewed for content or condition. The collection may need to be screened prior to use. Please contact us before visiting the Special Collections reading room to view this collection. A preliminary inventory is available under the Inventories/Additional Information section.

This collection contains restricted material, please check the series and folder listings for additional information.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


96 Linear Feet

3 Items (2 oversize framed items and one chair)

Scope and Content of Collection

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.

Series 1
Biographical Materials
Series 2
Maryland General Assembly
Series 3
Kennedy Campaign
Series 4
U .S. Attorney's Office
Series 5
Series 6
U. S. Senate
Series 7
Newspaper Clippings
Series 8
Issue File
Series 9
Photographs and negatives
Series 10
Audio-Visual Materials
Series 11

Immediate Source of Acquisition

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.

Related Materials

Additional Senate committee hearings are also available in the Government Documents unit of the University of Maryland Libraries. Special Collections also has the papers of Joseph Tydings' father, Millard Tydings. In addition, in 2003, Albert Salter donated Joseph Tydings-related campaign materials (Accession 2003-64). These items consist of memorabilia which was transferred to the Memorabilia Collection (#1492 through 1504), and several pieces of correspondence from Tydings to Albert Salter. A detailed listing is available upon request.

The John W. Frece papers (Acc. 2018-0086-MDHC) relate to the writing of Tydings' autobiography My Life in Progressive Politics: Against the Grain and includes oral history transcripts and drafts as well as external sources.

The Jo-Ann Orlinsky papers (Acc. 1993-073-MDHC) concern her role on Tydings' staff during his campaigns and service in the Senate as well as her role as executive secretary for the Young Democratic Clubs of Maryland, for which Tydings was a former president.

Newspaper Articles-- In chronological order from 1970 back.

  • Questions and Answers, News American, for Ray Gill, October 13, 1970, re: general campaign issues.
  • Letter-to-the-Editor, Hagerstown Mail, October 2, 1970, re: response to earlier letter criticizing his efforts to clean the Potomac River.
  • D.C. Non-Voting Delegate, D.C. Afro-American, September 15, 1970, short statement prepared for this paper only.
  • "Needed: A Auality Education," Columbia, MD, Interact Newspaper, mailed September 1, 1970.
  • Urban Corps Record Insert referred to in the Urban Cops Newsletter, permission mailed August 28, 1970.
  • Making Money for Education a National Priority, The Paper, mailed August 19, 1970.
  • "Know Your Candidates" insert, Kent County News,, mailed August 10, 1970.
  • "Consumer Legislation Moves Toward Enactment," Steel Labor, mailed August 7, 1970.
  • Making Money for Education a National Priority, Montgomery County Education Association publication, August 1970.
  • Letter-to-the-Editor, Evening Star, August 4, 1970, re: consumer class action bill.
  • "The Republican Put On an Economic Squeeze," The Northwest Star, mailed August 3, 1970.
  • Letter-to-the-Editor, Baltimore Sun, July 28, 1970, re: consumer class action bill.
  • The Senator's Labor Record, (not under Senator's byline), The Affiliate, mailed July 10, 1970.
  • "For a Quality Environment," The Northwest Star, July 9, 1970.
  • "Environmental Quality-- The Plight of the Birds," The Call, June, 1970.
  • "Report from Senator Joseph D. Tydings," Maryland Labor News, May, 1970.
  • Letter-to-the-Editor, Baltimore Sun, April 28, 1970, re: direct election stand clarification.
  • "How the New Tax Law Will Affect You," International Ladies Garment Workers newspaper, Spring, 1970.
  • "Ahead of her Time: Margaret Sanger: Pioneer of the Future," Book Review, Washington Post, February 4, 1970.
  • "President Nixon's veto of the HEW appropriations bill," JDT comments, The Coalition Press, mailed February 2, 1970, never used.
  • "Tydings Sees Inflation as Most Crucial Domestic Issue," B.C.C. Tribune, January 16, 1970.
  • The Metro System and the Growing Crime Problem in P.G. and Montgomery Counties, Montgomery County Sentinel, New Year Edition, 1970.
  • Letter-to-the-Editor, The Diamondback, October, 1969, re: need for young people in state and local government.
  • The ABM, Johns Hopkins The Newsletter, May 1969.
  • "Plight of the Chesapeake Bay," Baltimore Evening Sun, March 1969.
  • Moving out of 1968 and looking into Congress as 1969 begins, Montgomery County Observer, January 6, 1969.
  • Gun Control, The News American, for Baroness Stackleburg, July 15, 1968.
  • "What's New," The Observer, September 26, 1967.
  • Editorial re: Medicare, The Reporter, September 25, 1967.
  • "An Argument for Additional Law Clerks for the Courts of Appeals," New York Law Journal, April 20, 1967.
  • "Different Views from Maryland Senators," News American, April 2, 1967.
  • "Law Day," The Daily Record, Law Day, 1966.
  • "Memories of a Former Delegate," Washington Post Potomac, April 24, 1966.
  • "The Rotten Borough Amendments," Civil Liberties, July 1965.
  • Special to The Dart, no date listed.
  • Special to The Dart, no date listed.

MAGAZINE ARTICLES-- In Chronological order, from 1971 back.

  • "Too Many People . . . Too Much Garbage," Together magazine interview, January 1971.
  • "The Role of the Federal Government in Meeting the Environmental Crisis," Social Education magazine, January 1971.
  • "Safeguarding Consumer's Rights," Maryland Municipal League magazine, December 1970.
  • Preface for Our Changing Coastlines, by Harold Wanless and Francis Shepard, October 1970.
  • "Needed, A Quality Environment," Maryland Municipal League magazine, October 1970.
  • Gun Crime Control Legislation, Sporting Goods Dealer magazine, October 1970.
  • Questions and Answers, The Bulletin, C & P Telephone Company, September 1970.
  • "For a Quality Environment," Maryland Municipal League, August 1970.
  • "Last Chance for the States," request for Harper, reprint use; not known if used in Montgomery Junior College book, July 1970.
  • "Population Explosion in Country," short for Good Housekeeping magazine, July 1970.
  • "Environmental Quality: Pollution and Population," Whither Thou Goest (book insert), June and July 1970.
  • Preface for Politics and the Press (book), edited by Dr. Ray Hiebert, University of Maryland, June 1970.
  • Earth Day Speech, Environmental Teach-in book insert, never used, June 1970.
  • "Protecting Our Cities' Businessmen," Maryland Municipal League magazine, June 1970.
  • Interior Designers, comments by Senator for The Designer magazine, May 1970.
  • Yeshiva High School yearbook message, April 1970.
  • "The Fight Against Crime," Maryland Municipal League magazine, June 1970.
  • "Our Reckless Use of Pesticides," Clubwoman, March 17, 1970.
  • "Ask Them Yourself," column response for Family Week magazine, March 1970.
  • "Fight Inflation," Maryland Municipal League magazine, re: License Renewal Bill, February 1970.
  • Maryland Young Democrats brochure statement, January 1970.
  • Moratorium Day Speech on Vietnam, Forum: Vietnam magazine request, January 1970.
  • Letter-to-the-Editor, Broadcasting magazine, re: License Renewal Bill, December 1969.
  • Letter-to-the-Editor, Bio-Science magazine, re: environment article mentioning the Senator, December 1969.
  • "Railroads and the Transportation Crisis," Maryland Municipal League magazine, December 1969.
  • "Are Pesticides Threatening the Nation's Health," Clubwoman magazine, December 1969.
  • "The Pornographers and Our Children," Maryland Municipal League magazine, October 1969.
  • "The Weird Assault on America's Constitution," UAW Solidarity, August 1969.
  • "Eliminating Waste in Federal Spending," Maryland Municipal League magazine, August 1969.
  • "The Nation's Troubled Waters," The Maryland Jouster magazine, March 1969.
  • Introduction to Rufus King's Book, November 1968.
  • "A Congressional Look," reprint of speech to Second National Symposium on Law Enforcement Science and Technology, April 16, 1968.
  • "The Gun Bill, Should it Pass?" JDT says Yes, Baltimore magazine, April 1968.
  • "Gun Control," Playboy magazine, March 1968.
  • "Helping State and Local Courts Help Themselves: The National Court Assistance Act," reprint from Washington and Lee Law Review, Spring 1967.
  • "What Controls Should There be on Guns?" Clubwoman magazine, May-June 1967.
  • Should all Federal Judges be Reconfirmed Periodically?" Ballot Yes and NO piece, American Legion magazine, May 1967.
  • "U.S. Senator Visits Jews in the U.S.S.R.," The National Jewish Monthly, May 1967.
  • "Federal vs. States Rights in National Drive," American Trial Lawyers magazine, February-March 1967. (?)
  • "Home Rule for the District of Columbia: The Case for Political Justice," reprint from American University Law Review, March 1967.
  • "They Want to Tamper with the Constitution," The Saturday Evening Post, 1967.
  • "An Argument for Additional Law Clerks for the Courts of Appeals," Student Lawyer Journal, January 1967.
  • "Prepared to take Helpful Action," The National League Journal of Insured Savings Associations, December 1966.
  • "Improving the Federal Judicial System," American Criminal Law Quarterly, Winter 1966.
  • "Modernizing the Federal Judiciary," Journal of the Missouri Bar, September 1966.
  • "A Fresh Approach to Judicial Administration," Judicature, August-September 1966.
  • "The Congress and the Courts: Helping the Judiciary to Help Itself," American Bar Association Journal, April 1966.
  • "The Last Chance for the States," Harpers magazine, March 1966.
  • "Senator Urges Reforms in Court Management," DICTA, 1966.
  • "United States Senate's Subcommittee on Improvements in Judicial Machinery," 1966. (?)
  • 1965 Annual Report of Senator Joseph D. Tydings.


  • "Fair Play for Consumers," Trial magazine, March 1970.
  • "The Buyer Needs a Hundred Eyes-- The Seller Not One," Maryland Law Review, September 23, 1969.
  • "Court of the Future," St. Louis University Law Journal, 1969.
  • Air Crash Litigation: A Judicial Problem A Congressional Solution," American University Law Review 1969.
  • "Temporary Judicial Assignments: An Invaluable Tool for Effective Judicial Administration," University of Richmond Law Review, 1969.
  • "Improving the Federal Judicial System," American Criminal Law Quarterly, Winter, 1969.
  • "A Helping Hand and No Strings," Trial magazine, December/ January, 1967-1968.
  • "Should All Federal Judges be Reconfirmed Periodically," The American Legion magazine, 1967.
  • "Modernizing the Administration of Justice," Judicature magazine, April 1967.
  • "Management Consultants can break case logjams in nation's courts," American Trial Lawyers magazine, March 1967.
  • "Helping State and Local Courts Help Themselves the National Court Assistance Act," Washington and Lee Law Review, Spring, 1967.
  • "A National Program for Reform in Judicial Administration," Trial Judges Journal, January 1967.
  • "An Argument for Additional Law Clerks for the Courts of Appeals," The Student Lawyer, January 1967.
  • "United States Senate's Subcommittee on Improvements in Judicial Machinery," Association of Federal Investigator's Report, November 1966.
  • "Senator Urges Reforms in Court Management," Virginia Law Weekly, October 6, 1966.
  • "Modernizing the Federal Judiciary," Journal of the Missouri Bar, November 1966.
  • "A Fresh Approach to Judicial Administration," Journal of the American Judicature Society, August/September 1966.
  • "The Congress and the Courts: Helping the Judiciary to Help Itself," American Bar Association Journal, April 1966.
  • "Improving Archaic Judicial Machinery," American Bar Association Journal, February 1971.
  • "D.C. Court Reform and Criminal Procedure Act of 1970: An Overview," D.C. Bar Journal, August-December 1970.

Processing Information

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.

Guide to the Joseph D. Tydings papers
Processed by Susan King
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742