October 5: John Charles Linthicum (1932)

J. Charles Linthicum was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 4th Congressional district of Maryland. Born in 1867, Linthicum was from a wealthy land-owning family and lived in Anne Arundel County, just outside Baltimore in an area now known as Linthicum, which was named for his family. After a stint as an educator, Linthcium earned his law degree. He served in the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate, and was then elected to the U.S. House in 1911 and continued to serve until his death over 20 years later. In 1911, Linthicum introduced a bill to establish Fort McHenry as a national park.  In 1918, Linthicum introduced legislation to officially make the “Star-Spangled Banner” America’s national anthem.  There were a variety of challenges facing the idea. Linthicum would spend the next 13 years re-introducing the bill at the start of every session. Finally, in 1931, the bill was passed in Congress and signed into law by President Herbert Hoover.

Linthicum turned his sights on repealing the 18th amendment that mandated Prohibition. He would not live to see the fruits of that particular labor as Prohibition didn’t end until a year after his death. During his time serving in Congress, Linthicum and his wife became associated with the Church of the Epiphany. Following his death in 1932, Helen Linthicum placed a stained glass window in the church in memory of her husband. The window is in the center position on the east side of the nave and depicts the evangelists Matthew and Mark. A special dedicatory service for the window was held on October 5, 1934, the second anniversary of Linthicum’s death. Bishop of Maryland Edward T. Helfenstein was one of four officiating clergy.

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