Der Tag (Mencken Day) 2014

Mencken Day 2014 will be held September 13, 2014, at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD.

10:30 AM: Mencken Society Annual Meeting with guest speaker Marion Elizabeth Rodgers. Marion’s latest book is H. L. Mencken: The Days Trilogy, Expanded Edition (The Library of America, 2014).

2:00 PM: The 2014 Mencken Memorial Lecture: “H. L. Mencken: Racist or Civil Rights Champion?”, presented by Larry S. Gibson, professor of law at the University of Maryland School of Law. Mr Gibson is the author of Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice (Prometheus Books, 2012)

Reception and book signing immediately following in the Poe Room.

10AM—5:00PM: The Mencken Room is open to the public.

6:00PM—9:00PM: Saturday Night Club (for Mencken Society Members only), 10 West Hamilton St.

Ninth Annual Mencken Grave-site Memorial Service, 2014-01-26 (Sun)


The 9th Annual Mencken Grave-site Memorial Service will be held Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM at the Mencken family plot in Loudon Park Cemetery. Signs will point the way to the grave-site.

After the brief (less than 10 minutes) ceremony, attendees are invited to Spirits West Country Club, 2601 Wilkens Ave.

Loudon Park Cemetery: enter at 3620 Wilkens Ave, Baltimore, MD 21229. Note: the Frederick Ave entrance is closed. Enter through the Wilkens Ave entrance.

Location of grave: N 39° 16.693′ W 76° 40.683′ (39.278217°, -76.678050°)

For GPS users: Google maps recognizes geographic coordinates and knows the cemetery’s roads. It does assume that the Frederick Ave entrance is open. The Frederick Ave entrance is closed. Split your trip into two parts: leg 1 will be from your origin to 3620 Wilkens Ave, Baltimore, MD; leg 2 will be 3620 Wilkens Ave, Baltimore, MD to 39.278217, -76.678050.

Spirits West Country Club: 2601 Wilkens Ave (Cor. Millington Ave), Baltimore, MD 21223. (Make a left turn from Loudon Park onto Wilkens Ave. and drive 1.6 miles. Spirits West will be on your right at the end of Baltimores’s longest block of row houses and across the way from St Benedict’s Church.)

A video of the 2013 service is posted on Youtube.

Mencken's Grave-site

Map to Mencken’s Grave-site

Bodine’s Industry: The Dignity of Work

Seventy prints of images showing people at work taken by A. Aubrey Bodine, Mr Mencken’s professional colleague, will be on display at the Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI) from October 15, 2013 to February 6, 2014.

On November 7, 2013 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Jennifer Bodine, Aubrey Bodine’s daughter, will present a lecture and book signing of her latest book Bodine’s Industry: The Dignity of Work. Admission is $12 for members of the BMI, $15 for non-members.

The BMI at 1415 Key Highway, Baltimore, is open Tuesday–Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Note that the museum is closed Monday). Parking is free.

We leave Mr Mencken to have the last words on work:

“The most steadily attractive of all human qualities is competence. One invariably admires a man who is good at his trade, whatever it must be — who understands its technic thoroughly, and surmounts its difficulties with ease, and gets substantial rewards for his labors, and is envied by his rivals.” (HLM, Minority Report)

“The only sort of man who is really worth hell room [is] the man who practices some useful trade in a competent manner, makes a decent living at it, pays his own way, and asks only to be let alone.” (HLM, Minority Report)

Update: Mencken Oktoberfest at the Goethe Institut Is Now Free

The lecture and showing of Inherit the Wind at the Goethe-Institut are now free of charge but there will be no buffet and no Oktoberfest beer. Lunch may be had at any of the nearby restaurants. We hope to see you on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 10:30 am.

The registration deadline has been extended to October 24, 2013. Please email your reservations to Erica Joyce or call 703-237-0858.

The Goethe-Institut Washington is at 812 7th St NW. Some nearby places to have lunch are:

RFD Washington, 810 7th St, NW

Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant, 808 7th St, NW

Nando’s Peri-Peri (Portugese Chicken), 819 7th St, NW ‎(across the street from RFD Washington)

Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th St, NW

Oktoberfest With A Menckenian Flavor

Problem: Your appetite for bratwurst and sauerbraten is getting sated but you still want to celebrate Oktoberfest.

Solution: Enjoy a day of Mencken at the American Goethe Society of Washington, D.C. with an entertaining lecture (in English) by the renown Mencken scholar Marion Elizabeth Rodgers and a showing of the film Inherit the Wind (1960).

We have no doubt that Mr Mencken would have approved of the fine not-your-usual-Oktoberfest-luncheon with Oktoberfest beer which will be served before the showing of the film.

The Menckenian faithful may wish to re-read “The Hills of Zion” (A Mencken Chrestomathy). A worthwhile contrary view of the Scopes Trial is Mencken’s Mendacity at the Scopes Trial.

What: Lecture and film showing

When: Saturday, October 26, 2013 10:30 am – 3:30 pm

Where: The Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001


10:30am —11:00am Coffee / Registration
11:00am —12:00noon Lecture and Discussion
12:15pm — 1:15pm Oktoberfest Luncheon (includes Oktoberfest beer)
1:30pm — 3:30pm Showing of Inherit the Wind (1960), based on the Scopes “Monkey” Trial. (Gene Kelly, as “E. K. Hornbeck”, quite effectively plays the Mencken character.)

Cost: $40.00 (which includes morning coffee, lecture, German lunch, and film).

Please register no later than October 19, 2013.

Please send your reservation (with name, address, and if you would, your email and phone number) and check in the amount of $40 per person payable to the American Goethe Society, to:

American Goethe Society
Oktoberfest 2013
P.O. Box 6632
McLean, Va. 22106-6632

Mencken Day 2013

Mencken Day 2013 will be held on September 7, 2013 at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St, Baltimore, MD.


10:30 a.m. — Mencken Society annual meeting

1:30 p.m. — The 2013 Mencken Memorial Lecture — “An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted and the Miracle Drug Cocaine” by Dr. Howard Markel. Guest appearance by H. L. Mencken.

Dr. Markel is the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine and Director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan and a professor of psychiatry, public health, history and pediatrics. He has been a regular contributor for National Public Radio’s Science Friday. Dr. Markel’s most recent book is An Anatomy of Addiction. Of particular interest to Menckenphiles is his book, written with Frank A. Oski, The H. L. Mencken Baby Book.

A reception and book signing will follow in the Poe Room.

The Mencken Room is open to the public from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

New exhibits: “H. L. Mencken and Dr. Louis Cheslock (1898-1981)”, “Mencken and Arthur J. Gutman: 1911-2012” and “Mencken and Anthony Turano: 1893-1991.”

Arthur J. Gutman was a collector of Menckeniana and a former Treasurer and President of the Mencken Society.

Anthony Turano, an Italian-American lawyer who practiced in Reno Nevada, made many contributions to the The American Mercury. A noteworthy contribution was his “The speech of Little Italy” which appeared in the July 1932 issue. Like Mencken, he was enchanted by language and possessed a Menckenian repository of words. “Because of my early habit of looking up every unfamiliar word in a battered copy of Webster, my vocabulary became so top-heavy that my supply of words was far in excess of my ideas.”

Marion Rodgers on Mencken and the Red Scare

Marion Elizabeth Rodgers will speak on Mencken’s writings concerning “The Red Scare.”

“In the deportation of radicals after the Red Scare, of April 1921, Mencken reminded his readers that “probably two-thirds of those allegedly Reds were wholly innocent, and even the guilty ones were not fairly tried.” Though by no means sharing the views of Eugene Debs, Mencken opposed the jailing of the Socialist leader, imprisoned for his Marxist views and for opposing the war. Mencken also corresponded with Emma Goldman, the deported anarchist writer known as “Red Emma.” Mencken called on the Bureau of immigration to allow her to return to America to visit her relatives and then sent the Emma Goldman Recovery Committee a check for $25.” (Rodgers, Mencken: The American Iconoclast, (NY: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 217 )

Where: Room 618 (Main Reading Room of the Bar Library)
Mitchell Courthouse
100 North Calvert Street
Baltimore, MD

When: April 30, 2013 (Tue), 5:00 p.m
Wine & cheese reception immediately following.

The event is free but R.S.V.P. to 410-727-0280 or reply by e-mail to

Please consider making a voluntary contribution to the Bar Library’s Honorable Harry A. Cole Self-Help Center.

Tour the Mencken House With Marion Rodgers

Johns Hopkins’ Odyssey Program offers two tours of the Mencken House on Saturday, April 20, 2013, conducted by Marion Elizabeth Rodgers. The course fee is $30 for either the morning or the afternoon tour. There is a $3 entrance donation to benefit the Friends of the H. L. Mencken House at the door.

Section 01 (morning): 10 a.m.-noon
Section 02 (afternoon): 1-3 p.m.

Marion Rodgers wrote Mencken: The American Iconoclast (2007) and edited H. L. Mencken: Prejudices: The Complete Series (2010) for the Library of America. Her earlier books on Mencken are Mencken and Sara: A Life in Letters (1987) and a collection of Mencken’s journalism, The Impossible H L. Mencken (1991).

More details at Odyssey’s website (scroll down).

Charles Fecher to be Honored 2012-10-20

“The Baltimore City Historical Society is honoring the late Charles Fecher at its annual  Mayor’s Reception on October 20, 2012 at Mount Calvary Church, 816 N. Eutaw Street [cor Madison Ave.], from 12 to 2:30 p.m., tickets are $20.00 and may be purchased at the door. Fecher was a distinguished Mencken scholar and editor of the Mencken diaries. For information call 410-625-4828.”

What: Mayor’s Reception Honoring Charles Fecher
When: October 20, 2012 12-2:30 PM
Where: Mount Calvary Church816 N. Eutaw Street, Baltimore, MD

Mencken Day, September 8, 2012

Mencken Day Schedule of Events, Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mencken Day at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400  Cathedral St, Baltimore, MD

10:00 AM-5:00 PM: The Mencken Room is open to the public.

10:15 AM. The faithful assemble in the foyer of the Wheeler Auditorium to meet old friends, chat, and browse the exhibits.

10:30 AM. Annual Meeting of the Mencken Society in the Wheeler Auditorium, 3rd Floor. Immediately after the brief meeting guest speaker Dr H George Hahn II, Towson University, will present “The Campus Trials of Mencken’s Satire”.

2:30 PM. 2012 Mencken Memorial Lecture, Wheeler Auditorium. “The Scopes Trial: How the Letter Kills,” will be presented by Dr Richard J. Schrader, professor emeritus of English, Boston College.

There will be a reception in the Poe Room immediately following Dr. Schrader’s lecture.

On Sunday, September 9, The Friends of the H L Mencken House will host a birthday party (with birthday treats) at the Mencken House, 1524 Hollins St, from noon until 6:00 PM. Those unable to come to Sunday’s party may arrange a Saturday (September 8) tour by emailing