Mencken Day, September 15, 2018

Mencken Day, September 15, 2018, is once again celebrated at France Hall, Maryland Historical Society, 201 West Monument Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201.

The Day’s Events

10:30 AM/France Hall: Annual Meeting of the Mencken Society

Speaker: Dr Stacy Spaulding, Assistant Professor, Towson University:
“The Intellectual Eater: H. L. Mencken’s Regional Food Editorials”

2:00 PM/France Hall: — The 2018 Mencken Memorial Lecture

Speaker: Dana Milbank of the Washington Post

Dana Milbank is a nationally syndicated op-ed columnist. Before joining the staff of the Washington Post in 2005, he served as a senior editor at the New Republic and a reporter with the Wall Street Journal.

Mr Milbank is the author of three books, including the national bestseller Homo Politicus.

The Ivy Bookshop will have copies of Dana Milbank’s books for sale at a book signing immediately following the program.

At the Pratt Library

The Mencken Room, located in the Carla D. Hayden Wing of the Central Library, 400 Cathedral St, will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


  • “The Telegraph Tapes: Mencken Transmits from Tennessee”
  • “Mencken and Dreiser: Two beasts in the Parlor”
  • “In Defense of Women: A Centennial Celebration”

Mr Mencken Takes A Vacation

From the Free Lance of April 11, 1914:

“Rising to a question of personal privilege, I announce my withdrawal from these cloistered shades for a brief space. No; I am not ill. No; I am not worn out by overwork. No; I have not been fired. No; I have not got a better job in New York, or Chicago, or Philadelphia, or anywhere else. No; I am not chased out of town by forward-lookers. No; I am not to be married to a wealthy widow. No; I have no reason to fear the grand jury. No; I have not run out of ideas. No; I have not reached the age limit.”

“My actual reasons for withdrawing from labor are two in number, to wit: (a) no sane man works if he can help it, and (b) at the moment I can help it. This capacity for escape, of course, is not permanent; if it were, the science of prose would know me no more. But now and then, as one may say, it pulls itself together and is ready for business, and on such occasions the prudent man turns it to his uses. So I depart for a space, and devote myself to the noble art of idling—the noblest of them all. I shall eat heartily, sleep soundly and move at will from place to place–and all without any thought or obligation of work. In brief, I shall inhabit the heaven of all who can’t get into it, and the hell, perhaps, of all who can’t get out of it.”

Postings will continue May 29.