News Release, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

Leonardtown, Maryland (Sept. 4, 2019) – A new exhibit in Reflections, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s history room, takes a closer look at the hospital’s 1953 Spring Festival Concert. The fund-raising event drew a crowd of celebrity guests including Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife.

Held in the Drill Hall at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, the show was attended by nearly 3,000 people and featured celebrities from film and radio, as well as prominent political figures of the day including Sen. Joseph McCarthy and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

Added to the MedStar St. Mary’s archives in 2017, were seven programs from the event discovered at a local estate sale. The cover design of the programs featured the signatures of the famous guests, and each was signed on the inside by one of the evening’s distinguished attendees. The discovery sparked renewed interest in the event and how a small hospital in St. Mary’s County could attract such famous individuals to such a fundraiser.

The new display highlights a few of the people who coordinated the event, including Elinor Peabody, the president of the hospital’s Auxiliary, and Fulton Lewis Jr., an internationally known journalist and radio personality who lived and worked in the county.

Stop in Reflections and discover the story behind the 1953 Spring Festival Concert. The exhibit is open daily and is located on the first floor of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital near The Blue Heron Café.

Visit MedStarStMarys.Org to learn more.


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...