Sentinel celebrates 162 years of publication and service to the Montgomery community through a variety of cultural changes
A reprint of the first issue of the Montgomery County Sentinel from Saturday, Aug. 11, 1855. FILE PHOTO
For 162 years, The Montgomery County Sentinel has provided the residents of the County weekly news coverage from its newsroom in Rockville.
“We are proud to carry on the tradition of independence, and of being a community leader,” said publisher Lynn Kapiloff. “Our commitment to this community has never been stronger.”
The Sentinel remains the only community newspaper still publishing in Montgomery County and has been named the News Organization of the year by the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Press Association three out of the last five years.
Under the leadership of current owner Lynn Kapiloff and her late husband Dr. Bernard Kapiloff, The Sentinel became a beacon for Civil Rights and independence. During the 60s The Sentinel’s reporting on “The Giles case” – often referred to as the “’To Kill a Mockingbird’ case of Montgomery County,” led to freeing African Americans charged and wrongly convicted of rape.
But the paper was founded in different times and once stood for far different interests.
Founded in 1855 by Matthew Fields, like many newspapers of the era, The Sentinel began as a partisan publication in a divisive political environment prior to the Civil War in 1861. Issues such as slavery, tariffs, and state's rights were fiercely debated across the nation.