The Sentinel celebrates its birthday – 163 years young!

  • Published in Local

Montgomery County Sentinel 1st IssueThe first issue of The Montgomery County Sentinel published on August 11, 1855 FILE PHOTOFor 163 years, The Montgomery County Sentinel has provided the residents of the County with 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 for four out of the last five years.


Controversial state song may finally change

  • Published in State

Flag of MarylandMaryland’s controversial state song – “Maryland, My Maryland” – could soon go the way of eight-track tapes and cassettes if a number of state legislators get their way.

The Civil War-era battle hymn, which makes reference to “Northern scum,” takes its lyrics from a poem written in the early days of the conflict by James Ryder Randall, and with verses like “Thou wilt not cower in the dust, Maryland! Thy beaming sword shall never rust,” gained popularity with Confederate troops before being adopted as the official state song.

One proposal for changing the song is SB0790, sponsored by State Sen. Cheryl Kagan (D) of District 17. Kagan has been pushing to change the state song since 2016, and introduced her bill to “repeal and replace” the current song, which she called “embarrassing and dated and racist,” last week.


How far we’ve come . . .

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Sentinel celebrates 162 years of publication and service to the Montgomery community through a variety of cultural changes

MoCo Sentinel 1st IssueA 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.


Historic Howard U. hospital recognized at Twinbrook talk

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Of the 12,000 surgeons who served during the Civil War, only 14 were African-Americans. Seven worked in The Contraband Hospital, which is now a teaching hospital at Howard University.

During the Civil War, some 40,000 slaves sought freedom in D.C., according to Jill Newmark, exhibition specialist for the National Library of Medicine. She spoke last week at Twinbrook Library as part of a Black History Month program sponsored in cooperation with Montgomery County Department of Public Libraries and the Montgomery County Historical Society.


Letters to the Editor, November 3, 2016

Voting against Democrats


To the editor;

I am a Chinese immigrant and have been the supporter of the Democrat Party since I got my U.S. citizenship.  I have voted for Mr. Van Hollen for several terms in Congress but not this year as he runs for U.S. Senate, and not anymore.  My family and I have had enough from the Democrat Party. We have had enough injustice and unfairness from the Democrat leaders in government at all levels. The last straw was a car accident that my father was involved with an illegal immigrant last December. That illegal immigrant apparently ran a red light and severely damaged my father's car. Despite much evidence that we had to prove her fault the local police department refused to investigate the case. On the contrary, they were protecting her. As a result my father was not able to get any compensation from her. 

When we shared our story with others we found that what we experienced was just a tip of an iceberg. If people have accidents with illegal immigrants there is no way for the victims to get any compensation from the violators because illegal immigrants are protected by the Democratic leaders in Montgomery County, in Congress and the White House. They are like "super" citizens in Montgomery County!  We need law and order. Therefore I call all my fellow Chinese Americans to vote for the Republican Party - Kathy Szeliga for Senate and Donald Trump for President.  I am proud of becoming a "deplorable and irredeemable Republican". Let's Make America Great Again!

H. Li



Groping with Donald Trump


To the editor;

At many Trump rallies, you hear the chant : Lock Her Up" referring to Hillary.If any one should be in jail, it's Trump!

Trump freely admits that when he sees an attractive woman, he wants to kiss, grope and possibly have sex with them all without their consent. If other men did that they would be arrested and put in jail for sexual assault. Most women don't report the crime and in the case of Trump, he would just deny it. knowing his aggresive attorneys would take care of the issue.

If anyone should be in jail, it's Trump!

J. Marrinan



Tear down this Wall! I mean statue


To the editor;

The German and Japanese warriors who waged World War II were very competent. As for their leaders, their generals and admirals ranged from the merely good to the exceptionally able; today military historians study General Rommel, Admiral Donitz and Admiral Yamamoto.  If these warriors had been less able and fought less well, fewer American soldiers and sailors would have been lost. And I do not doubt that these warriors led virtuous personal lives; they were good citizens, good husbands and good parents. But they were all on the wrong side of history and there are few if any publicly displayed statues of them anywhere in the United States.  

Similarly, many of the warriors who fought in the American Civil War for the Confederacy were also very able.  But that ability also cost the United States dearly.  The skill of the Confederate warriors prolonged the war; the Union and Confederacy armies both lost more men and there was additional collateral damage. But in public places in the United States, there are many statues of these warriors.

The Confederate warriors were also on the wrong side of history. Confederate warriors’ military strategies should be studied but their statues should be removed from public display.  

In addition, the warriors fought for the institution of slavery and the African-American community views reverence for them as nostalgia for slavery. More broadly, the warriors should no longer be revered.

W. H. Friedman




Museum hosts Civil War photos

SANDY SPRING – The Sandy Spring Museum opened a new exhibit Saturday designed to showcase a group of people who bring history to life.

The exhibit, "Living History of the Civil War," features photographs of Civil War re-enactors at work taken by Olney resident J. David Wonderling.

"Until a few years ago, I'd never taken any pictures of Civil War re-enactors," said Wonderling, who served as an Army journalist and photographer with the 20th Engineer Brigade in Vietnam in 1970. "But my interest was piqued at the start of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. I spent a weekend in Gettysburg, where I took a lot of pictures of the re-enactors. That was the start of it."


BREAKING NEWS: Workers Box Confederate Statue

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IMG 1441Updated to reflect the cost of cleaning and boxing the statue and current picture

ROCKVILLE - Workers on Friday began boxing up the controversial Confederate Cavalry Statue on the grounds of the Old Red Brick Courthouse after someone defaced the monument on Monday.

"This is just temporary," County Executive Ike Leggett said. "We had to clean it and we need to protect it because temperatures are running high right now."

Thursday a committee reported to the county that members had reached a consensus on three points regarding the statue:


BREAKING: Committee releases report on Rockville Statue

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NewstatueROCKVILLE – A committee of Civil Rights Leaders and historians have, according to Montgomery County Council President George Leventhal, reached a consensus on the controversial Confederate Cavalry statue in Rockville – though Leventhal said it is just a “first step” in determining what to do with the statue.

The committee assembled by Council President George Leventhal released its findings late Thursday afternoon after meeting Monday.

“It’s fair to say we are happy the county has decided to follow proper procedures regarding the statue and we hope the county will use this time to find an appropriate home for the statue so it isn’t put in storage,” said Nancy Pickard, the executive director of Peerless Rockville.


Honor meeting honor and the Confederate statue in Rockville


Josh-1Nestled behind a large Holly tree near the old Red Brick Courthouse in Rockville is a statue which faces south and commemorates those soldiers from Montgomery County who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War.
This week someone deposited some roses at the foot of the statue and someone also posted a sign denouncing the monument with the words “Treason” and “Slavery.”
The county council, the Rockville city council and at least one state legislator have contacted Peerless Rockville directly or indirectly about the monument and there is now talk of moving and/or removing the monument.
While removing a confederate battle flag that has become a rallying point for hate groups is one issue, the eradication of a historical monument is entirely different.


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