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Telegraf. [volume] : (Baltimore, Md.) 1909-1951
Place of publication:
Baltimore, Md.
Geographic coverage:
  • Baltimore, Maryland  |  View more titles from this: City State
Čes.-Am. vydavatelské družstvo
Dates of publication:
  • -roč. 43., čís. 50 (28. pros. 1951) = Běžné čís.-2236.
  • Began with Feb. 20, 1909 issue?
  • Czech
  • Baltimore (Md.)--Newspapers.
  • Czechs--Maryland--Newspapers.
  • Czechs.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00886455
  • Maryland--Baltimore.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204292
  • Maryland.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204739
  • Available on microfilm from The Center for Research Libraries.
  • Description based on: Roč. 9., čís. 44 (8. pros. 1917).
  • In Czech.
sn 83045434
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Telegraf. [volume] December 8, 1917 , Image 1


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Vaclav Joseph Shimek established the weekly Telegraf newspaper in 1907 to serve the more than 15,000 Czech-speaking residents of Baltimore, Maryland. Shimek was a local Democratic politician and businessperson known as the Mayor of Little Bohemia. As the owner of Bohemia Hall in East Baltimore, Shimek fostered organizations in a community that the Baltimore Sun described as "orderly, industrious, congenial and brave." The Telegraf editorially supported women's suffrage and urged its readers to buy liberty bonds during World War I. The emergence of an independent Czechoslovakia as an outcome of the Treaty of Versailles ending the war was a source of great pride to the local community. Beginning in 1929, the Telegraf's long-term editor was the Reverend Frank Novak of the Moravian Presbyterian Church. In addition to his congregants, the Telegraf was read by members of St. Wenceslaus Church, the fourth largest Catholic parish in the city. The publisher, August Klecka, was a Baltimore City Council member and Democratic Party leader.

The Telegraf chronicled the maturation of Baltimore's Czech community as it moved beyond the status of recent immigrants. The garment industry was the initial employer of many Czech men and women. In the late 1930s, World War II production industries in Baltimore attracted Czech coal miners from Pennsylvania, many of whom settled in the Curtis Bay neighborhood. Germany's seizure of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia in 1938 caused an outpouring of consternation and patriotic support for America's eventual entry into the conflict. After the war, a sense of normalcy returned as veterans joined a Bohemian duckpin bowling league and took advantage of G.I. Bill benefits to reestablish their lives. A major advertiser in the paper was National Bohemian Beer, a brand still fondly remembered by native Baltimoreans. By 1951, many in the community had dispersed into the suburbs and the need for a Czech-language paper diminished. With declining subscriptions and obsolete printing equipment, the Telegraf was dissolved by Bohemian-American Publishing Company in December 1951. The Telegraf's final editor was Anthony Cihlar.

Provided by: University of Maryland, College Park, MD