‘It Happened in Rockville: Remembering Two Lynchings’ Exhibit to be Displayed at Rockville Memorial Library

by Patrick Herron

Feature photo of the Montgomery County Jail building in Rockville (1935), where John Diggs-Dorsey was dragged from to his lynching on July 27, 1880 courtesy of Montgomery History.

Per Montgomery County:

For Immediate Release: Monday, January 24, 2022

The Montgomery County Lynching Memorial Project (MoCoLMP) “It Happened in Rockville: Remembering Two Lynching” exhibit is coming to the Montgomery County Public Libraries’ (MCPL) Rockville Memorial Library, located at 21 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. The exhibit will run from Feb. 1 – Feb. 28 during library hours.

The exhibit, launched in collaboration with Peerless Rockville and Montgomery History, seeks to memorialize and honor two men who were lynched in Rockville – Mr. John Diggs-Dorsey in 1880 and Mr. Sidney Randolph in 1896 – as well as a third man, Mr. George Peck, lynched in Poolesville in 1880. The exhibit is part of a larger initiative to educate and engage our community in acknowledging the history and legacy of lynching and racial terrorism in Montgomery County.

“We are very honored to host this exhibit,” said MCPL Director Anita Vassallo. “This is the first time the exhibit will be openly available to the public. Its initial viewing was at the Red Brick Courthouse by appointment only.”

Working closely with the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, and the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, MoCoLMP is part of a larger effort to advance the cause of reconciliation in Maryland, advocating for public acknowledgement of these murders and working to honor and dignify the lives of the victims. As highlighted in a proclamation by the Montgomery County Council on Sept. 26, 2021, this exhibit “reminds us of our responsibility to understand our history and to work to repair and heal the damage of the past by acting in the present.”

For more information, please contact Rachel Rappaport at rachel.rappaport@montgomerycountymd.gov or the Montgomery County Lynching Memorial Project at mocolynchingmemorial@gmail.com


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1 comment

SWood January 24, 2022 - 2:06 pm

It would be informative to readers to add that the exhibit is a part of Black History month, which is recognized during the moth of February. Your story only states that the exhibit will run Feb.1 – Feb. 28 during library hours, not that informative.


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