This Month In County History

April 1975: A crack in the Liberty Tree

April 08, 2005

A windstorm in April 1975 was not kind to a fragile piece of American history.

Almost 200 years after the American Revolution, a living link to that age - the Liberty Tree on the St. John's College campus in Annapolis - was about to snap.

The 400-year-old tulip poplar, under which the Sons of Liberty are supposed to have gathered during the Revolution, had developed a 4-foot crack near its top several years earlier. The crack opened up 1.5 inches farther when battered by the 60 mph winds.

A tree surgeon advised that a major limb be cut after a crack opened up during the storm. The limb in question made up almost a third of the tree. Charles T. Elzey, the college treasurer, said that he would "seek other advice before getting to the amputation stage."

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