Chapter

“Do They Believe in God?”

Shawn Francis Peters

in The Catonsville Nine

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199827855
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950140 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827855.003.0014
“Do They Believe in God?”

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Roszel Cathcart Thomsen always seemed destined to carve out a formidable career in law. He did not just excel at Boys Latin, an all-boys school in Baltimore; he roared through the curriculum, skipping several grades along the way and graduating at the tender age of fourteen. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1919, he clerked for Morris Ames Soper, the chief judge of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City, and attended the University of Maryland Law School at night. Determined to follow Soper's example, Thomsen complemented his devotion to the practice of law with a commitment to public service. Thomsen spent some three decades in private practice before President Eisenhower named him to the federal bench in 1954. It was in Thomsen's courtroom, located on the fifth floor of Baltimore's Post Office and Courthouse Building, that the legal fate of the Catonsville Nine would be decided over the second week of October 1968. While the trial got underway, supporters of the Catonsville Nine staged the largest antiwar march seen in Baltimore in the Vietnam era. At about 10:30 a.m., about 1,200 protesters assembled at Wyman Park and then headed down Howard Street toward War Memorial Plaza.

Keywords: Roszel Cathcart Thomsen; antiwar march; Boys Latin; Morris Ames Soper

Chapter.  6497 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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