Anthony Bibbo – Flag House Scholar 2019

Congratulations to our 2019 winner, Anthony Bibbo!

A bit about our winner:

Anthony is a graduate of Mount Saint Joseph High School where he was a Brother James Kelly Honors Scholar.  He was the recipient of the school’s Brother Dominic Academic Scholarship and Edward F. Miller Service Scholarship.  He served on the Executive Committee of the school’s National Honor Society chapter and as Secretary General of the Baltimore Area Model United Nations Conference hosted by the school.  Anthony served as Treasurer of the Student Council and competed in the state’s Personal Finance Challenge Competition as part of the school’s team that earned fourth place statewide.  Beyond school, Anthony is an Eagle Scout and former Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 450 in Severna Park.  He volunteers as an Interpretation and Education Volunteer at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.  Anthony also volunteers at Happy Helpers for the Homeless which provides food, clothing, and toiletries to the homeless of Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, and the Eastern Shore.  With a passion for increasing civic literacy, Anthony created the board game “Model Citizen” for which he was awarded a United States Copyright.  He will be attending Villanova University where he will participate in the Honors Program and major in Economics.

2019 Question:

Preservation of Maryland’s historic landmarks is all around you whether you realize it or not.  From the rebuilding efforts after devastating floods in Ellicott City to the preservation of national historic landmarks like the Flag House, saving historic structures is environmentally conscious, can revitalize communities, provide jobs, and give agency to the stories of individuals who would otherwise be lost to history.  Identify or explore your community to find an example of historic preservation that has impacted your life in a positive way. What story was preserved? How has it changed your understanding of the history of your community? What was the positive impact on your life and how has it changed your opinion of the benefits of historic preservation?

Anthony’s Essay:

Surrounded. In the context of battle, being surrounded is negative. In the context of history, being surrounded can be positive; preserving the history around us allows us to understand historical periods that we never could experience otherwise. I live in the area between Baltimore and Annapolis, two cities filled with a well-known history. However, I learned that I am surrounded even more closely at home. 
In Pasadena, history finds me in every direction. To the East, there is Hancock’s Resolution, property owned by the Hancock family since the early 1700s. Originally inhabited by Algonquin Native Americans until 1600, the area first was mapped by Captain John Smith in 1607. Stephen Hancock served in the American Revolution as did others with familiar Maryland names Cromwell, Carroll, and Linthicum. Francis Hancock served in the War of 1812. 
From the West, there is Freetown, established in the mid-nineteenth century as a free black community anchored on land owned by James Spencer. He and fellow landowner William Howard served in the United States Colored Troops of the Union Army during the Civil War. From the South, there is land that contained the earliest sawmills and gristmills, where laborers included slaves and indentured servants. Post-emancipation, Polish and Czech immigrants comprised much of the farming labor. To the North, there is Fort Smallwood, a peacetime garrison during the early 1900s. It has been fascinating to learn the stories of my “historical neighbors.” Local archaeological finds enhance those stories. 
As a history enthusiast and volunteer at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, I believe that learning my hometown’s history strengthens my support for historical preservation. Such preservation allows us to see life from another time and, maybe, another point of view. History may not always be positive, but it is important to record and represent it accurately as it informs our future; it encourages me to appreciate how I am able to live today. Being surrounded by history invites and challenges us to preserve it. Without that preservation, the challenge of learning from history who we are – and who we can be – may be lost.