I am delighted to welcome you to the Governor's Reception Room and to present this display of portraits of past governors of Maryland. Together they span the ten administrations covering the years from 1916 to 1987.
When Governor Harrington, the earliest governor represented here, took office, women could not vote, the United States was about to confront its first World War, and prohibition was a major national issue. Today the world is quite different. Fortunately we are at peace and any citizen over the age of 18 can vote, but the issues government is called upon to address are far more complex and demanding than at any time in our history.
The governors whose portraits grace these walls led Maryland through the transition from a part-time government of limited responsibilities to a full-time business of providing wide-ranging services to all its citizens. The portraits are displayed in chronological order. Because of space limitations, when a new portrait is installed, the earliest portrait is moved to another public building in the Annapolis complex.
The history of this room dates back to the construction of this part of the State House between 1772 and 1779. It was first occupied by the Governor's Council, and then by the Secretary of State. Today, known as the Governor's Reception Room, it is used for ceremonial occasions, Governor's press conferences, and meetings of the Cabinet, advisory boards, and the Board of Public Works.
I hope that you find this brief journey into the history of our state government enjoyable. With the portraits and from the short biographical sketches that follow you can catch a glimpse of how much government and those who led it have changed since 1916.
Parris N. Glendening
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