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Burning of draft board records by Philip and Daniel Berrigan and others, May 17, 1968: an interview with Mary E. Murphy given on November 2, 1972

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Burning of draft board records by Philip and Daniel Berrigan and others, May 17, 1968: an interview with Mary E. Murphy given on November 2, 1972
View larger version of imageCatonsville Library, Baltimore County Public Library
Collection: Friends of Catonsville Library
Date: 1972-11-02
Date of Digitization: 2004-03-29
Source: Catonsville Library
Original Dimensions: 28 x 22 cm
Creator: Murphy, Mary E.
This a transcript of a recorded interview with Mrs. Mary E. Murphy who was the Chief Clerk at the Draft Board office no. 33 at the time of the event of the forceful removing and burning of the draft cards by the Catonsville Nine group.

                                                                                     Interviewee:  Mary E. Murphy 
                                                                                                         Chief Clerk 
                                                                                                         Local  Board #33
                                                                                                         Selective Service S. 
                                                                                     Interviewer:  Dorothy Beaman 
                                                                                     Date: Thursday,  Nov.  2,  1972 
                                                                                     Place: Knights of Columbus Bldg.
                                                                                               Catonsville, Maryland 
                                                                                     Transcriber: Emily M. Payne 
                                                                                      Cassette Number I

Mrs. Murphy was Chief Clerk on Friday,  May  17, 1968 at the  time of the event that is 
called "Catonsville Nine". We will now talk with Mrs. Murphy about her eye-witness 
account of this event.

Mrs. Murphy,  will you tell us about the day when the Catonsville Nine came? 
"Well, it was a gorgeous day,  beautiful day.  It was May 17, 1968,  a typical Catonsville,
Maryland beautiful  spring day.  The time of this occurance was about quarter of one. 
At  the time, we had just  finished lunch and were preparing to go back to work. 
I heard someone come up the  steps."   (Interviewer - Excuse me, who was in the office
with you?)   "Well, at the time,  there were  two ladies, Mrs.  Alice Phipps and
Mrs. Phyllis Morsberger. Both of these ladies live in Catonsville and they were 
both part-time workers.  We were very, very busy at the Draft  Board at that particular
time and had a  lot of extra help. We had, as I said,  just  finished our lunch 
and we started to go back to work when I heard footsteps coming up the steps.

We were on the second floor of the old Knights of Columbus Building at Frederick 
and Beaumont Avenues and there is a long stairway to the second floor.  We occupied 
two rather small rooms.  When I heard  the  footsteps, I turned around and looked 
and there was a gentleman in the door.  I said to him, 'May I help you, Sir?'  As soon 
as I looked  in his  face I recognized him from pictures I had seen of him in the
papers when he had gone down to the Custom House and raided the Draft Board down
there.  So, I said - 'Oh,  my Lord, something is going to happen.' But before I 
could say another thing all eight of the other people were right behind him and they
all came into the office and they said - 'Now, we are not going to hurt you;  we 
don't want to harm you; we don't want  to hurt you.'   But, each of them were assigned
to guard each of us.  Miss Alice had three around her and Miss Phyllis had  three 
around her.

I got up from my desk and went over  to the  files where Phillip Berrigan and Mr.
Minche were preparing to remove all of the  files that they could from the drawers 
in the office.  Every registrant had a folder and we had marked the classification 
on the front.  We had  the  I-A's marked as well as other classifications.  At that