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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 smaller 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.

only the country, but the church - that is one of the reasons they picked out Catonsville. The said that this represented a smug community, people who were not aware of the ills, the trials and the tribulations, poverty, sickness, hunger, of the world - and who cared little or nothing for it. They wanted to arouse the people. They picked Catonsville because they said it was typical of an American community where people didn't care at all for the ills and troubles of the world." (Interviewer: Mrs. Murphy, let's go back for just a minute. You said when they came in originally, into the Draft Board, that there were - that you recognized Phillip Berrigan, and then you said that the other eight pushed into the room. How come - I thought there were actually nine of them altogether?) "Well, Brother Darst was stationed down on the porch. He never actually did come up to the Board. He stayed down there, I assume, as a look-out man so that if someone did come up to the Local Board, he probably would have steered them away in order to allow them time. I'm sure they did not want anybody to come up and interfere with them at that particular moment." (Interviewer: They obviously had the thing well planned, then?) "Yes, I would say that it had been very well planned. As a matter of fact, I have always thought that, more than likely, some one of them had been into the Local Board at some time because they did know exactly where everything was, and, where to go, which was kind of unusual." (Interviewer: Did you hear anything from them several days afterward?) "Yes indeed. On Monday morning we received a basket of flowers from the Berrigans. This is what the card said - "Mrs. Mary Murphy and other Clerks" from "Father Phil Berrigan, Father Dan Berrigan and Friends" - The message read: "We hope that all is well. Try to understand we had no intention of injuring anyone." - It was signed: "The Baltimore Nine". We, of course, have always thought of them as The Catonsville Nine, but, at that time they were evidently thinking of them- selves as The Baltimore Nine." (Interviewer: At some time later, I guess it was, or, when was it that you were called to testify before the Grand Jury?) "Well, I can't remember exactly just when it was but I did get a summons to appear before the Grand Jury." (Interviewer: Where was that?) "That was out in Towson. I was brought in before the Grand Jury and asked to tell the story, exactly just what happened. I was questioned by several of the jurors. Then I was dismissed. They were