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Kevin Leonard


Kevin Leonard, historian and writer of the popular “History Matters” column in the Laurel Leader, is a 1972 graduate of Laurel High School. His column explores long-forgotten events and people from Laurel’s rich history. He is a two-time winner of the Maryland Delaware District of Columbia Journalism Award. His company, The Leonard Group, Inc., provides historical research services to book authors, documentary filmmakers, and television productions. Kevin can count a Pulitzer Prize winner (Caroline Fraser, Prairie Fires) and an Academy Award winner (Charles Ferguson, Inside Job) among his clients. Kevin’s first foray into screenwriting, a biopic about WWI hero Eddie Rickenbacker, won Clint Eastwood’s Monterey County Film Commission’s Screenwriting Competition and was subsequently optioned for production. Kevin has also served on the Laurel Historical Society Board of Directors.

After years of writing his “History Matters” column, Kevin created "The Laurel Chronicles" as both a web feature and regular column in Voices of Laurel. Here, you can find a running archive of his columns.

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The 1894 Laurel Illustrated Residence and Business Directory


The Prison Riot of 1972

The Laurel Chronicles |  Voices of Laurel Winter 2022



Harry Styne: A Laurel Original

The Laurel Chronicles |  October 25, 2021


Laurel Leader:
The End of an Era

The Laurel Chronicles |  Voices of Laurel Fall 2021

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History Crumbs, Vol. 3

The Laurel Chronicles |  August 31, 2021


Who Killed Carol Replane?

The Laurel Chronicles |  Voices of Laurel Summer 2021

Who killed Carol Replane? It has been a murder mystery for nearly 60 years. The Laurel school teacher was slain in the winter of 1963. Now after extensive FBI file research by Kevin Leonard, the case may finally be solved.

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Death Cars on Tour

The Laurel Chronicles |  May 30, 2021


"A Place of Our Own":
The National Capital
Country Club

The Laurel Chronicles |  Voices of Laurel Spring 2021

A Black-owned club in Laurel during the height of segregation boasted a clientele of some of the most prominent and influential Black professionals in the country.

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History Crumbs, Vol. 2

The Laurel Chronicles |  March 29, 2021


Howard County’s History
of Lynching

The Laurel Chronicles |  February 12, 2021

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The History of Laurel's
Post Office

The Laurel Chronicles |  Voices of Laurel Winter 2021

A look at the long and storied history of our hometown's Post Office, which included four previous locations.


The Perfect Crime With One Flaw: Her Big Mouth
The Murder of Steve Hricko

The Laurel Chronicles |  December 28, 2020

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The 1913 Firing of Laurel
High School's Principal

The Laurel Chronicles |  November 5, 2020


History Crumbs, Vol. 1

The Laurel Chronicles |  October 1, 2020

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1919 Mass Murder in Laurel

A bizarre series of events precipitated the writing of this "History Matters" column in the Laurel Leader about Laurel's first known mass murder.


History of the Laurel Theatre

A look back at the long history of the building at 312 Main Street, just prior to its demolition.

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Summer of Love Music Festivals: Woodstock, Altamont, and Laurel?

In July 1969, Laurel hosted a two-day pop festival at the race course, attended by 15,000 fans, that offered an incredible lineup of some of the biggest pop performers of the year, and ended in controversy.

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Laurel’s Forgotten Role in the
Bonus Army

Some amazing vintage newsreel footage and clippings from Kevin's research into the Bonus Army’s 1932 connection to Laurel.

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Laurel’s Billy the Kid

Additional notes from Kevin's "History Matters" column about the 1911 attempted robbery of the Citizens National Bank on Main Street.


The Laurel Sanitarium

There’s much information on the Internet about the long-ago demolished Laurel Sanitarium, but as Kevin's research discovered, a whole lot of myths and tall tales passing for truth. The true story of the sanitarium is so bizarre it doesn’t need embellishment.

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