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.
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.
"A Place of Our Own":
The National Capital
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.
The History of Laurel's
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.
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.
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.
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.