So do you think you know all there is to know about Maryland? Sure, you know that the population of Maryland sits at well over 6 million people. And you know that Maryland was named after the English Queen Henrietta Maria, known in England as Queen Mary. And you even know that Maryland has three nicknames: Old Line State, Chesapeake Bay State and Free State. But do you really, really know Maryland? Keep reading to learn some lesser-known facts about the Old Line State and see how many of these facts you didn’t yet know.
On October 10, 1845, the United States Naval Academy was founded in Annapolis, Maryland. It’s the second oldest of the United States’ five service academies, educating officers for commissioning into the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps.
The very first school in the United States was King Williams School, located in Annapolis, Maryland, opened in 1696. It was absorbed by St. John’s College in 1785. The very first dental school in the country was located at the University of Maryland.
Maryland is the birthplace of many famous Major League Baseball players—one of the most prominent being Babe Ruth. But Cal Ripken, Jr., Billy Ripken, Lefty Grove, Frank (Home Run) Baker, Denny Neagle, Harold Baines and Jimmie Fox also took their first breaths in the Chesapeake Bay State.
The city of Annapolis, Maryland, is considered the sailing capital of the entire world.
The very first successful manned balloon launch took place in Baltimore, Maryland, on June 24, 1784. Who was on board? It surely wasn’t a man—only a 13-year-old boy named Edward Warren.
The first workmen’s compensation laws were enacted in Maryland in the year 1902.
The Methodist Church of America was formally organized in 1784 in the state of Maryland at Perry Hall.
Sixteen of Maryland’s 23 counties border on tidal waters. The combined length of tidal shoreline—if you include the state’s islands—is more than 4,000 miles. In fact, it’s 4,431 miles long!
The Baltimore Ravens football team was named after Edgar Allen Poe’s famous macabre poem called, “The Raven.” Interesting. Football and fine literature. Hey, we won’t judge.
Just recently, Maryland was home to the oldest people in the United States. At one point, the State Board of Elections showed that 48 people living in the state of Maryland were 114 years old or older.
Chevy Chase, Maryland, was named in the 1800s—long before the “Saturday Night Live” and “National Lampoon’s” actor was born.
A large group of feral ponies live and roam freely on Assateague Island—a part of Maryland. The island is visited by more than 2.1 million people each and every year.
Both the state of Delaware and the state of Maryland gave up part of their land so that Washington, D. C. could be formed in the year 1790.
Annapolis, Maryland, was once the capital of the United States of America.
The state of Maryland is the nation’s leader in the production of blue crabs and soft clams. Marylanders love dousing their crabs in Chesapeake Bay seasonings.
Since May 30, 1849, the American flag has been flown continuously over the monument of Francis Scott Key’s birthplace in Keymar, Maryland. Francis Scott Key is credited with writing the lyrics and music for our country’s national anthem.
There is a wooden ship graveyard in the town of Nanjemoy, Maryland in Mallows Bay, just off the Potomac River. More than 200 wooden ships are rotting away there, and when a clean-up effort was to begin, it was discovered that the discarded non-steel ships were hosting a highly unique ecosystem in the water. For this reason, the clean-up effort was also discarded, as it was decided that the ships would be left to rot away on their own schedule, rather than have man go in and destroy the ecosystem.
Ocean City, Maryland, is an Atlantic Coast resort town. It’s home to more than 7,000 residents. But each year, over 8 million people visit the coastal town. During the summer months, Ocean City, Maryland, is the most populated area in the Chesapeake Bay State, second only to the metropolitan city of Baltimore. One of the coastal resort town’s hallmarks is its three-mile-long boardwalk.
Edgar Allen Poe was not born in the state of Maryland. But you might not know that from the way in which the poet is celebrated in the Old Line State. On North Amity Street in the city of Baltimore, there is a small two-story brick house. The house has five bedrooms. From 1832 to 1835, Edgar Allen Poe lived in the house with his aunt. Because of this, the dwelling is now referred to as the Poe House. Visitors can come to the house and visit the museum adjacent to it. Also in Baltimore, there is an Edgar Allen Poe-inspired eatery located at the corner of South Clinton Street and Fleet Street. The restaurant is affectionately called the Annabel Lee Tavern. It is so named after Poe’s literary work from 1849 titled “Annabel Lee.” As is fitting for a Poe-themed place, ravens adorn the outside of the structure—serving as a reference to the same work for which the Baltimore Ravens are named, “The Raven.” Choose anything you want from the menu which is, by the way, hand-written (since Poe’s works were hand-written before they were published). Step inside, order and enjoy dinner while narrators dressed in clothing from the 1800s read aloud from some of Edgar Allen Poe’s most infamous pieces. Join them anytime. Or you can choose to postpone your visit until January when the restaurant holds an annual celebration of the poet’s birth. And yes, cake will be served.
So, how many of these things did you already know about the state of Maryland and how many of them surprised you?