Today is Maryland Day. Maryland is one of the original 13 colonies that lies at the center of the Eastern Seaboard. Maryland is an extremely diverse state from the low-lying and water-oriented Eastern Shore and Chesapeake Bay area, through the metropolitan Baltimore, its largest city, to the forested Appalachian foothills and mountains of its western reaches (history.com).
Background Of Maryland Day
In March, 1634, after a long, difficult Atlantic winter crossing, the ships Ark and Dove sailed up the Potomac River. The March 25, 1634 mass on St. Clements Island celebrated the beginning of spring and the planting season, the Feast of the Annunciation and a fragile but hopeful escape from the religious bigotry that was rampant in 17th century Europe. In 1903, Maryland leaders set aside March 25 as a day devoted to remembering Maryland history. In 1916, as the United States entered a world war, the Old Line State turned Maryland History Day into an official holiday (mdhs.org).
State Facts (History.com)
- Capital: Annapolis
- Population: 5,773,552 (2010)
- Size: 12,406 square miles
- Nickname(s): Old Line State; Free State; Cockade State; Oyster State; Monumental State
- Motto: Fatti Maschii Parole Femine (“Strong Deeds, Gentle Words”)
- Tree: White Oak
- Flower: Black-Eyed Susan
- Bird: Baltimore Oriole
Annapolis is Maryland’s capital, and from its earliest days as a colonial capital city, Annapolis was known as the “Athens of America (annapolis.md.us),” with an abundance of cultural activities, a riveting social season and over the top welcoming hospitality, attracting visitors from around the world.
To this day, Annapolis draws more than 4 million people a year to its shores. Annapolis has more of these original 18th century structures standing than any other city in the United States. Many are open to the public, where, their beauty and architectural style is a major attraction. Historic Annapolis Foundation operates the William Paca house as a museum, and also has a wealth of information about many of the other historical treasures (annapolis.md.us)
Filled with history, education, beautiful scenery and hospitality, there’s no wonder why Annapolis brings crowds from all around.
Now… A Few More Fun Facts
- Maryland is famous for great seafood, especially crabs. During lunch hour on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, vendors sell almost as many crab cakes as hot dogs and hamburgers combined
- Maryland’s Mount Clare Station, built in Baltimore in 1830, was the first railroad station in the United States.
- Notorious gunslinger Doc Holliday was called “Doc” because he was a dentist. Holliday learned his trade at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery.
- Kunta Kinte, the slave ancestor of Roots author Alex Haley, arrived in Annapolis in 1767. This is now commemorated at the City Dock by a plaque and statue of Haley.
- The Mother Seton House in Baltimore and the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg both celebrate the life of the first American to be sainted, a Baltimore resident.
- America’s first umbrellas were produced in Baltimore, beginning in 1828.
- Each year on September 17, 23,100 luminaries are lit at Maryland’s Antietam National Battlefield to honor the dead of America’s bloodiest one-day battle, fought during the Civil War.
- The Mason-Dixon line was drawn between Pennsylvania and Maryland in the 1760s to end a border dispute. The line is traditionally thought of as the division between America’s North and South.
Happy Maryland Day, Marylanders!