12 Fun Facts About Maryland

Maryland, a Mid-Atlantic state characterized by its plentiful coastlines and waterways on the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic, doesn't get as much hoopla as states like New York and Massachusetts.

Yet, it's still steeped in unbridled history and charm, making the state known for blue crabs worthy of a Fun Facts post of its own.

Without further ado, here are 12 interesting facts about the Old Line State:

  • Many people mistakenly think that Baltimore is the capital of Maryland. While Baltimore is the state's largest city, Annapolis is its capital.
  • The state is named after Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I of England and mother of Charles II and James II.
  • One of the thirteen original colonies, Maryland is considered the birthplace of religious freedom in America, not Massachusetts. It was formed in the early 17th century as a refuge for persecuted Catholics from England by George Calvert, the first Lord of Baltimore.
  • It became the thirteenth state to approve the ratification of the Articles of Confederation and the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
  • It played a chief role in the founding of Washington D.C., which was established on land donated by Maryland.
  • During the War of 1812, the British attempted to capture Baltimore, which was protected by Fortune McHenry. During the bombardment, Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner, which was later adopted as the national anthem.
  • Maryland is the 9th smallest state. The next smallest state is Hawaii and the next largest is West Virginia, which is almost twice the size of Maryland.
  • With an elevation of over 3,000 feet, Hoye Crest on Backbone Mountain is the highest point in Maryland.
  • The state remained with the Union during the Civil War, due in large part to federal intervention.  Roughly 80% of the men from Maryland who joined the military during the War fought for the Union. A new state constitution in 1864 abolished slavery.
  • The state's most prominent university is John's Hopkins University, founded in 1876. The first public university in the state, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, was founded in 1807.
  • Mount Clare Station, built in Baltimore in 1830, was the nation's first railroad station. Just two years earlier, America's first umbrellas were produced in Baltimore.
  • In the 1760s, the Mason-Dixon line was drawn between Pennsylvania and Maryland to settle a border dispute. It is traditionally thought of as the dividing line between the country's north and south.

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