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What Maryland is Known For & Famous For

Maryland is one of the oldest states in the United States and as such has a lot of interesting things worth knowing about the state.


Maryland is known for being the first state and miniature America. Its also known for it’s location along the Chesapeake Bay with abundant fishing, blue crabs, and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Baltimore is the most well known city and two of the most well known people Maryland are Babe Ruth and David Hasselhoff.


Read on the find out in more detail everything this historic state is known for.



Known As The Free State & The Old Line State

The state’s nickname of “The Free State” stems from a speech given by lawyer Daniel Dulany in 1763, entitled “Take Your Choice”, where he called Marylanders free men compared to Virginia residents who were slaves. Daniel Dulany’s phrase was widely adopted and came to characterize a Marylander’s political affiliation.


When it comes to their nickname of “Old Line State”, this goes back to the Revolutionary War. Soldiers from Maryland were considered extremely brave due to the fact they were always under fire while protecting other soldiers during battles. This led to their nickname of “The Old Line”.

“Little America” & “America in Miniature”

Maryland was nicknamed “Little America” because if you were to look at a map of the U.S. and squint at it, Maryland would look like a little America. It shares the same major geographical features as the mainland U.S. other than Hawaii and Alaska: mountains, plains, lakes, rivers, coastline, desert and so much more! The diversity of land in such a small area is what makes Maryland “America in Miniature” and “Little America”.


One of the Original 13 United Colonies

In 1776, the original 13 colonies declared independence from Great Britain and called themselves the United Colonies. By 1750 they had around 2 million people and were growing fast. The 13 colonies were New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.



The Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay is a large estuary that is home to over 3,500 species of plants and animals. Before European settlers arrived in Maryland, the local Native American tribes used the bay’s fresh water for drinking and fishing. With over 16 million people living along its shores today though, it is a common misconception that this largest estuary in North America has become completely polluted and unusable. The beautiful water that the bay provides is shared between Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware.



Chesapeake Bay Bridge

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge was the longest continuous over the water span in the world.


The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is one of Maryland’s most popular attractions. It connects two peninsulas, the Delmarva Peninsula and the Coastal Plain, by spanning the Chesapeake Bay. The bridge runs just under four miles (6 km) between Sandy Point on Kent Island in Queen Anne’s County and the mainland of Cecil County, Maryland in the north.


The name “Chesapeake Bay Bridge” is often used to describe both the road bridge and the larger parallel twin railroad bridge that carries CSX Transportation railroad lines. At over six miles (10 km) in length, the original two-lane bridge opened on July 30, 1952 as one of the first four bridges in the new U.S. Highway System designated as I-97. It was formally named the “Gov. William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge” in memory of the forty-first governor of Maryland who had overseen its planning and construction. The twin railroad bridge opened in June 1973 to support a new, parallel track of the CSX Transportation railroad line.


Today the road bridge sees an average daily traffic of more than 67,000 vehicles.




Baltimore is known for its wonderful attractions, which include the Baltimore Inner Harbor and the National Aquarium. The Maryland Science Center is also located in Baltimore, along with other fun activities that are enjoyed by children and adults alike.


Baltimore is also known for being one of America’s first cities. It was founded back in 1729 by a man named Thomas Cresap, who served as an indentured servant to Charles Calvert (the Third Lord Baltimore), who funded his trip to what would later become Maryland.


Though many people know this city for its famous crabs, football team (the Ravens), and baseball team (Orioles) it has recently begun gaining notoriety due to their television show ‘The Wire’, starring Dominic West.



Baltimore Inner Harbor

The Baltimore Inner Harbor is a historical landmark in downtown Baltimore Maryland. The harbor was constructed beginning in 1783 and completed by 1825. It is 1.5 miles long and surrounded by 40 wharfs, warehouses, and other port facilities.


Baltimore Inner Harbour today welcomes over 50 cruise ships each year from around the world to visit this historic site. In addition to these welcome visitors, this harbor is home to the USS Constellation, the last all-sail warship built by the U.S. Navy and now a museum docked at Pier 1. The city uses its location on the water as an economic advantage with hotels, restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, charter boat companies, sport fishing tours, and a plethora of other water sports opportunities.


The harbor is a major tourist attraction for Baltimore with 7 million visitors annually. Some attractions near the harbor are Fort McHenry, Federal Hill, the Visionary Art Museum, the Maryland Science Center, and Camden Yards.



Fort McHenry

Fort McHenry was the birthplace of America’s national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner


Fort McHenry is in Baltimore, Maryland. It was the scene of one of the most important battles in U.S. history: The Battle of Fort McHenry. This victory over the British marks the beginning of a growing American country with more and more pride for its flag and national anthem.


The Battle of Fort McHenry was during the War of 1812. One night in September, British soldiers were planning to attack Baltimore by land and sea. The British believed they would easily defeat Baltimore’s troops because there were far less than their soldiers. However, the commander of the American troops, Major George Armistead, wouldn’t let this happen without a fight. He had about 2,000 troops and more cannons than the British thought he did. The British attacked from boats called men of war by bombarding Fort McHenry for 25 hours with guns that shot exploding bombs. They also attacked with rockets which were new then.


The Americans at first could not see the British ships because of a thick fog. They could only hear them as they got closer and closer to Fort McHenry. Major Armistead was worried, but then the fog lifted and he saw some red stripes on some large balloons floating over his men’s heads. He then realized that American boats filled with supplies had arrived just in time. This gave the Americans courage to fight harder, and they won the battle before dawn. It was a very important victory for America because this showed that U.S. soldiers could beat the British forces even though they were stronger in numbers than the Americans. After four years of fighting against Britain, The War of 1812 ended with America winning its independence from Britain.



Sandy Point State Park

Sandy Point State Park is a public, marine state park in Maryland. It is one of the best places to visit in Maryland and it has many great activities for all ages. It is located on the tip of the Western Shore and right across from Sandy Point which is an island that you can cross over to using a bridge. The park covers around 273-acres and is a great place to go for camping, hiking, fishing and boating. In the summer months it becomes a great place for surfers.




Fishing is very popular in Maryland.


The Chesapeake Bay (one of the largest estuaries in North America) is an important body of water to a variety of species. The migratory patterns for a great number of fish and shellfish happen to pass through this area, so they are frequently captured by the locals.


According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, there are many different types of fish that can be caught in the waters surrounding Maryland. Some examples include Atlantic menhaden, white perch, striped bass, American eel, blue crab, oysters, scallops, and soft-shell clams.

Maryland was once known for its large oyster harvest, but overfishing in the 19th century nearly lead to their extinction. Nowadays, conservation efforts are being made to bring back this important natural resource for this region of the Atlantic coast. Oysters are still harvested commercially in some parts of the Chesapeake Bay.


Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing ways to raise fish and shellfish, and it has been implemented in Maryland for more than three decades. Using tanks located onshore, aquatic farmers can produce a variety of species such as catfish and tilapia year-round.



Blue Crabs

Maryland is known for blue crabs. The Chesapeake Bay is home to one of the most productive blue crab fisheries in the world and many Marylanders make their living harvesting, processing, and shipping these tasty crustaceans around the world.


Blue Crabs can be found throughout the Chesapeake Bay, but they are most abundant in the upper Bay near the mouth of the Patapsco River where fresh water from creeks and rivers mixes with saltwater. The blue crab’s preferred salinity range is between 8-14 ppt. Blue crabs can survive in places other than the Chesapeake Bay, but they apparently prefer it for its great abundance of food and shelter.


The blue crab’s body is in two parts: the cephalothorax (or shell), which contains most of the organs; and an abdomen which is covered with a flap-like carapace. They are usually bluish to brownish-gray with a white, yellow, or blue claws. They have five pairs of legs. Blue crabs use their single pair of antennae as sensors; they can detect movement and smell as well as taste.


Blue crabs are the largest crustaceans found in Maryland’s waters, and they continue to grow throughout their lifetime. Males and females look the same, except for their sexual organs. The average carapace width is four inches, but they can reach up to six inches.



Salt Marshes

There are a number of salt marshes along Maryland’s coast. Salt Marshes are coastal wetlands that have a high salt content because they are built on the site of ancient ocean beds.


Salt Marshes have been placed on the United States’ endangered species list because of their importance as feeding and nesting grounds for waterfowl.


Maryland’s salt marshes are home to more ducks than any other state in the U.S.


Salt Marshes are also an important economic resource for Maryland. The crabs that the salt marshes provide as a habitat account for one-quarter of the annual American blue crab harvest.


The National Anthem

In 1814, a lawyer and amateur poet named Francis Scott Key was on a British ship when he observed the bombardment of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. When he saw that the fort’s flag had survived the battle, Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the back of an envelope. He later set his poem to the tune of a popular British drinking song called “To Anacreon in Heaven.”


The other state songs were written by natives of that state, and Key’s song became the national anthem rather than an individual state anthem.



Decoy Capital of the World – Havre de Grace

Maryland is the proud home of many wonderful things, including beautiful parks, amazing seafood, and The Wire. But did you know that Maryland is also the Decoy Capital of the World?


Created in reality by Havre de Grace’s Duval Island Glass Company in 1927, decoys are carved wooden ducks used to catch other wild ducks for food or sport during hunting season. They are well known for their distinctive appearance, and that appearance is recognized all over the world.


The decoys of Havre de Grace were recognized by the state in 2002, when it was voted to officially make them Maryland’s Decoy Capital; they are still recognized today as one of the only three duck-producing centers in the world.


There are many decoy carvers that still work and reside in Havre de Grace today, including Wallace “Chief” Robinson who has over 40 years of experience carving decoys. The average price for a well-carved decoy is between $1000-$2000; however, some can be worth much more if they are truly a masterpiece. The most expensive decoy ever sold was a 1940 carving of a black duck, which sold for $2.4 million in 2010 at an auction in Maryland.



Sailing Capital of the World – Annapolis

Annapolis in Maryland is known as the Sailing Capital of the World. The sport of sailing has been a part of the city since its establishment by English settlers in 1649. In fact, it was one of the first cities established by European immigrants to the New World. It was founded as a port town and used for trade with England. At that time, most ships traveled down from England to the Caribbean through the Chesapeake Bay which gave Annapolis economic importance because it sat along a major shipping route at sea level.


Walking is the State Exercise

In 1979, the Governor of Maryland issued a proclamation that designated National Walking Day as an official state holiday. In 2006, Maryland was named “Best State for Walking” by Prevention magazine.



Home to the Longest Escalator in the USA

Maryland has many claims to fame, but the escalator at Wheaton metro station might be its most bizarre claim. The state is home to the longest escalator in the United States of America at 189 feet (57 meters). The escalator connects two stations of the Washington Metro system: the Red Line’s Wheaton station and the Blue Line’s Forest Glen station. For context, the longest escalator in the world is currently located in Hong Kong, measuring a whopping 202 feet (62 meters).



Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth went from being born in Baltimore to one of the most well-known athletes of all time. He played right field for the New York Yankees, but he grew up playing baseball in Baltimore’s St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys. Babe Ruth attended St. Mary’s between 1905 and 1914, where he learned to play baseball under Brother Herman. Though he was quite young, his talent was noticeable. He played with the school’s team, which played other teams in the area. Although he was always very talented, Babe Ruth never did very well in school and ended up leaving after only eight years of schooling.


Babe Ruth had an extremely successful career playing baseball. He played on three World Series-winning New York Yankees teams. He played his first game in the Major Leagues when he was only 19 years old, which made him the youngest player in Major League Baseball at that time. On June 13, 1919, Babe Ruth started an unprecedented streak of scoring at least one run for twelve consecutive games. This record still stands today.


David Hasselhoff

David Hasselhoff is one of the most famous actors to come from Maryland. He is known for his roles in The Young and the Restless and Baywatch. He was also a judge on America’s Got Talent for the first four seasons. Hasselhoff is known for his deep voice and unique looks, which often land him roles as aliens or gangsters in films such as Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and Guardians of the Galaxy.


He also had a few hit songs like “Looking for Freedom,” which reached #1 in Germany and other European countries.


Played Important Roles in the Wars

Maryland played an important role in American history and the wars it has taken part in…



The Revolutionary War

The Revolutionary War was a war between the Continental Army led by George Washington and the British forces. The colonies that made up America needed independence from the mother country in order to have more control over their lives.


Maryland played an important role in the American Revolution by establishing itself as a free state which supported its citizens’ natural rights to life, liberty, property ownership, taxation with representation, trial by jury, among others. These were some of the principles applied in Maryland’s Declaration of Rights which was adopted on June 13th, 1776. During this short period of time, Maryland became one of the most important states in regards to supporting these principles. For instance, it created positive tension between England and America when they stopped tea ships coming into port; also, the Maryland state flag was adopted as a symbol of American independence.



The War of 1812

The War of 1812 is one of the less popular events in American history. It wasn’t very often that The United States and Great Britain were actually involved in a war, and it’s safe to say that neither side expected for this war to be as long as it was. Because there weren’t many battles fought on American soil, but rather on the coasts, Maryland was not directly affected like other states such as New York or Virginia during this time period.


However, because of its location (Maryland is South of Canada), we can assume that Maryland would have been heavily influenced by The War of 1812 if not for the fact that it didn’t host any campaigns or skirmishes along land or sea.


While Maryland may not be able to attribute much importance to The War of 1812’s outcome, there is one thing that this war did do for the state of Maryland: it was during this time period that the state’s flag was created.



The American Civil War

The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina. While Maryland had remained loyal to the Union throughout the war, it was still an important battleground because of its geographical location between Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


The state of Maryland is known for having a unique political position during the American Civil War, as they were both part of America, yet they wanted to stay neutral during the conflict. This caused them to have many divided opinions on whether or not they should support their nation during this civil unrest period.



Final Thoughts

Being one of the original 13 colonies, Maryland certainly has a history worth learning about as well as beautiful scenery, cool attractions and so much more.