Maryland’s history exceeds that of the United States itself, and the state’s history and people have made it what it is today. Here, you will find 20 of the most interesting facts about the “Old Line State.”
1 Maryland is home to the first school in the United States. King William’s School opened in 1696.
2 The Maryland State House is the oldest state capitol building still in legislative use in the U.S.
3 Maryland is covered by 2.7 million acres of forests - roughly 43% of the state’s land.
4 Samuel Morse is said to have received the first telegraph message in Bladensburg, Maryland in 1844.
5 Maryland was the first state to enact workmen’s compensation laws. This took place in 1902.
6 Perry Hall in Maryland was the site of the organization of the Methodist Church of America in 1784.
7 Maryland is home to 47 state parks and 9 state forests.
8 Maryland was named for Henrietta Maria of France. She was the wife of King Charles I.
9 Maryland state judges are the only judges to don red robes instead of the typical black.
10 The battle at Fort McHenry, Maryland during the war of 1812 was Francis Scott Key’s inspiration behind the writing of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
11 One of Maryland’s many state nicknames is “Little America.” This is because the state has some of the widest variety of terrains in the country. Beaches, mountains, forests and farms speckle the landscape, and Maryland sees all four seasons each year.
12 The first U.S. Post Office system was inaugurated in 1774 in Baltimore, Maryland.
13 Famous Maryland natives include Babe Ruth, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas, Michael Phelps, David Hasselhoff, Upton Sinclair and Johns Hopkins.
14 The Maryland state flag is one of the most unique in the United States. It is the only state flag based on English heraldry.
15 The area now known as Maryland was first explored in 1498 and settled by the English in 1634.
16 Maryland is home to the first dental school in the U.S.
17 Maryland’s major industries include farming, mining, steel, fishing and communications equipment.
18 Maryland’s state bird is the Baltimore oriole, and its state flower is the black-eyed susan.
19 The Baltimore Ravens are named after Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem “The Raven.” Poe died in Baltimore in 1849.
20 The Battle of Antietam took place in Sharpsburg, Maryland on September 17, 1862. It was the first attack on Union territory during the Civil War. It was also the bloodiest one-day battle in the history of the United States - more than 23,000 soldiers were killed.