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Maryland, US (Population: 5,615,727)

State Capitol: Annapolis

Major Cities: Baltimore, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Bowie, Rockville, Hagerstown, College Park, Salisbury, Cumberland

State Nickname/Motto: America In Miniature/Old Line State – “Fatti maschii parole femine,” (loosely translated): "Manly Deeds, Womanly Words" or “Strong Deeds, Gentle Words”

Statehood Granted: April 28, 1788

History: On March 25, 1634, Lord Baltimore sent the first settlers into this area, which would soon become one of the few predominantly Catholic regions in the British Empire (another was Newfoundland, where religious disputes led to the first flag's coloring). Maryland was also one of the key destinations of tens of thousands of British convicts. The Maryland Toleration Act of 1649 was one of the first laws that explicitly dictated religious tolerance (as long as it was Christian). The act is sometimes seen as a precursor to the First Amendment.

Geography: Highest point: Backbone Mountain; 3,360 feet. Maryland possesses a great variety of topography, hence its nickname: "America in Miniature." It ranges from sandy dunes dotted with seagrass in the east, to low marshlands teeming with water snakes and large bald cypress near the bay, to gently rolling hills of oak forest in the piedmont region, and mountain pine groves in the west. Maryland is bounded on the north by Pennsylvania, on the west by West Virginia, on the north and east by Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean, and on the south, across the Potomac River, by West Virginia and Virginia. The mid-portion of this border is interrupted on the Maryland side by Washington, DC, which sits on land originally part of Maryland. The Chesapeake Bay nearly bisects the state, and the counties east of the bay are known collectively as the Eastern Shore.

Ethnic Diversity: One Race (98.3%), White (61.5%), Black or African American (28.7%), American Indian and Alaska Native (0.3%), Asian (4.7%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.0%), Some other race 3.1), Two or more races (1.7%), Hispanic or Latino (5.8%)*

Famous State People:

  • Clara Barton (1821 - 1912) Founded the American Red Cross, with headquarters located in a home in Glen Echo.
  • Eubie Blake (1883 - 1983) Ragtime musician and composer who wrote “The Charleston Rag,” in 1899; born in Baltimore.
  • Tom Clancy (1947 - ) Author of many best-selling books, including The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games; born in Baltimore.
  • Matthew Henson (1866 - 1955) One of the first two men to reach the North Pole; born in Baltimore.
  • Francis Scott Key (1779 - 1843) He wrote the national anthem on September 14, 1814 while watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812; born in Frederick County.
  • Johns Hopkins (1795 - 1873) Merchant, banker, and philanthropist, who founded the hospital and university that bear his name; born in Anne Arundel County.
  • Frederick Douglass (1817 - 1895) Abolitionist leader who was born a slave in Maryland.
  • Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849) Famous author and poet; born in Massachusetts, spent writing years in Baltimore and died there.
  • Cal Ripken Jr. (1960 - ) One of the best shortstops in baseball history that holds the record for the most consecutive games played, at 2,632; born in Havre de Grace and a member of the Baltimore Orioles.
  • George Herman “Babe” Ruth (1895 - 1948) One of the greatest players in baseball history that held the record for the most home runs in a single season; born in Baltimore.
  • Harriet Tubman (1820 - 1913) A leading figure in the Underground Railroad, a nurse, spy, and scout for the Union army, and a woman’s rights activist; born in Dorchester County.
  • Thurgood Marshall (1908 - 1993) First African-American justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Upton Beall Sinclair (1878 - 1968) Writer, social critic, author of the novel The Jungle, whose revelations led to reforms in the meat-packing industry; born in Baltimore.
  • John Wilkes Booth (1838 - 1865) The assassin of President Abraham Lincoln; born in Bel Air.

  • Major Colleges/Universities: University of Baltimore, University of Maryland System, Towson University, Morgan State University, Mount St. Mary’s University, St. Mary’s Seminary & University, Johns Hopkins University, Bowie State University, Frostburg State University, Coppin State University, Baltimore Hebrew University, Inc., Baltimore International college, Chesapeake College, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, College of Southern Maryland, Columbia Union College, Garrett College, Goucher College, Hagerstown Business College, Loyola College in Maryland, McDaniel College, Montgomery College, National Labor College, St. John’s College, Washington College

    State and National Parks: Assateague, Big Run, Calvert Cliffs, Casselman River Bridge, Chael Point, Cunningham Falls, Dans Mountain, Deep Creek Lake, Elk Neck, Fort Frederick, Fort Tonoloway, Gambrill, Gathland, Greenbrier, Gunpowder Falls, Janes Island, Jonas Green, Martinak, Matapeake, New Germany, North Point, Palmer, Patapsco Valley, Patuxent River, Pocomoke River, Point Lookout, Purse, Rocks, Rocky Gap, Rosaryville, Sandy Point, Seneca Creek, Smallwood, South Mountain, St. Clement’s Island, St. Mary’s river, Susquehanna, Swallow Falls, Tuckahoe, Washington Monument, Wills Mountain, Wye Oak, Antietam National Battlefield, Antietam National Cemetery, Appalachian national Scenic Trail, Assateague Island Naitonal Seashore, Cotactin Mountain Park, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Fort Washington Park, Monocacy National Battlefield

    Misc: Baltimore City is the eighth largest port in the nation, and was at the center of the February 2006 controversy over the Dubai Ports World deal because it was considered to be of such strategic importance. The state as a whole is heavily industrialized, with a booming economy and influential technology centers. Its computer industries are some of the most sophisticated in the United States, and the federal government has invested heavily in the area. Maryland is home to several large military bases and scores of high level government jobs.

    *U.S. Census - 2005