State History Timeline
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State History Timeline 

Baltimore Street Car Museum Conductor 

March 25, 1634 – Twenty-six years after Capt John Smith’s Chesapeake Bay expeditions, 140 British settlers arrive at St. Clement’s Island and soon establish Maryland’s first colony, St. Mary’s City.

August 1708 – England’s Queen Anne grants Annapolis its City Charter.

May 23, 1774 – Chestertown residents react to news of the Boston Tea Party by staging a similar protest, dumping a shipment of tea into the Chester River.

January 14, 1784 – The Continental Congress meets at the Maryland State House in Annapolis to ratify the Treaty of Paris, officially recognizing the United States as an independent and sovereign nation.

1806 – The Historic National Road, which will stretch from Maryland to the Ohio River, is commissioned as America’s first federally funded highway. Construction begins in Cumberland five years later.

September 14, 1814 – Francis Scott Key pens “The Star-Spangled Banner” while observing a British bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Key’s work is adopted as our National Anthem in 1931.

May 24, 1830 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad’s first 13 miles of track connect Baltimore to Ellicott City, where America’s first railroad terminal opens in 1831.

1833 – The seven-arch Monocacy Aqueduct is completed, becoming the largest structure on the C&O Canal. Measuring more than 500 feet in length, it has survived both hurricanes and Confederate attacks.

September 3, 1838 – Disguised as a sailor, Frederick Douglass boards a train to Havre de Grace and finds freedom from slavery. The Eastern Shore native later gains international fame as an orator and statesman. 

October 10, 1845 – The school that would become the U.S. Naval Academy is established at Fort Severn, Annapolis, with seven professors and 40 midshipmen.

October 7, 1849 – Destined to write nevermore, Edgar Allan Poe dies while traveling in Baltimore. He is laid to rest at a memorial grave in the Westminster Burying Ground. 

September 1850 – One year after escaping slavery in the Cambridge area, Harriett Tubman becomes a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad and rescues numerous family members and friends.

Sept. 17, 1862 – Remembered as the “Single Bloodiest Day of the Civil War,” the Battle of Antietam takes place in Sharpsburg, with casualties numbering more than 23,000.

April 1865 – Dr. Samuel Mudd, a Waldorf-based physician, treats John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg after Booth assassinates President Abraham Lincoln and flees into Southern Maryland.

November 20, 1875 – The present-day Thomas Point Shoal Light, one of the most recognizable symbols of Maryland, is completed. It is the Chesapeake Bay’s only screwpile light still in its original location.

February 6, 1895 – Baseball slugger George Herman “Babe” Ruth is born in Baltimore, near the present site of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

June 9, 1900 – The first passenger train from Washington, D.C., arrives at Chesapeake Beach, a new resort town with a casino and race track. Today, Chesapeake Beach and its sister city, North Beach, are known more for boutiques, eateries and quiet beach fun.

October 8, 1909 – Wilbur Wright conducts flight training for military aviators at a new airfield and hangar in College Park, recognized today as the world’s oldest continually operating airport.

March 31, 1930 – Baltimore jazz singer Cab Calloway first records “Minnie the Moocher,” with the song becoming a hit one year later and turning “hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-ho” into a world-famous catch phrase.

August 1933 – A four-day storm in Ocean City cuts an inlet that becomes a permanent link between the ocean and bay, signaling the dawn of the town’s prominence as a sportfishing center.

Nov. 1, 1938 – Seabiscuit vs. War Admiral: Two legendary horses go head-to-head, with Seabiscuit earning victory in a winner-take-all event at Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness Stakes.

1945Baltimore Sun journalist Philip Wagner opens Boordy Vineyards, the first of more than 20 bonded wineries now operating in the state.

1947Misty of Chincoteague, a critically acclaimed children’s book written by Marguerite Henry, brings national attention to the free-roaming ponies of Assateague Island.

1950 – American “diva” Rosa Ponselle becomes Artistic Director of the fledgling Baltimore Civic Opera Company, eventually coaching such artists as Beverly Sills and Placido Domingo.

July 30, 1952 – The 4.3-mile-long Chesapeake Bay Bridge opens, with dual spans that link the western and eastern shores of the bay. It is among the world’s longest over-water structures.

September 29, 1967 – Alex Haley, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Roots, pays an emotional visit to the Annapolis City Dock to stand where his ancestor, Kunta Kinte, arrived 200 years earlier on board an African slave ship. A statue of Haley now marks the site.

August 27, 1977 – During a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Jackson Browne records two songs that appear on his gold album “Running on Empty.”  Merriweather still welcomes top-name acts.

July 24, 1978 – James Michener’s epic novel, Chesapeake, begins its 18-week run on top of the Publisher’s Weekly best-seller list. For two years, Michener lived on the Eastern Shore and feasted on crab cakes while working on his book.

July 1980 – Baltimore celebrates the grand opening of Harborplace, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex central to the city’s Inner Harbor redevelopment.

1988 – “Hairspray,” a film written and directed by Baltimorean John Waters, enjoys critical and popular success upon its release, and is adapted more than a decade later as a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical.

September 6, 1995 – Baseball’s “Iron Man,” Cal Ripken, Jr., takes the field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and plays in his record-setting 2,131st straight game. The streak reaches 2,632 games before he takes a day off.

January 28, 2001 – The Baltimore Ravens defeat the New York Giants, 34-7, in Super Bowl XXXV. It is one of many national championships won by Baltimore sports teams in football, baseball, indoor soccer and lacrosse.

June 6, 2002 – The Wye Oak, a “living symbol” of Maryland dating back more than 450 years, is destroyed during a storm. The site is preserved within a state park.

February 10, 2004 – “Opening Night at the Hippodrome,” highlighted by the Baltimore premier of “The Producers,” marks the rebirth of the 90-year-old theater/performing arts center.

August 2004 – Swimmer Michael Phelps of Towson becomes the first American to win eight medals (six of which are gold) in a single Olympic Games.

June 12, 2005 – Annika Sorenstam claims victory in the first McDonald’s LPGA championship to be held at Bulle Rock, a public golf course in Havre de Grace.

March 25, 2006 – Kimmie Meissner, a Harford County high school student, becomes the 2006 World Figure Skating Champion in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

September 2007 – Paying homage to Capt. John Smith’s Chesapeake Bay expeditions of 1608, “modern explorers” on board a 28-foot shallop complete a four-month voyage that also celebrates the creation of America’s first all-water National Historic Trail.

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