Saturday, 28 January 2012

The America Project - Maryland

Maryland (MD) size 12,407sq.m population 5.8 million



Bordering states Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware (4)
State capital Annapolis
Most populous city Baltimore
Other notable places Hagerstown, Ocean City, Towson, St. Charles
Notable landmarks and natural features Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore Inner Harbor, Backbone Mountain

Statehood 28th April 1788 (7th)

Ten famous Marylanders
Spiro Agnew (politician, 39th Vice-President of the USA; born Baltimore, 1918-1996)
John Wilkes Booth (Presidential assassin; born Bel Air, 1838-1865)
Divine (actor and drag queen; born Towson, 1945-1988)
"Mama" Cass Elliot (singer; born Baltimore, 1941-1974)
Philip Glass (composer; born Baltimore, 1937 -)
Linda Hamilton (actress; born Salisbury, 1956 -)
Dashiell Hammett (author; born Saint Mary's County, 1894-1961)
David Hasselhoff (actor and singer; born Baltimore, 1952 -)
George Herman "Babe" Ruth (baseball player; born Baltimore, 1895-1948)
Frank Zappa (musician and composer; born Baltimore, 1940-1993)

also from Maryland are my friends Sarah (b. 1982) and Jonathan (b. 1985). Hello both!

Three important events

1. Quasi-War (1799)
During the Haitian Revolution, America got a little twitchy about the colonial-minded French naval presence in the Caribbean. As such it commissioned and built its first six warships. One, the USS Constellation, was built and launched out of Baltimore. As tensions between the United States and France grew, the USS Constellation became the first US warship to capture an enemy vessel, L'Insurgent, in 1799. It was later renamed the USS Insurgent where it sank with flying colours in a storm at sea in the West Indies the following autumn.

2. The Great Baltimore Fire (February 7th-8th 1904)
As you may already have guessed, this was a great fire that struck Baltimore in 1904. Starting in the John Hurst and Co. building, It raged for over 30 hours, as a lot of the fire brigades sent to fight the blaze found that their hosepipes didn't attach properly to Baltimore's fire hydrants. 35,000 people were left unemployed by the fire, which destroyed 70 city blocks. It provided major impetus for the standardisation of fire-fighting across the United States, as well as the rebuilding of Baltimore in more flame-retardent materials.

3. Racial integration (1935)
Maryland was the first state to overrule 1896's Plessy vs Ferguson ruling which stipulated separate accomodation for whites and blacks, the 1935 Murray vs Pearson et al ruling demanding the desegregation of the Law School at the University of Maryland. It set an important moral precedent in the civil rights movement, albeit one which had no legal jurisdiction beyond the Maryland State borders.

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