100 Fun Facts About the State of Maryland

Maryland is known for a lot of things, including Old Bay, crab cakes, and the Baltimore Orioles, but here are 100 facts you may not know about our great state:

  1. Maryland is often referred to as the “Old Line State”. “The Old Line” nickname was given during the Revolutionary War, when 400 soldiers in the First Maryland Regiment fought a British force of 10,000 and helped General George Washington’s army to escape. Washington depended on the Maryland Line throughout the war, and the soldiers’ discipline and bravery earned Maryland its nickname.
  2. It is one of the original thirteen colonies (the seventh state) and ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788.
  3. Maryland was named after Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of King Charles I of England.
  4. Annapolis is the capital of Maryland. It served as the capital of the United States from 1783 to 1784.
  5. The state bird of Maryland is the Baltimore Oriole, for which the MLB team is named for.
  6. Marylanders have been making their living from the Chesapeake Bay since colonial days. Today the yearly catch of seafood, from crabs to oysters to rockfish, is worth more than $50 million.
  7. Maryland has been referred to as “America in Miniature” because it has a diverse climate, ranging from coastal areas to the Appalachian Mountains.
  8. Maryland is known for its blue crabs, and crab cakes are a popular local dish. Many say the best in the world.
  9. Maryland’s most populous city is Baltimore, with a population of 576,498.
  10. The first umbrella factory in the United States was established in Baltimore, Maryland in 1828.
  11. Maryland is home to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis.
  12. The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area extends into Maryland, encompassing suburbs in Maryland counties like Montgomery and Prince George’s.
  13. Edgar Allan Poe, the renowned poet and author, is buried in Baltimore. The city’s NFL team is named for his poem, “The Raven.”
  14. Maryland has the highest median household income in the U.S.
  15. Maryland is known for its thoroughbred horse racing, with the Preakness Stakes held annually in Baltimore.
  16. The Appalachian Trail passes through western Maryland.
  17. The Maryland State House in Annapolis is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use.
  18. Assateague Island, shared with Virginia, is known for its wild ponies.
  19. The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore features a five-story high IMAX theater.
  20. The first dental school in the United States, the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, was founded in 1840.
  21. The state has a strong maritime tradition, with shipbuilding playing a historical role in cities like Baltimore.
  22. Maryland is a leading producer of blue crabs, oysters, and clams.
  23. The Maryland State Flag is one of the most distinctive state flags in the U.S.
  24. Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice, was born in Baltimore.
  25. The world’s first-ever post office system was established in Maryland in 1632.
  26. Maryland is home to Fort McHenry, the site that inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
  27. The state flower is the Black-Eyed Susan.
  28. The Garrison Flag was raised over Fort McHenry ing Baltimore on September 14th, 1814, signaling the successful defense against invasion and bombardment by the British Royal Navy and inspiring Francis Scott Key to pen the words that would become our National Anthem.
  29. Maryland has more than 2,000 miles of shoreline.
  30. Maryland has 25 school districts supporting 263 public high schools.
  31. Antietam National Battlefield, near Sharpsburg, was the site of the bloodiest single-day battle in American history during the Civil War.
  32. Maryland’s official sport is jousting, recognized as the oldest continuous sport in North America.
  33. The first telegraph line in the world was established between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore in 1844.
  34. The first manned balloon ascent in the U.S. took place in Baltimore, Maryland in 1784.
  35. Maryland has a strong tradition of lacrosse, and the Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame is located in Baltimore.
  36. The Catoctin Mountain Park is home to Camp David, the official country retreat of the President of the United States.
  37. Ocean City, a popular Atlantic Ocean resort town, is known for its boardwalk and sandy beaches.
  38. Maryland has an official state exercise, and it’s walking.
  39. The state reptile is the Diamondback Terrapin.
  40. The Great Fire of 1904 destroyed much of downtown Baltimore but led to modern fire codes.
  41. Maryland has a high concentration of research institutions, including Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health.
  42. The state insect of Maryland is the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly.
  43. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O Railroad), the first common carrier railroad in the U.S., was chartered in Maryland in 1827.
  44. The state has a strong aviation history, with Glenn L. Martin founding the Glenn L. Martin Company in Baltimore in 1912.
  45. Maryland is home to the National Cryptologic Museum, highlighting the history of codebreaking and cryptology.
  46. The first umbrella used in the United States was reportedly opened in Maryland in 1772.
  47. Another one of Maryland’s nicknames, “Free State,” originated during the Civil War and referred to its decision not to secede from the Union.
  48. Maryland has a total land area of 12,407 square miles.
  49. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which runs through Maryland, was initially intended for transportation but became obsolete with the rise of railroads.
  50. Ellicott City, in Howard County, has one of the oldest surviving train stations in the United States.
  51. The state dinosaur, Astrodon johnstoni, was discovered in Maryland in the 19th century.
  52. The “Star-Spangled Banner” Flag House in Baltimore is where the famous flag was sewn by Mary Pickersgill.
  53. The “Skipjack” is the state boat of Maryland.
  54. The Maryland Renaissance Festival (Rennfest), held annually in Crownsville just outside of Annapolis, is one of the largest in the country.
  55. Maryland has the highest percentage of millionaire households in the U.S.
  56. The oldest continuously operating theater in the United States, the Vagabond Players, is in Baltimore.
  57. The Maryland State Archives is the oldest continuously operating state archives in the U.S.
  58. The state soil of Maryland is Sassafras.
  59. Maryland’s official drink is milk.
  60. The Thomas Viaduct, completed in 1835 between Relay, Maryland and Elkridge, Maryland, is one of the oldest multiple-arch stone railroad bridges in the world.
  61. Maryland has a state cat, the Calico cat.
  62. The Appalachian Mountains cover the western part of the state.
  63. The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School is located at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.
  64. The state has a significant number of lighthouses along its coast.
  65. Elijah Wood, a Marylander, created the first Ouija Board in the early 1890s.
  66. The state’s official team sport is jousting.
  67. Maryland was home to Harriet Tubman, a key figure in the Underground Railroad.
  68. The state’s official dessert is the Smith Island Cake.
  69. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is one of the world’s longest continuous over-water steel structures.
  70. The National Aquarium in Baltimore is one of the largest public aquariums in the U.S.
  71. Maryland has a state crustacean, the blue crab.
  72. The state dance is the Square Dance.
  73. The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is a critical habitat for migratory birds on the Atlantic Flyway.
  74. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor hosts the USS Constellation, which was involved in military conflicts and active for over 100 years.
  75. Maryland’s state sport is jousting. In 2004, the state also added Lacrosse as a second state sport.
  76. The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is the third oldest zoo in the United States.
  77. The state fossil is Ecphora gardnerae gardnerae- a snail shell.
  78. Maryland’s town of Havre de Grace is known as the “decoy capital of the world”, and is home to one of the finest collections of working and decorative decoys (artificial birds) ever assembled.
  79. The Maryland State Dog is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) uses the state dog as its mascot.
  80. Maryland has the highest percentage of employees in science and engineering occupations in the U.S.
  81. The state flag is the only United States state flag to be based on British heraldry.
  82. The Calvert Cliffs State Park is known for its fossils from the Miocene epoch.
  83. The Baltimore Museum of Art is home to an extensive collection of works by Henri Matisse.
  84. Maryland has the highest median household income among U.S. states.
  85. The state has a significant number of covered bridges, including the Loy’s Station Covered Bridge.
  86. The Maryland State Police is one of the oldest state police agencies in the country.
  87. The Appalachian Trail passes through Maryland for about 40 miles.
  88. The state has an official state cat- the Calico cat.
  89. The National Electronics Museum in Linthicum showcases the history of electronic technology.
  90. The state of Maryland’s official drink is milk.
  91. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels celebrates the region’s maritime history.
  92. Maryland’s official tree is the White Oak. A town in Montgomery County is named for it.
  93. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is one of the major orchestras in the U.S.
  94. The state’s official gem is Patuxent River Stone.
  95. Even though National Bohemian is an iconic beer in Maryland, it hasn’t been brewed in the state since 1996.
  96. The colony of Maryland was founded by Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. He inherited the proprietorship from his father, George Calvert, for whom it was intended.
  97. The Port of Baltimore is one of the busiest ports in the U.S.
  98. The Potomac River forms Maryland’s border with Washington DC on the left descending bank.
  99. Maryland is the 19th most populous state, with a population of over 6 million people.
  100. Maryland does have a town named Chevy Chase, but it’s not named after the actor/comedian.

Facts courtesy of: VisitMaryland.com, sos.Maryland.gov, NationalGeographic.com, and other various sources. Originally published in 2016, updated in 2023.

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