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Maryland History Timeline


Captain John Smith explores the Chesapeake Bay
English trading post established on Kent Island
Maryland Charter granted to Cecilius Calvert by King Charles I. The colony was named Maryland for Queen Henrietta Maria (1609-1669), wife of Charles I (16001649).
Ark and Dove sail from the Isle of Wight, England
Ark and Dove arrive at St. Clements Island; St. Mary's City founded
"An Act Concerning Religion" passed; Puritans founded Providence (now Annapolis)
Slavery allowed by law in Maryland
Annapolis becomes the capital of Maryland


England’s Queen Anne grants Annapolis its City Charter
Maryland Gazette founded the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States
• 1729
Baltimore founded
Mason-Dixon Line established as Maryland's northern boundary
Four Marylanders sign the Declaration of Independence
Annapolis became the nation's capital from November 1783 until August 1784; George Washington resigned his commission in the State House
Congress ratifies the Treaty of Paris in the State House officially recognizing the United States as an independent and sovereign nation and George Washington resigned his commission in the State House
Annapolis Convention called for meeting to discuss new form of government
Maryland becomes the seventh state to ratify the U. S. Constitution
Maryland donates land for the new capital, Washington D.C.

• 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
• 1813
British raid Havre de Grace during the War of 1812
• 1814
British burn Washington and bomb Fort McHenry; Francis Scott Key writes the "Star- Spangled Banner"
• 1826
Public schools established by law; Jews given right to vote and to hold public office
• 1828
Building begun on the C&O Canal and the B&O Railroad
• 1829
C&O Canal opened
• 1830
B&O Railroad establishes first passenger rail. The B & O 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
• 1837
Baltimore Sun begins publication
• 1838
Disguised as a sailor, Frederick Douglass boards a train to Havre de Grace an finds freedom from slavery. The Eastern Shore native later gains international fame as an orator and statesman
• 1844
World's first telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington established
• 1845
The school that would become the U.S. Naval Academy is established at Fort Severn, Annapolis, with seven professors and 40 midshipmen
• 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 in Baltimore
• 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
• 1850
C&O Canal completed from Georgetown to Cumberland
• 1861
First bloodshed of Civil War occurs in Baltimore
• 1862
Confederate forces defeated at Antietam. 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
• 1864
Maryland abolishes slavery
• 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
• 1867
Present Maryland Constitution adopted
• 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
• 1876
Johns Hopkins University founded
• 1886
Enoch Pratt Free Library opens in Baltimore
• 1895
Baseball slugger George Herman “Babe” Ruth is born in Baltimore, near the present site of Oriole Park at Camden Yards
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
Downtown Baltimore destroyed by "The Great Baltimore Fire"
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
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
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
University of Maryland School of Law admits first African-American
Baltimore Sun journalist Philip Wagner opens Boordy Vineyards, the first of more than 20 bonded wineries now operating in the state
Misty of Chincoteague, a critically acclaimed children’s book written by Marguerite Henry, brings national attention to the free-roaming ponies of Assateague Island
American “diva” Rosa Ponselle becomes Artistic Director of the fledgling Baltimore Civic Opera Company, eventually coaching such artists as Beverly Sills and Placido Domingo
The 4.3-mile-long William Preston Lane, Jr., Memorial Bridge (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
Thurgood Marshall becomes first African-American Justice of the Supreme Court
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
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
Baltimore celebrates the grand opening of Harborplace, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex central to the city’s Inner Harbor redevelopment
Maryland begins an environmental program to clean up the Chesapeake Bay
“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
Oriole Park at Camden Yards officially opened
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
Annapolis celebrates its 300-year anniversary as the capital of Maryland
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
“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
Swimmer Michael Phelps of Towson becomes the first American to win eight medals (six of which are gold) in a single Olympic Games
Maryland celebrates its Flag Centennial (100 years)
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
Kimmie Meissner, a Harford County high school student, becomes the 2006 World Figure Skating Champion in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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
Michael Phelps won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps took the record for the most first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games. Five of those victories were in individual events, tying the single Games record.
Michael Phelps in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, he won four gold and two silver medals, making him the most successful athlete of the Games for the third Olympics in a row.
The Baltimore Ravens defeat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, in Super Bowl XLVII.