84 Fun & Interesting Facts About Maryland

Ready to uncover some cool facts about Maryland, the state that’s small in size but huge in history and fun? Let’s set off on an adventure to Maryland, a place where there’s water, crabs, and lots of stories waiting for us. From the Atlantic Ocean to beautiful bays and bustling cities, Maryland is full of surprises. So, let’s dive in and see what makes Maryland so special with these facts about Maryland!

First up, did you know that Maryland is known as the “Free State”? This nickname comes from its strong spirit of freedom and equality. Maryland has a rich history, especially in the city of Annapolis, which used to be the capital of the United States for a short time! Imagine walking the same streets as some of the country’s first leaders.

Maryland is also famous for its delicious blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay. People from all over come to Maryland just to taste these yummy crabs, often cooked with a special spice mix that makes them extra tasty. There’s even a big crab on the state’s license plate because they’re so proud of their crabs!

And here’s a fun fact about Maryland: Maryland has a state sport that might surprise you. It’s not football or baseball—it’s jousting! Jousting is a sport where knights in armor ride on horses and try to knock each other down with lances. It’s like stepping back into medieval times!

Are you excited to learn more facts about Maryland? From its historical sites to its love for blue crabs and even jousting, Maryland is a state full of interesting facts and adventures. Let’s keep exploring and discover all the amazing things that make Maryland a unique and fascinating place to visit and learn about!

Be sure to discover even more interesting facts with our Facts about Michigan  and our Facts about South Dakota.

Facts about Maryland

  1. The Paw Paw Tunnel in Old Town, Maryland, is one of the spookiest places in the state. It was built to allow cargo on the C&O Canal to avoid river bends by going straight through a mountain.
  2. The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery (BCDS) was established in 1840 by the General Assembly of Maryland. This made it the first dental school in the nation and helped establish dentistry as a science.
  3. 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.
  4. The state flag is the only United States state flag to be based on British heraldry.
  5. The song “Maryland, my Maryland” was the state song from 1861 until 2021. It was sung to the tune of “Oh Tennenbaum,” and both inferred that Lincoln was a tyrant and taunted the federal government as “northern scum.”
  6. Maryland’s football team is named after a poem. The Baltimore Ravens are named after the famous poem, The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe. Poe was from Baltimore and his house is now a historical landmark that is open for tours.
  7. There is a town called Boring. Yes, it’s named Boring, but the town is actually named after the first postmaster, David Boring. It’s a very small village, containing one church, one post office, and about 40 houses.
  8. The first colonists to Maryland arrived at St. Clement’s Island aboard the Ark and Dove in 1634. St. Mary’s City was founded by them.
  9. After assassinating President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, John Wilkes Booth was himself fatally shot twelve days later. Since then, his body has been exhumed twice and buried three times.
  10. The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, located in Fort Meade, Maryland, is the largest employer in the state, with over 20,000 employees.
  11. Maryland gifted approximately 70 square miles of land to the U.S. government for the purpose of creating federal district. Virginia also contributed some 30 square miles of its land for the said purpose.
  12. The Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore is the birthplace of the U.S. national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The “Flag House” has been there since 1793.
  13. The Smith Island chain takes up a three-by-five-mile span in the Chesapeake Bay. Though charted by Captain John Smith in 1608, its been seasonally settled by Native Americans for over 10,000 years.
  14. Matthew Alexander Henson (August 8, 1866 – March 9, 1955), an African American explorer is best known as the first man to reach the geographic North pole. He along with Robert Peary and four other accomplished the remarkable feat in the 1909 expedition.
  15. The National Electronics Museum in Linthicum showcases the history of electronic technology.
  16. 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.
  17. The Potomac River forms Maryland’s border with Washington DC on the left descending bank.
  18. The Maryland State Police, established in 1921, is the oldest statewide law enforcement agency in the United States. They became a separate branch of the state’s government in 1935.
  19. Maryland’s Gunpowder Falls State Park is home to the “King and Queen Seat,” a natural rock outcrop that served as a ceremonial gathering place for Native American tribes. It stands at a height of 190 feet (58 meters).
  20. Maryland holds the honors as the first state in the nation to designate a state exercise. Walking became the State Exercise of Maryland on October 1, 2008.
  1. The National Aquarium in Baltimore is one of the largest public aquariums in the U.S.
  2. Maryland was named to honor Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I.
  3. Francis Key Scott, a Maryland lawyer, wrote the “Star-Spangled Banner” in 1814. It became America’s national anthem in 1931. The Francis Key Scott bridge is a 1,200-foot long bridge that crosses the Patapsco River in Baltimore.
  4. Ben Carson, the lead neurosurgeon of a 70-member surgical team, was the first surgeon to separate twins conjoined at the head.
  5. From 1607-1609, Captain John Smith explored the far reaches of the Chesapeake Bay. In doing so, he mapped much of what would become the Maryland colony when it was settled in 1634.
  6. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is one of the major orchestras in the U.S.
  7. 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.
  8. Johns Hopkins was a Maryland entrepreneur and philanthropist who lived from 1795-1873. Upon his death, he bequeathed a then-record $7 million to be used for a hospital, orphanage, and university.
  9. Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery in Talbot County, Maryland, in 1838. He became an important anti-slavery orator, touring northern cities to speak about his experience.
  10. The chance of a Maryland white Christmas is about 12 percent. It’s been since 2002 that the area experienced a white Christmas when rain turned into snow and accumulated one inch.
  11. It was in Baltimore in 1774 that the first post office system in the United States was inaugurated by William Goddard. 
  12. White Oak trees are tall, slow-growing trees found in eastern and central North America. In 1941, this species was named the state tree of Maryland.
  13. The state of Maryland’s official drink is milk.
  14. The Appalachian Mountains cover the western part of the state.
  15. Maryland has a total land area of 12,407 square miles.
  16. The Port of Baltimore is one of the busiest ports in the U.S.
  17. Maryland’s capital city, Annapolis, was once considered the “Athens of America”. It even uses the Greek suffix “polis,” meaning “city,” to cement the title.
  18. The National Aquarium, located in Baltimore, is home to over 20,000 animals representing more than 800 species. Over 1.3 million people visit the aquarium each year.
  19. The Guinness World Record for the largest crab cake was set in Maryland. It weighed a whopping 305.18 pounds (138.42 kg) and had a diameter of 3 feet 6 inches (1.07 meters).
  20. King Williams School opened in 1696. It was the first school in the United States.
  1. In 1844, inventor Samuel F.B. Morse sent the world’s first long-distance telegram from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore. The ominous message read, “WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT.”
  2. The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 was devastating. It scorched 1,500 buildings over 140 acres and destroyed an estimated $100 million of property.
  3. The state has a significant number of covered bridges, including the Loy’s Station Covered Bridge.
  4. The Maryland State Dog is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) uses the state dog as its mascot.
  5. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor hosts the USS Constellation, which was involved in military conflicts and active for over 100 years.
  6. Maryland has the highest percentage of millionaire households in the U.S.
  7. Another one of Maryland’s nicknames, “Free State,” originated during the Civil War and referred to its decision not to secede from the Union.
  8. Maryland has a high concentration of research institutions, including Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health.
  9. Maryland’s official sport is jousting, recognized as the oldest continuous sport in North America.
  10. The Garrison Flag was raised over Fort McHenry in 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.
  11. Edgar Allan Poe, the renowned poet and author, is buried in Baltimore. The city’s NFL team is named for his poem, “The Raven.”
  12. 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.
  13. Maryland is commonly referred to as “America in Miniature” and sometimes “Little America” because it’s home to some of the widest variety of terrain from mountains and farmland to beaches and sand dunes, also enjoying all four seasons.
  14. Maryland was the first state to enact Workmen’s Compensation laws in 1902.
  15. The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area extends into Maryland, encompassing suburbs in Maryland counties like Montgomery and Prince George’s.
  16. Maryland has 25 school districts supporting 263 public high schools.
  17. The highest point in Maryland is 3,360 feet above sea level on Backbone Mountain in Garrett County. The lowest point in Maryland is a depression often referred to as Bloody Point Hole which sits 174 feet below sea level.
  18. The quaint town of Hale, Maryland depicted in the 1998 Julia Roberts film “Runaway Bride” was actually filmed in the town of Berlin. The town was also transformed into the fictitious “Treegap” for the 2001 film “Tuck Everlasting”.
  19. The first umbrella factory in the United States was established in Baltimore, Maryland in 1828.
  20. The first dental school in the United States, the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, was founded in 1840.
  1. Maryland is home to the National Cryptologic Museum, highlighting the history of codebreaking and cryptology.
  2. The “Star-Spangled Banner” Flag House in Baltimore is where the famous flag was sewn by Mary Pickersgill.
  3. Baltimore’s “The Horse You Came In On” is the oldest saloon in the country. Commonly referred to as just “The Horse,” it is the oldest operating saloon in the United States. It’s also believed to be the last place Edgar Allan Poe was seen alive.
  4. The Preakness Stakes is one of horse racing’s Triple Crown events. It has been held annually at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore since 1873 and has a prize purse of over $1.5 million.
  5. The Maryland State Fair, an 11-day festival held annually in Timonium, attracts over 500,000 visitors each year.
  6. The Skipjacks of Tilghman Island is the only commercial sailing fleet in North America.  
  7. Located on the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, the National Aquarium gets 1.5 million visitors every year. It holds more than 2,200,000 gallons of water containing over 750 species.
  8. Maryland is known for its clean beaches and feral ponies. Assateague Island is visited by over 2.1 million people annually.
  9. Maryland has the world’s oldest living people. According to the State Board of Elections, there are 48 people living in the state who are 114 or older.
  10. The first telegraph line in the world was established between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore in 1844.
  11. Maryland’s unique shape is mostly due to geography. Of all of the states in the U.S., Maryland probably has the most unique outline. 
  12. The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, established in 1876, is the third-largest zoo in the country. It’s located in Druid Hill Park and spans 135 acres. The zoo is home to over 200 species.
  13. During its earlier days as a colonial capital city, Annapolis was known as the “Athens of America.” Also, Annapolis is known as the sailing capital of the world.
  14. Maryland has a strong tradition of lacrosse, and the Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame is located in Baltimore.
  15. The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore features a five-story high IMAX theater.
  16. Maryland was named after Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of King Charles I of England.
  17. Maryland’s first public television programs were broadcast on October 5, 1969.
  18. The state bird of Maryland is the Baltimore Oriole, for which the MLB team is named for.
  19. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O Railroad), the first common carrier railroad in the U.S., was chartered in Maryland in 1827.
  20. The Maryland Renaissance Festival (Rennfest), held annually in Crownsville just outside of Annapolis, is one of the largest in the country.
  1. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which runs through Maryland, was initially intended for transportation but became obsolete with the rise of railroads.
  2. Maryland is the national leader in the production of blue crabs and soft clams. Marylanders are known for dousing their crabs in copious amounts of Old Bay or Chesapeake Bay seasonings.
  3. The world’s first-ever post office system was established in Maryland in 1632.
  4. Maryland is known for its thoroughbred horse racing, with the Preakness Stakes held annually in Baltimore.

Do you have even more interesting facts about Maryland? Share them with us in the comments! 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: