Marylanding above all other states


Ah, Maryland: “America In Miniature.” The state with 10,460 square miles of glorious land and water. It may be small, but it is packed with beautiful nature and diverse culture. In fact, “of all 50 states, Maryland is one of the most underappreciated,” sophomore Leah Mietus said.
Most Maryland natives are filled with soaring state pride, so here are some strange facts about the state that are not commonly known.
Sports are a common extracurricular among students here at this school. Although there are over 20 sports here for students to participate in, jousting is not one of them. However, way back in 1962, Maryland designated jousting as the state sport. This made it the first state to have one officially. The Maryland Jousting Tournament Association is still going strong. The new state sport is lacrosse, as of 2004.
Ouija boards are used by people all around the world for thrills, but the first Ouija board was invented in Baltimore. The apartment that it was made in is now a 7-Eleven. Creator Elijah Bond and medium Helen Peters claimed the board responded “O-U-I-J-A,” when asked what it wanted to be called. There’s still an Ouija board engraved on the back of Bond’s tombstone today.
Maryland is home to some of the country’s first and finest achievements. The first railroad station was created here in 1830.
When it rains, Maryland is to thank for keeping people everywhere dry, as the first umbrella factory was created in here in 1828. The country’s first telegraph line was also made in Maryland in 1844.
The King William’s School was founded in Maryland 1696, making it the first school in America. It became chartered as a college in 1784, making it one of the oldest colleges in the United States. It is now a private liberal arts school, known as St. John’s College.
Michael Phelps is perhaps the most famous swimmer, not to mention the most decorated Olympian of all time with 28 medals. Although people around the world know his name, most don’t know that he was born here in Baltimore. His accomplishments can act as motivation to young swimmers in Maryland. “I think it’s really cool knowing I swim in the same area as the best swimmer in the world,” sophomore and member of the swim team Aaron Lazar said.
Maryland is also the birthplace of the national anthem. By the dawn’s early light, Francis Scott Key wrote the anthem during the War of 1812. “Star-Spangled Banner” was written when Key spotted the flag waving over Fort McHenry in Baltimore. The flag that inspired him is available to see in Washington, D.C. today, and tourists can travel to see the tour of Fort McHenry.
Behind mounds of blue crab (the official state crustacean) and Old Bay that Maryland is widely known for, there are aspects to the state that make it special and unique. It is easy to see why Marylanders have so much respect for that awesome red and yellow flag.


Danielle Dupree

Staff Writer