March 25, 1634
you know how Maryland and the city of Baltimore got their
names? On March 25, Marylanders celebrate Maryland Day to
honor the arrival of the first colonists to the land King
Charles I of England chartered to Lord Baltimore in 1634.
He named the land after the King's wife, Henrietta Maria,
or Mary. Lord Baltimore had almost complete control over
the colony as long as he paid the King a share of all the
gold or silver discovered on the land. Who came to this
Catholics escaping religious
persecution in England saw Maryland as a safe haven. The
colony even passed an act ensuring religious liberty and
justice to those who believed in Jesus Christ in 1649.
Besides the busy port of Baltimore, another important city
in Maryland is Annapolis, established as the capital in
1694 and home to the U.S. Naval Academy, founded in 1845.
You can see the grounds and surrounding city in this
photo. When do you think Maryland became a state, and what
famous song was written here?
In 1788, Maryland
entered the Union as the seventh state to ratify the U.S.
Constitution. During the War of 1812, the British
bombarded Baltimore's Fort McHenry "with bombs bursting in
air." Watching this was a young lawyer named Francis Scott
Key, who wrote the lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner"
based on his eyewitness account. Maryland has an even more
fascinating history. Ask your family what they know about
the state, and while you're at it, try humming a few bars
of our national anthem, written by a Marylander.