71 Maryland Facts and Weird Laws

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Maryland is called “America in miniature” because of its 12,407 square miles of land and water. You can find every natural feature in Maryland except a desert. Maryland officially became a state of the U.S. on April 28, 1788

Maryland is home to a variety of ethnic groups. The state is also named the “Old Line State” and “Free State”. Maryland is a leading state in many industries. 

If you are thinking of visiting the State of Maryland or maybe even moving there. You may want to look at these facts about Maryland before you do so.

Let’s learn some fun Maryland facts you may not know. Be sure to check out the top 10 weird laws in Maryland at the end.

Best Fun Facts About Maryland

  1. Maryland has a community called Boring. The town has 40 houses, a post office, a fire company, and not much else.
  2. The colony of Maryland was founded by Sir George Calvert, also known as Lord Baltimore, in 1632. Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the United States Constitution. It played a pivotal role in founding Washington, DC, established on land donated by the state.
  3. Lord Baltimore’s family crest took the state seal of Maryland. As such, it includes his weird family motto: Fatti Maschii, Parole Femine. Translated, this means “Manly deeds, womanly words”. Historians have condemned the motto as “sexist in any language”.
  4. Maryland was part of the Union during the Civil War. Most citizens supported the Union, although a good number went to fight for the Confederacy. The Mason-Dixon line cuts right between Maryland and Pennsylvania. As a border state, Maryland’s loyalties were divided.
  5. Maryland was part of the Union during the Civil War. Most citizens supported the Union, although a good number went to fight for the Confederacy. The Mason-Dixon line cuts right between Maryland and Pennsylvania. As a border state, Maryland’s loyalties were divided.
  6. The first Ouija board was invented in Baltimore. Creator Elijah Bond and medium Helen Peters asked the “talking board” what it wanted to be called. “O-U-I-J-A,” the board allegedly replied. It’s engraved on the back of his tombstone.
  7. Baltimore served as the temporary capital of the United States between 1783 and 1784. But as it is in most states, the capital of Maryland is not the most popular city. A city of less than 40,000 people, Annapolis, is such a best case in point. 
  8. Maryland’s most famous island may be Assateague, where herds of feral ponies live, eating dune grass and drinking pond water. Everyone can agree that the animals are great, whether they’re true ponies or weird little horses.

Maryland Facts — Politics And Government

  1. The current Governor of Maryland is Larry Hogan. He is affiliated with the Democratic Party. 
  2. Maryland’s government has three branches: the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
  3. Maryland is represented in the U.S. Congress and is part of the federal court system and other federal offices. U.S. Congress. In the U.S. Senate, Maryland is represented by two senators.
  4. Maryland has had four constitutions.
  5. In Maryland, independent agencies are part of the executive branch of government. They are those offices, commissions, boards, departments, and other agencies of the State government established by statute as independent units of government.
  6. In Maryland, executive commissions, committees, task forces, and advisory boards are created or authorized by the Governor, the General Assembly, another constitutional officer, or the head of a principal executive department. Often, these boards are assigned a specific responsibility or area of inquiry.
  7. The Constitution of Maryland requires that the State government’s budget be balanced: total estimated revenues must equal or exceed total appropriations. The budget also must reflect any estimated revenue surplus or deficit at the end of the preceding year.
  8. Smith Island Cake is the Official State Dessert of Maryland. This decadent cake has been a staple of The Eastern Shore since the 1800s.

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Maryland Facts — History

Image: roadaffair.com
  1. The colony of Maryland was founded by Sir George Calvert, also known as Lord Baltimore, in 1632. Calvert left his stamp all over the territory, from the state flag that includes his family colors to Baltimore itself.
  2. Francis Scott Key, a Maryland lawyer, wrote America’s national anthem.
  3. The Maryland Gazette is the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States. It was founded in 1727.
  4. The first school in the United States was King Williams School opened in 1696 in Maryland.
  5. Maryland holds the honors as the first state to designate a state exercise. Walking became the State Exercise of Maryland on October 1, 2008.
  6. In 1962, Maryland became the first state to designate an official state sport. The selection: Jousting. And it’s not just a formality; to this day, the Maryland Jousting Tournament Association is going strong.
  7. Paleo-Indians first inhabited what is now the State of Maryland. Archaeologists have found artifacts such as beads and arrowheads that date back to 13,000 years ago. They believe the Paleo-Indians came from other parts of North America to hunt bison and caribou. Native American tribes moved into the region in later years, including the Lenape, Nanticoke, Susquehannock, Shawnee, and Powhatan tribes.
  8. Maryland gets its name from Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of King Charles of England. Her husband, George Calvert, created the colony, but he died before the settlement could begin, and his son Cecilius continued. Cecilius wanted to create a haven for Roman Catholics who were coming from England.
  9. Maryland joined the Union during the Civil War even though it was a slave state south of the Mason-Dixon line. Being a border state, it had major divisions in its support, even among family members. The state was a battleground where The State fought some of the most decisive battles.
  10.  The Battle of Antietam was fought in Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862. The battle is considered the bloodiest battle of the American Civil war because an estimated 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing after twelve hours of savage combat. According to some sources, it is also the eighth-costliest land battle of the American Civil War.
  11. During the Revolutionary War, 400 American soldiers led by Colonel William Smallwood fought against 10,000 British soldiers in a 1776 battle. The “Maryland Line” was able to hold off the advancing British soldiers long enough for George Washington, leading the remaining American soldiers, to make their escape.
  12. The first successful passenger balloon flight in the United States took place in Baltimore on June 24, 1784. It is said that a 13-year-old boy from Baltimore embarked on this balloon since it was too small to carry its creator.
  13. The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 lasted for 30 hours and resulted in standardized firefighting equipment. The fire destroyed 1,500 buildings and completely wiped out entire neighborhoods. Firefighters struggled to contain the blaze due to an issue with their hose couplings not matching up. The fire was the most destructive fire in the United States since the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
  14. In 1828, construction began on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad line, which connected the mid-Atlantic with the midwest. And the very first railroad station was built in 1830.
  15. Baltimore is home to America’s first dental college. It was established in 1840.
  16. Maryland has the oldest continuously used Capitol building in the country. It was established in 1772.
  17. In 1828 St. Francis Academy was the first dental school in the world. This became the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery in 1839.

Marland Facts — Geography

Image: Dumpsters.com
  1. Maryland has a wide topography that ranges from gently rolling hills to pine groves to sandy dunes and marshlands near the Chesapeake Bay.
  2. The Chesapeake Bay on the Eastern Shore and Western Shore of Maryland is the largest of more than 100 oceans in the United States. It splits Maryland into two halves.
  3.  M.D. has the narrowest width of any U.S. state – less than 2 miles in the Hancock area.
  4.  The 1,200 foot Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore is the second-longest continuous truss bridge in the nation.
  5. The area west of the Chesapeake, called the Western Shore, is generally flat, but some low hills reach heights of 300 to 400 feet (90 to 120 meters).
  6. The highest point in Maryland is Hoye-Crest on Backbone Mountain, in the southwest corner of Garrett County, with an elevation of 3,360 feet.
  7. There are no natural lakes in Maryland, but there are numerous man-made lakes, the largest of which is Deep Creek Lake.
  8. Maryland is about 250 miles long and 100 miles wide.
  9. The Chesapeake Bay is 195 miles long and has coastlines in both Maryland and Virginia. Its width varies from 3 to 20 miles. It is approximately 1,726 square miles.
  10.  The boundary (the Mason–Dixon line, also called the Mason and Dixon line or Mason’s and Dixon’s line) between Pennsylvania and Maryland divides the northern and southern states. The line also served as the boundary between the slave and free states before the Civil War.
  11. The geographic center of Maryland is located in Prince George’s County, 4.5 miles N.W. of Davidsonville. Longitude: 77° 22.3’W Latitude: 39° 26.5’N.
  12. Maryland is bordered by the Chesapeake Bay, Pennsylvania on the north, and a small piece of Virginia on the south. On the east, Maryland is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware. West Virginia and Virginia border Maryland on the west. The mid-portion of the state is interrupted by Washington, DC, which was originally part of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.
  13. Maryland covers 12,407 square miles, making it the 42nd largest of the 50 states.
  14. The lowest point in Maryland is the sea level in the Atlantic Ocean.
  15. The highest point in Maryland is Hoye-Crest on Backbone Mountain, at 3,360 feet above sea level.
  16. Baltimore’s National Great Blacks in Wax Museum is not your average wax museum. The exhibitions do celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of famous African Americans, but they also highlight overlooked or horrific moments in American history. Each year, the museum sees nearly 300,000 visitors.
  17. Annapolis, MD, is home to the United States Naval Academy. The Naval Academy was founded in 1845 and has been training officers for the Marine Corps and Navy ever since.
  18. The most famous Maryland island may be Assateague, where herds of feral ponies have lived for hundreds of years, eating dune grass and drinking pond water. Whether the animals are true ponies or small, strange horses is up for debate, but everyone can agree that they’re great.

Maryland Facts — Animals and Plants

  1. Maryland is home to an estimated 90 species of mammals, 93 species and subspecies of reptiles and amphibians, over 400 species of birds, and several hundred species of marine and freshwater fishes.
  2. Common plants in Maryland include the crape myrtle, evergreen oak, hardy palms, Italian cypress, and southern magnolia, among others.
  3. Animals living in the state include black bears, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, otters, and raccoons, among others.
  4.  Maryland is home to the famous wild Chincoteague ponies.
  5.  The endangered Eastern box turtle is found in Maryland, along with at least 435 different bird species.
  6. The Wildlife and Heritage Service Natural Heritage Program tracks the status of over 1,250 native plants and animals that are among the rarest in Maryland and most in need of conservation efforts as elements of our state’s natural diversity. 
  7. There is an overpopulation of white-tailed deer in Maryland.
  8. There are 436 species of birds in Maryland.
  9. The Chesapeake Bay is home to more than 350 species of fish, including Atlantic menhaden and American eel.
  10. Maryland’s reptile and amphibian population includes the diamondback terrapin turtle.
  11. The blue crab is commonly called the “Maryland crab”, even though a large number of blue crabs are caught off the waters of Virginia.

Maryland Facts — Demographics

  1.  The National Aquarium in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor receives 1.5 million visitors every year.
  2. Maryland was home to the first railroad, the first dental school, and the first umbrella factory.
  3.  Maryland produces more blue crabs and soft clams than any other U.S. state.
  4. Annapolis was the capital of the United States for a short while after the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
  5. Maryland’s population in 2021 was 6.2 million.
  6. There are about 594 people per square mile in Maryland.
  7. The median age in Maryland is approximately 38.3 years of age. The state’s gender ratio is 51.6% females and 48.4% males.
  8. Maryland gifted approximately 70 square miles of land to the U.S. government for the purpose of creating a federal district.
  9. 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.

Maryland Facts— Culture and Sports

Image: YouTube
  1. Maryland’s baseball team is named after a poem. The Baltimore Ravens are named after the famous poem, The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe.
  2. Maryland has Two NFL teams — One MLB team (with a second an easy ferry ride from National Harbor). Six (six!) minor league baseball teams. Nine NCAA Division I college teams. The second leg of the Triple Crown. 
  3. Annapolis is the sailing capital of the world. The wish for big wind is often granted at Annapolis’ Chesapeake Bay Fall Brawl, where J boat races in spectacular rows, hitting crazy speeds as master sailors push their crafts to the bleeding edge. 
  4. Maryland is the Home of Lacrosse—The Fastest Growing Sport.
  5. Maryland Has Awesome Regional Facilities For Loads of Sports.

Maryland Facts — Economy

  1. In 2020, Maryland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $422.7 billion.
  2. Information technology, telecommunications, and aerospace and defense are leading forces behind Maryland’s economic growth. In the biotechnology area, Maryland is a noted leader and is at the center of the mapping of the human genome and the commercial applications that result from its research.
  3. In 2021, several Maryland companies ranked among the nation’s 500 largest companies on the annual Fortune 500 list.
  4. Baltimore significantly contributes to the state’s economy. The IESE Business School at the University of Navarra in Spain ranked Baltimore no. 61 in world cities on its 2020 annual “Cities in Motion Index.” 
  5. In 2020, Maryland ranked fourth in the Milken Institute’s State Technology and Science Index for its ability to foster and sustain a technology sector, which is considered a major indicator in determining a state’s economic health. 
  6. In 2019, CSO United States, an IDG Communications publication, placed Maryland fifth on its list of Top 10 Global Cybersecurity Hubs.
  7. As of 2020, there were some 16,416 tech businesses in Maryland. The tech industry contributes $44.7 billion, or 12.2%, to Maryland’s economy.
  8. InvestMaryland Program added $84 million to Maryland’s high-tech base during Fiscal Year 2012 and is overseen by the Maryland Venture Fund Authority.

Famous People From Maryland

Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.

  • Babe Ruth, the sultan of swat was born in Baltimore
Image: History.com
  • Dr. Florence Rina Sabin of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore became the first female professor of medicine in 1901.
  • The movie star Edward Norton was born in Boston and raised in Columbia, Maryland. He graduated from Wilde Lake Highschool in 1987.
Edward Norton, on the left, was born in Boston. Image: The Fight Club 
  • Louis-Dreyfus was born in New York City, but she grew up in several states, including Maryland. During her time at Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, she received a Bachelor of Science degree.

Common Misconceptions About Maryland State

Maryland is a southern state.

Yes, this is true. Maryland is considered a southern state because it falls under the Mason-Dixon line. A lot of the southern states don’t recognize Maryland as southern.

You Can Only Press Charges for Domestic Abuse in Maryland If There Was Physical Contact

In reality, you can press charges for domestic abuse in Maryland even if you were not physically assaulted.

Maryland doesn’t actually have plenty of great people.

Not true. The great state that most people are confused by is actually one of the coolest states out there.

Weird Laws in Maryland

  1. If you live in Baltimore, it is illegal to take a lion to the movies.
If you live in Baltimore, it is illegal to take a lion to the movies. Image: Disney
  1. In Baltimore, it is illegal to wash or scrub sinks no matter how dirty they get.
  2. It is a violation to be in a public park with a sleeveless shirt.
  3.  You may not curse inside the city limits in Baltimore.
  4. If you are a woman married to a man, it is illegal to go through your husband’s pockets while he’s sleeping. 
  5. If you pretend to tell the future in Caroline County, you could be stuck with six months in the can or a $100 fine.
  6. It is against the law for a Maryland man to buy a drink for a female bartender.
Image: Pinterest

Final Thought

Maryland is a very wealthy state. Some newspapers like the Washington Post and U.S. News claim that Maryland might very well be the wealthiest state in the nation.

The sixth-best State in America to live in is Maryland. Situated right next to the nation’s capital, Maryland allows residents all the perks of Washington DC without the expensive cost of living.

The sixth-best State in America to live in is Maryland. Situated right next to the nation’s capital, Maryland allows residents all the perks of Washington DC without the expensive cost of living. If you love to experience all four seasons, relocating to Maryland is a great idea.

Maryland Facts And Stats

Population2019 (6,046,000)
GovernorLarry Hogan (Republican Party)
Date Of AdmissionApril 28, 1788
U.S. SenatorsBen Cardin (D)
Chris Van Hollen (D)
US House of Representatives8 (of 435 Seats) 
State NicknameFree State, Old Line State, Little America
State MottoFatti maschii, parole femine (strong deeds, gentle words)
State Song“Maryland, My Maryland”
State FlowerBlack-eyed Susan
State FishStriped bass
State BirdBaltimore oriole
State TreeWhite oak
State Mammalcalico cat, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, thoroughbred horse.
State DrinkMilk
State MineralPatuxent River stone agate
State GemPatuxent River Stone
State FossilEcphora gardnerae gardnerae
Neighbor StatesPennsylvania West Virginia Virginia Delaware

Frequently Asked Questions About The Old Line state

What are the 5 interesting things about Maryland?

  1. The First Marylanders Were Native Americans.
  2. Maryland became a British Colony in 1634.
  3. St. Mary’s City Was the Colonial Capital of Maryland.
  4. The US National Anthem Was Written in Maryland.
  5. Baltimore Received the First Long-Distance Telegram.

What is Maryland known for?

  1. Blue crabs
  2. The city of Baltimore
  3. Seafood
  4. Baseball teams

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Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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