50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baltimore

Mike Carter - Monday, June 15, 2015

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baltimore
Charm City, I hardly knew ya!

1. Just so you know, In Baltimore It's illegal to throw bales of hay from a second-story window.

2. Also It's illegal to take a lion to the movies… there’s nothing about tigers and bears though, so there is that.

3. Put away those sexy elbows if you want to hit the jungle gym, because It is against park rules to be in a public park with a sleeveless shirt.

4. It is a violation of city code to sell chicks or ducklings to a minor within one week of the Easter holiday. This is just good advice.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baltimore
Source: Flickr user the sweet house

5. Francis Scott Key wrote The Star Spangled Banner while watching the attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812

6. Baseball legends Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken, Jr., Billy Ripken, Lefty Grove, Frank Baker and Harold Baines were all born in Baltimore

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baltimore
Source: public domain via Wikimedia

7. Baltimore's nickname is Charm City.

8. The first professional sports organization in the United States, The Maryland Jockey Club, was formed in Baltimore in 1743.

9. The Ouija board was first marketed by Charles Kennard of Baltimore who who pulled together a group of four other investors to create the Kennard Novelty Company specifically to make and sell the boards.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baltimore
Source: Flickr user Ann Larie Valentine

10. Snowballs—grandfathers to slushies, snow cones, and shaved ice—were invented in Baltimore during the American Industrial Revolution. Also invented that day: the brainfreeze.

11. This may or may not have lead to the first dental school in the world being founded in Baltimore in 1840.

12. Notorious gunslinger Doc Holliday was called "Doc" because he was a dentist. Holliday learned his trade at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery.

13. Edgar Allen Poe died, and was buried in Westminster Church Cemetery at Fayette and Green. It’s tradition for visitors leave coins on the grave. But you might want to bring some cat treats too for all the cats that keep watch over Poe’s final resting place

14. Since 1949, every year on the night of Poe’s birthday, a mysterious stranger in black left a bottle of cognac and three roses on his grave. And just as mysteriously stopped in 2010.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baltimore
Source: Flickr user kezee

15. If you love Neo-Impressionism (and really, who doesn’t) take note of this fact: The Baltimore Museum of Art is home to the internationally renowned Cone Collection, and it holds the largest collection of Henri Matisse's works in the world.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baltimore
Source: Flickr user Dave Hosford

16. The first post office system in the United States was inaugurated in Baltimore in 1774.

17. The first telegraph line in the world was established between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore in 1844.

18. The first umbrella factory in America was established in Baltimore in 1828.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baltimore
Source: Flickr user Edd Prince

19. Baltimore was the first city to implement 311 service as a non-emergency hotline.

20. The first civic monument dedicated to President George Washington, Baltimore's Washington Monument, is located in Baltimore.

21. The first successful manned balloon launch in the United States launched from Baltimore and was operated by 13-year-old Edward Warren in 1784.

22. Baltimore is the 26th largest city in the country.

23. Actors Jada Pinkett Smith, Edward Norton, and Tupac Shakur all attended the Baltimore School for the Arts

24. James Brown once owned the number one radio station in town. Kwesi Mfume worked for him there while attended Baltimore Community College.

25. America's first Catholic cathedral, the Baltimore Basilica of Assumption, is located in Baltimore.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baltimore
Source: Wikimedia user Basilica1

26. Using hydrogen gas, Baltimore was the first United States city to illuminate its streets in 1816.

27. The first bloodshed of the Civil War, a clash between pro-South civilians and Union troops in Baltimore, happened in 1861.

28. The first African American-owned shipyard in the United States is now an African American heritage site, the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum.

29. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) is the first and only United States airport to have a dedicated trail for hiking and biking.

30. Baltimore caused the standardization of firefighting equipment across the country after a fire in 1904 wiped out most of the city.

31. Michael Phelps, the most medaled Olympian of all time, with 22 gold medals was born in the city

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baltimore
Source: Wikimedia user Eric Draper

32. The 1,200 foot Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore is the second longest continuous truss bridge in the nation.

33. Baltimore is home to the USS Constellation. This ship is the last Civil War vessel afloat. It was built in 1854 and is the last all-sail warship built by the U.S. Navy.

34. Baltimore was the birthplace of the American railroad. In 1829, the B&O Railroad (Baltimore & Ohio) was built, serving as the country’s first commercial railroad and long-distance track, with the nation’s first passenger station as well.

35. Both the 1988 and 2007 releases of Hairspray were filmed in Baltimore.

36. According to the Brookings Institution, almost a quarter of the jobs in the Baltimore region are science, technology, engineering and math positions.

37. Thurgood Marshall, the grandson of a slave, a champion for civil rights, and the first African American to serve on the Supreme court, was from Baltimore. Before being appointed a judge, Marshall won the most cases before the Supreme Court than any other American.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baltimore
Source: Wikimedia user Public Domain

38. The city is named after Cecilius Calvert, Lord Baltimore, a member of the Irish House of Lords and the founding proprietor of the Maryland Colony.

39. On February 7, 1904, the Great Baltimore Fire destroyed over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours, leaving more than 70 blocks of the downtown area burned to the ground. Damages were estimated at $150 million—in 1904 dollars.

40. The Lloyd Street Synagogue in Baltimore is one of the oldest synagogues in the United States.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baltimore
Source: wikimedia user Kuduzvine

41. I.M. Pei's World Trade Center (1977) is the tallest equilateral pentagonal building in the world at 405 feet (123 m) tall.

42. Baltimore is a city of more than 220 neighborhoods.

43. The 40-story Legg Mason Building is the tallest building in Baltimore.

44. Reginald F. Lewis, the first black owner of a billion dollar company, was born in Baltimore.

45. Billie Holiday, the jazz singer, was born in Baltimore. A monument in her honor stands on the corner of Lafayette and Pennsylvania Avenues.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baltimore
Source: Wkimedia user United States library of Congress

46. The Mother Seton House in Baltimore celebrates the life of the first American to be sainted, a Baltimore resident.

47. The Indianapolis Colts were actually the Baltimore Colts. Johnny Unitas, in most probability the greatest quarterback NFL has ever seen, helped the Colts win over 17 seasons in Baltimore.

48. Johns Hopkins Hospital was built on the site of an insane asylum. Hopkins bought the 13-acre site for $150,000 instead of following through on plans to build the hospital on his 330-acre estate in Clifton.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baltimore
Source: wikimedia user LizardRaley99

49. Johns Hopkins’ library collection includes more than 4.3 million titles.

50. The Baltimore Ravens could have been called the Americans or the Marauders. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if they made the right choice.

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