Maryland ( MERR-?-l?nd) is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. It is named after the English Queen Henrietta Maria, known in England as Queen Mary, who was the wife of King CharlesI.
Sixteen of Maryland's twenty-three counties, as well as the city of Baltimore, border the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay estuary and its many tributaries, which combined total more than 4,000 miles of shoreline. Although one of the smallest states in the U.S., it features a variety of climates and topographical features that have earned it the moniker of America in Miniature. In a similar vein, Maryland's geography, culture, and history combine elements of the Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern, and Southern regions of the country.
Before its coastline was explored by Europeans in the 16th century, Maryland was inhabited by several groups of Native Americans, mostly by the Algonquin, and to a lesser degree by the Iroquois and Sioux. As one of the original Thirteen Colonies of Great Britain Maryland was founded by George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore, a Catholic convert who sought to provide a religious haven for Catholics persecuted in England. In 1632, Charles I of England granted Lord Baltimore a colonial charter, naming the colony after his wife, Queen Mary (Henrietta Maria of France). Unlike the Pilgrims and Puritans, who rejected Catholicism in their settlements, Lord Baltimore envisioned a colony where people of different religious sects would coexist under the principle of toleration. Accordingly, in 1649 the Maryland General Assembly passed an Act Concerning Religion, which enshrined this principle by penalizing anyone who "reproached" a fellow Marylander based on religious affiliation. Nevertheless religious strife was common in the early years, and Catholics remained a minority, albeit in greater numbers than in any other English colony. (Full article...)
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The effects of Hurricane Isabel in Maryland and Washington, D.C., were among the most damaging from a tropical cyclone in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, United States. Hurricane Isabel formed from a tropical wave on September 6, 2003, in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. It moved northwestward, and within an environment of light wind shear and warm waters, it steadily strengthened to reach peak winds of 165 mph (265 km/h) on September 11. After fluctuating in intensity for four days, Isabel gradually weakened and made landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina with winds of 105 mph (165 km/h) on September 18. It quickly weakened over land and became extratropical over western Pennsylvania the next day.
On September 19, Tropical Storm Isabel passed through extreme western Maryland
, though its large circulation produced tropical storm force winds throughout the state. About 1.24 million people lost power throughout the state. The worst of its effects came from its storm surge
, which inundated areas along the coast and resulted in severe beach erosion
. On the Eastern Shore
, hundreds of buildings were damaged or destroyed, primarily in Queen Anne's County
from tidal flooding. Thousands of houses were affected in Central Maryland, with severe storm surge flooding reported in Baltimore
. Washington, D.C., sustained moderate damage, primarily from the winds. Throughout Maryland and Washington, damage totaled about $945 million (2003 USD, ($1.31 billion 2020 USD), with only one fatality due to flooding. (Full article...
Agriculture is an important part of the state's economy.
Tidal wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States and the largest water feature in Maryland
Ellicott City Station, on the original B&O Railroad line, is the oldest remaining passenger station in the United States. The rail line is still used by CSX Transportation for freight trains, and the station is now a museum.
Typical brackish tidal river. Sunset over a marsh at Cardinal Cove on the Patuxent River
A map of Köppen climate types in Maryland
Winter in Baltimore, Lancaster Street, Fells Point
American Film Institute Silver Theater
The beach resort town of Ocean City along the Atlantic Ocean is a popular tourist destination in Maryland.
Maryland population distribution map. Maryland's population is concentrated mostly in the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas.
Physical regions of Maryland
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Alger Hiss (November 11, 1904 - November 15, 1996) was an American government official accused in 1948 of spying for the Soviet Union in the 1930s. Statutes of limitations had expired for espionage, but he was convicted of perjury in connection with this charge in 1950. Before the trial he was involved in the establishment of the United Nations both as a U.S. State Department official and as a U.N. official. In later life he worked as a lecturer and author.
On August 3, 1948, Whittaker Chambers
, a former U.S. Communist Party
member, testified under subpoena before the House Un-American Activities Committee
(HUAC) that Hiss had secretly been a communist while in federal service. Hiss categorically denied the charge. During the pretrial discovery process
, Chambers produced new evidence indicating that he and Hiss had been involved in espionage. A federal grand jury
indicted Hiss on two counts of perjury. After a mistrial due to a hung jury
, Hiss was tried a second time, and in January 1950 he was found guilty and received two concurrent five-year sentences, of which he eventually served three and a half years. (Full article...
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