Portal:Maryland
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Introduction

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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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Hurricane Isabel flood damage Maryland.jpg

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 and Annapolis. 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...)

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Boys playing stickball in Havana, 1999

The 1999 Baltimore Orioles - Cuban national baseball team exhibition series consisted of two exhibition games played between the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Cuban national baseball team on March 28 and May 3, 1999. The first game took place in Havana, while the second was held in Baltimore. This series marked the first time that the Cuban national team had faced a squad composed solely of major league players and the first time an MLB team played in Cuba since 1959.

In the 1990s, Orioles' owner Peter Angelos lobbied the United States Government to gain permission to hold this series for three years. Various politicians, including members of the United States House of Representatives, opposed the idea and attempted to block the series. Eventually, Angelos secured the approval in 1999, after a change in United States foreign policy to Cuba under President Bill Clinton, which eased travel restrictions and increased cultural exchange. (Full article...)

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Hiss testifying (1948)

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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