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Baltimore, also known as Charm City, was officially founded in 1729. Baltimore’s natural deep water harbor was the source of its growth by facilitating trade in grain and tobacco. Numerous mills emerged in Baltimore’s outlying areas to create flour to be exported through the Baltimore Harbor. During the occupation of Philadelphia in 1777, Baltimore briefly served as the meeting place for the Continental Congress.

Shipbuilding also emerged as an industry in Baltimore, as ships were needed to counteract the British threat during the war of 1812. Baltimore shipyards built many clippers to engage in privateering of British vessels, a type of legal government licensed piracy enacted to protect American trade interests. British merchant ships suffered huge losses as Baltimore played a large role in the eventual victory of the War of 1812. After burning Washington, the British turned North to attack Baltimore. The British were defeated at Baltimore as the citizens and militia fought the British at North Point and Fort McHenry kept them from entering the Baltimore Harbor. It was during this battle that Francis Scott Key wrote America’s national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner”.

After the war of 1812, Baltimore continued to be a center for commerce as Baltimore businessmen financed the building of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal to compete with the Erie Canal which served New York City. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad also emerged during this period as Baltimore became an ever bigger center of commerce. In addition to traditional exports, Baltimore also began exporting the riches of the Chesapeake Bay in oysters and fish.

Although Baltimore was a Union state during the Civil War, the majority of the population supported the South. Soldiers passing through from a Massachusetts regiment were attacked by an angry mob in 1861. During the late 1800’s, Baltimore was a large point of entry for immigrants. Many Polish, Irish, and Italian immigrants passed though Fells Point and the Baltimore Harbor.

In 1904 Baltimore suffered a devastating fire that consumed most of the City. Although the fire consumed most of the business district, the rebuilding opportunity enabled Baltimore to improve the City design and plan. Like many cities throughout the United States, Baltimore suffered during the depression. Huge job losses brought blight to City neighborhoods.

World War I and II provided a boost to the economy as Baltimore shipyards built many of the ships necessary to fight the battles of the Atlantic and Pacific. During the 1960’s and 1970’s Baltimore lost a large amount of its population as residents left for the suburbs. Many city neighborhoods formerly vibrant, had many vacant homes.

In the early 1980’s Baltimore began a comeback as the Inner Harbor area was developed reinvigorating the city and beginning the effort to bring tourism into the city. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the National Aquarium, The Maryland Science Center, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards were built. Baltimore neighborhoods such as Fells Point, Federal Hill, Canton, and Locust Point that were neglected for years, are now seeing tremendous growth and renovation.

Famous People From the Baltimore Area
  • Billie Holiday
  • Eubie Blake
  • H.L. Mencken
  • Edgar Alan Poe
  • Babe Ruth
  • Barry Levinson
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Johnny Unitas
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Tom Clancy
  • Cal Ripken
  • Thurgood Marshall
  • Francis Scott Key
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Mary Pickersgill
  • Upton Sinclair
Baltimore Sports


Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Ravens
 
 
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