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Maryland History Timeline

1400s - 1500s
  • (1498) John Cabot sailed eastern shore near (present day) Worcester County
  • (1524) Giovanni da Verrazano passed mouth of Chesapeake Bay
  • (1572) Chesapeake Bay explored by Pedro Menendez de Aviles, Spanish governor Florida
  • (1608) Capt. John Smith explored Chesapeake Bay
  • (1631) William Claiborne established Kent Island trading post, farm settlement
  • (1632) King Charles I of Great Britain granted Maryland Charter to Cecilius Calvert; colony named Maryland for Queen Henrietta Maria
  • (1634) English settlers land at St. Clement's Island, city of St. Mary founded
  • (1634 - 1635) Meeting of First General Assembly held at St. Mary's City
  • (1645) Richard Ingle led rebellion against proprietary government (Ingle's Rebellion)
  • (1649) Virginia Puritans invited by Governor Stone to settle in Maryland; all Maryland Christians granted religious freedom by Act of Religious Toleration
  • (1664) Law passed allowing slavery for life
  • (1692) William and Mary declared Maryland to be royal colony; Sir Lionel Copley appointed governor
  • (1695) Annapolis became capital of Maryland
  • (1729) Baltimore founded
  • (1744) Six Nations Chiefs relinquished all claims to Indian land in colony; Assembly purchased final Indian land claims
  • (1750) First export trade of flour shipped to Ireland from Baltimore
  • (1763 - 1767) Charles Mason, Jeremiah Dixon surveyed boundary line with Pennsylvania; Mason-Dixon line established as Maryland's northern boundary
  • (1765) Opposition to Stamp Act occurred at Frederick
  • (1766) Sons of Liberty organized
  • (1769) Non-importation policy of British goods established by Maryland merchants
  • (1774) Mob burned Peggy Stewart ship loaded with tea in Annapolis harbor; Maryland chose delegates to Continental Congress
  • (1776) Declaration of Independence adopted, four Marylanders signed; Maryland Convention declared independence from Great Britain; Maryland soldiers fought at Battle of Long Island; Maryland's Declaration of Rights adopted; First State Constitution adopted
  • (1777) State Consitution's First General Assembly met at Annapolis; Thomas Johnson first governor
  • (1783) Annapolis named nation's capital
  • (1784) Congress in Annapolis ratified Treaty of Paris, ended Revolutionary War
  • (1788) Maryland became seventh U. S. state
  • (1791) Maryland donated land for new capital in Washington, D.C.
  • (1796) Law passed forbidding import of slaves for sale; permitted voluntary emancipation
  • (1813) First steamboat, the Chesapeake, appeared in Chesapeake Bay; British raided Havre de Grace
  • (1814) Francis Scott Key wrote "Star Spangled Banner" during British attack of Fort McHenry
  • (1828) Construction began on nation's first railroad - the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
  • (1829) Chesapeake and Delaware Canal opened, linked Chesapeake Bay with Delaware River
  • (1844) Samuel F. B. Morse demonstrated world's first telegraph line, from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore
  • (1845) U. S. Naval Academy founded at Annapolis
  • (1849) Harriet Tubman escaped slavery; began rescuing other slaves
  • (1861) First bloodshed of Civil War occurred in Baltimore; federal troops occupied Annapolis; Union forces occupied Baltimore
  • (1862) Confederate cavalry entered Cumberland; Battle of South Mountain - Union troops forced Confederates from Crampton's and Turner's Gaps; Confederates defeated at Antietam - most deadly battle of Civil War, 4,800 dead, 18,000 wounded
  • (1863) Lee's army passed through Maryland enroute to Gettysburg
  • (1864) Hagerstown and Frederick held for ransom by Confederates; Maryland abolished slavery
  • (1865) Marylander, John Wilkes Booth, assassinated President Abraham Lincoln
  • (1876) Johns Hopkins University founded
  • (1877) Baltimore and Ohil Railroad workers struck, demonstrated in Cumberland, rioted in Baltimore
  • (1894) Baltimore Orioles won first baseball championship


  • (1904) Fire destroyed downtown Baltimore
  • (1912) Democratic National Convention held in Baltimore
  • (1920) Women voted for first time in Maryland
  • (1920's - 1930's) Maryland refused to endorse national Prohibition laws, nicknamed "Free State"
  • (1921) Mary E. W. Risteau first woman elected to House of Delegates
  • (1922) Ku Klux Klan rallied in Frederick, Baltimore
  • (1924) Flooding destroyed much of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
  • (1935) University of Maryland School of Law opened to black students following suit brought by NAACP attorney, Thurgood Marshall
  • (1937) State income tax instituted
  • (1941) USS Maryland attacked at Pearl Harbor
  • (1942) Blacks in Baltimore protested police brutality; demanded school board representation
  • (1943) Elkton factory explosion killed 15 workers
  • (1944) "Blue-baby" operation developed at Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • (1947) State sales tax instituted
  • (1952) Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened; first intensive care facility in nation opened at Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • (1954) St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore, became American League Orioles; University of Maryland first university to integrate below Mason-Dixon Line
  • (1955) Desegragation of public schools began
  • (1957) Baltimore Harbor Tunnel opened
  • (1958 and 1959) Baltimore Colts National Football League champions
  • (1963) Race riots occurred in Cambridge
  • (1967) Thurgood Marshall became first African-American Justice of Supreme Court; rioting and demonstrations in Cambridge resulted in two blocks of black district destroyed by fire
  • (1968) Rioting occurred in Baltimore and Washington, D. C. following Dr. Martin Luther King assassination
  • (1969) Spiro Agnew elected U. S. Vice President
  • (1970) Baltimore held first city fair; Baltimore Orioles won World Series
  • (1973) Maryland adopted state lottery; Spiro Agnew resigned vice-presidency
  • (1974) Both houses of General Assembly elected on basis of equal representation by population
  • (1979) Daniel Nathans, Hamilton Smith of Johns Hopkins Hospital won Nobel Prizes for medicine
  • (1980) Harbor Place in Baltimore opened
  • (1992) Baseball stadium, Camden Yards, opened downtown Baltimore
  • (1995) Annapolis celebrated 300-year anniversary as Maryland's capital
  • (1998) Middle East Peace Talks held at Wye River Conference Center
  • (2004) Maryland celebrated Flag Centennial
  • (2006) Maryland had lowest poverty rate in US
  • (2007) Nation's first Living Wage law enacted in Maryland; Middle East Peace Conference held at U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis
  • (2008) Walking became official state exercise; Maryland first state to name offical state exercise
  • (2010) Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon resigned after conviction of embezzlement
  • (2012) State Senate passed bill legalizing gay marriage

Maryland Photographs

william and mary antietam star spangled banner uss philadelphia burning battle of baltimore john wilkes booth lincoln assassination eubie blake poster harriet tubman thomas johnson pedro menende de aviles     queen henrietta maria samuel morse thurgood marshall spiro agnew chesapeake bay bridge

Maryland Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Cumberland Allegany 301
Annapolis Anne Arundel 410
Parkville Baltimore 410
Baltimore Baltimore City 410
Lusby Calvert 410
Denton Caroline 410
Westminster Carroll 410
Elkton Cecil 410
Waldorf Charles 301
Cambridge Dorchester 410
Frederick Frederick 301
Oakland Garrett 301
Bel Air Harford 410
Columbia Howard 410
Chestertown Kent 410
Silver Spring Montgomery 301
Rockville Montgomery 301
Gaithersburg Montgomery 301
Hyattsville Prince Georges 301
Stevensville Queen Annes 410
Lexington Park Saint Marys 301
Princess Anne Somerset 410
Easton Talbot 410
Hagerstown Washington 301
Salisbury Wicomico 410
Berlin Worcester 410

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.