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History & Lore

Why is this the state sport?

Maryland is the first state to have a designated state sport. Jousting became our sport in 1962, when State Sen. Henry J. Fowler Sr., a jouster from Southern Maryland, proposed the bill. The General Assembly passed the bill, and Gov. Millard Tawes signed it into law. Jousting became Maryland’s seventh state symbol, following the state flag, flower, song, tree, bird and seal.

How some of the world’s most famous art found safe refuge in early-America’s Annapolis

You’d want to know if you were neighbor to a secret treasure of masterpieces.     So I’m telling you.     Sixty-three paintings by great Northern European masters — Jan Breughel, Rubens and Van Dyck among them — lived quietly in Annapolis for two years, and Prince George’s County for 16 more years.

Chesapeake Curiosities: Battle Creek Cypress Swamp is the northernmost of its kind

A habitat unique in Maryland flourishes just south of Prince Frederick. Battle Creek Cypress Swamp is one of the nation’s northernmost naturally occurring stands of bald cypress trees.     “It’s actually a bit of a mystery why the swamp is here, as we don’t see similar stands of trees in other low-lying swampy areas of the county,” says Shannon Steele, Calvert County naturalist.

The story of the Chessie

 

Chesapeake Curiosities

A small building in the Rhode River is built up over the water like a duck blind. But it doesn’t quite look like one, and it’s surrounded by Smithsonian Environmental Research Center land. What is it?

Small people’s wedding highlights Banneker-Douglass celebration of African American traditions

It was the most talked about wedding of 1863. Society families like the Astors and Vanderbilts clamored to be on the guest list. P.T. Barnum sold tickets to the reception at the Metropolitan Hotel. Wealthy Americans sent lavish presents, such as a horse-drawn carriage designed by Tiffany & Co.

They’re delicious, but what’s their story?

Maryland is renowned for its blue crabs. For many in Chesapeake Country, summer means feasting on the crustaceans in as many forms as possible with a favorite being softshell crabs. Our watermen somehow get the soft crabs to us. But how?

Honoring the Greatest Generation of veterans starts at BWI

If you can read this, thank a teacher … If you can read this in English, thank a veteran.     The words printed on the back of Honor Flight T-shirts are words World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans live by. As do the younger generations who call those men and women their heroes.     For 11 years, Honor Flight has been flying World War II, Vietnam and Korean War veterans into all three Washington airports out of 130 hubs in 44 U.S. states. The Honor Flights usually starts mid-March and end on Veteran’s Day.

Is the Bay full of sharks?

The teeth you find at beaches in Southern Anne Arundel and Calvert counties aren’t from sharks now living in the Bay. The teeth fall from the eroding cliffs around the Bay, where sharks lived during the Miocene Epoch, around 17 million years ago.

Chesapeake Curiosities

Founding father John Adams wanted to celebrate Independence Day July second rather than the fourth, but he was the visionary in celebrating with fireworks. The Adams family hosted huge Independence Day celebrations for generations.     In a letter to his wife, Abagail Adams, on July 3, 1776, he wrote: