Portal:Maryland

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Maryland is a state located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the United States Constitution, and has three occasionally used nicknames: the Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. Maryland is also considered to be the birthplace of religious freedom in America dating back to its earliest colonial days when it was made a refuge for persecuted Catholics from England by George Calvert the first Lord Baltimore, and the first English proprietor of the then-Maryland colonial grant. Maryland is one of the smallest states in terms of area, as well as one of the most densely populated states of the United States. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Although the state is officially claimed to be named after Queen Henrietta Maria, many historians believe Maryland was named after Mary, the mother of Jesus, by George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore prior to his death in 1632. The original intent may never be known. Maryland has the highest median household income, making it the wealthiest state in the nation.

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Hurrican Isabel from space

The effects of Hurricane Isabel in Maryland and Washington, D.C., were among the worst 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. In Eastern Maryland, 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 $820 million (2003 USD, $915 million 2006 USD), with only one fatality due to flooding.

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Ft. Henry bombardement 1814.jpg

A rendition of the bombardment of Fort McHenry which inspired the composition of The Star Spangled Banner.

In the news

  • November 1, 2007 - Westboro Baptist Church ordered to pay US$11 million to family of fallen US soldier
  • September 30, 2007 - Interview with gay marriage movement founder Evan Wolfson
  • September 1, 2007 - Four jackpot winners confirmed in US 'Mega Millions' lottery drawing
  • May 20, 2007 - Horse racing: Curlin wins 2007 Preakness Stakes
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Selected biography

Alger Hiss testifying

Alger Hiss (November 11, 1904 – November 15, 1996) was a U.S. State Department official involved in the establishment of the United Nations. He was accused of being a Soviet spy in 1948 and convicted of perjury in connection with this charge in 1950. Evidence revealed after Hiss's conviction has added a variety of information to the case, and the question of his guilt or innocence remains controversial. Some reliable sources have suggested that those who believe in Hiss's innocence are in the minority of scholarly opinion.

Born in Baltimore, to Mary Lavinia Hughes and Charles Alger Hiss, Alger Hiss's early life was repeatedly marred by tragedy. His father committed suicide when Alger was 2 years old, his older brother Bosley died of Bright's disease when Alger was 22, and he lost his sister Mary Ann to suicide when he was 25. His father had been a middle class wholesale grocer, and after his death Mary Hiss relied largely on family members for financial support in raising her five children. The Hiss family lived in a Baltimore neighborhood that was described as one of "shabby gentility."

Hiss was educated at Baltimore City College high school and Johns Hopkins University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was voted "most popular student" by his classmates. In 1929, he received his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was a protégé of Felix Frankfurter, the future Supreme Court justice. Before joining a Boston law firm, he served for a year as clerk to Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. That same year, Hiss married the former Mrs. Priscilla Hobson, a Bryn Mawr graduate who would later work as a grade school English teacher.

In 1933, he entered government service, working in several areas as an attorney in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal, starting with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA). Hiss worked for the Nye Committee, which investigated and documented wartime profiteering by military contractors during World War I, and served briefly in the Justice Department.

Did you know?

Thomas Viaduct
  • ...that the Thomas Viaduct (pictured) over the Patapsco River was the first multi-span masonry railroad bridge in the United States when it was constructed between 1833 and 1835?

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