The United States is often regarded as the greatest nation in the world and the city of Baltimore has played a major role in earning the United States that title.
Baltimore is one of the major cities located in the state of Maryland. This city has made some key contributions to the country such as being a port city and also the birthplace of the national anthem.
Even so, most people know very little about this incredible town. This article aims to take you through 17 of the most fascinating facts about Baltimore in an effort to help you understand what makes this city so extraordinary.
Here Are 17 Amazing Facts about Baltimore That You Didn’t Know
1. Baltimore is Home to One of the Most Famed Baseball Players of All Time
George Herman Ruth, more commonly known by the alias Babe Ruth, was well-renowned and is still looked up to by baseball players. He was born in Pigtown, Baltimore in 1895 and displayed a passion for baseball since his early days.
He started his baseball career by playing for his hometown’s minor league team, but soon after he was recruited by the Boston Red Sox.
Babe Ruth developed his love and affection for the sport during his time at the St. Mary’s reform school. His powerful hits would occasionally lead to school property damages.
2. America’s First Research University was Founded in Baltimore
Johns Hopkins was a Baltimore native philanthropist and entrepreneur who founded the first research university in the United States in Baltimore,1876.
Numerous institutions such as a hospital, the university, and several research institutions carried Johns Hopkins’s group together to become the state’s largest private employment offering organization.
3. During the 19th Century, Baltimore Processed the Second Highest Number of Immigrants
Being a port city, Baltimore became the second highest immigrant processing city after Ellis Island sometime during the 19th century.
Prior to 1850, Fell’s point was the main entry point for new arrivals. But as the number of immigrants kept rising, they started channeling the immigrants from Locust Point, an immediate neighbor to Fort McHenry.
4. The B&O Railroad You See on a Monopoly Game Board is Thanks to Baltimore
The B&O railroad square on the monopoly game board is a tribute to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. This railroad was the pride and joy of the nation as it was the United States first ever commercial railroad.
However, a chain of unfortunate events occurred in 1877 when the company behind the Baltimore and Ohio railroad attempted to lower the worker’s wages.
This led to the Great Railroad Strike, violence broke out across Baltimore.
In a conflict between the National Guard and civilians, around ten fatalities were incurred and the railway station became a target of extreme vandalism with some parts of it even being lit on fire.
5. Baltimore is Home to the Most Decorated Olympian of All Time
Michael Fred Phelps is an American Olympic swimmer who took his final retirement on 12th August 2016.
Phelps was a competitive swimmer and is also the world’s most decorated Olympian having a total of 28 medals to his name.
Phelps holds three Olympic all-time records which are for the most Olympic medals in individual events, Olympic gold medals, and Olympic gold medals in individual events.
The stunning speed of this Baltimore competitive swimmer earned him the name of The Baltimore Bullet.
6. The Nation’s First Archdiocese was Found in Baltimore
In 1789, The first Roman Catholic Archdiocese in the United States was founded in Baltimore.
Furthermore, the Basilica of Baltimore, more famously known as the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was the first major Roman Cathedral in the United States.
It was also the first major religious building to be constructed in the United States after the implementation of the United States constitution. The religious monument was completed and inaugurated in 1821.
7. Baltimore Holds the USS Constellation
The USS Constellation is the very last floating vessel that originates back to the Civil War era.
The vessel was built by the United States Navy in 1854 and is also the last warship to be operated by a sail.
The remarkable weaponized vessel is docked in Baltimore. In early 2015, the organization under whose authority the ship falls, enlisted former inmates to help repair and maintain the vessel in order to preserve this massive souvenir from the civil war era.
8. Baltimore Holds the Largest Collection of Henri Matisse’s Work
Henri Émile Benoît Matisse was a French artist who was known for his unique use of colors. He was a printmaker, draftsman, and sculptor, however, he is most famous for his vivid and enthralling paintings.
Henri Matisse’s artwork has found an unexpected home in Baltimore, Maryland. The French artist’s single largest collection of artwork is held and featured in the Baltimore Museum of Art.
The museum is open to the public along with many other marvelous displays.
9. The Name of Baltimore’s State Bird was Derived from Lord Baltimore
Baltimore Oriole is the state bird of Baltimore and is also the proud mascot of its baseball team.
The black and yellow feathers of the bird resemble the color theme of lord Baltimore’s coat of arms. This led to the bird being named as the Baltimore oriole.
10. The Six-Pack Packaging for Beer was First Introduced by a Baltimore-Based Company
If sitting back with your friends, cracking open a six pack, and putting on some Netflix is one of your favorite weekend activities, you have Baltimore to thank for it.
The National Bohemian brewing company based in Baltimore, which was acquired by the Pabst Brewing Company some time later, first introduced the six pack packaging for beer during the 1940s.
The company thought that the four-beer pack was too few while the eight-beer pack was a little too many. And so they introduced the much-loved half-dozen packs that you see and enjoy nowadays.
11. The First Manned-Balloon to Successfully Take Flight Was Launched in Baltimore
The first ever manned balloon in the United States to successfully take flight to the skies was launched from Baltimore.
This successful mission took place in 1784, the most astonishing part about it was that the balloon was operated by a lucky thirteen-year-old kid.
12. The First US. Post Office Was Established in Baltimore
The first United States post office was established and inaugurated in Baltimore in the year 1774.
13. The First Telegraph Line in the World Was Established Between Baltimore and Washington D.C.
Roughly around a century after the first United States post office was inaugurated in Baltimore, putting us somewhere between the 19th century, Samuel Morse laid the foundation for the world’s first ever telegraph line.
The telegraph line was set up between Washington D.C and Baltimore.
14. Hydrogen Gas Lamps Were First Used in Baltimore
During the days when electricity had not become a mainstream utility and the world was still thriving on gas operated instruments, hydrogen gas lamps were used to keep the streets lighted during the night.
These marvelous gas lamps were first ever used in Baltimore in the year 1817.
15. Baltimore Has Been a Victim of One of the World’s Worst Fire Disasters
In the year 1904, on an unfortunate day during the month of February, a massive fire arose in the city of Baltimore.
The intense flames raged through the town and consumed over seventy blocks in the downtown area of the city. This great catastrophe earned itself the name The Great Baltimore Fire.
The fire subdued over 1500 buildings in a short time span of just 30 hours. This unfortunate incident led to some substantial changes in the safety protocols and the firefighting equipment.
16. Baltimore is the Resting Place the Inventor of the Ouija Board
Elijah Bond was born on 23rd January, 1847. Although he was an American lawyer, his main claim to popularity came from his infamous invention The Ouija Board – a board game that allegedly allows the player to communicate and summon spirits. Bond filed for a patent on 28th May, 1890 and it was granted almost a year later on 10th February, 1891.
However, later Bond sold his rights to the Ouija Board to the Kennard Novelty Company. Baltimore became the final resting place of this notorious inventor whose invention has served as the foundation of many horror movies. Unsurprisingly, Bond’s headstone has an uncanny resemblance to that of his spirit summoning device.
17. Several Jazz Music Prodigies Hail from Baltimore
Billie Holiday – an influential jazz artist did much of her growing up in Baltimore before moving to Harlem along with her mother.
Cab Calloway is another famous jazz singer that hails from this incredible city, where he decided that he would pursue his dream building a career in the entertainment industry going against his old man’s wishes.
Top 10 Strangest Things about Baltimore, Maryland
Top 10 Strangest Things about Baltimore, Maryland. Welcome to the world according to Briggs. Today we are looking at Baltimore, Maryland and all the weird things that have happened there.
Baltimore is the birthplace of many great talents that have made a really big name for themselves. Additionally, it is also home to many great inventions and fascinating entities.
All in all, Baltimore is one of the most remarkable cities in the United States and is a reason of pride for the American citizens.
Hi I’m Jay. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and live in Los Angeles, California. I have travelled to 23 countries so far and planning to go explore more countries soon! My Favorite trips so far have been to Israel, Japan, Rome, Iceland and Australia. I started this site to share my love of travel with everyone and build a community of like-minded, free thinking, free exploring people.