Maryland, the Old Line State

Maryland, the Old Line State

by Sandra Merville Hart

Maryland’s nickname, “Old Line State,” was given by General George Washington. He referred to the Maryland Line, soldiers who bravely served in many Revolutionary War battles.

Maryland’s early history

King Charles I of England gave George Calvert the land north of the Potomac River in 1632. This land had originally been given to the Virginia colony. People of Catholic faith were mistreated in England. George wanted to begin a community where Catholics could worship freely.

Named after a Queen

King Charles I was married to Queen Henrietta Maria. Maryland was named after his wife. In 1634, it became our fourth colony.

Francis Scott Key’s famous poem

star-spangled-banner-1318506_960_720Francis Scott Key witnessed the British attack of Fort McHenry in 1814. This fort protected the important city of Baltimore, Maryland. When the American flag still flew the next morning, Francis knew the British hadn’t won. He wrote the famous poem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” which became our National Anthem.

Maryland becomes a state

After the Revolutionary War ended, Maryland became a state on April 28, 1788. The capital is Annapolis.

More interesting facts about Maryland

knights-845450_960_720Near Hancock, Maryland, the state is only a mile wide. This makes Maryland our narrowest state.

The official state sport is jousting. Jousting tournaments in Maryland began during colonial times and grew more popular after the Civil War.

“Ring tournaments” held in Maryland require a rider on a galloping horse to hold a lance and spear the rings in 8 seconds. Many competitors wear colorful costumes for the medieval tournament.




“13 Originals: Founding the American Colonies,” The Time Page, 2013/01/04

Cheney, Lynne. Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Gutman, Bill. The Look-It-Up Book of the 50 States, Random House, 2002.

“Maryland,” State Symbols USA, 2016/06/06

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