The state of Maryland has a very rich history. It played a major role in the formation of the United States and is constantly changing. So, it is no surprise that annually, at the end of March, the “Old Line State” is celebrated. Maryland Day is about celebrating Maryland’s history and what Maryland has become.
Maryland is very unique and not just because of its odd shape. Maryland is home to the first telegraph line in the world, built-in 1844 between Baltimore and Washington. It is also home to King Williams School, the first school in the United States that opened in 1696. Maryland Day is celebrated on March 25 because March 25, 1634, was the start of a New Beginning for Maryland. That was the day that the colony of Maryland was formally founded. A group of colonists arrived at St. Clements Island. Shortly after they arrived and after consulting with the “Emperor of the Paschataway” and the “King of Yaocomoco,” Leonard Calvert, governor of the colony, negotiated the purchase of land on a nearby tributary of the Potomac River which later became the site of St. Mary’s City, the colony’s first settlement.
Obviously, Maryland has changed a lot since 1633. It is the 7th state admitted to the Union and has a current population of over 6 million people. Maryland also has 157 municipalities. Maryland is the 8th smallest state by land area, ranks as the 18th most populous state, and is the 5th most densely populated. Its vibrant history is why Marylanders began observing Maryland Day for the first time in 1903. The Board of Education decided that the day would be dedicated to studying Maryland’s history. In 1916, the General Assembly officially made Maryland Day a State holiday.
Maryland Day Celebrations
In recognition of Maryland Day on Friday, March 31, Anne Arundel Recreation and Parks is offering free admission to Fort Smallwood Park, Downs Park, Quiet Waters Park, Kinder Farm Park, and Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary from 7 a.m. to dusk. Some of the other locations hosting events include:
Annapolis Maritime Museum will have free admission to the permanent exhibit Our Changing Waterfront on Saturday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Banneker-Douglass Museum will feature The Radical Voice of Blackness Speaks of Resistance and Joy, showcasing the works of 17 Black Maryland-based artists on Saturday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Chesapeake Children’s Museum, on Saturday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will have $1 admission to indoor exhibits, including the 1918 Pandemic and Latin American Culture Carriers. There is free admission to outdoor exhibits including Free to Fish, which tells about the rise of Black watermen after emancipation.
Historic London Town and Gardens will have its Spring re-opening with interpreters, garden tours, and interactive activities on Saturday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In total Over 40 locations will be hosting Maryland Day events from March 31- April 2. Make sure you check out some of these festivities!