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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Maryland: Crossroads

This Day in History: April 28, 1788

aka the Free State,  the Monumental State
Historic Baltimore City Hall - photo © Wally Gobetz on Flickr -
noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works.
The official motto of Maryland is the Italian motto of the Calvert family - "Fatti maschil, Parole femine" (loosely translated as "Strong deeds, Gentle words"). 
The Old Line State
The nickname for Maryland is The Old Line State. According to popular tradition, General George Washington bestowed the name "Old Line State" and thereby associated Maryland with its regular line troops (the Maryland Line) who served courageously in the American Revolution. It remains a tribute to the Maryland Line's reputation of honor, reliability, and valor.
The Monumental State
In the early 17th century, Baltimore was given the nickname "The Monumental City" and this nickname was transferred over time to the state. "The Monumental City" was bestowed upon Baltimore by President John Quincy Adams in reference to the monuments he saw on his visit to the city in 1827—the Battle Monument & the Aquila Randall Monument.
The Free State
Maryland was first recognized as a "Free State" on November 1, 1864. On that date, the Maryland Constitution of 1864 took effect. By its provisions, slavery within the State's borders was abolished, and Maryland, indeed, became a free state. To celebrate the emancipation, under direction of the Baltimore City Council, five hundred guns were fired, bells were rung, and flags displayed "to attest the joy of the people at their great deliverance."

Aerial America: Maryland & Delaware
Maryland was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. On February 2, 1781, Maryland became the 13th state to approve the ratification of the Articles of Confederation which brought into being the United States as a united, sovereign and national state. On April 28, 1788, it became the 7th state admitted to the U.S. after ratifying the new Constitution. In December 1790, Maryland donated land selected by President George Washington to the federal government for the creation of the new national capital of Washington, D.C.
[The thirteen colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations]

Maryland is located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.
Its history as a border state has resulted in the state exhibiting
characteristics of both the U. S. northeastern and southeastern regions.
Maryland State Flag

The state flag of Maryland was officially adopted in 1904.
The flag bears the arms of the Calvert and Crossland families.
Calvert was the family name of the Lords Baltimore who founded Maryland, and
their colors of gold and black appear in the first and fourth quarters of the flag.

Crossland was the family of the mother of George Calvert, first Lord Baltimore.
The red and white Crossland colors, with a cross bottony,
appear in the second and third quarters. The flag first was flown on
October 11, 1880 in Baltimore at a parade marking the 150th
anniversary of the founding of Baltimore. It also was flown October 25, 1888,
at the Gettysburg Battlefield for ceremonies dedicating monuments to
Maryland regiments of the Army of the Potomac.
Maryland Great Seal
Maryland has a state dinosaur!

Astrodon johnstoni

The Astrodon lived in Maryland during the Early Cretaceous period,
from 95 to 130 million years ago. Dinosaur fossils are found in rocks in central Maryland.
These rocks are from the Mesozoic era, between the Triassic and Cretaceous periods.
Most of the specimens are found in the Arundel Clay (Lower Cretaceous),
the Severn and Mt. Laurel Formations (Upper Cretaceous), and
the Gettysburg Shale (Upper Triassic).

Interesting Note: Rocks from the Jurassic period are either not exposed
or missing in Maryland.

Seven states have declared a state dinosaur: Colorado, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming.
And a State Cat...the Calico!

Maryland designated the calico as the official state cat in 2001.
Its colors of orange, black, and white are shared
with the Baltimore oriole (State bird) and
the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly (State insect).

Interesting Note:

Cats are also recognized as state symbols in Maine (Maine Coon Cat) and
in Massachusetts (Tabby Cat).

Maryland State Bird: Baltimore Oriole

 Maryland State Insect:
Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly

Maryland State Song: "Maryland, My Maryland"

Maryland State Folk Dance: Square Dance
Maryland designated the square dance as the official state folk dance in 1994. Twenty-two states have passed legislation to declare the square dance as a state symbol, and more than 30 bills have been introduced at the federal level proposing the square dance as the national (folk) dance of the United States (beginning in 1965).
For all State Symbols of Maryland click HERE!

Historic Sotterley: A Tidewater Legacy

 Humble beginnings
upon America's shores
left footprints in history
never to be ignored

Born into slavery
promises of freedom
hope kept alive
amid changes in reason

Civil war battles
tore America's heart
in tumultuous times
 loyalties split apart

Over land, underground
risking life for life
fairness and equality
evolved amid strife

Memories of families
within America's conflict
house ghosts and secrets
only civil war could inflict

Crossroads of war
left choices to be made

Maryland, oh, Maryland
monumental hands played
©2014 Sharla Lee Shults
The state with the most bizarre shape!