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Baltimore


Maryland

Baltimore's History

Baltimore has restaurants to satisfy nearly every craving. Dining options include elegant gourmet cuisine, ethnic foods from around the world and plenty of fresh seafood from Maryland's Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is known for its fabulous crabs, and dining at one of the city's many seafood restaurants or crab houses is a must for all who visit.

Baltimore is a dynamic city that continues to evolve while holding on to its maritime heritage. Since 1600, Baltimore waterways have been a passage for ships carrying commercial cargo and new citizens. It lies farther west than any other major Atlantic port, a point that endeared its harbors to shippers. More than 30 million tons of cargo pass through the Port of Baltimore every year.

Established in 1729 to serve the economic needs of 18th-century Maryland farmers, the town of Baltimore gradually began to take on a life of its own. Baltimore played a crucial role in the War of 1812, when soldiers, stationed at Fort McHenry, successfully held off a British attack on Baltimore. That victory for Baltimore was commemorated in a poem by Francis Scott Key and is now our national anthem.

When the war ended in early 1815, Baltimoreans resumed their vigorous foreign trade efforts and Baltimore grew into the second largest city in the United States. Baltimore's overseas trade was principally with the Caribbean Islands and South America, regions undergoing economic and social changes. At the same time, the American frontier was pushing even farther west, threatening to leave Baltimore behind in its economic wake. The state of Maryland concentrated its efforts on completing the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, designed to link the Potomac and Ohio River valleys, but the city of Baltimore supported an overland link in the form of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Although the two competed for routes and freight, to the eventual ruin of the canal and the financial embarrassment of the state, Baltimore's railroad reached Cumberland in 1842 and, by 1874, stretched to Chicago.

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Source: Baltimore ACVA; Maryland Science Center; magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20080401
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