Baltimore, home of the 2019 Security Traders Association Mid Winter meeting, is often left out of the discourse of major cities.
And while it is the annual home for the Mid Atlantic STA’s winter meetings, the city istself has its own unique history that makes it stand out. Here are 30 fun facts that you might not know about Baltimore:
- The first umbrella factory in the United States was established in Baltimore in 1828.
- The first United States post office system was inaugurated in Baltimore in 1774.
- The first dental school in the world was founded in Baltimore in 1840.
- The first telegraph line in the world was established between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore in 1844.
- Baltimore was the first city to implement a 311 service as a non-emergency hotline.
- The first civic monument dedicated to President George Washington, Baltimore’sWashington Monument, is located inMount Vernon.
- The first successful manned balloon launch in the United States, operated by 13-year-old Edward Warren, was launched from Baltimore in 1784.
- The first professional sports organization in the United States, The Maryland Jockey Club, was formed in Baltimore in 1743.
- The first Catholic cathedral built in the United States is the Baltimore Basilica of Assumption.
- Baltimore was the first city in the United States to illuminate its streets using hydrogen gas in 1816.
- The first bloodshed of the Civil War, a clash between pro-South civilians and Union troops happened in Baltimore in 1861.
- Baltimore was home to the first black-owned shipyard in the United States. The shipyard is now theAfrican American heritage site, theFrederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum.
- Snowballs,which paved the way for more modern slushies, and snow cones were invented in Baltimore during the Industrial Revolution.
- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airportis the first and only United States airport to have a dedicated trail for hiking and biking.
Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem while watching the bombardment ofFort McHenryduring the War of 1812.
- During the 1800s, Baltimore served as the second greatest port of entry for United States immigrants.
- The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 burned for 30 hours, destroying 1,500 buildings and leveling entire neighborhoods. One of thereasons that the fire blazed out of control was because of aproblem with mismatched hose couplings. After the fire, firefighting equipment was standardized across the United States.
- The USCGC Taney, the last ship to survive Pearl Harbor afloat, is docked in Baltimore’sInner Harborand isavailable for tours.
- Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time (he holds 22 medals), was born in Baltimore.
- Famous major league baseball players Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken, Jr., Billy Ripken, Lefty Grove, Frank “Home Run” Baker, and Harold Baines were all born in Baltimore.
- Sideshow performer Johnny Eck, known as the amazing “Half Boy,” is a Baltimore native. You can catch a display about him atRipley’s Believe it or Not!
- David T. Abercrombie, the founder of the Abercrombie & Fitch brand, was born in Baltimore in June 1867.
- Edgar Allan Poe mysterious death occurredin Baltimore, and he waslaid torest atWestminster Hall and Burial Grounds.
- Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, was born in Baltimore in 1908.
- Reginald F. Lewis, the firstAfrican-American to own a billion-dollar company, was born in Baltimore, and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum is named in his honor.
- Billie Holiday, the late world-famous jazz singer, was born in Baltimore. A monument in her honor stands on the corner of Lafayette and Pennsylvania Avenues.