5 Things You Didn't Know About The State of Maryland

Maryland was founded by English colonists sent by the second Lord Baltimore on this day in 1634. The territory was named Maryland in honor of Henrietta Maria, the queen consort of Charles I. Here are 5 surprising facts you probably didn't know about the state of Maryland.

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It Is Home To The Largest Crab Cake As if there was any doubt, Maryland is responsible for the largest crab cake ever made. In 2012, the Salisbury-based seafood company Handy International, created a 300-pound crab cake that was made from over 1,600 crabs. Showcased at the Maryland State Fair, it won a coveted spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Maryland Judges Wear Red No billowing black robes appear on the Court of Appeals judges in Maryland because they have their choice of scarlet or red instead. The fashion choice derives from a connection to English Common Law. During the 14th century, England and Wales enjoyed a colorful assortment of robes that varied with the seasons. Scarlet was usually reserved for holy days or other important occasions. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that a judge suggested the robes be returned to scarlet. Given its past use and the state’s affection for history, the color was adopted. 

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Jousting Is The State's Official Sport You might picture jousting as a sport to be viewed only at medieval festivals, but not in the Old Line State. Maryland became the first state to adopt an official sport, naming jousting as its official sport on June 1, 1962. According to the Maryland State Archives website, “jousting tournaments have been held in Maryland since early colonial times but became increasingly popular after the Civil War.” The Maryland State Jousting Championship is held annually and has been sponsored by the Maryland Jousting Tournament Association since its founding in 1950.

Maryland Served as The Nation's Capital Several Times Washington DC did not become our nation’s capital until 1790. Several other cities had that honor, including Annapolis and Baltimore. After British troops overtook Philadelphia, America’s temporary capital in 1776, the Continental Congress moved headquarters to Baltimore. From there, capitals moved through Pennsylvania and New Jersey before heading  back to Maryland in the city of Annapolis. It was there Washington gave his resignation speech and the Treaty of Paris was ratified. Today, the Maryland State House remains as the nation’s oldest state capitol still being used.

The State Anthem Contains Some Unusual Lyrics The Maryland state anthem, written during the Civil War, shows its liberal side. Abraham Lincoln isn't mentioned by name but called a tyrant in the anthem, and Northerners are referred to as "scum". Debates have soared about whether the song should be retired.