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Sunday, 5 February 2012

Baltimore

The city of Baltimore was founded on July 30, 1729. It is named after Cecil Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, (1605–1675), a member of the Irish House of Lords and the founding proprietor of the Colony and Province of Maryland.

Baltimore Town in 1752, (at "The Basin")

When Stephen T. Badin, a French Catholic missionary, completed his studies at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore in 1793, he became the first Catholic priest to be ordained in America.

In a turning point in the War of 1812, the British failed to capture Baltimore. During the battle, lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor. Key's poem about the event, "Defence of Fort McHenry", which he wrote between September 14-17, 1814, was later set to music and became the United States' national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.

Portrait of Francis Scott Key

Until 1817 the streets of Baltimore were lighted by oil-lamps. On February 7, 1817, it became the first American city with gas streetlights, provided by Peale's Gas Light Company of Baltimore. Peale's lit its first street lamp at Market and Lemon Streets (currently Baltimore and Holliday Streets) on that day.

Baltimore First U.S. Street Gas Light

Work on Baltimore's Basilica of the Assumption was completed in 1821. It is the oldest cathedral in continuous use in the Unites States.

The first dental school in the world, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery was founded in Baltimore in 1840.

A Baltimore machine shop operator, William Painter, invented the crown cap in 1892.

A fire in Baltimore on February 7, 1904 destroyed over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours. Damages were estimated at $150 million—in 1904 dollars.

The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904, looking west from Pratt and Gay streets

Lucy Slowe became the first black woman tennis champion in the US when she won the women's singles title at a tournament in Baltimore in 1920.

In Baltimore, it is illegal to wash or scrub sinks no matter how dirty they get.

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