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Fun Maryland Facts

    This section is dedicated to little known Maryland facts.  Enjoy and have fun learning about our State.

Did you Know?

    ...that the official Maryland State Dinosaur is the Astrodon johnstoni.  The Astrodon johnstoni, which was the first dinosaur identified in Maryland, lived between 130 million and 95 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.Picture of a Dinosaur  Teeth from this dinosaur were first discovered in Prince George's County in 1858.  The Astrodon johnstoni is believed to be a vegetarian.  It was made the official state dinosaur on October 1, 1998.


    ...that the official sport of the State of Maryland is jousting.  Jousting was made the official state sport in 1962.Picture State Seal Maryland was the first state in the country to adopt an official sport.  Jousting consists of charging a horse at full gallop toward 3 suspended rings.  The rider carries a long fine tipped lance and attempts to spear the rings.  This form of jousting is different from Medieval jousting, in which two riders were pitted against each other in real or simulated combat.


    ...that the official dance of the State of Maryland is square dancing.Picture Square Dancers  Square dancing a popular folk tradition since 1651, grew out of various traditional dances from around the world.  In this dance eight people work as a team, called a square, to successfully complete a set of complex dance figures that are delivered by a caller.  It was designated the state dance in 1994.



    ...that Maryland is known as both the Old Line State and the Free State
    It is widely believed that General George Washington gave Maryland the nickname the "Old Line State" in reference to its regular line troops, the Maryland Line.  The Maryland Line served in many battles and exhibited immense bravery during the Revolutionary War.
    Maryland was dubbed the "Free State" by Hamilton Owens, editor of The Baltimore Sun newspaper.  In 1923, the State of Maryland was denounced as a traitor by Georgia Congressman William D. Upshaw, who was a firm supporter of Prohibition, for refusing to pass a state act against the use of alcohol.  Hamilton Owens, in response to this charge, wrote a less than serious editorial entitled "The Maryland Free State."  He argued that Maryland should secede from the United States rather than prohibit the sale of alcohol.  The nickname was popularized in this and subsequent editorials.

Other Maryland Official State Symbols

  • Bird -- Baltimore Oriole
  • Boat -- Skipjack
  • Crustacean -- Maryland Blue Crab
  • Dog -- Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Fish -- Striped Bass or Rockfish
  • Flag -- Arms of Calvert and Crossland Families
  • Flower -- Black-Eyed Susan
  • Insect -- Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly
  • Reptile -- Diamondback Terrapin
  • Song -- "Maryland, My Maryland"
  • Sport -- Jousting
  • Tree -- White Oak

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