Washington DC – Day Trip 4 – Baltimore

It’s rare to have 2 major cities so close to each other, and so I am including Baltimore in Washington’s Day Trip sphere. Much of America’s history began in Baltimore, too, so it is an important, but often neglected, place to visit.

I’m just going to highlight some interesting tidbits. Definitely read more as it’s a complex, cosmopolitan city, worthy of a visit, especially from those residing in nearby Washington Metro or visitors who go to Washington, DC often and want to experience more choices.

Even though March as Women’s History Month is over, before I got to more entries, I want to include a few interesting historical women from Maryland who lived in Baltimore.

MARY CATHERINE GODDARD’s OFFICE
Baltimore and South Streets, Baltimore, Maryland 21202

She was the city’s first postmaster, appointed in 1775! Mary Catherine did her job ably and efficiently, but because the position was a rich political prize, a man was chosen to replace her in 1789.

Goddard also published the Maryland Journal, and she was noted for such “scoops” as her 3-column account of the Battle of Bunker Hill, (reported on July 12, 1775), less than a month after it happened!

Mary Catherine Goddard is also credited with printing the first copy of the Declaration of Independence with all its celebrated signatures.

She came by her interest in postal business and printing quite naturally. Mary Catherine had been born in Connecticut in 1738. She was the daughter of Dr. Giles Goddard and Sarah Updike Goddardand her father was the postmaster of New London. She learned the trades from him.

Later in life, she managed a bookstore and published an almanac.

THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER FLAG HOUSE
844 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202
410-837-1793

Born in 1776, Mary Young Pickersgill helped to shape history. The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House was her home where she sewed (by hand) the 30×42 foot flag which flew over Fort McHenry during the terrifying night in the War of 1812, (which inspired poet Francis Scott Key to write what became our National Anthem). It was not Betsy Ross’ flag.

The exact flag hangs in a prominent place at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History, in Washington.

Mary was an experienced flag-maker, and was helped in the endeavor by a half-dozen young family members and an indentured servant. Together the young teenagers helped her piece the 18″ wide stripes of English wool into what became America’s most precious flag symbol.

Mary Pickersgill lived in Baltimore from 1807 until her death in 1857,and at the time, she was also one of the first successful American businesswomen 150 years before this avenue was more widely-opened for other women.

Additionally, beyond being a widow who had to support her family as a flag maker, she was also a well-known advocate for less fortunate women of her time.

She was honestly and effectively actively addressing social issues like housing, job placement assistance and financial aid for disadvantaged women decades before these issues were prominent concerns in any society. Her efforts established 2 group homes, which still exist today, the doubly-large one for women, the other for men: the Pickersgill Retirement Community, located in Towson, Maryland. This is a living testimony of Mary Pickersgill’s humanitarian contributions to society.

The Visitors Center at her own home also houses an 1812 Museum where visitors can learn from a video program about the war, the flag and Mary Pickersgill.

MARTHA MURPHY’S AFRO-AMERICAN NEWSPAPER
2519 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201
410-554-8256

The “Afro” was the first and is the oldest black-owned and operated newspaper continuously published in Maryland.

The paper was started in 1892 by Martha Murphy and her husband.

In 1922 it was the nation’s largest black-owned newspaper. Next, serving as vice-president for the chain, Elizabeth Murphy Moss and her family ran the newspaper. She had began working at the newspaper at the age of eleven and she was a correspondent from England, during World War II.

NATIONAL AQUARIUM
501 East Pratt St. Pier 3, Baltimore
410-576-3800

Especially if your city does not have a large civic aquarium, this is an important chance to meet exotic creatures from the Earth’s waters. Here, journey from the ocean to mountain streams to a rain forest tributary, and meet seahorses, sharks, piranha, tree frogs and the world’s smallest monkeys! The aquarium is open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Enjoy!

Nearby Maryland Sites

Washington, DC Travel – Archived Articles

©2011 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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