Baltimore, Maryland

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Baltimore is an independent city located in the U.S. state of Maryland. As of July 1, 2002, the population is 638,614, and the population of the Baltimore-Washington Metroplex as of 2000 is 7.6 million, up from 6.7 million in 1990. It is the largest city in Maryland, named after the founding proprietor of the Maryland Colony, Ccilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. The city is a major part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area and a major U.S.seaport.

Because there is also a Baltimore County adjacent to (but not including) the city, it is sometimes referred to as Baltimore City when a clear distinction is desired.



During the 17th century, various towns called "Baltimore" were founded as commercial ports at various locations on the upper Chesapeake Bay. The present city dates from July 30, 1729 and is named after Ccilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore who was the first Proprietary Governor of the Province of Maryland. Baltimore grew swiftly in the mid-late 18th century as the granary for sugar producing colonies in the Caribbean. The profit from sugar encouraged the maximum possible cultivation of cane and the importation of food. The relatively shorter distance between Baltimore and the Caribbean colonies allowed swift transport and minimized the spoilage of flour.

Baltimore's harbor is the location of Fort McHenry, which came under attack by British forces in the War of 1812 and whose defense inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," which furnishes the lyrics to the United States national anthem. The city is also the site of the first architectural monument honoring George Washington, a 178 foot doric column erected in 1829 and designed by Robert Mills, who later designed the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.

Baltimore became an independent city in 1851, being detached from Baltimore County at that time.

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Battle Monument, Baltimore

During the Civil War, Maryland was officially part of the Union but kept slavery legal. Many, if not most, people in Baltimore at the time were sympathetic to the Confederacy. Pro-Southern sentiment led to the Baltimore riot of 1861 when Union soldiers marched through the city. After the riot, Union troops occupied Baltimore and Maryland came under direct federal administration — in part, to prevent the state from seceding — until the end of the war in April 1865.

The Great Baltimore Fire on February 7, 1904 destroyed over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours.

Baltimore is the location of the Baltimore World Trade Center, the world's tallest equilateral five-sided building (the five-sided JPMorganChase Tower in Houston, Texas is taller, but has unequal sides).

Baltimore is also the location of Pimlico Race Course, the home of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. The Preakness has been run since 1873.

In 1955 Flag House Courts, public housing project made up of 3 12-story buildings was built. The buildings were eventually demolished in 2001.

Baltimore has become a prime city for filming movies and television. Many movies such as Hairspray, scenes from 12 monkeys and the film Hardball were filmed there, in fact many scenes from the 1972 cult classic film Pink Flamingos were shot in the city's Waverly section (the film was made by John Waters, a Baltimore native). Additionally, television shows such as NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street" and HBO's "The Wire" have also been filmed in the city.

In recent years, efforts to redevelop the downtown area have led to a revitalization of the Inner Harbor. In 1979 the Baltimore Convention Center was opened and was subsequently renovated and expanded in 1996. Harborplace, a modern urban retail and restaurant complex, was opened on the waterfront in 1980, followed by the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland's largest tourist destination, in 1981. In 1992, the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball moved downtown to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and six years later the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League moved next door into the newly renamed M&T Bank Stadium, formerly known as PSINet Stadium until PSINet went bankrupt.

On October 2, 1996, Baltimore became the first city in the United States to adopt 311 as a non-emergency "hot line" telephone number, in order to reserve the use of 911 for genuine emergencies. The concept has been highly successful, and numerous other American municipalities have since implemented the practice.

A 60-car train derailment occurred in a tunnel in Baltimore on July 18, 2001. The derailment sparked a chemical fire that raged for six days and virtually shut down the downtown area until the heat caused a water main to rupture, largely extinguishing the fire but also causing significant flooding in the streets above. Three weeks later, manhole covers flew into the air as underground explosions along West Pratt Street followed due to residual explosive chemicals from the fire left in the sewers.

In 2003, the Baltimore Development Corporation announced that three hotel projects were being reviewed. The hotel is expected to be built near the Baltimore Convention Center. The City of Baltimore hopes to have it finished and opened by 2005 or 2006.

Also in 2003, Baltimore was affected by Hurricane Isabel from flooding as a result of tidal surge, affecting primarily the Fells Point community and the Inner Harbor and surrounding low areas. Many places were flooded including the sports center ESPN Zone, the Baltimore World Trade Center (The World Trade Center remained closed for approximately a month during cleanup efforts) and most of the Inner Harbor. Water levels rose some 20 feet in areas, flooding underground parking garages and displacing thousands of cubic yards of trash and debris.

Law and government

Baltimore is an independent city; in other words, not part of any county. For most governmental purposes under Maryland law, Baltimore City is treated as a "county"-level entity.


The current Mayor of Baltimore is Martin O'Malley. Despite being a conservative Democrat in a city with a deep progressive history, O'Malley has maintained a high approval rating through both of his terms in office. His ambition to run for Governor of Maryland is well known. For a full list of mayors that served the city, see: List of Baltimore Mayors

Baltimore City Council

Grassroots pressure for reform, voiced as Question P, restructured the City Council in November of 2002, against the will of the Mayor, the Council President, and the majority of the Council. A coalition of union and community groups, organized by ACORN, backed the effort.

The Baltimore City Council is now made up of 14 single member districts and one elected at-large Council President. Sheila Dixon is the current Council President. On November 2, 2004, Dixon won re-election in a two-way contest; Joan Floyd, a Green Party candidate, was the only challenger; the Republicans did not field a candidate.

Federal Government

The headquarters of the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are located in Woodlawn, just outside the city limits.


Baltimore is in the north central part of the state of Maryland, on the Patapsco River, not far from the Chesapeake Bay. It is on the western edge of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, with low hills rising in the western part of the city.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 238.5 km² (92.1 mi²). 209.3 km² (80.8 mi²) of it is land and 29.2 km² (11.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 12.240% water.

The city has a humid subtropical climate, moderated by the warming influence of the bay and nearby ocean, with hot summers, cool winters, and moderate precipitation.


1888 German map of Baltimore
1888 German map of Baltimore

Public transit in Baltimore City is provided by the Maryland Transit Administration. Baltimore City has many bus routes, and a light rail and a subway system. Additionally, MARC commuter rail connects Washington, DC's Union Station with the city's two rail stations, Camden Station and Penn Station. The major highways serving the city are I-695 (the Baltimore Beltway), I-95, I-83 and I-70 (its eastern terminus is just beyond the city limits).



In the 1830, 1840, and 1850 censuses of the United States of America, Baltimore was the second largest city in population. It was among the top 10 cities in population in the U. S. in every census up to the 1980 census.

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 651,154 people, 257,996 households, and 147,057 families residing in the city. The population density is 3,111.5/km² (8,058.4/mi²). There are 300,477 housing units at an average density of 1,435.8/km² (3,718.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 31.63% White, 64.34% Black or African American, 0.32% Native American, 1.53% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.67% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. 1.70% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 257,996 households out of which 25.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.7% are married couples living together, 25.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 43.0% are non-families. 34.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.42 and the average family size is 3.16.

In the city the population is spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 87.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 82.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $30,078, and the median income for a family is $35,438. Males have a median income of $31,767 versus $26,832 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,978. 22.9% of the population and 18.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 30.6% of those under the age of 18 and 18.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

List of Baltimore neighborhoods

Colleges and universities





See:Baltimore City Public School System

Sister Cities

Baltimore is a sister city of these municipalities:

Museums and Attractions

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Baltimore's Inner Harbor

Sports teams

Defunct (or moved) Sports Teams






Famous Residents/Natives

External links



Flag of Maryland

State of Maryland
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da:Baltimore de:Baltimore fr:Baltimore nl:Baltimore ja:ボルチモア pl:Baltimore sv:Baltimore, Maryland


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