Special Sub-Topic: Baltimore: City of Firsts
|In 1743, the first professional sports organization in the United States was formed in Baltimore. What was it?|
The Maryland Jockey Club. The Maryland Jockey Club was the beginning of the state's passion for horse racing. Maryland used to host the Belmont Stakes before it was moved to New York, and still proudly hosts Preakness as part of the Triple Crown.
|Baltimore is part of aviation history with the first manned what?|
Hot air balloon ascent. In 1784, Edward Warren became the first "man" to ride in a hot air balloon--he was only 13 at the time!
|In 1816, Baltimore was the first U.S. city to illuminate its streets using what type of fuel?|
Hydrogen gas. This was replaced some considerable time ago by electricity.
|Baltimore is home to the first permanent monument to which U.S. president?|
George Washington. While the most famous Washington Monument is a short drive down I-95 to Washington, D.C., Baltimore's was completed in 1815 and is just as phallic. Located in the historic neighborhood of Mount Vernon, it is open to the public on Saturdays and offers breathtaking views of the city for only a few bucks!
|In 1829, the famous Tom Thumb was built in Baltimore. What form of transportation was it?|
Steam locomotive. The Tom Thumb made its first run on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1830, and a few weeks later it became famous in a highly publicized race with a horse-drawn carriage. The horse-drawn carriage won. The first steam powered tanker was built in Baltimore, but not until 1890.
|Samuel Morse invented the telegraph, which was patented in 1854. Ten years prior, the first telegraph line was erected between Baltimore and what other city?|
Washington, D.C.. The first telegraphic message, sent from the Capitol building in D.C. to the railroad depot in Baltimore read, "What hath God wrought."
|Baltimore was the first city to erect a statue to which of these authors?|
Edgar Allen Poe. Although all the above authors spent some time in Baltimore, Poe is our favorite. Since 1949, every year on the night of Poe's birthday a mysterious stranger in black leaves a bottle of cognac and three roses on his grave.
|The first African-American to serve on the supreme court was from Baltimore. Who was he?|
Thurgood Marshall. Thurgood Marshall, the grandson of a slave, was a champion for civil rights and fought discrimination his whole life. Before being appointed a judge, Marshall won the most cases before the Supreme Court than any other American. Currently there are plans to rename BWI airport in his honor.
|The first baseball player to be named MVP in both leagues was a Baltimore Oriole for part of his career. Who was it?|
Frank Robinson. Robinson was traded to the O's by the Reds in 1966 and won MVP honors in his first year with Baltimore. He hit 49 homers, batted .316 and drove in 122 runs. He joined an already potent line up and helped the Orioles win the World Series that year and again in 1970. In 1975, he became the first African American to manage a major league team. Frank is also the last manager of the Montreal Expos and the first manager of the Washington Nationals.
|The first U.S. Navy vessels were built in Baltimore's Fells Point Harbor, which produced many of the warships used in the War of 1812. The USS Constellation is one of the most famous. What type of war ship was Baltimore famous for producing?|
The Clipper. One of Baltimore's nicknames is Clipper City, also the name of a locally brewed beer. The skipjack was also first built in Baltimore, but is a fishing boat and not used for war. The Trireme is an ancient Greek warship, and the bowline is a type of knot. The USS Constellation was used after the War of 1812 to hunt and capture slave trading ships, which it did very successfully. It is now docked in Baltimore's Inner Harbor at Pier One, and can be toured by the public.
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