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about Baltimore

Baltimore is an independent city located in the U.S. State of Maryland. As of July 1, 2002, the population is 638,614, down from 651,154 in the 2000 Census. It is the largest city in Maryland, named after the founding proprietor of the Maryland Colony, Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. This city is a major part of the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Area.

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.

Baltimore geography

Baltimore is in the north central part of the state of Maryland, on the Patapsco River.

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 12.24% water.

Baltimore history

Baltimore was founded on July 30, 1729 and is named after Cæcilius 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 value of 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.

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

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 been run since 1873.

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 in 1998 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.

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 ESPN Zone and the Baltimore World Trade Center that remained closed for several days after the hurricane moved out of the area.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Baltimore, Maryland".

This city is also known as: Baltimore.

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