Look Up, Baltimore! 5 Walking Tours in Charm City (Look Up, America!)

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And the BSO has built upon those forward-thinking roots, naming maestro Marin Alsop music director in , making her the first woman to lead a major American symphony.

One of a handful of Americans born into slavery to document his world-view, Baltimore Rev. Union Baptist, the historic church he led, thrives to this day on Druid Hill Avenue. A whiz on the piano, he used those syncopated rhythms as inspiration for the popular songs he wrote, particularly when he joined forces with Noble Sissle. The pair performed in vaudeville and, most notably, wrote the music and lyrics for Shuffle Along , which, when it opened in at the Sixty-Third Street Music Hall in New York, changed musical theater.

It was one of the first musicals to be written by African Americans and to feature a black cast including a young Josephine Baker , which was remarkable since African Americans were banned from performing onstage in front of whites for much of the 19th century. Shuffle Along became a huge hit and did much to further the presence of African Americans in theater. Blake lived to be years old. Casts of his hands are part of the permanent collection at the newly opened National Museum of African-American History and Culture at the Smithsonian.

The cradle of American Catholicism, in a former colony founded by the Calvert family for religious freedom, Baltimore was home to the first Roman Catholic diocese in the United States, established in By the early 19th century, the diocese, ruled by the Jesuit Archbishop John Carroll, stretched from the Chesapeake to the edge of the Idaho territory and down to New Orleans after the Louisiana Purchase. Francis Xavier, established ; first Catholic school for black children, St. Charles Uncles, ; first Roman Catholic college for women, the College of Notre Dame, chartered in and now a university.

Few have a more iconic voice than Lady Day. Holiday spent part of her formative childhood in Fells Point, and worked here as an errand girl at a brothel. Her recordings are still considered gold standards of the American jazz scene. He later got his start in the famed clubs of nearby Pennsylvania Avenue, including the Royal and Regent theaters. On Oct. When recovered, the grainy, black-and-white images revealed a cloud-swirled segment of the planet set against the inky blackness of space.

The experiment laid the groundwork for missile surveillance and mapping, weather satellite imaging, and, of course, the space program. Her Bolton Hill home serves as a civil rights museum today. Her husband, Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. The first manned American aircraft flight is credited to year-old Edward Warren in — years before the Wright Brothers took flight. The centerpiece of the medical school was a state-of-the-art hospital that opened in , with a powerhouse faculty of some of the best and brightest medical practitioners of the era.

You probably remember learning about George Fox in grade-school history.

Weekend in Charm City: Top things to do in Baltimore with kids

Known for his dissent of the Church of England, Fox began spreading his message of spiritual individualism in the s. By the mid-seventeenth century, his teachings made their way to America, and in , the first Quaker Yearly Meeting was held in Charm City. The synagogue was revolutionized when German-born Rabbi Abraham Rice, the first ordained rabbi in the country, joined in Appealing her conviction with the help of NAACP lawyers, including fellow Baltimorean Thurgood Marshall, she broke down a key constitutional interstate segregation law in her landmark Supreme Court case, Morgan v.

Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, the Lovely Lane church on St. Born to modest means, George Peabody came to Baltimore after serving in the War of , prospering as a wholesale-goods merchant. Over his two decades in Baltimore, he transformed himself into an international banker and financier before moving to London, but never forgot the privations of his youth and lack of a formal education. In , he founded the Peabody Institute of Baltimore, including the music conservatory and public library.

Baltimore Hotels and Places to Stay

With a seven-pound, black-and-white camera built in Linthicum. It was no mean feat. The camera needed to be able to endure the rigors of space travel, including the velocity of liftoff and temperature swings from to degrees Fahrenheit, and it had to operate in low light conditions. Public health —i. Throughout its year history, the department has sometimes embraced controversial treatments and practices, such as handing out long-term birth control in schools or issuing a blanket prescription for the opioid overdose prevention drug naloxone. But these bold moves have only earned it a reputation as a haven for innovative, ambitious public health professionals.

That legacy of innovation continues now under Dr. Leana Wen, who was just 32 years old when she became health commissioner in January With 50, Eastern European Jewish immigrants streaming into Baltimore at the turn of the century, the Jewish groups that eventually merged into the current JCC offered citizenship classes, religious school, clubs, and, of course, dances and basketball.

Baltimore won in overtime when fullback Alan Ameche crossed the goal line on a 1-yard run. Across pages, the former Baltimore Sun contributor often writing about the Chesapeake Bay linked chemical pesticides to harmful effects on wildlife, pets, and even humans, igniting a backlash, but eventually leading to the ban of DDT. Two years later, Carson passed away in her home in Silver Spring—her legacy has only grown since.

The track officially opened in the fall of when the colt Preakness won the Dinner Party Stakes. Three years later, the thoroughbred race would be inaugurated in his honor. Pimlico has seen many special moments throughout the years, including the match race Seabiscuit won in , the epic comeback of Secretariat in , and most recently the Triple Crown win of American Pharoah in Dubbed the oldest sports franchise in the country, the institution was established in Annapolis in —the same year that the Annapolis Subscription Plate, the first recorded formal horse race in Colonial Maryland, was run and its silver trophy awarded.

It is believed to be the second-oldest horse racing trophy in the U. On May 5, , the Rev. In , the combined employment of the mill and the shipyard was more than 40,, with the plant serviced by four railroads and miles of piers for the docking of ore ships. Despite frequent layoffs as American manufacturing jobs increasingly went overseas, Sparrows Point workers were able to buy homes, take the family down the ocean every summer, and—when work was steady—have some pocket money left over.

Bethlehem Steel filed for bankruptcy in Emerson moved from the Carolinas to Baltimore in , carrying a recipe for an effervescent headache and stomach potion, then marketed it as Bromo-Seltzer, the first store-bought antacid. It once had a ton, rotating blue Bromo-Seltzer bottle on top lighted by bulbs. And he owned fancy hotels and a casino. A-list party guest, right? You can carry a lot more beer home from the liquor store thanks to National Bohemian, which, in , became the first beer producer to sell its products in six-packs.

In the late 18th century, farmers in Maryland and Pennsylvania were planting plenty of rye as cover crops, when they realized it was cheaper and pretty delicious to distill the stuff. Pikesville Rye came along in , thriving until the booming Maryland rye industry was halted by Prohibition—and reemerging in when Standard Distillers began bottling it on Lombard and Commerce streets.

Advertising slogans were a must back then, too. Another fun fact about Post—she was actually credited for loosening and simplifying snobbish rules of etiquette. In , a poor, black tobacco farmer from Virginia came to Johns Hopkins for treatment, and unknowingly had her cells taken from her. Though that tobacco farmer died a short time later, her cells lived on, becoming one of the most important tools in medicine—they were involved in developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and in vitro fertilization.

Owners of a small machine shop in , Duncan Black and Alonzo Decker were working on a Colt Arms Company project when inspiration struck. Born in into local political royalty—dad Thomas Jr. In , she became a member of the House of Representatives and, in , she did her family and Baltimore proud by becoming the first female and Italian-American! Arguably the most exciting moment in the first modern Olympic Games in came from Robert Garrett of the great Baltimore railroading family, who had taken up the discus for the very first time.

Knowing little about the sport, Garrett practiced at home with a blacksmith-made discus that was nearly 20 pounds—only realizing the regulation discus was just 4. But his third and final attempt soared straight and true, besting his Greek opponent by more than 7 inches.


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To this day, collectors including the White House, which commissioned silver during the Cleveland and Eisenhower administrations, covet Kirk- Stieff silver. During the early s, metal scientists discovered that adding chromium in a batch of iron produces a durable steel resistant to rust and corrosion.

In the 19th century, modern medicine still had a long way to go and Americans had a closer relationship to death. Etta and Claribel Cone first collected art to decorate their Baltimore home. The sisters were drawn to the brilliant color and groundbreaking style of these modern masters, and when they returned home laden with paintings, sculptures, and drawings, they were doing more than increasing their art collection—they were bringing modern art to America. Always an avid reader, and with a hard-drinking education from the streets, he initially resumed his detective career after contracting tuberculosis during World War I.

He later trained as a reporter and wrote his first pulp magazine stories to make ends meet. No one can deny that Henry Louis Mencken had a true gift for criticism and satire, documented in his legendary columns in The Sun. Scott Fitzgerald also found inspiration here, the Sage of Baltimore, as Mencken would come to be known, also had a sociological interest in phraseology that was unique to the United States, and in he published his book The American Language , which explored the differences between British and American English. At the time, it was the most scientific work on the American language, and it continues to serve as a definitive resource.

Maryland has its own chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association, and nowhere were women more critical than in the WWII-era steel plants, shipyards, and aircraft factories of Baltimore. But young women from Appalachia, the Carolinas, and Baltimore, of course, responded to home-front labor shortages during the early days of the war, as men flocked to join the military. Louis Blaustein, a Lithuanian Jew who had immigrated to the U.

McCormick, who started the business in Baltimore at age 25 from a cellar—has dominated the industry. Little known fact: McCormick was also among the first producers of gauze tea bags back in Ironic, then, that the first sound-actuated traffic light was installed at the then somewhat rural crossroads in , the invention of Baltimorean Charles Adler Jr. Alewife, a minute stroll north, is a bank-turned-bar with 40 craft beers from around the country on tap at all times.

Everything from cocktails to wooden puzzles to local kombucha is provided. Flight and Hotel information provided by Google. Prices represent a snapshot of low fares and rates for weekend trips. Please upgrade your browser. See next articles. Credit Darren S. Higgins for The New York Times. Old-School Market Lexington Market , established in , with its stalls selling a range of items, including Jamaican snacks and chicken and waffles, has stood the test of time. Afternoon Art The cool, calm spaces of the Baltimore Museum of Art are at the opposite end of the spectrum from the colorful chaos of the AVAM, but are no less compelling.

At Woodberry Kitchen, a whole porgy with Hmong sticky rice, roasted scallions and mushrooms. Take a Hike An excellent opportunity for urban hiking, the Gwynns Falls Trail covers a total of 15 miles, including trails that thread through the city itself, beginning at the Baltimore Visitors Center and passing through historic neighborhoods like Federal Hill.

Find Flights. Find Hotels. Charming or not, the locals won the survey for being the most enthusiastic sports fans. Seattle also came in at No. Forget the old jokes about this industrial town, which has elegantly cultivated its old-school charms.

The nerve center of its appeal is in the Victorian-era Tremont neighborhood, once settled by immigrants and now home to Prosperity Social Club , a lounge set in a former ballroom, which has craft beer, Polka music and pierogies. Readers love Atlanta for deftly walking the line between historic charm and buzz-worthy cool.

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How Baltimore Invented the Modern World

Quaint streets all over the U. Beyond that one street, though, the cradle of democracy gets high marks from readers for being both historic and pleasantly accessible—like the Society Hill and the Rittenhouse areas, offering gracefully restored lodgings like Rittenhouse But its revamped older neighborhoods let this city of music-industry high rollers keeps its homey vibe. The quaint factor in this giant business hub may not be immediately obvious, but voters still applauded the city on a variety of civilized features, from its top-ranked gourmet groceries, like Revival Market , to museums like the soothing Rothko Chapel.

Indeed, the Texas city also ranked in the top 10 for both bakeries and brews. But if you want to spend a charming afternoon alongside the gourmand locals, browse the stalls at the Ferry Building Marketplace and its Saturday farmers market , or, sit at Caffe Trieste with a classic cappuccino and see why, even before the thoughtfully-made pour-overs of Blue Bottle and Ritual Roasters , the city has always been a winner for its coffee culture.

Despite its chilly summers, San Francisco also made the top 20 for weather—proof that rolling fog offers plenty of atmospheric charm. Sure, the metropolis can seem intimidating—survey voters ranked the locals as both stylish and rude. But the Big Apple still made the top 10 thanks to its small wonders. The Missouri city likely made the charming top 10 in part for its interesting slice of Americana: the Hallmark empire began here—quaintly, with some postcards being sold out of a shoe box—and you can explore that past at the free Hallmark Visitors Center.

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Those water sounds are clearly soothing: the city won the silver medal for its peace and quiet.