Some call it “The Land of Pleasant Living.” To others it’s “America in Miniature.” But to those of us who were born elsewhere and choose to live in Maryland, no mere slogan is adequate to the task.
With its generally temperate climate and lack of extremes it is, indeed, the Land of Pleasant Living. And its geography — the mountains of the Eastern Continental Divide, the grandeur of what Thomas Jefferson called “the noblest bay in the universe,” and the incredibly fertile flatlands of the Eastern Shore — certainly make it America In Microcosm. But that barely scratches the surface. For a historian it is the Polar Star; the Holy Grail.
From Historic St. Mary’s City in Southern Maryland to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis to the Antietam National Battlefield in the west, Maryland spins a wondrous tale of a great nation from its birth, through the blood and fire of a restive adolescence, to an endless process of maturity.
Maryland is North and South, sophisticated and innocent, proud and profane, and where, as poet Henry Van Dyke once wrote, “the air is full of sunshine, and the flag is full of stars!”