See Maryland Firsts

Maryland might have been the seventh state in the Union but it is home to many fascinating and fun firsts.



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B&O Railroad Roundhouse
B&O Railroad Roundhouse
Image Credit:
The Dove Interpretation
HSMC The Dove Interpreter and child
Image Credit: Historic St. Mary's City

First American Railroad

The B&O (Baltimore and Ohio) Railroad was chartered in 1827 and began regular passenger service from Baltimore in 1830. Discover more about this rail tale at Baltimore’s B&O Railroad Museums in Ellicott City and Baltimore.

First Religious Freedom

In 1649, the Maryland Toleration Act was adopted in Maryland’s Colonial capital, St. Mary’s City, as the first law promoting religious freedom in the nation.

First Licensed TV Station

Wheaton’s W3XK went on the air in 1929 as the nation’s first TV station. Learn more about Maryland’s on-air history at the National Capital Radio and Television Museum in Bowie.

First Wholesale Ice Cream Production

Sweet treat pioneer Jacob Fussell opened a wholesale ice cream plant in Baltimore in 1851. Visit the Baltimore Museum of Industry to find out more about the city’s and state’s industrial past.

First National Road

The Federal Government’s first major highway project began in Cumberland in 1811 and eventually, the Historic National Road stretched from Baltimore to East St. Louis, Missouri. Much of it is still drivable today, and there’s an app to guide you along.

First School Named for George Washington

Not only was Chestertown’s Washington College, chartered in 1782, the first school named after Washington, it’s the only school so named with his blessing. He even served on the governing board

Featured Places
Historic St. Mary's City re-enactor
Rt 5 and Rosecroft Rd
St. Mary's City, MD 20686
Baltimore Museum of Industry exterior
1415 Key Hwy
Baltimore, MD 21230
Radio and Television Museum
2608 Mitchelville Rd
Bowie, MD 20716
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