Historic St. Mary's City State House Garden with Interpreters
Historic St. Mary's City

See Maryland Firsts

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

Historic St. Mary's City State House Garden with Interpreters
Historic St. Mary's City

First American Railroad
B&O Railroad Museum Roundhouse and Train

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 B&O Railroad Museums in Ellicott City and Baltimore.

First Religious Freedom
Women in a window dressed in colonial attire
Historic St. Mary's City

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
Vintage radio

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
Step back in time at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, learn about the many everyday items invented in Baltimore.

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
historic National Road Scenic Byway sign

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
Washington College
Washington College

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.