In the early 19th century, Baltimore was the 3rd largest city in the United States. As late as 1960, only New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Detroit had more residents. Such early prominence explains why Baltimore has accumulated many philanthropically-endowed cultural sites and numerous historic sites.
Though the City of Baltimore is a compact 78 square miles, the growing 5-county metro area has a population of 2.5 million and an African American population of 750,000.
Though the TV cop show, Homicide, focuses on Fells Point scenery, that district is actually one of the safest in the city. In fact, overall city crime is on a downward trend since year 2000.
BWI is the only U.S. airport to have a dedicated hiker-biker trail. In operation since 1994, this 12.5-mile scenic trail encircles airport property and connects hikers, bicyclists, and joggers to community resources, public transportation and area attractions.
With the Baltimore seaport more than 275 years old, it should surprise no one that this city has a strong maritime heritage.
Baltimore ranks fifth among commercially active U.S. seaports, with major railways and trucking lines carrying cargo to and from docks at Canton Bay and Curtis Bay, as well as raw materials to the area's factories.
Local Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in the metro area are Black & Decker, US Food Service, Baltimore Gas & Electric and Integrated Health Services.
The region is a major exporter of developed minds from Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Morgan State University, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, University of Baltimore, Towson State University, Loyola College and Coppin State University.
Notable African Americans born here or made their mark here:
The first distinguished Black abolitionist, orator and civil servant
4th U.S. Colored Troops Medal Of Honor Winners; Sergeant Major; earned the medal on 29 September 1864 at Chaffin's Farm Fort Harrison, VA when he "seized and nobly carried the colors after two color bearers had been shot down in the fight
Distinguished Supreme Court Justice
Stage, TV and cinematic actor
The acclaimed and legendary Jazz vocalist
1st Black owner of a billion $ company
Rev. Daniel Coker
Founder of 1st AME church in Maryland
Famous 17th & 18th century portraitist
Famous bandleader on the Chitlin Circuit
Negro Leagues pitcher in Baseball Hall of Fame
Rev. Dr. Vashti McKensie
First ordained female Bishop in the AME clergy
The great Jazz bandleader discovered Billie Holiday
1st African American Shakespearean actor
Broadway and music composer
Anna Deveare Smith
TV, stage and movie actor, playwright
The Dunbar High School basketball legend
Parren J. Mitchell
US Congressman who founded business development programs for people of color
1st elected Black Mayor of Baltimore
TV and movie actor
Henry Highland Garnett
A great 19th century abolitionist and orator
Activist, US Congressman, NAACP CEO
Leader of the Black Caucus, US Congressman
Stage, TV and movie actor
All-Pro NFL Linebacker
Award-winning stage and movie actress
The Shining Prince of West Baltimore