Portal:Maryland

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Maryland is a state located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the United States Constitution, and has three occasionally used nicknames: the Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. Maryland is also considered to be the birthplace of religious freedom in America dating back to its earliest colonial days when it was made a refuge for persecuted Catholics from England by George Calvert the first Lord Baltimore, and the first English proprietor of the then-Maryland colonial grant. Maryland is one of the smallest states in terms of area, as well as one of the most densely populated states of the United States. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Although the state is officially claimed to be named after Queen Henrietta Maria, many historians believe Maryland was named after Mary, the mother of Jesus, by George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore prior to his death in 1632. The original intent may never be known. Maryland has the highest median household income, making it the wealthiest state in the nation.

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David Simon, creator of The Wire

The Wire is an American television drama set and produced in Baltimore, Maryland. Created, produced, and primarily written by author and former police reporter David Simon, the series is broadcast by the premium cable network HBO in the United States. The Wire premiered on June 2, 2002, with 50 episodes airing over the course of its first four seasons. The fifth season, which Simon has said will be the show's last, premiered on January 6, 2008.

The plot of the first season centers on the ongoing struggles between police units and drug-dealing gangs on the west side of the city, and is told from both points of view. Subsequent seasons have focused on other facets of the city. The large cast consists mainly of character actors who are little known for their other roles. Simon has said that despite its presentation as a crime drama, the show is "really about the American city, and about how we live together. It's about how institutions have an effect on individuals, and how... whether you're a cop, a longshoreman, a drug dealer, a politician, a judge [or] lawyer, you are ultimately compromised and must contend with whatever institution you've committed to."

The Wire has received critical acclaim for its realistic portrayal of urban life and uncommonly deep exploration of sociological themes, and has been called the best show on television by TIME, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, the Chicago Tribune, Slate, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Philadelphia Daily News.

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A daguerreotype of Poe taken when he was 39, a year before his death.

Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, editor, literary critic, and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the early American practitioners of the short story and a progenitor of detective fiction and crime fiction. He is also credited with contributing to the emergent science fiction genre.

Born in Boston, Edgar Poe's parents died when he was still young and he was taken in by John and Frances Allan of Richmond, Virginia. Raised there and for a few years in England, Poe grew up in relative wealth, though he was never formally adopted by the Allans. After a short period at the University of Virginia and a brief attempt at a military career, Poe and the Allans parted ways. Poe's publishing career began humbly with an anonymous collection of poems called Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only "by a Bostonian." Poe moved to Baltimore to live with blood-relatives and switched his focus from poetry to prose. In July 1835, he became assistant editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond, where he helped increase subscriptions and began developing his own style of literary criticism. That year he also married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year old cousin.

After an unsuccessful novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, Poe produced his first collection of short stories, Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque in 1839. That year Poe became editor of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine and, later, Graham's Magazine in Philadelphia. It was in Philadelphia that many of his most well-known works would be published. In that city, Poe also planned on starting his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though it would never come to be. In February 1844, he moved to New York City and worked with the Broadway Journal, a magazine of which he would eventually become sole owner.

In January 1845, Poe published "The Raven" to instant success but, only two years later, his wife Virginia died of tuberculosis on January 30, 1847. Poe considered remarrying but never did. On October 7, 1849, Poe died at the age of 40 in Baltimore. The cause of his death is undetermined and has been attributed to alcohol, drugs, cholera, rabies, suicide (although likely to be mistaken with his suicide attempt in the previous year), tuberculosis, heart disease, brain congestion and other agents.

Poe's legacy includes a significant influence in literature in the United States and around the world as well as in specialized fields like cosmology and cryptography. Additionally, Poe and his works appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, television, video games, etc. Some of his homes are dedicated as museums today.

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Thomas Viaduct
  • ...that the Thomas Viaduct (pictured) over the Patapsco River was the first multi-span masonry railroad bridge in the United States when it was constructed between 1833 and 1835?

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