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Paid PostSep 25, 2015

13 Things From Maryland That We Should Be Eternally Grateful For

Keep doing you, Maryland. And GEICO will do what they do — namely, help people save money on car insurance.

1. Snowballs

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Whatever you call the summer treat, it got its start in Baltimore during the Industrial Revolution, when children would ask for shavings from ice wagons, and their mothers — the true innovators — added homemade flavorings, aka marshmallow.

2. Berger Cookies

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Henry Berger (whom the cookie is named after) started his bakery in Baltimore in 1835. And people from all over — not just Maryland — think that these hand-dipped chocolate fudge cookies are simply a treat!

3. The National Anthem

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Those "bombs bursting in air" — they originally burst over Baltimore Harbor. An attorney from Frederick County, Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" in 1814. Little did he know it would bring every sports fan to their feet at arenas.

4. Harriet Tubman

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Born in Dorchester County, Harriet Tubman escaped slavery only to return at least 19 times to free hundreds of other slaves through the Underground Railroad. Today, a campaign hopes to further immortalize Tubman as the first woman on the $20 bill.

5. The First Women in Education

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Maryland plays a large part in the history of women in education. Not only does the state hold the country's oldest all-girls public high school and women's Catholic college, it also claims the first female instructors of any North American college.

6. Umbrellas

7. Jim Henson

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Although he wasn't born in Maryland, Jim Henson spent most of his childhood in Hyattsville and eventually followed his dream to the University of Maryland, where you can still sit and chat with a statue of him and Kermit outside the student union.

8. Freight and Passenger Trains

9. The Ouija Board

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At the intersection of Baltimore's North Charles and East Centre streets, the Ouija board came to pass, and was immediately deemed "interesting and mysterious." Today, its historical birthplace resembles neither — it's a 24-hour convenience store.

10. Professional Sports


Founded in 1743, the Maryland Jockey Club is likely the oldest sports organization because it precedes the Revolutionary War. Even George Washington attended, a self-admitted "consistent and persistent loser." He won when it counted, though.

11. Automatic Elevators

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Your elevator pitch is indebted to "Bmore" native James Bates. In the mid-1800s, Bates invented "the first elevator to be operated by electrical power." Incredibly, you could've still taken one of his early elevators at a D.C. furniture store as late as 2001.

12. The Post Office System


Two-day shipping — that was Maryland Journal founder William Goddard's idea. OK, not really, but he did establish the first American post office system, specifically between Baltimore and Philadelphia, because who doesn't like getting packages?

13. Old Bay Seasoning

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If you love seafood, you've probably tasted the zesty flavor of Old Bay Seasoning. And here's a fun fact, the original name was "Delicious Brand Shrimp and Crab Seasoning." We're not debating that!

Thanks, Old Line State! From your neighbors at GEICO in Chevy Chase, MD. 🚗

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