On 25 January 2014, I traveled to ten culturally significant historical sites in the city of Baltimore. After having visited and researching each of these sites, I discovered the reasons why these locations are so important to Baltimore’s history.
Fort McHenry was built between 1798 and 1800 on the site of the former Fort Whetstone, which had defended Baltimore from 1776 to 1797. One of Fort McHenry’s most significant roles was in the War of 1812 during the Battle of Baltimore. On September 13, 1814, under the command of Lt. Col. George Armistead, the fort was bombarded by British ships for more than 24 hours. On the morning of September 14th the British ships ceased their attack on the fort due to lack of ammunition, 4 were killed and more than 24 wounded. Francis Scott Key, a Washington lawyer, witnessed the bombardment from a nearby truce ship. When Key saw an oversized American flag emerge intact in the dawn of September 14, he was so moved that he began to compose the poem “The Defence of Fort McHenry" which would later be renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner" and become the United States' national anthem. Many people refer to the fort as the birth place of the star spangled banner. Fort McHenry would continue to be used throughout history; during the Civil War as a prison, during WWI as an Army hospital, during WWII as a Coast Guard Base and became a national monument in 1939. It is still used today as an attraction for tourists and locals.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was America’s first Roman Catholic cathedral. The Basilica was constructed from 1806 to 1821 and was consecrated by Ambrose Marechal, the third Archbishop of Baltimore, on May 31, 1821. Many of the first American bishops were also consecrated here. There were many events that occurred in the Basilica that make it significant to Baltimore’s history, including the funeral mass of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Catholic signatory of the Declaration of Independence. The building hosted The Third Plenary Council, the largest meeting of Catholic Bishops held outside Rome since the Council of Trent, which commissioned the famous Baltimore Catechism. Throughout history the Basilica has also hosted visits by Pope John Paul II, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople. Until recently more priests were ordained at the Baltimore Basilica than in any other church in the United States.
Negro Soldier Statue at War Memorial Plaza
War Memorial Plaza is a major component of the Business and Government Historic District and is included in Baltimore National Heritage Area. The plaza contains the statue "Negro Soldier", also called the Negro War Heroes Monument. It is stated on the plaque that the statue was a gift to the city of Baltimore from an anonymous donor. The statue was created by sculptor James E....