Saturday, January 07, 2006

World's Tallest Pentagonal Building

Baltimore's World Trade Center, on the left in this photo, is the world's tallest five-sided building. The 27th floor, called the Top of the World, offers incredible views of Baltimore harbor.

Address: World Trade Center, 401 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202; 410-837-8439. Web:

Friday, January 06, 2006

Baltimore, Maryland Firsts: 1895 to the present

1897: First practical submarine in America: “Argonaut” constructed by Simon Lake.

1897: First country day school in the U.S., now Gilman Country School.

1899: First visiting nurses for TB patients in the U.S.: two Johns Hopkins medical students.

1901: First woman professor at medical school in the U.S.: Dr. Florence Rena Sabin, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

1916: First city municipal symphony orchestra in the country.

1921: First rehabilitation school for war veterans established at Fort McHenry.

1928: First traffic-actuated traffic signal in the world: invented by Charles Adler Jr. and placed at Belvedere Avenue and Falls Road.

1931: First outdoor polo game at night: Homewood Field, July 2.

1979: First scheduled water taxi transportation system in the country.

Address: Baltimore Convention and Visitors Association, 100 Light Street, 12th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21202;
410-659-7071; 877-Baltimore. Web:

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Baltimore, Maryland Firsts: 1840 to 1895

1840: First steam boating in the U.S.: Baltimore Steam Packet Company (Old Bay Line).

1842: First Jewish Congregation founded on Reform principles in this country: Hai Sinai Congregation.

1844: First telegraph line in the U.S.: Samuel Morse between Washington and Baltimore.

1844: First publicly supported high schools for girls: Eastern High School and Western High School.

1845: First Order of Christian Brothers in the U.S.: Calvert Hall College.

1851: First commercial ice cream factory in America: Jacob Russell.

1854: First Jewish Community center in the U.S.

1859: First YMCA erected in America: Pierce and Schroeder Streets.

1867: First pediatrician and gynecologist in the U.S.: Dr. Wm. T. Howard, University of Maryland.

1875: First monument to Edgar Allan Poe in the U.S.

1883: Invention of the typesetting machine: Ottmor Mergenthaler.

1883: First vocational school in the country: Polytechnic.

1885: First commercial electric car line in the Western Hemisphere.

1892: First bottle cap in the U.S.: William Painter.

1893: First elevated electric railway in the U.S.

1895: First U.S. Catholic College for women: College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

Address: Baltimore Convention and Visitors Association, 100 Light Street, 12th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21202;
410-659-7071; 877-Baltimore. Web:

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Baltimore, Maryland Firsts: 1810 to 1840

1811: First to import and package tea in America: Marin Gillet and Company.

1814: First printing of the Star Spangled Banner in the United States by Samuel Sands.

1815: First existing makers of silverware in this country: Samuel Kirk.

1815: First formal monument to George Washington in the U.S.: Mt. Vernon Place completed July 4, 1829.

1816: First U.S. manufacturer of gas: Rembrandt Peale.

1817: First gaslight company in country chartered.

1819: First agricultural publication in the U.S.: The American Farmer, John Skinner, editor.

1819: First Odd Fellows Lodge in America at Fell's Point by Thomas Wildery, father of Odd Fellowship in the U.S.

1821: First U.S. Catholic Cathedral: the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption.

1827: First public carrier railway in the U.S.: Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

1828: First American umbrella factory in the U.S.

1829: First U.S. Negro religious order in America: Oblate Sisters of Providence, 5 St. Mary's Court.

1829: First ribbon from American silk in this country: National Silk Society.

1830: First railroad depot in the U.S.: Pratt and Poppleton Streets.

1831: First National Nominating Conventions for President in the U.S.

1838: First iron steamboat built in this country.

1839: First dental college in the world: Baltimore College of Dental Surgery.

Address: Baltimore Convention and Visitors Association, 100 Light Street, 12th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21202;
410-659-7071; 877-Baltimore. Web:

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Baltimore, Maryland Firsts: 1772 to 1810

1772: First umbrella used in the United States manufactured in India.

1774: First Post Office system in the U.S. inaugurated by William Goddard.

1778: First Independent Corps in the Revolutionary army organized by Count Pulaski.

1784: First U.S. balloon ascension in this country by Edward Warren in vicinity of the area now occupied by the Washington Monument.

1784: First Methodist Church in America established Lovely Lane Meeting House, which is located at St. Paul and 22nd Streets, and is now called Lovely Lane Methodist Church.

1784: First Methodist Bishop in this country: Rev. Francis Asury.

1789: First church conference of United Brethren in the U.S. at Otterbein Church, Conway and Sharp Streets.

1789: First Roman Catholic Bishop in the U.S.: Father J. Carroll.

1791: First Roman Catholic seminary in the U.S.: St. Mary's.

1792: First U.S. Monument to Columbus. Presently located on Harford Road between Walther Boulevard and Argonne Drive in Herring Run Park.

1797: First station using flag semaphore in this country: Captain David Porter, Sr.

1800: First investment banking house in America founded by Alexander Brown.

1804: First stationer in the U.S.: Lucas Brothers.

1808: First U.S. Army horse artillery in the U.S. formed at Fort McHenry.

Address: Baltimore Convention and Visitors Association, 100 Light Street, 12th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21202;
410-659-7071; 877-Baltimore. Web:

Monday, January 02, 2006

The First Oscar Ceremony

The first Oscars were presented at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on May 16, 1929. Wings won for best movie. Janet Gaynor won for best actress. Emil Jannings won for best actor.

Address: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles CA 90028-6099; 323-466-7000; 800-950-7667.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

First Rescue Mission in America

Jeremiah McCauley accepted salvation after reading Scripture given to him in Sing Sing prison by the International Bible Society. After release, McCauley and his wife Maria began McCauley Water Street Mission in New York City in October, 1872, the first rescue mission in America. It is still active today as the New York City Rescue Mission.

Address: New York City Rescue Mission, 90 Lafayette Street,
New York, New York 10013; 212-226-6214; Fax: 212-226-6215.