Annapolis in Maryland

Friday, 30 August 2019 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General

© Carol M. Highsmith

© Carol M. Highsmith

Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. Situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, 25 miles (40 km) south of Baltimore and about 30 miles (50 km) east of Washington, D.C., Annapolis is part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. Its population was measured at 38,394 by the 2010 census. This city served as the seat of the Confederation Congress (former Second Continental Congress) and temporary national capital of the United States in 1783–1784. At that time, General George Washington came before the body convened in the new Maryland State House and resigned his commission as commander of the Continental Army. A month later, the Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris of 1783, ending the American Revolutionary War, with Great Britain recognizing the independence of the United States. The city and state capitol was also the site of the 1786 Annapolis Convention, which issued a call to the states to send delegates for the Constitutional Convention to be held the following year in Philadelphia. Over 220 years later, the Annapolis Peace Conference was held in 2007. Annapolis is the home of St. John’s College, founded 1696; the United States Naval Academy, established 1845, is adjacent to the city limits.

The Maryland State House is the oldest in continuous legislative use in the United States. Construction started in 1772, and the Maryland legislature first met there in 1779. It is topped by the largest wooden dome built without nails in the country. The Maryland State House housed the workings of the United States government from November 26, 1783, to August 13, 1784, and the Treaty of Paris was ratified there on January 14, 1784, so Annapolis became the first peacetime capital of the U.S. The United States Naval Academy was founded in 1845 on the site of Fort Severn, and now occupies an area of land reclaimed from the Severn River next to the Chesapeake Bay. The Annapolis area was the home of a VLF-transmitter called NSS Annapolis, which was used by the United States Navy to communicate with its Atlantic submarine fleet. Students that attend the Naval Academy are enrolled in school for four years with a following five year commitment to serving in the Marine Corps or Navy. There is a typical average of around 4,500 students enrolled. St. John’s College is a non-sectarian private college that was once supported by the state. It was opened in 1789 as the successor of King William’s School, which was founded by an act of the Maryland legislature in 1696 and was opened in 1701. Its principal building, McDowell Hall, was originally to be the governor’s mansion; although £4,000 was appropriated to build it in 1742, it was not completed until after the War of Independence. St. John’s has a second campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Students are able to choose between the two campuses and switch at any point in their education. The curriculum of St. John’s relies heavily on the use of literature with their Great Books Curriculum, which focuses on texts of Western Civilization. Each year, students are required to participate in a seminar-style course to discuss the assigned works. This program has been highlighted as one that is unique to St. John’s and requires the students to become well-versed through reading about political science, philosophy, math, language, and many more topics.

© D Ramey Logan/cc-by-4.0 © Carol M. Highsmith Maryland State House © Martin Falbisoner/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Diiscool Acton Cove © Martin Falbisoner/cc-by-sa-3.0 United States Naval Academy © National Museum of the U.S. Navy Downtown Annapolis © flickr.com - high limitzz/cc-by-2.0
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United States Naval Academy © National Museum of the U.S. Navy
Annapolis has a thriving community theater scene which includes two venues in the historic district. On East Street, Colonial Players produces approximately six shows a year in its 180-seat theater. A Christmas Carol has been a seasonal tradition in Annapolis since it opened at the Colonial Players theater in 1981. Based on the play by Charles Dickens, the 90-minute production by the Colonial Players is an original musical adaptation, with play and lyrics by Richard Wade and music by Dick Gessner. Colonial Players, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in 1949. Its first production, The Male Animal, was performed in 1949 at the Annapolis Recreation Center on Compromise Street. In 1955, the organization moved to its venue in a former automotive repair shop on East Street. During the warmer months, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre presents three shows on its outdoor stage, which is visible from the City Dock. A nonprofit organization, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre has been providing “theatre under the stars” since 1966, when it performed You Can’t Take It with You and Brigadoon at Carvel Hall Hotel. It began leasing its site at 143 Compromise Street, the former location of the Shaw Blacksmith Shop, in 1967, and became owner of the property in 1990. The Naval Academy Masqueraders, a theater group at the United State Naval Academy, produces one “main-stage show” each fall and student-directed one-act plays in the spring. Founded in 1847, the Masqueraders is the oldest extracurricular activity at the
Naval Academy. Its shows, performed in Mahan Hall, are selected to support the Academy’s English curriculum. The King William Players, a student theater group at St. John’s College, holds two performances each semester in the college’s Francis Scott Key Auditorium. Admission is usually free and open to the public.

The Banneker-Douglass Museum, located in the historic Mount Moriah Church at 87 Franklin Street, documents the history of African Americans in Maryland. Since its opening on February 24, 1984, the museum has provided educational programs, rotating exhibits, and a research facility. Admission is free. Preble Hall, named for Edward Preble, houses the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, founded in 1845. Its Beverley R. Robinson Collection contains 6,000 prints depicting European and American naval history from 1514 through World War II. It is also home to one of the world’s best ship model collections, donated by Henry Huttleston Rogers. Rogers’s donation was the impetus for the construction of Preble Hall. The museum has approximately 100,000 visitors each year. The Hammond-Harwood House, located at 19 Maryland Avenue, was built in 1774 for Matthias Hammond, a wealthy Maryland farmer. Its design was adapted by William Buckland from Andrea Palladio‘s Villa Pisani to accommodate American Colonial regional preferences. Since 1940, when the house was purchased from St. John’s College by the Hammond-Harwood House Association, it has served as a museum exhibiting a collection of John Shaw furniture and Charles Willson Peale paintings. Its exterior and interior preserve the original architecture of a mansion from the late Colonial period. The Kunta KinteAlex Haley memorial, located at the head of the city’s harbor, commemorates the arrival point of Alex Haley’s African ancestor, Kunta Kinte, whose story is related in Haley’s book Roots. A sculpture group at the memorial site portrays Alex Haley seated, reading from a book to three children. The final phase of the memorial’s construction was completed in 2002. The Paca House and Garden encompasses an 18th-century Georgian mansion constructed by William Paca, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The property includes a terraced garden that has been restored to its colonial-era design. Annapolis often serves as the end point for the 3,000-mile annual transcontinental Race Across America bicycle race. To the north of the state house is a monument to Thurgood Marshall, the first black justice of the US Supreme Court and formerly a Maryland lawyer who won many important civil rights cases. Located just before the Naval Academy Bridge is the World War II Memorial, which was constructed in 1998 to symbolize the sacrifice made by the 275,000 citizens from Maryland who joined the service to fight in the war. The memorial is composed of 48 granite columns to represent the 48 states at the time of the war surrounding an amphitheater in which are the names of 6,454 men who gave their lives in the war. Directly behind the memorial are both the Maryland, and United States flags, and a star shaped column with a seven sided base to represent Maryland being the seventh state in the Union.

Read more on Annapolis, VisitAnnapolis.org, VisitTheUSA.co.uk – Annapolis, Annapolis.com, United States Naval Academy, Wikivoyage Annapolis and Wikipedia Annapolis (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.








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