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5 Fun Facts About February 3 In Maryland History

---Learn Every Day: MD Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history md To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1783, Maryland became the 7th state to ratify the Treaty of Paris, officially ending the American Revolution. The treaty recognized American independence and ceded British control of all mainland territories east of the Mississippi River.

2. On February 3, 1809, Enoch Pratt was born in Massachusetts, but went on to make a name for himself in Maryland. He was a businessman and philanthropist, who donated funds to establish the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore in 1882. Today, it is one of the oldest free public library systems in the US.

3. In 1831, residents of Frederick, MD witnessed a strange occurrence known as the "Great Comet of 1831". It was visible for several months and had a long, bright tail. Many people in Maryland and across the United States documented the comet and described it as a "most magnificent spectacle."

4. On February 3, 1943, the USS Dorchester, a US Army transport ship, was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Greenland. The ship sank quickly, and of the 902 people on board, only 230 survived. Among the survivors were four chaplains who sacrificed their own lives to save others, and are now known as the "Four Immortal Chaplains."

5. In 1986, Maryland became the first state to adopt a state song, "Maryland, My Maryland". The lyrics were written by James Ryder Randall during the Civil War and set to the tune of "Lauriger Horatius." Despite controversy over the song's pro-Confederate lyrics, it remains the official state song of Maryland to this day.
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