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  • New to Maryland

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    Welcome to Maryland! Hopefully your move went smoothly and you are ready to settle down into your new home state. Maryland is a diverse mix of topography ranging from marshland and ocean to mini-mountains, farmland and mammoth urban environments.

    And it's all wrapped up in a small package. Before you get too comfortable and fall deep into a seaside setting somewhere along the scenic shore, there are a few things you will need to accomplish at the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). At least all you need to take care of your vehicle is located in one place so you do not need to call around or drive to 15 different places.

    Find your local MVA office and take care of all business there, including getting a Maryland driver license and transferring registration.

    Relocation is tough enough; but at least the following links give you exactly the information you need to establish yourself as a tried and true Marylander:

    From Colony to State

    One of the 13 original colonies and thus, one of the first states, Maryland entered the union in 1788. But its history, or at least the history of the land that the state encompasses, dates long before that time―many say to 10,000 B.C. But the people that gave the state its name did not show up until much later (around 1632).

    That is when Lord Baltimore (Cecil Calvert) showed up with a clan of Catholics looking for a bit of peace and quiet. Britain was having some serious religious issues at that point, and those who were not part of the new Church of England were being excluded and looked down upon―especially Roman Catholics.

    Next time you look at Maryland's flag you can think of this: It is descended from English heraldry, and represents the colors of Calvert's family. No other flag in the union can claim this sort of heritage.

    The colony pretty much went about its business developing a government, sectioning off into counties and doing the religious freedom thing until 1776. That is when it joined in on signing the Declaration of Independence, which basically told England that things were going to be different from now on.

    Then there was a famous war. Although not much of it happened on Maryland soil, the state (or colony at this point) had a famous regiment (the Old Line) that had great success at repelling the Tories. Thus, a state nickname, the Old Line State, was born.

    The war ended in victory, and the 13 colonies went into serious haggle-and-debate mode to developing a constitution and things like that. So Maryland was pretty tied up until it became a state in 1788.

    Getting Acquainted with Maryland

    • State flower: Black-eyed Susan
    • Tree: White oak
    • Bird: Oriole
    • Nicknames: Old Line State, Free State
    • Capital: Annapolis
    • Largest city: Baltimore
    • Population: 5,297,000