Monday, November 22, 2010

Be Happy, Not Crabby

Magnet # 400:  Annapolis Letters, Crab

Material:  PVC

Purchased By:  Me

Maryland's capital city of Annapolis also became the first city in the future state to be incorporated on this day in 1708.  That was when it received a charter from Queen Anne of England, in whose honor it was renamed. The British settled the area in 1649 and it went through a series of somewhat overcomplicated names, including Town at Proctor's, Town at the Severn, and Anne Arundel's Towne.  Thanks to the importation of slaves into its port, the establishment there grew very wealthy.  By the mid 18th century, Annapolis was home to a number of wealthy residents who turned it into one of the colonies' most elegant cities.  It only grew in importance after the American Revolution, becoming the temporary capital of the newly-formed United States.  And even though it was eventually replaced as the nation's capital, it became Maryland's capital.  Over the years, nearby Baltimore became the state's largest and most industrialized city, allowing Annapolis to maintain a sense of small town charm.  Many of its historic buildings are still standing and are open to the public, including its State House, which is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use.  A trip there can give travelers a sense of what it would have been like to live in the colonies.  I certainly enjoyed my time there, although there are some historic homes I missed out on touring that I might like to check out in the future.  And returning to downtown Annapolis wouldn't be tough on me at all - it really was a relaxing place and I liked the fact that it was compact enough to tour on foot.  But leaving was a little tough - one street on the outskirts of town shifted a little and it took me about half an hour before I could figure out where I was going.  At least I've gotten a GPS system to help me out if I'm there again.

So, yes, in case you haven't noticed, today I'm posting my 400th magnet.  And even though this one ties in with a historic event that occurred on this day, I still think it's appropriate for the occasion.  Annapolis was where I toured my first state capitol building just over a year ago.  I just went inside to have a look around and stumbled into taking a tour.  And I liked it so much that I decided to tour the next state capitol I saw in Dover, Delaware.  That city is also where I was introduced to the concept of Capitol Collectors, folks who travel all across the country to tour every state capitol.  I certainly hadn't intended to become one of them during my visit to Annapolis, but I have nonetheless.  So far, I've made it to thirteen state capitols and have plans to stop by plenty more.  It's been really interesting comparing them, and Annapolis' State House, with its multiple Tiffany stained glass windows and marble seemingly everywhere, is easily one of the nicest I've seen.  It also has a historical significance that not every Capitol can claim, as it was where George Washington resigned his commission of the Continental Army in 1783.  And getting a taste of what it had to offer made me want to check out other state capitols.  I went to Annapolis partially to get magnets to post here, but I ended up taking a path I never would have imagined myself on thanks in part to my stay there.  I suppose it's evidence that publishing this magnet blog has had an effect on my life, even if it's a small one.  But over the last 400 posts, I've certainly learned many new facts - maybe even around one a day.  And, yes, I have plenty more ready to post up here.  At this point, I'm estimating I have over 700 magnets.  I'm definitely looking forward to sharing many more of them up here, one at a time!

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