John Wilkes Booth
Born near Bel Air, Maryland, John Wilkes Booth was a prominent actor of mid-19th century America. But he gained the infamous title of assassin when he killed the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, at Ford's Theater in Washington, DC on April 14, 1865.
Matthew Hanson, one of the world's greatest explorers, was born in Charles City, Maryland. Arctic explorer Robert W. Peary hired Hanson as a personal assistant in 1888. Together they made many expeditions to the Arctic, eventually becoming the first people to reach the North Pole in 1909.
Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key was born in Frederick, Maryland. During the war of 1812, while on a ship in the Baltimore harbor, he witnessed the British attack on the city and the bombardment of Fort McHenry. The valiant defense of Fort McHenry by American forces moved him to write a poem which later became our national anthem in 1931: "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Upton Sinclair, novelist, essayist, playwright, and short story writer, was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He is best known for his novel The Jungle which exposed the appalling conditions in the meat packing plants of Chicago. The book launched a government investigation, changed the food laws in America, and eventually led to led to implementation of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906.
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in Dorchester City, Maryland around 1820. At the age of thirty, Tubman escaped but returned frequently to the South, risking her own life to rescue others. During a 10-year span, she is believed to have escorted approximately 300 slaves to freedom in the North.