What Do You Know about Maryland’s First State Sport?

Maryland Stories

1962 was a turbulent year in American History. The Cuban Missile Crisis began, Rachel Carson released her pivotal work Silent Spring, and Tom Cruise was born. In the midst of this national turmoil, a small, but still notable, bill was introduced into the Maryland State Legislature. When signed into law, House Bill 80 would make Maryland the first state in the country to adopt an official “State Sport.”

Maryland House Bill 80 recognizing jousting as the state sport of Maryland. Courtesy of the Maryland State Archives. Maryland House Bill 80 recognizing jousting as the state sport of Maryland. Source: Maryland State Archives, Archives of Maryland, Volume 651, Page 474.

But what sport to pick? Baseball? Football? Quite unexpectedly, the Bill stated that “The age old equestrian sport of Jousting is hereby proclaimed to be the official sport of the State of Maryland.” That’s right, jousting. The honorable Henry J. Fowler Sr. introduced House Bill 80 to the Maryland’s Legislature in an effort to make jousting a part…

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