Maryland Day Our 364th birthday: The question remains -- just who is this state named after?

March 25, 1998

FOR YEARS, Marylanders have gone along with the historians -- one historian repeating another -- and assumed that the name given this colony 364 years ago today, Terra Mariae, honors Henriette-Marie, the French-Italian wife of the Charles I of England.

Proof? Contemporary witness or document? Let's not be fussy.

But now, here and there, voices mention Mary of the Gospels (as in St. Mary's City). Vagueness, in that embattled long ago, could even have been purposeful.

So how does modern promotion man react, modern marketing woman? Maryland, you see, honors Marys past (Mary Garrett, Mary Risteau, Mary Fisher, Mary Shearer, Mary Katharine Goddard) -- and Marys present or future. Mary, Maria, Molly, Miriam. It's a grand old-new name and, it follows, a very fine place.

After whom is Maryland named? After you, my dear.

Pub Date: 3/25/98

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