'Ravenstown' Readies for Influx of Safety Professionals

Baltimore, host city of next week's Safety 2010, is known as a "City of Firsts" for good reason. In 1743, its Maryland Jockey Club became the first professional sports organization in the United States; in 1774, the city opened the first post office system in the country; in 1816, it became the first city to illuminate streets with hydrogen gas; and in 1920, its Rustless Iron & Steel Co. became the first factory to manufacture stainless steel. And that's just scratching the surface.

Now that ASSE's Professional Development Conference is only days away and all other details of your trip are hopefully in order, it is prime time to offer up some potentially useful or at least interesting factoids about where you're going, especially for those who will be getting their first taste of the City of Firsts. And for that, we turn to the Baltimore City Guide (www.baltimorecityguide.net/baltimore-facts.php), which offers these tidbits about "Ravenstown":

  • The tallest building in Baltimore is the Legg Mason Building, which has 40 floors.
  • During the 1800s, Baltimore was the second greatest port of entry by immigrants to the USA.
  • The city of Baltimore is an independent city, meaning that it is not part of any county in Maryland. It was at one time part of Baltimore County that now borders it.
  • Baltimore was the first city in the nation to implement city-wide 311 service as a non-emergency hotline.
  • The name Baltimore comes from Lord Baltimore, the founder and proprietor of the colony of Maryland. The name "Baltimore" translates from the Irish language as meaning "Town of the Big House."
  • Baltimore was home to a Canadian Football League team in 1994 and 1995; it originally intended to play under the name of the Baltimore Colts (the beloved NFL Colts had left the city for Indianapolis a decade earlier) but lost the right to do so because of a lawsuit. Instead, it played under the name the Baltimore Stallions.
  • According to the U.S. Census, Baltimore's peak in population came in 1950, when it had 949,708 people.

The latest number from the Census Bureau (estimating for 2009), has Baltimore's population now at 637,418, but at least for a few days next week, when ASSE and some 4,000 of its closest members gather there, the sidewalks overlooking Inner Harbor may seem a bit more crowded than that.

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