Question: Did you know that the landing at St. Clement’s Island in St. Mary’s County marks the founding of Maryland?
It’s true! The landing at St. Clement’s Island on March 25, 1634, marks the founding of Maryland and an important moment for religious heritage in the United States, for Catholicism specifically, and the broader principle of religious tolerance.
Although the English laid claim to the land for a new colony, St. Clement’s Island was part of a large landscape that had been inhabited by the Piscataway people for thousands of years. The colonists lingered there for a few weeks, while English leaders met with Piscataway leaders. Then, having decided that the 400-acre island was too small for their settlement, the English moved downriver to the site that would become St. Mary’s City and Maryland’s first capital.
The anniversary of the landing is marked by Maryland Day, which takes place each year on or near the date of the colonists’ arrival. This year’s event takes place Friday, March 24 beginning 2 p.m. The one-hour commemorative program honors the first brave settlers who founded the Maryland colony. The event is free and open to the public.