Your Maryland | WYPR

Your Maryland

Thursdays 5:44 pm

Since 2002, "Your Maryland" hosted by Ric Cottom, has presented little-known human interest stories from Maryland's past.  Beginning with accused witches and the murderous career of John Dandy in the earliest days of the colony, through Morgan State's fabled "Ten Bears" in the 1970s, the show covers nearly four centuries of heroes, scoundrels, floods, fires, riots, plots, athletes (two-and four-legged), beautiful spies, brilliant writers, misunderstood pirates, and ghosts. All of that color, suspense, and humor is part of your Maryland.

Rockets Red Glare Stories

In his early days as a young newspaper reporter, H. L. Mencken and his colleagues often embellished their stories, adding and perfecting details over beers at their favorite local pubs.

The young Englishmen (and few Englishwomen) who first settled around The Chesapeake Bay had very little time to think about "that crazy little thing called love." Money, and a strong work ethic were some of the first qualities they sought in a potential mate, but there were some exceptions, and sometimes, romance ruled the day.

In 1951, Joseph E. Holmes, once known as "The Dinnertime Burglar" for robbing homes whilst families were dining, got a new nickname after he tunneled his way out of the Maryland Peniteniary.

"Tubman and Nalle"

Feb 28, 2019

In April, 1860, Harriet Tubman fought to free Charles Nalle, an escaped slave from Maryland who had made his way to Troy, New York, which had a strong abolitionist community.


Feb 21, 2019

In 1778, John Kilby and other privateers from Maryland languished in Forton Prison near Portsmouth, England, before being released and serving with John Paul Jones aboard the Bonhomme Richard.

"The Iron Duke"

Feb 14, 2019

On a visit to England in 1816, Marianne (Caton) Patterson, the daughter of a prominent Baltimore merchant and granddaughter of Charles Carroll, captured the heart of The Duke of Wellington, a hero of the Battle of Waterloo and one of England’s most dashing and respected men.


Feb 6, 2019

There were a lot of acts of bravery during the fight to control The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904. On this edition of Your Maryland, Ric Cottom tells the story of Goliath, one of the lesser known heroes of that historic blaze.


Jan 31, 2019

Driven by his Catholic belief, a desire for wealth, and a sense of adventure, Cecil Calvert founded the Maryland colony in 1632. Things may have been different if an earlier attempt at a colony, Avalon, had been more successful.

"The Genius"

Jan 23, 2019

In September of 1946, Albert Einstein spent some time relaxing, sailing his little boat, and contemplating peace on a visit to Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland.

In the early days of aviation, daring pilots from all over the world competed for glory (and the Schneider Cup) in Maryland.

 The English Civil War influences events in Maryland in the 17th century, as royalists like the Calverts find themselves at odds with others who support Parliament and the uprising against King Charles .

"She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her." - This is the text of a Gestapo transmission regarding OSS agent Virginia Hall, a Baltimore native who fought with the Resistance in France during World War II. This is her remarkable story.


Dec 20, 2018

In December, 1944, a lone squad of the 29th Division spent a quiet Christmas in a well-stocked German farmhouse, enjoying a brief respite from the bitter cold and constant fighting of the Battle of the Bulge.

On this edition of Your Maryland, we bring you a brief "history" of the household bathtub, courtesy of Baltimore's own H. L. Mencken.

"Gus Rice"

Dec 5, 2018

In the late 19th century, Gus Rice and his band of pirate dredgers illegally harvested oysters in and around the Chesapeake Bay and her tributaries, scoffing at the law and leaving havoc in their wake.

In the 1920s, two extraordinary students attended the Colored High and Training School in Baltimore. After graduation, their lives took very different paths, but each shared his particular talents with the world, arguably making it a better place for all of us.


Nov 21, 2018

On this episode of Your Maryland, we trace the history of Thanksgiving, from early religious "days of thanksgiving," the Pilgrims harvest feast with their Native American neighbors, Lincolns proclamation after Gettysburg and the Victorians, to the largely secular gatherings of today.

From the beginning, the state of Maryland, and Baltimore, in particular, has had a passionate relationship with its writers. Here, we celebrate some of the best.

"Over There"

Nov 8, 2018

After the sinking of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915, Henry C. Evans was one of the first Americans to volunteer to fight against the Germans, first with the French Army and then with the American Expeditionary Forces in France.

Legends and lore about the ghosts and ghouls that haunt the hills of Western Maryland.

During the 1950s, a 300 pound former Marine from the Bronx and his teammates led the Baltimore Colts to thrilling victories and a league championship in 1958.

On election day in 1856, rival political gangs solidified Baltimore’s reputation as “Mobtown.”

In the lead-up to election day in 1856, rival political gangs solidified Baltimore’s reputation as “Mobtown.”  

"The Monster"

Sep 27, 2018

In the early 18th century, Thomas Cresap, one of Western Maryland's most notorious residents, did things his way along the Maryland - Pennsylvania border.

On September 17, 1862, many soldiers of the 5th Maryland infantry, made up of mostly German immigrants from Baltimore, lost their lives along a sunken road at Antietam.

On September 17, 1862, many soldiers of the 5th Maryland infantry, made up of mostly German immigrants from Baltimore, lost their lives along a sunken road at Antietam.

"Johnny U."

Sep 12, 2018

Before he became a Baltimore Colts legend, Johnny Unitas had to overcome some tough odds, both on, and off, the field.

During the Civil War, Barbara Frietchie defiantly waved a Union flag from her window as Confederate Troops passed by her home in Frederick, Maryland.

William Charles, Library of Congress

During the War of 1812, Captain Peter Parker of the British Royal Navy created havoc as he and his crew sailed around the Chesapeake Bay, raiding and burning houses as troops prepared to sack Washington.

"Joshua Barney"

Aug 22, 2018
Maryland Historical Society

On August 24, 1813, during the Battle of Bladensburg, Commodore Joshua Barney and 360 sailors and 120 Marines defended Washington—fighting against the British hand-to-hand with cutlasses and pikes.