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 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.


In August 1934, two young boys found a treasure trove of gold coins buried in the basement of a home located at 132 South Eden Street in East Baltimore. Their lives were never the same.

In 1836, Maryland native Ford McGill left the African colony of Liberia to attend medical school in America, where he faced discrimination before returning to Africa as a much needed doctor for his community.

Part two of the the story of Montgomery County, Maryland native Rose O'Neale Greenhow, who worked as a spy for the Confederacy during the Civil War, sharing important military intelligence with fellow Southern sympathizers in Washington, DC.

During the Civil War, Montgomery County, Maryland native Rose O'Neal Greenhow worked as a spy for the Confederacy, sharing important military intelligence with fellow Southern sympathizers in Washington, DC.


Jul 18, 2018
Patriots on Fire

Fighting pirates along the Barbary Coastin 1815, US Navy ships encountered a fierce and brave Algerian naval hero, Rais Hamidou.

The strike comes to a head in Baltimore, with railroad workers and other citizens rioting and fighting with National Guard troops.

Golden Images

In July, 1877, the overworked and underpaid railroad men of the B&O went on strike. The strike began in Western Maryland, and rolled east, picking up steam as it headed toward Baltimore.

Getty Images

In the summer of 1925, H. L. Mencken traveled to the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, to cover the trial of John Scopes, who challenged the law against teaching evolution in schools.

"Hound Dog"

Jun 21, 2018

The story behind the hit song, first recorded by Willy May "Big Mama" Thornton, and then Elvis Presley, and written by Baltimore native Jerry Leiber and his partner Mike Stoller.

On June 17, 1905, a freight train collided with a passenger train near Ransom, a little village southeast of Patapsco, Maryland.

"Omaha Beach"

Jun 7, 2018

On June 6th, 1944, soldiers from Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, members of the 29th Division, were among the first soldiers to land at Omaha Beach on the coast of Normandy.

"Jimmie Foxx"

May 30, 2018

Baseball phenom Jimmie Foxx got his start playing with the Easton Farmers in Queen Anne's County before breaking into the big leagues in the late 1920s. 

In the early days of the Maryland colony, John Dandy, the only gunsmith in town, got away with murder for years. This is his story.

Baltimore Sun

After moving to New York in 1890, the Preakness Stakes made its triumphant return to Pimlico in 1909.

In 1840, William Gilmor held a tournament, replete with jousting, a quintain, and gusts clad in Medieval garb, at his Vineyard estate in Baltimore.

"The Maestro"

May 3, 2018

In May, 1891, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky visited Baltimore to give a concert at the Lyceum on Charles Street.

"The Aviator"

Apr 26, 2018

At the beginning of the 20th century, young aviators like Hubert Latham awed spectators with their high-flying antics, including a thrilling Baltimore flyover on November 7, 1910.

"Max Brodel"

Apr 11, 2018

In 1894, Max Brodel came to Baltimore from Leipzig, Germany, and revolutionized the art of medical illustration at Johns Hopkins hospital. He also became friends with H. L. Mencken, and the two of them made music, brewed beer, and enjoyed legendary meals with members of the Saturday Night Club.


Apr 5, 2018

William and Lucy Carter were just two of the passengers on the ill-fated, maiden voyage of the "unsinkable" Titanic in the early hours of April 15, 1912. Traveling first class, they survived the disaster, though their marriage did not.

"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.

While he was imprisoned at Point Lookout in Southern Maryland during the Civil War, poet, musician, and Confederate soldier Sidney Lanier soothed himself and his fellow soldiers with music played on a flute he managed to slip past the guards.


Mar 15, 2018

Between 1851 and 1860, Harriet Tubman freed a reported thousand slaves from the Eastern Shore of Maryland.