Maryland Growth since World War II

Since World War II, public-works legislation, particularly that concerning roads and other traffic arteries, has brought major changes. The opening of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in 1952 spurred significant industrial expansion on the Eastern Shore; a parallel bridge was opened in 1973. The Patapsco River tunnel under Baltimore harbor was completed in 1957, and the Francis Scott Key Bridge (1977), crosses the Patapsco. Other construction projects have included the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, formerly called Friendship International Airport (1950), south of Baltimore, and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (1954). The state gained a different kind of attention in 1968 when its governor, Spiro T. Agnew was elected vice president.

Maryland experienced tremendous suburban growth in the 1980s, especially in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. This growth occurred in spite of a decline in government jobs, as service sector employment rose dramatically. Suburban Baltimore grew as well although the city proper lost 6.4% of its population during the 1980s. Baltimore undertook major revitalization projects in the 1980s and the early 1990s, including the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the new home of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team.

Maryland has become increasingly popular as a vacation area—Ocean City is a popular seashore resort, and both sides of Chesapeake Bay are lined with beaches and small fishing towns. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge has brought the culture of the Eastern Shore, formerly quite distinctive, into a more homogeneous unity with that of the rest of the state; the area, however, is still noted for its unique rural beauty and architecture, strongly reminiscent of the English countryside left behind by early settlers.

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