Happy Birthday, Maryland Gazette!

In most offices, it doesn’t take much to merit free food. But at the Capital-Gazette office today, we had a real reason for a modest celebration.

We enjoyed delicious (seriously, delicious!) cupcakes in honor of the 284th birthday of the Maryland Gazette. Yes, that’s right — 284th birthday.

The Maryland Gazette was founded this week in 1727, rolling off the presses of William Parks in Annapolis.

The Gazette has a cool history, including a brief pause in printing in protest of the Stamp Act, having one of the first female publishers in the country and playing a pivotal role in Alex Haley tracing his famous “Roots” to the slave Kunta Kinte, who was sold at Annapolis City Dock. You can read it all here. (Along with the history of our company’s flagship publication, The Capital.)

Two of the early publishers, Jonas Green and his wife Anne Catharine Green, are remembered around town. Jonas Green Park — one of my favorite places in the Annapolis area — is a little waterfront park named for the publisher. A portrait of Anne Catharine Green hangs as public art on the Severn Bank Building on Westgate Circle.

The Maryland Gazette has evolved over the years, and today is a twice-weekly newspaper serving northern and western Anne Arundel County. I’m proud to say that I launched my post-college journalism career at one of the oldest newspapers in our country.

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