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Best History Museums in Baltimore

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USS Constellation

Commissioned in 1855, the USS Constellation was the last all-sail ship built by the United States Navy. Today, the historic vessel lies at anchor in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, where visitors can climb aboard and learn about the ship's history, including its mission to disrupt the slave trade and its latter role in delivering famine relief supplies to Ireland.

Baltimore, MD, USA
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Historic Ships in Baltimore

The historic vessels and landmarks of this museum bring to life the history of American naval power. The US Coast Guard Cutter Taney (surviving warship in Pearl Harbor), USS Torsk (fired last two torpedoes in World War II), the lightship Chesapeake (served as floating lighthouse for 40 years) and the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse (helped sailors navigate Chesapeake Bay for more than 100 years) all played a vital and heroic role in US military war and peacekeeping. Special student programs are also available at Historic Ships in Baltimore.

Baltimore, MD, USA
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Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum

Babe Ruth is so much a part of New York Yankees lore, people forget that he was born, raised and introduced to professional baseball in Baltimore. This museum celebrates the Babe's Baltimore roots, displaying his boyhood bat, the score card from his first professional game. Artifacts from his father's saloon, which stood where Oriole Park is today, are also on display. The museum is also the official repository of Orioles team memorabilia.

Baltimore, MD, USA
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Baltimore Civil War Museum

The restored President Street Station, built in 1849, was first a stop on the Underground Railroad. On April 19, 1861, it became the site of the first casualties of the Civil War. The 6th Massachusetts Regiment stopped in Baltimore to switch trains and clashed with Southern sympathizers. Firing ensued and four soldiers and 12 civilians were killed. Exhibits and walking tours chronicle the story of the 6th Regiment.

Baltimore, MD, USA
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Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was once one of the most important freight and passenger lines in the country. The museum, located in a converted switching yard west of downtown, was the final destination for dozens of the steam locomotives and diesel engines that traveled along that railroad. Visitors are welcome to climb aboard and inspect the giant machines, many of which are kept in a restored house that also holds a wealth of historical displays and railroad memorabilia.

Baltimore, MD, USA
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National Great Blacks in Wax Museum

The nation's first wax museum of African-American history and culture features more than 100 life-life figures, including Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass, Nat Turner and Harriet Tubman. The figures represent various periods in African-American history, from the colonial era to the present. A replica of a slave ship and an exhibit on youth complete the museum's offerings. See their website for further information. The museum opens from Tuesday to Saturday at 9a and on Sunday at 12p.

Baltimore, MD, USA
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Baltimore Museum of Art

The soul of this museum is its spacious wing dedicated to Modern Art masters like Rothko, de Kooning, Pollock and their contemporaries. The museum has the second largest private collection of Andy Warhol's works. It also features Oceanic and American Indian art, a sizable Old Masters collection and a beautiful sculpture garden. The BMA is also home to the Cone collection, which is a treasury of Early Modern masterpieces.

Baltimore, MD, USA
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