Baltimore is a popular tourist destination in Maryland, in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States of America, near Washington, D.C. It is perhaps most famously known historically as the city where Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics for the Star Spangled Banner during the Battle of Baltimore of the War of 1812. Today it has become a major center for tourism and travel. Local highlights include excellent seafood (steamed blue crabs, raw oysters, Maryland crab cakes, and Maryland crab soup) and Camden Yards (the first "retro" major league ball park and where the Baltimore Orioles play). Baltimore possesses a vibrant arts scene with the largest free arts festival in the US (Artscape) occurring annually in July, a renowned arts museum American Visionary Arts Museum that is dedicated to outsider art, and the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins. It is also home to Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, University of Baltimore, Loyola University, Goucher College, and the Notre Dame of Maryland University.
Baltimore has a long and rich history. It is very well-known for being the site of the historic Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. Over the course of the battle, British invaders bombed Fort McHenry with rockets as Francis Scott Key wrote what would become the American national anthem. Baltimore was also the site of the first casualty of the American Civil War. It has a large African-American population that has played an important role in its history. African Americans have had a major presence in Baltimore since the Revolutionary War. During that time they were brought to Baltimore as slaves from Africa. Baltimore was also one of the hotbeds during the American Civil Rights movement and famous African-Americans such as Thurgood Marshall and Kweisi Mfume have made Baltimore their hometown. Rap and R&B artists such as Tupac, Dru Hill and Mario have also emerged from Baltimore. Currently, African-Americans form a majority (within the city limits) at 64%.