Events & Programs
Friends of Fort McHenry is excited to get back to supporting and promoting public programming as the historic Star Fort and grounds of Fort McHenry open up again to normal operation. Please make sure to subscribe to our mailing list to be kept up to date with all current events with both the Fort & Friends.
A 4-part virtual program series produced by the National Park Service in partnership with Friends of Fort McHenry
“The loss of Baltimore would have been the loss of Maryland; the loss of Maryland would have been the loss of the national capital, and, perhaps if not probably, the loss of the Union Cause.”
—General John Adams Dix, US Army
By April 1861, the secession crisis brought the United States to a breaking point, and as the possibility of civil war loomed, the spring was filled with tension, turmoil, and uncertainty. Join National Park Service rangers and scholars from throughout Maryland this month as we explore stories of one of the most critical moments in the history of the United States— April 1861 in Baltimore.
We’ll examine the immediate aftermath of the secession crisis and the Pratt Street Riots, and the consequences faced by Baltimoreans as the U.S. Army scrambled to maintain control over the city at the outset of the Civil War. We’ll explore the short- and long-term impacts of martial rule and President Lincoln’s suspension of fundamental civil liberties to ensure the security of rail lines and the nation’s capital. Discover a city of divided loyalties and interests, and how the events of April 1861 impacted the lives of civilians, soldiers, and free and enslaved African Americans.
This program is made possible in part through generous donation by the George Rich Family Foundation.