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Town Nicknames: Mobtown, Convention City, Monumental City

The Baltimore Polytechnic Institute vs Baltimore City College High school football game has been played since 1888.

The City-Poly football game started on an unknown fall date in 1888, when the two schools played each other at Clifton Park. Athletics at the time were not emphasized or developed very much at the schools. Indeed, Poly's faculty openly discouraged athletics until 1899, when William King became Poly's President. For its part, City had few athletic teams and, in football, consistently endured losing seasons to college teams. Nonetheless, City enjoyed victories over Poly all the way up to 1908. City's players referred to their Poly rivals as `scrubs,' as they were often younger and not as experienced in football skills.

Yet, after twenty years of City victories, the inevitable happened. Poly defeated City in 1908, 11-0, in front of 2,000 spectators at Oriole Park. The win gave Poly the Interscholastic Championship of the East. Since then, the City-Poly game has seen a number of winning streaks, with one team victorious for a number of years until an opposite trend emerges.

Strong, if not excessive, school spirit has been displayed by the schools over the years. The traditional snake dance on Charles Street used to snag traffic for hours in the 1940's. The crowds at the games were consistently over 20,000 and games have been regularly televised since 1947. Finally, the Evening Sun gave a trophy, depicting a runner with his arm outstretched to block a tackler, to the team winning a series of five games. There have been several attempts to steal these trophies from the respective schools over the years.

Yet fundamentally, the City-Poly game reflects a positive tradition. It solidified school spirit and contributed to greater pride and respect for the schools by their students. This pride and respect, in turn, encouraged the students to work more diligently in their classes. Perhaps this is a reason why City and Poly graduates have gone onto successful careers.

Indeed, much of the Baltimore metropolitan area's development has been directly affected by the leadership of Poly and City alumni. Poly graduates have played a major role in creating high technology industries in the region. Meanwhile, Baltimore's political direction has been led by City graduates who collectively have held virtually every important elected office in the area. Finally, graduates of both schools have held key positions in the business field, directing large financial and commercial firms. Clearly then, these schools have exerted a constructive influence on the entire spectrum of Baltimore's growth and progress. - Sam Smith

Baltimore, Maryland was being attacked in an attempted invasion when the Star Spangled Banner was written. - Sam Smith
The Peale Museum in Baltimore, Maryland is the nation's oldest museum building. It was built in Baltimore by painter Rembrandt Peale in 1814 and is still open today. - Sam Smith

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