In about 24 weeks, VAR’s 88th Convention & Expo will kick off for the first time ever in Baltimore, Maryland. Yes, Maryland. I said it. Virginia REALTORS® do leave Virginia on occasion. (GASP)

Obviously we aren’t the first first for 279 year-old B-more and our Virginia convention in Maryland follows quite a few other interesting inaugural events in the city. Here are a few for your notes, just in case you end up on jeopardy and the category is “The City of Hun:” (courtesy of our friends at the Baltimore CVB)

1800: First investment banking house in America founded by Alexander Brown. Thank Baltimore for your 401k’s and hedge funds

1811: First to import and package tea in America. The next time you order a good ole southern glass of ice tea, don’t forget about the northerners who brought it over.

1814: First printing of the Star Spangled Banner in the United States by Samuel Sands. Oh oh say can you read…

1819: First agricultural publication in the U.S. The American Farmer. The next time you meet a well read farmer, remember Baltimore’s where it started.

1828: First American umbrella factory in the U.S. Yes, Baltimore helps you hate the weather man a little less.

1830: First railroad depot in the U.S. at Pratt and Poppleton Streets All aboard!

1831: First National Nominating Conventions for President in the U.S. Not in Florida? You don’t say.

1838: First iron steamboat built in this country. This one makes sense.

1839: First dental college in the world: Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. Got teeth?

1844: First telegraph line in the U.S. routed between Washington and Baltimore by Samuel Morse. I think in honor of this year’s convention, we should all use telegraphs instead of our smart phones. Can you Twit with a telegraph?

1844: First publicly supported high schools for girls: Eastern High School and Western High School. Is it coincidence that the telegraph and high school girl were created in the same year?

1851: First commercial ice cream factory in America. Before Häagen-Dazs® there was….

1859: First YMCA erected in America at Pierce and Schroeder Streets Village People in the 1800s?

1867: First pediatrician and gynecologist in the U.S. Dr. Wm. T. Howard, University of Maryland sets up shop. Not funny, just important. Perfect question for final jeopardy.

1883: Invention of the typesetting machine: Ottmor Mergenthalern A-S-D-F-J-K-L-; My job would be a lot harder without this one.

1885: First Commercial electric car line in the Western Hemisphere. I think it’s time we improve and revive this idea.

1892: First bottle cap made in the U.S. Who knew Baltimore was instrumental in us paying for tap water?

1901: First woman professor at a medical school in the U.S. Dr. Florence Rena Sabin, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Women could teach us something about taking care of people? Really?

2008: First VAR Convention & Expo in Baltimore September 24-28, 2008. Why should you attend? Log on to VARBuzz on May 8th for the nuts and bolts of how this year’s Convention aims to improve your business.

Until next time…

-Jovan