MRE began with laughs over a beer and transformed itself into a large independent entity. MRE started to promote civic awareness and have some fun, and now raises thousands of dollars for area charities. MRE brought together ordinary citizens with extraordinary abilities and has captured the attention of the local and national press. MRE is the Maritime Republic of Eastport.
So, what, exactly is the MRE?
Eastport has always boasted a proud history. Lafayette's troops camped here on their way to defeat the British at Yorktown in 1781. In 1776, Fort Horn was built, protecting the harbor from invasion by the British fleets during the Revolutionary War and again during the War of 1812. The town of Eastport was established in 1868 and annexed into the City of Annapolis in 1951. Eastport continued to wallow under the shadow of Annapolis proper until the uprising on Independence Day, Sunday, Jan. 25, 1998.
Like any great movement, the concept for the Maritime Republic of Eastport began in a local pub over a couple mugs of beer. The prime mission was to find a creative way to promote and encourage the patronage of Eastport businesses that were destined to be hurt by the Maryland State Highway Administration's shutting down for repair of the drawbridge connecting mainland Annapolis with the Eastport peninsula. The citizens of Eastport took advantage of their isolation to sever their social, political and economic ties as well.
The goal was to foster a spirit of independence and merriment in a manner befitting the character of Eastport and at the same time, to celebrate Eastport's proud heritage and quality of life.
So the Maritime Republic of Eastport was founded on Super Bowl Sunday, 1998, when patriots residing on the Horn Point peninsula rose up in revolt against the snobbish suppression of "Annapolis Proper" across the harbor.
With the roar of cannon, the firing of Brussels sprouts from the muskets of military reenactors, and the blaring of the horns of the Eastport Chamberpot Orchestra, the Republic established its own passports, currency, national anthem, navy, militia, as well as its own flag emblazoned with a coat of arms flanked with rampant retrievers and the motto, "We like it this way!"
Barber Leon Wolfe was appointed Prime Minister, and his popular shop on Fourth Street-now known as the "Avenue of the Republic"-became the capitol of the fledgling nation. MRE served to galvanize the populace, and in the process, thousands of dollars were raised to support neighborhood nonprofit groups.
In May of that year, 1998, the MRE Minister of the Navy, Admiral Bob Slaff, gathered a victorious armada of 34 privateers and paraded around Annapolis Harbor while firing cannons, effectively capturing it for the MRE.
In November 1998, the feisty MRE gang proposed a tug-of-war to the townspeople of Annapolis, and a tradition began. The Annapolis Jaycees took on the job of representing Annapolis in this endeavor. The MRE folks won and the Annapolis Harbor was renamed the Gulf of Eastport in honor of that victory.
In the first annual Tug-of-War the victorious MRE teams won two out of three tugs. The second annual tug in November 1999 proved MRE victorious once more, winning the best of seven heats. Surveyors discovered afterward that the competitors tugged so hard that the Eastport peninsula is now 2.1403 meters closer to City Dock than it was before the first tug.
Now that the MRE has successfully established its independence and aided the prosperity of Eastport's businesses, it has directed its attention on ensuring that the MRE remains one of the best places to live ANYWHERE! We are committed to improving the quality of life here and hold numerous charitable events to benefit needy organizations.
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