Laurel was formed from land on the fall line of the Patuxent River patented by the Snowden family in 1658 as part of the 12,250-acre New Birmingham plantation, which included the later Montpelier. The Washington Turnpike Road Company built Route 1 between 1796 and 1812, creating a major North-South land route.
Laurel’s claim to fame: the May 15, 1972 attempted assassination of George Wallace at the shopping center. Wallace was running for President on a segregationist platform, though the assassin was apparently motivated more by a desire to be famous than any political or social stance.
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