It’s been one year since Wes Moore was inaugurated the 63rd governor of Maryland, and made history as the first Black person to hold the office.

The Democrat has had a year of ups and downs, from his historic Inauguration Day to a winning legislative session, through drawn out negotiations with the Orioles to helping Maryland land the future F.B.I. headquarters.

On the anniversary of his historic swearing-in ceremony, let’s look back at Moore’s freshman year in office through the lenses of Baltimore Banner journalists.

January

On Jan. 18, 2023, Moore was sworn in on a Bible once owned by Maryland abolitionist Frederick Douglass on the front steps of Maryland’s State House in Annapolis. Thousands from across the state and beyond came to watch, including Moore-family friend and former Maryland journalist Oprah Winfrey and New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Thousands of people packed the Baltimore Convention Center to celebrate the new governor, as well as Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller.

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Gov. Wes Moore listens to speakers during his inauguration as the First African-American governor for the State of Maryland, at the Maryland State House, in Annapolis, MD, Wednesday, January 18, 2023. (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)
Governor Wes Moore and wife Dawn kiss as they dance during the Governors Inauguration Ball Wednesday, Jan.18, 2023 in Baltimore. (Gail Burton for the Baltimore Banner)

February

Moore kicked off February with his first State of the State address before both chambers of the General Assembly. He told lawmakers he wanted Maryland to be a state full of people that wish to serve, whether it be in their community or by joining the ranks of his government.

The governor introduced 10 pieces of legislation, including creating a service year option for high school graduates, and got most of what he wanted passed by lawmakers.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore discusses proposals to protect access to abortion during a press conference at the State House in Annapolis on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023.
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore discusses proposals to protect access to abortion during a press conference at the State House in Annapolis on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. (Pamela Wood)

March

In March, he toured the The Battery development around the Atlanta Braves stadium with Orioles CEO John Angelos, and then went on to spend time at spring training in Sarasota — beginning negotiations on an Orioles lease at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

He also continued his push for legislation in Annapolis, and worked to get his cabinet secretaries confirmed. And Moore enjoyed a perk of the job: Shooting hoops on the court at the University of Maryland, College Park with his son, James.

Gov. Wes Moore plays basketball with his son at the XFINITY Center in College Park after the Terps’ win during the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Gov. Wes Moore and his daughter, Mia, The Terrapin Women's Basketball team beat The Holy Cross Crusaders on Friday, 93-61. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)
A screengrab from an Orioles video shows Gov. Wes Moore, left, standing next to Orioles CEO John Angelos at Truist Park in Atlanta.
A screengrab from an Orioles video shows Gov. Wes Moore, left, standing next to Orioles CEO John Angelos at Truist Park in Atlanta. (Courtesy of Baltimore Orioles PR)

April

A few days before the end of the legislative session, Moore appointed Brig. Gen. Janeen L. Birckhead to lead the state’s military reserve forces and Paul Monteiro, to lead the Department of Service and Civic Innovation, a new state agency Moore created.

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Orioles’ opening day found Moore behind the bar at the iconic Pickles Pub, handing out beers, and even chugging them, with his fellow birds fans. Later, he threw out the first pitch with his two children.

Brig. Gen. Janeen Birckhead and Gov. Wes Moore share a moment during a press conference announcing her nomination for state adjutant general, at the State House in Annapolis, Wednesday, April 5, 2023.
Brig. Gen. Janeen Birckhead and Gov. Wes Moore share a moment during a press conference announcing her nomination for state adjutant general, at the State House in Annapolis, Wednesday, April 5, 2023. (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)

May

Moore signed hundreds of bills into law, including the Trans Equity Health Act, expanding Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming procedures, following up on his earlier celebration of International Transgender Day of Visibility.

As the governor hit 100 days in office, The Baltimore Banner published the first poll gauging Moore’s approval, which rested at 53% approval, with 26% disapproving of his job performance and 20% unsure.

Lawmakers and advocates hold transgender pride flags and pose for pictures with Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson, left, Gov. Wes Moore and House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones during a ceremony at the State House in Annapolis on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. The Trans Equity Health Act was signed into law.
Lawmakers and advocates hold transgender pride flags and pose for pictures with Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson, left, Gov. Wes Moore and House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones during a ceremony at the State House in Annapolis on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. The Trans Equity Health Act was signed into law. (Pamela Wood)
Gov. Wes Moore autographs an event program for a supporter before a Memorial Day Service at King Memorial Park on May 29, 2023. Founded in 1973, the cemetery celebrated it’s 50th anniversary this year. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

June

Moore re-launched planning efforts for the Red Line, a proposed east-west transit route in Baltimore, on a hot summer afternoon, saying “the stars are aligned” for the project. He also celebrated Juneteenth and marked one year of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Governor Wes Moore with a parade participant. Baltimore Pride Parade in Baltimore, Maryland. (Federal Hill Photography; LLC)
Governor Wes Moore clasps his hands during Malcolm Ruff's annual Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 17, 2023. (Dylan Thiessen/The Baltimore Banner)

July

July opened with one of the worst episodes of gun violence in Maryland history: 30 people, mostly teens and young adults, shot in the Brooklyn neighborhood, with two dying. Two days after, Moore visited the neighborhood and promised to help address community safety concerns.

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The governor also traveled out of state, raising money for Democratic governors at “billionaire summer camp” and giving a graduation speech in Jamaica. And as Orioles lease talks continued, he made a guest appearance as “Governor Splash” in the Bird Bath zone at Camden Yards.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, left, takes questions outside a community center in Brooklyn on July 4, 2023, to discuss the mass shooting that took place nearby a few days earlier, standing alongside Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and other elected Maryland and local government officials. (Ulysses Muñoz / The Baltimore Banner)

August

Moore forewarned county officials at the annual Maryland Association of Counties summer conference of tough budget decisions ahead for the state as expenses threatened to outpace revenues.

Ever the sports fan and former college football player, the governor took in a preseason Washington Commanders vs. Baltimore Ravens game at FedEx Field. He’s continued to attend multiple games for both teams.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore greets fans along the sidelines before a preseason game between the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Commanders at FedEx Field on Monday, August 21, 2023. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, left, and Gov. Wes Moore share a laugh in the exhibition hall at the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference in Ocean City on Aug. 18, 2023.
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, left, and Gov. Wes Moore share a laugh in the exhibition hall at the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference in Ocean City on Aug. 18, 2023. (Pamela Wood)

September

There were fun and games at the Maryland State Fair, but more people remember when an announcement flashed on the video board at Camden Yards, proclaiming that the state and the Orioles reached a 30-year deal to keep the team playing in Baltimore. Moore was shown celebrating alongside Angelos — though it became clear the next day that the deal was not a formal lease, but rather a non-binding memorandum of understanding. Moore has maintained it was a key progress point in lease negotiations.

Gov. Wes Moore is shown as the Orioles announced during Thursday night's game that they agreed to a deal keeping the team in Camden Yards for at least 30 years.
Gov. Wes Moore is shown as the Orioles announced during Thursday night's game that they agreed to a deal keeping the team in Camden Yards for at least 30 years. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

October

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks earned Moore’s endorsement in October for her campaign to win U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin’s seat. Over in Baltimore, Moore gathered with high-powered Maryland politicians in support of MCB Real Estate Co-founder David Bramble’s plans to remake Baltimore’s Harborplace with residential high rises, an amphitheater and retail space — and maybe even a gondola.

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Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and Gov. Wes Moore speak with reporters after Moore endorsed Alsobrooks in the 2024 race for U.S. Senate at an event at Monument City Brewing in Baltimore on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023.
Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and Gov. Wes Moore speak with reporters after Moore endorsed Alsobrooks in the 2024 race for U.S. Senate at an event at Monument City Brewing in Baltimore on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Pamela Wood)
MCB Real Estate Co-Founder David Bramble embraces Governor Wes Moore after speaking at a press conference where the Harborplace plans and designs are being revealed, at the Light Street pavilion on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023 in Baltimore, MD.
MCB Real Estate Co-Founder David Bramble embraces Governor Wes Moore after speaking at a press conference where the Harborplace plans and designs are being revealed, at the Light Street pavilion on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023 in Baltimore, MD. (Wesley Lapointe/The Baltimore Banner)

November

Moore flexed his political muscles, campaigning for state legislative candidates in Virginia — and most of them won. He also celebrated the federal government’s decision to build a new FBI headquarters in Greenbelt and saw his ally Ken Ulman named chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore holds up a campaign poster for Virginia state Del. Danica Roem, who is running for state Senate, on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023. Moore visited a Democratic campaign office in Manassas, Va., ahead of that state's legislative elections on Tuesday.
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore holds up a campaign poster for Virginia state Del. Danica Roem, who is running for state Senate, on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023. Moore visited a Democratic campaign office in Manassas, Va., ahead of that state's legislative elections on Tuesday. (Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner)
Maryland Governor Wes Moore, second to left, reacts to a comment made by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) during a press conference on the Selection of Greenbelt for the FBI's New Headquarters in Greenbelt, Maryland, on Friday, November 10, 2023. (Tom Brenner for the Baltimore Banner) (Tom Brenner/The Baltimore Banner)

December

Finally, finally: Moore’s team and the Baltimore Orioles reachedand signeda new lease agreement to keep the ballclub at Camden Yards, just ahead of an end-of-year deadline. The Oriole Bird was there, but Angelos was not.

And the state’s tough financial picture began to come in closer view, with Moore’s Department of Transportation proposing more than $3 billion in cuts over the next six years to highway and transit projects.

Gov. Wes Moore signs the new Orioles lease deal at the end of a special session of the Board of Public Works at Camden Yards on Monday, December 18, 2023. Both the BPW Board and the Maryland Stadium Authority voted to extend the Orioles’ lease at the ballpark after a long series of negotiations. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)
Gov. Wes Moore takes questions from reporters after signing the new lease deal following a special session of the Board of Public Works at Camden Yards on Monday, December 18, 2023. Both the BPW Board and the Maryland Stadium Authority voted to extend the Orioles’ lease at the ballpark after a long series of negotiations. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

January 2024

Moore enters his second year in office, continuing to promise to “win the decade” and to “leave no one behind.” He managed to close the budget gap without tax hikes and has proposed a series of bills including measures aimed at helping military families, boosting housing availability and creating a gun safety center. He promises to be an “active” part of discussions to address juvenile crime.

Gov. Wes Moore walks to the podium for a press gaggle on the opening day of the Maryland general assembly in Annapolis, Md. on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024. (Kylie Cooper/The Baltimore Banner)

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