Happy 174th Birthday, Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Sun turns 174 years old today, and I sure hope that means cake and ice cream in the newsroom.

It's worth noting the milestone, with or without birthday party treats, since so much has changed since the paper first rolled off the presses on May 17, 1837.

The most obvious transformation is one that Arunah Shepherdson Abell, the Rhode Island printer who founded the paper with two partners, could not have even imagined: The Sun doesn't just exist on paper anymore. It delivers information online, through mobile and in print, helping The Sun reach more than 1.2 million Maryland readers every week.

Over its long history, The Sun has won 15 Pulitzers Prizes, most recently in 2003, when Diana K. Sugg, then a medical reporter for The Sun, was honored for beat reporting. We also have won numerous other journalism awards, including being named newspaper of the year in the annual Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association contest the past two years.

For a look at The Sun of old, please check out this special section on the History of The Baltimore Sun.

We also invite you to see a gallery of historic front pages.

The masthead we're using online today is similar the 1837 original.

And there's an article my colleague Frederick N. Rasmussen wrote last year about the history of The Sun's vignette, or nameplate. There's a related photogallery worth looking at, too.

Finally, if you'd like to share your thoughts about The Sun, please comment below or "like" us on Facebook.

We'll do the same for you when you hit 174.