The law signed by Calvert on Aug. 8, 1729, authorized the "act of erecting a town on the north side of the Patapsco" on 60 acres north of Water Street and east of Light Street, near what's now the heart of the city's financial district.
To Shoken's way of thinking, a bill is just a bill until the governor signs it. In truth, though, if you'd made it to the north bank of the Patapsco on either day, you wouldn't have seen much.
"The city didn't happen until they laid it out and sold off the lots," he said.
Shoken discovered the confusion around the date while indulging his habit of double-checking historical events. (Shoken notes that the town was originally spelled "Baltemore.")
"One day I was looking it up, and it said, 'the city of Baltimore was founded,' and I started doing research," he said.