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Massachusetts : State History Dates

Guest Author - Tammy Cordani

Not many states have the varied and unique history of Massachusetts. We take a look at when some of the important dates in the history of the state occurred.

May 15, 1602 - Explorer Bartholomew Gosnold arrived at Cape Cod.

September 16, 1620 - The Pilgrims began their journey to the New World onboard the Mayflower.

December 6, 1620 - Some of those aboard the Mayflower ventured onto land.

February 17, 1621 - Miles Standish became the Plymouth colony’s first commander.

April 1, 1621 - The first treaty between Native Americans and colonists was created today.

September 7, 1630 - Trimountaine was renamed and the city officially became known as Boston, the capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

September 8, 1636 - Harvard University was founded.

November 5, 1639 - The first post office in the U.S. was established in Massachusetts.

June 21, 1684 - The Massachusetts Bay Colony’s charter was officially revoked by King Charles II.

February 3, 1690 - Massachusetts became the first place in America to use paper currency.

September 17, 1691 - Queen Mary II of England grants the Massachusetts Bay Colony a new charter.

February 28, 1692 - This was the beginning of the legendary Salem Witch hunts. Over the next few months twenty people would lose their lives as part of the witch trials.

January 17, 1706 - The legendary Founding Father of the United States who also had a hand in discovering electricity, Benjamin Franklin, was born in Boston.

September 14, 1716 - Boston Harbor became the location of the first lighthouse in America.

January 1, 1735 - One of the most infamous figures in the history of the American Revolution, Paul Revere, was born in Boston.

January 23, 1737 - John Hancock, one of the founding fathers, was born. In 1780, he became the first official governor of Massachusetts and is probably best known for his signature on the Declaration of Independence.

September 17, 1766 - Samuel Wilson, who some believe is behind the renowned icon, Uncle Sam, was born in what is now present day Arlington, Massachusetts.

March 5, 1770 - British soldiers fired on a group of citizens, killing five, in what was to become known as the Boston Massacre.

December 16, 1773 - To rebuff a tax on tea, several colonists boarded ships in Boston Harbor and dumped the tea overboard. This infamous incident became known as the Boston Tea Party.

April 18, 1775 - “Listen my children and you shall hear, the midnight ride of Paul Revere…” Paul Revere made his legendary ride to forewarn those that the British troops were coming.

April 19, 1775 - The American Revolution started with battles in Lexington and Concord.

June 17, 1775 - The Battle of Bunker Hill, considered to be one of the bloodiest skirmishes of the war, took place.

July 3, 1775 - George Washington officially became the commander of the American/Continental Army in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

August 29, 1786 - Springfield, Massachusetts was the site of the Shay’s Rebellion uprising.

February 3, 1787 - Shay’s Rebellion was squelched.

February 6, 1788 - Massachusetts became the sixth U.S. state.

March 4, 1797 - Massachusetts native John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) became the second President of the United States.

July 4, 1804 - Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of such novels as “The Scarlet Letter” and “The House of the Seven Gables” was born in what is now Salem, Massachusetts.

January 19, 1809 - Edgar Allan Poe, the renowned author of “The Raven” and “Fall of the House of Usher” was born in Boston.

July 12, 1817 - Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author of “On Walden Pond” was born in Concord, Massachusetts.

February 15, 1820 - Susan B. Anthony, one of the leading women’s rights activists was born in Adams, Massachusetts.

March 4, 1825 - Massachusetts native John Quincy Adams (July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1948), son of John Adams, became the sixth U.S. President.

October 7, 1826 - Quincy, Massachusetts became the location for the first railroad in the United States.

May 18, 1852 - Massachusetts became the first state to require all children who were of age to attend school.

November 9, 1872 - The Great Boston Fire of 1872 began in a warehouse. The fire would destroy close to 800 buildings.

March 10, 1876 - “Mr. Watson, come here, I need you” were the words uttered by Alexander Graham Bell in Boston. This would be considered the world’s first telephone call.

August 12, 1881 - Cecil B. DeMille, the man behind the camera for such classics as “Ben Hur” and “The Ten Commandments”, was born in Massachusetts.

August 4, 1892 - The infamous murders of Andrew and Abby Borden occurred in Fall River, Massachusetts. Andrew’s daughter, Lizzie Borden, would be charged and later acquitted of the murders.

February 9, 1895 - The first known game of Volleyball took place in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

September 1, 1897 - The first subway in the United States opened in Boston.

March 2, 1904 - The infamous Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) who wrote “The Cat in the Hat” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was born in Springfield, Massachusetts.

January 12, 1912 - Thousands of workers from textile factories went on strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts in opposition to cut wages. The strike would officially end in March.

August 2, 1923 - Former Massachusetts Governor, Calvin Coolidge (July 4, 1872-January 5, 1933), became the 30th President of the United States.

December 23, 1954 - The first successful organ transplant occurred in Boston when the kidney of Ronald Herrick was transplanted into his brother.

July 25, 1956 - The ocean liner, the Andrea Doria, sank off the coast of Nantucket Island after a collision at sea.

January 20, 1961 - Massachusetts native John F. Kennedy (May 29, 1917-November 22, 1963) was inaugurated the 35th U.S. President.

June 14, 1962 - The Boston Strangler began terrorizing unsuspecting women. Over the course of two years, thirteen women were killed. Albert DeSalvo was eventually convicted of the crimes.

July 19, 1999 - John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn and her sister Lauren were killed when their plane crashed into the waters off of Martha’s Vineyard.

July 26, 2004 - The Democratic National Convention convened in Boston.

October 27, 2004 - The Boston Red Sox claimed victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.






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Content copyright © 2014 by Tammy Cordani. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Tammy Cordani. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Vance R. Rowe for details.

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