Massachusetts History

By | October 15, 2021

Massachusetts is a state in the United States. The state capital and largest city is Boston. In 2006, Massachusetts had 6.4 million residents.

Massachusetts is bordered on the north by New Hampshire and Vermont, on the west by New York, on the south by Connecticut and Rhode Island, and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. In the southeast corner of the state lies the large, sandy peninsula, Cape Cod. The islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are located south of Cape Cod. The highest point in the state is Mount Greylock (1,063 m).

Massachusetts was a center of the movement fighting for independence from Britain, and counterattacks by the British were a major cause of the unity of the 13 indigenous colonies and the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, which began with battles in and around Boston in 1775-76. See directoryaah for museums in Massachusetts.


1498 – English sailor John Cabot sails along the Massachusetts coastline.

1602 – Bartholomew Gosnold sails with his expedition as the first Europeans into Provincetown Harbor, and it was reported here that Gosnold named the entire area of Cape Cod. They followed the following coast, and discovered here i.a. Martha’s Vineyard (which may be named after Gosnold’s daughter or wife). They then established a small settlement on what they called Elizabeth’s Island, today Cuttyhunk Island ; the place is now part of the modern city of Gosnold. Settlement became rapid, however, when the colonists decided to return to England, as they did not have sufficient provisions for the winter.

1614 – Captain John Smith returns to America and sails off the coast of Maine and Massachusetts. He named the area ” New England “. He made two more attempts to return to the area in 1614 and 1615. The first voyage was thwarted by a storm that destroyed his ship, and he was captured by French pirates off the Azores in his second attempt, where, however, he succeeded in fled after two weeks of captivity, and returned to England, where he wrote and published his voyage of discovery, which you can read here.

1620 – The first European settlers, the pilgrims who were passengers on the now famous ship, the Mayflower, established their residence at Plymouth and developed friendly relations with the Wampanoag tribe. Mayflower stands as a symbol of early European colonization of the future United States. About half of the passengers belonged to a small group of religious separatists whose religion was suppressed in Europe. They wanted a life where they could freely practice their faith. This symbol of religious freedom resonates in American society and is recognized as the canon of any American history book. Plymouth is the place where New England was first established, and is thus one of the oldest municipalities in the United States. The pilgrims were soon followed by the Puritans, who founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony near present-day Boston. The Puritans came to Massachusetts with the desire for religious purification and did not tolerate other religions. A number of people therefore left Massachusetts, and thus the colonies of Rhode Island and Connecticut were founded.

1621 – The first Thanksgiving takes place in Massachusetts around the time the first Europeans came to America and the Native Americans helped them obtain food.

1628 – John Endecott establishes a colony near Salem.

1630 – Boston is founded on September 17 by a group of Puritans from England.

1634 – Boston Common Park becomes the state’s first public park, making it the oldest city park in the United States.

1636 – Founded on September 8, the now highly regarded Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, has produced 75 Nobel laureates. Harvard has the world’s 3rd largest book collection, surpassed only by the British Library and Library of Congress. In addition, the university is part of the prestigious Ivy League.

1675-76 – Friction between Europeans and Native Americans led to King Philips’ war, which ended with the Algonquin tribes being finally broken.

1692-93 – Salem Witch Trials were a series of hearings and trials in Essex, Suffolk and Middlesex in the colony Massachusetts in America, between February 1692 and May 1693. Over 150 people were arrested and imprisoned, but even more was suspected but not formally charged by the authorities.

1770 – A clash between British troops and locals in Boston, leads to the Boston Massacre, after prolonged irritation over the presence of English troops.

1773 – A tea party in Boston takes place on December 16, when a group of opponents of the British Empire throw 342 boxes of tea in Boston Harbor.

1775-76 – The occupation of Boston, from April 19, 1775 to March 17, 1776, was the Battle of Bunker Hill in the summer and the Battle of Lexington and Concord in the winter of 1775, the opening phase of the American Revolutionary War. It was also at that time that Paul Revere made his famous midnight ride, riding from Boston to Lexington to warn of the advance of the British Army. See a list of the matches here.

1776 – Between July 4 and 5 in Philadelphia, John Hancock of Boston becomes the first of a total of 56 people to sign the American Declaration of Independence. When you say you have to put your “John Hancock” you mean that you have to sign or sign a document, hence the American term “Put your John Hancock!” He also became the first elected governor of Massachusetts in 1780.

1780 – Massachusetts Constitution is ratified during the American Revolutionary War, seven years before the current United States Constitution is ratified in 1787. Massachusetts now has the oldest current written constitution in the world.

1783 – Massachusetts becomes the first state in the United States to abolish slavery, a legal assessment of the 1780 Constitution.

1786-87 – Daniel Shay, who had fought in the War of Independence, became famous for his armed rebellion against the tax policy of the state on August 28, after learning that the state was driving war veterans into debt because they had not paid the soldiers for their service.

1788 – Massachusetts becomes the 6th state in the United States.

1797 – John Adams becomes the second President of the United States on March 4, after being the first Vice President (1789-1797). He is considered to have been one of the most influential figures in the founding of the United States. Adams was the father of John Quincy Adams, the 6th President of the United States.

1820 – Massachusetts and Maine are separated.

1825 – John Quincy Adams is the first American presidential son to become president on March 4, 1825. Andrew Jackson otherwise obtained the highest number of votes and the highest number of voters, but the House of Representatives elected Adams instead. Four years later, Jackson gained a majority and replaced Adams.

1831 – The Liberator, was an anti-slavery newspaper published in Boston for 35 years and closed after the end of the Civil War. It was followed by The Nation.

1837-43 – Samuel Morse invented the widely used communication system, the Morse code, for a period of over 6 years, for the use of the electric telegraph, which he patented in 1847.

1839 – Charles Goodyear, who discovered and developed the method of rubber vulcanization in Woburn, patented the method June 15, 1844. Recent archaeological finds have shown that vulcanization is not a new thing at all, it was known in Central America so far back as 1600 BCE.

1840 – The typewriter was invented by Charles Thurber, who came into use three years later, but it was so cumbersome to use that it never came into production.

1845 – The actual breakthrough for the sewing machine was made by Elias Howe (1819-67). In 1846 he was granted a patent for a stitching machine that could perform 300 stitches per minute.

1846 – Dr. William Morton, was a dentist who first practiced the use of ether as an anesthetic during an operation at Massachusetts General Hospital.

1860s – Massachusetts sent over 160,000 troops into combat in the Civil War.

1876 – Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone on February 14 and demonstrates it in Boston on June 25. The telephone was invented by the Italian Antoni Meucci back in 1860. However, on June 11, 2002, this recognition was revoked by Bell by the United States Congress, which officially recognized Meucci as the inventor of the telephone.

1891 – Basketball was invented by James Naismith in Springfield.

1895 – William G. Morgan, creates a new game called “Mintonette” in the town of Holyoke. After a demonstration in the nearby town of Springfield, the name was changed to the now more famous ” Vollyball “.

1897 – The first subway station opens on Park Street in Boston, becoming the first in the United States.

1903 – The first trans-Atlantic wireless radio transmission between President Theodore Roosevelt and Edward VII of Great Britain takes place at Marconi Station in Wellfleet.

1907 – First motorized fire truck developed by Knox Manufacturing Company.

1919 – On January 15, extensive destruction occurred in Boston’s North End when a 15 meter high molasses tank at the Purity Distilling Company exploded. The tank contained about 9.5 million liters, and the explosion was powerful enough to tear up the rails and overturn a train on the railway line next to the factory. Several buildings were also demolished. Molassesflowed out in a wave with a height of between 2.5 and 4.5 meters, a speed estimated at approx. 56 km / h and a pressure of 200 kPa. 21 people died and 150 were injured when the scorching heat hit them. The victims were crushed, suffocated or outright boiled by the molasses. It took more than six months to remove the molasses from cobbled streets, houses and cars, and the water in the harbor was still brown in the summer of 1919. Read more here.

1922 – Between 1922 and 1941, Elis F. Stenman builds a house of old newspapers in Rockport, Massachusetts. It still stands.

1923 – On August 2, Calvin Coolidge becomes the 29th President of the United States, following the death of Warren G. Harding. He restored the people’s faith in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor’s administration and still enjoyed some popularity among voters when he left office.

1942 – On November 28, the famous nightclub The Cocoanut Grove in Boston became the center of the deadliest fire in a nightclub in history, when 492 guests (Capacity: 460) perished, injuring 100 others. The tragedy quite briefly overshadowed World War II in the media, leading to heightened security ahead and the aftermath of burnt victims. See pictures here.

1947 – Percy Spencer invented the microwave oven, with the name Raydarange. The microwave had a price of $ 5000, used 3000 W and was 1.7 m high. It was also water-cooled and weighed 340 kg. To begin with, however, it was not used in private homes, but i.a. in trains and luxury liners.

1948 – The invention of the modern camera, the Polaroid Land Camera, is credited to Edward Land, who had invented self-developing films in New York City.

1950 – The first Dunkin ‘Donuts opens in Quincy, Mass. by William Rosenberg.

1954 – The first successful human kidney transplant is performed on a pair of identical twins on December 23 by plastic surgeon Joseph Murray.

1961-1963 – In 1960, John F. Kennedy (Born in Brookline ) was nominated as the Democrats’ presidential candidate, winning the presidential election over Eisenhower’s Vice President Richard Nixon, becoming the youngest person ever elected president (only Theodore Roosevelt was a few months old). younger when he took over William McKinley’s place after his death). Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

1966 – On January 3, Edward W. Brooke, the first African-American to become a Republican. Not until 2010 and 2013 should it happen again. Brooke is also the oldest living ex-senator (94 years).

1969 – On July 18, Ted Kennedy goes to a party on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard. Kennedy drove away with guest participant Mary Jo Kopechne as a passenger in his 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88. According to Kennedy, he drove incorrectly onto an unlit road that led toward Dike Bridge (also spelled Dyke Bridge), a wooden bridge without railings, and drove over the side of the bridge. The car fell into Poucha Pond (see map here ), where Kennedy was able to swim away from the vehicle, but it was not Kopechne. Kennedy claims he tried to swim down to her several times, after which he took a break on the shore a few minutes before returning to Lawrence Cottage where the party had taken place. He pleaded guilty to leaving the place, and received a two-month suspended prison sentence, which led to the case becoming a scandal, and possibly influenced his choice not to run in the 1972 and 1976 presidential elections.

1970 – The rock group Aerosmith, was founded in Boston, and was in the 1970s and late 1980s one of the most popular bands in the heavy rock and heavy metal genre. It was with the album Toys in the Attic that the group broke through in 1975. Here were i.a. the hits ” Sweet Emotion ” and ” Walk This Way “. the breakthrough also led to the release of a previously released single, ” Dream On “, which also became a huge hit.

1982-1993 – Sams Bar (original title Cheers) was an American sit-com that started in the US on September 30, 1982 and the last episode aired on May 20, 1993 in the US. The bar on Beacon Street next to Fenway Park in Boston, where the series was filmed, is today a restaurant with burgers and beer and cocktails. See the website here.

1989 – George HW Bush (b. Milton, MA ), becomes the 41st President of the United States January 20 – January 20, 1993. He is the second of two presidents to have a son in the same office (the first president was John Adams ). In the 1992 election, President Bush was overthrown by the Democratic nominee, Bill Clinton, who was governor of Arkansas.

2001 – ACT, founded in 1994, works primarily with stem cell-based technology, claiming to have created the world’s first human embryo. Read the news article from 2001 here.

2002 – The Roman Catholic Church is exposed in a series of major sex scandals against children from the age of three and up to 14, for which priests, nuns and members of the Roman Catholic Order were convicted. Read more here and here.

2003 – The Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Boston, on Tuesday trumped a settlement to 85 million. dollars (DKK 562 million) in a controversial sex scandal. Read more here. Read a lot more here about sex scandals in the American religious world here.

On July 24, 2003, Ekstrabladet wrote: A culture of secrecy in Boston’s Catholic Church was responsible for widespread sexual abuse, with pedophile priests raping more than 1,000 children for six decades. That was stated by Massachusetts’ State Attorney Tom Reilly on Wednesday. Read the article here.

2009 – Edward “Ted” Kennedy died on August 25 of a complicated form of brain cancer ( read ) at his home in Hyannis Port, home of the Kennedy Compound, which in 2012 was donated to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, which said the house will be opened to the public.

2013 – At the April 15 marathon in Boston, two bombs were detonated near the finish line, killing 3 and wounding 264. Read more here and here. Incidentally, there have also been conspiracy theories based on “facts” in the form of pictures and videos, and they can all be seen here on

Massachusetts History