Massachusetts was the first American colony to legalize slavery.
The population of Massachusetts in 2003 was about 6.4 million.
1602 May 15, Bartholomew Gosnold, English navigator, discovered Cape Cod.
1620 Sep 16, The Pilgrims sailed from England on the Mayflower, finally settling at
Plymouth, Mass. The Pilgrims were actually Separatists because they had left the Church of
England. The 4 children of William Brewster, who arrived on the Mayflower, were named:
Love, Wrestling, Patience, and Fear.
1620 Nov 19, The Pilgrims reached Cape Cod.
1620 Nov 21, Leaders of the Mayflower expedition framed the "Mayflower Compact,"
designed to bolster unity among the settlers. The Pilgrims reached Provincetown Harbor,
1620 Dec 11, 103 Mayflower pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
1621 Mar 16 The first Indian appeared in Plymouth, Mass. Samoset, and his friend
Tisquantum (Squanto), an English speaking Indian of the Wampanoag tribe, became friends
with the Pilgrims.
1621 Oct, The first American Thanksgiving was held in Massachusetts' Plymouth colony
in 1621 to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. 51 Pilgrims served codfish, sea bass and
turkeys while their 90 Wampanoag guests contributed venison to the feast. After the
survival of their first colony through a bitter winter and the subsequent gathering of the
harvest in the autumn of 1621, Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford issued a
thanksgiving proclamation. During the three-day October thanksgiving the Pilgrims feasted
on wild turkey and venison with their Native American guests.
1628 Mar 19, Massachusetts colony was founded by Englishmen.
1629 Mar 14, A Royal charter was granted to the Massachusetts Bay Company.
1629 Apr 30, John Endecott became governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1630 Feb 22, Indians introduced pilgrims to popcorn at Thanksgiving.
1630 Jun 25, The fork was introduced to American dining by Gov. Winthrop.
1630 Sep 7, The Massachusetts town of Trimontaine (Shawmut), was renamed Boston,
and became the state capital.
1634 May 31, Massachusetts Bay colony annexed the Maine colony.
1635 Feb 13, In Massachusetts the oldest public school in the United States, the
Boston Public Latin School, was founded.
1636 Oct 28, Harvard College was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the oldest
institution of higher learning in the United States.
1638 Jun 1, The first earthquake was recorded in the U.S. at Plymouth, Mass.
1639 Nov 5, 1st post office in the colonies opened in Massachusetts.
1644 Jan 18, 1st reported UFO sighting in America was made by perplexed pilgrims in
1647 May 27, In Salem Achsah Young became the first recorded American woman to be
executed for being a "witch."
1677 Mar 13, Massachusetts gained title to Maine for $6,000.
1690 Feb 3, The first paper money in America was issued by the colony of
Massachusetts. The currency was used to pay soldiers fighting a war against Quebec.
1691 Oct 17, The Massachusetts Bay Company along with Plymouth colony and Maine was
incorporated into the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1692 Feb 29, Sarah Goode and Tituba were accused of witchcraft in Salem,
Massachusetts, sparking the hysteria that started the Salem Witch Trials.
1692 Aug 19, Five women were hanged in Salem, Massachusetts after being convicted
of the crime of witchcraft. Fourteen more people were executed that year and 150 others
1706 Jan 17, Benjamin Franklin (d.1790), American statesman, was born in Boston, the
youngest boy in a family of 17 children. He helped draft the Declaration of Independence
and wrote "Poor Richard’s Almanac."
1760 Mar 20, The great fire of Boston destroyed 349 buildings.
1770 March 5, British troops taunted by a crowd of colonists fired on an unruly mob in
Boston and killed five citizens in what came to be known as the Boston Massacre.
1773 Dec 16, Some 50-60 "Sons of Liberty" of revolutionary Samuel Adams disguised
as Mohawks defied the 3 cents per pound tax on tea boarded a British East India Tea
Company ship and dumped 342 chests of British tea into the Boston Harbor in what became
known as the Boston Tea Party.
1774 John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, was born in Massachusetts. A pioneer of
early America, Chapman began collecting apple seedlings from western Pennsylvania and
establishing apple nurseries around the early American frontier.
1775 Apr 18, Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Mass.,
warning American colonists that the British were coming.
1775 Jul 3, Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at
1788 Feb 6, Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1797 Oct 21, The 44-gun 204-foot U.S. Navy frigate USS Constitution, also known as
Old Ironsides, was launched in Boston's harbor. It was never defeated in 42 battles.
1812 Maine separated from the state of Massachusetts.
1826 Oct 7, The first railway in the United States opened at Quincy, Massachusetts.
1831 Jan 1, William Lloyd Garrison, 24-year-old reformer of Massachusetts, began
publishing his newspaper The Liberator, dedicated to the abolition of slavery.
1831 Jul 4, "America (My Country 'Tis of Thee)" was 1st sung in Boston.
1831 Aug 10, William Driver of Salem, Massachusetts, was the first to use the term
"Old Glory" in connection with the American flag, when he gave that name to a large flag
aboard his ship.
1832 Jul 4, The song "America" was sung publicly for the first time at a Fourth of July
celebration by a group of children at Park Street Church in Boston. The words were written
on a scrap of paper in half an hour by Dr. Samuel Francis Smith, a Baptist minister, and were
set to the music of "God Save the King."
1839 Mar 23, 1st recorded use of "OK" [oll korrect] was in Boston's Morning Post.
1843 Dec 4, Manila paper (made from sails, canvas & rope) was patented in Mass.
1844 Jan 30, Richard Theodore Greener became the first African American to
graduate from Harvard University.
1845 Boston outlawed bathing unless it was done under a doctor’s orders.
1850 Aug 23, The 1st national women's rights convention convened in Worcester, Mass.
1852 Dec 29, Emma Snodgrass was arrested in Boston for wearing pants.
1863 May 28, The 54th Massachusetts, the first black regiment from the North, left
Boston headed for Hilton Head, South Carolina, to fight in the Civil War.
1872 Nov 9, Fire destroyed nearly a thousand buildings in Boston.
1876 Mar 10, Alexander Graham Bell made what was, in effect, the first telephone call.
His assistant, in an adjoining room in Boston, heard Bell say over the experimental device:
"Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you."
1876 Apr 1, The first official NL baseball game took place. Boston beat Phila 6-5.
1891 The Canadian, Dr. James B. Naismith, sports figure, inventor, teacher, invented
the game of basketball at the YMCA in Springfield, Mass. A janitor provided peach baskets
instead of the requested boxes.
1892 Sep 8, An early version of "The Pledge of Allegiance" appeared in "The Youth’s
Companion," published in Boston and edited by Francis Bellamy.
1893 Sep 22, Bicycle makers Charles and Frank Duryea showed off the first American
automobile produced for sale to the public by taking it on a maiden run through the streets
of Springfield, Massachusetts.
1895 Feb 9, Volleyball was invented by W.G. Morgan in Massachusetts. A game called
"mintonette" was created by William George Morgan, physical director at the YMCA in
Holyoke, Mass., to accommodate players who thought basketball was too strenuous. The
objective was to hit a basketball over a rope. It was the predecessor to volleyball.
1895 Jul 4, The words to "America the Beautiful" appeared for the first time in "The
Congregationalist", a Boston magazine; the author was Katherine Lee Bates (1819-1910), a
Wellesley professor, who penned it in 1893.
1897 Apr 19, The first Boston Marathon was run from Ashland, Mass., to Boston.
Winner John J. McDermott ran the course in 2 hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds.
1900 Feb 2, Six cities, Boston, Detroit, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis
agreed to form baseball's American League.
1903 Oct 13, Boston defeated Pittsburgh in baseball’s first World Series.
1904 Mar 2, Theodor Seuss Geisel [Dr. Seuss] was born in Springfield, Mass. He was
the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Cat in the Hat," "Green Eggs and Ham," "The
Grinch Who Stole Christmas" and other children's books.
1912 Fenway Stadium, home of the Boston Red sox, opened.
1914 Jul 10, The Boston Red Sox purchased Babe Ruth (19) from the Baltimore Orioles
for 30 pieces of gold.
1919 Jan 5, In Boston an explosion opened a tank of molasses and the cylindrical sides
toppled outward knocking down 10 nearby buildings. 2 million gallons of molasses oozed onto
the streets and killed 21 people. Another 50 were injured.
1920 Jan 3, The Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees for $100,000, twice the
amount of any previous player transaction. The deal also included a $300,000 loan secured
by a mortgage on Fenway Park, a contractual clause that made the Yankees owners the Red
1939 Earl Tupper (d.1983), a Massachusetts tree surgeon and inventor, founded
Tupperware. In 1942 he introduced a polyethylene container with a fitted cap.
1948 William Rosenberg (d.2002 at 86) opened a doughnut shop called Open Kettle in
Quincy. Mass. Two years later the name was changed to Dunkin’ Donuts.
1949 Oct 9, Harvard Law School began admitting women.
1953 Jun 7, The 1st color network telecast in compatible color was in Boston, Mass.
1953 Nov 11, The Polio virus was identified and photographed for the first time in
1954 Dec 23, Dr. Joseph Murray led a team of surgeons at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital
in Boston in the 1st successful organ transplant. Ronald Herrick donated a kidney to his twin
brother, Richard. In 1990 Dr. Murray was warded a Nobel Prize for his work.
1960 Nov 8, Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy was elected 35th president by
118,550 popular votes.
1962-1964 The Boston Strangler killed 13 women during this period.
1974 Sep 12, The start of court-ordered busing to achieve racial integration in
Boston's public schools was marred by violence in South Boston.
1999 Jul 14, In Boston the school board voted to end busing after 25 years. The
system held 85% minority students.
2004 Oct 20, Boston Red Sox fans poured into the streets outside Fenway Park to
celebrate their team's victory over the New York Yankees.
2004 Oct 27, The Boston Red Sox won the World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals 3-
0 in game 4. It was Boston's sixth championship, but the first after 86 years of