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  • 552 original documents pertaining to the Salem witch trials of 1692 have been preserved and are still stored by the Peabody Essex Museum.
  • Boston built the first subway system in the United States in 1897.
  • Although over 30 communities in the colonies eventually renamed themselves to honor Benjamin Franklin. The Massachusetts Town of Franklin was the first and changed its name in 1778.
  • Norfolk County is the birthplace of four United States presidents: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and George Herbert Walker Bush.
  • In Holyoke, William G. Morgan, created a new game called “Mintonette” in 1895. After a demonstration given at the YMCA in nearby Springfield, the name “Mintonette” was replaced with the now familiar name “Volleyball.”
  • There is a house in Rockport built entirely of newspaper.
  • Hingham’s Derby Academy founded in 1784 is the oldest co-educational school in the United States. Hingham’s First Parish Old Ship Church is the oldest church structure in the United States in continuous use as a place of worship.
  • The Fig Newton was named after Newton, Massachusetts.
  • The visible portion of Plymouth Rock is a lumpy fragment of glacial moraine about the size of a coffee table, with the date 1620 cut into its surface. After being broken, dragged about the town of Plymouth by ox teams used to inspire Revolution-aries, and reverently gouged and scraped by 19th-century souvenir hunters, it is now at rest near the head of Plymouth Harbor.
  • The Basketball Hall Of Fame is located in Springfield.
  • James Michael Curley was the first mayor of Boston to have an automobile. The plate number was “576” – the number of letters in “James Michael Curley.” The mayor of Boston’s official car still uses the same number on its plate.
  • The American industrial revolution began in Lowell. Lowell was America’s first planned industrial city.
  • On October 1, 1998, “Say Hello To Someone From Massachusetts” by Lenny Gomulka, was approved as the official polka of the Commonwealth.
  • 1634: Boston Common became the first public park in America.
  • 1891: The first basketball game was played in Springfield.
  • Massachusetts holds the two largest cites in New England, Boston, the largest, and Worcester.
  • The creation of the Cape Cod National Seashore, which was formerly private town and state owned land, marked the first time the federal government purchased land for a park.
  • Robert Goddard, inventor of the first liquid fueled rocket, was born and lived much of his life in Worcester and launched the first rocket fueled with liquid fuel from the neighboring town of Auburn.
  • Quincy boasts the first Dunkin Donuts on Hancock Street and the first Howard Johnson’s on Newport Ave.
  • Glaciers formed the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard during the ice age.
  • The first U.S.Postal zip code in Massachusetts is 01001 at Agawam.
  • Brewster has become the de facto “Wedding Capital of Cape Cod” because of its many small and larger inns that cater to weddings.
  • The birth control pill was invented at Clark University in Worcester.
  • The signs along the Massachusetts Turnpike reading “x miles to Boston” refer to the distance from that point to the gold dome of the state house.
  • Harvard was the first college established in North America. Harvard was founded in 1636. Because of Harvard’s size there is no universal mailing address that will work for every office at the University.
  • In 1838 the Boston & West Worcester Railroad was the first railroad to charge commuter fares.
  • The Boston University Bridge on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston is the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane.
  • The Mather school was founded in Dorchester in 1639. It is the first public elementary school in America.
  • On top of the commercial building on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain sits a weather vane with a whale on it. The building was once state headquarters of Greenpeace. – “Save the whales”
  • John Adams and John Quincy Adams are buried in the crypt at the United First Parish Church in Quincy.
  • The Children’s Museum in Boston displays a giant milk bottle on the museum’s wharf. If it were real it would hold 50,000 gallons of milk and 8,620 gallons of cream.
  • Princeton was named after the Reverend Thomas Prince, Pastor of the Old South Church in Boston, and one of the first proprietors of the town. Princeton was incorporated in 1759.
  • Barnstable County is the only Massachusetts county where resident deaths out numbered births between 1990 and 1997.
  • The Pilgrim National Wax Museum in Plymouth is the only wax museum devoted entirely to the Pilgrim’s story.
  • In 1908, Miss Caroline O. Emmerton purchased The House of the Seven Gables – built in 1668 – restored it to its present state and, in 1910, opened the site to the touring public. The seven-gabled house inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne to write his famous novel of the same name.
  • The Boston Tea Party reenactment takes place in Boston Harbor every December 16th.
  • Balance Rock in Lanesborough is named in honor of a 25′ x 15′ x 10 boulder that balances upon a small stone below it.
  • Massachusetts first began issuing drivers licenses and registration plates in June of 1903.
  • The 3rd Monday in April is a legal holiday in Massachusetts called Patriot’s Day.
  • The first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in Plymouth in 1621.
  • William Hill Brown published The Power of Sympathy in Worcester in 1789. An imitation of Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther it is regarded as the first American novel.
  • The fourteen counties in Massachusetts are made up of 43 cities and 308 towns.
  • Charles Goodyear in Woburn first vulcanized rubber in 1839.
  • Elias Howe of Boston invented the first sewing machine in 1845.
  • The first nuclear-powered surface vessel, USS Long Beach CG (N) 9, was launched at Quincy in 1961.
  • The USS Constitution ‘Old Ironsides’, the oldest fully commissioned vessel in the US Navy is permanently berthed at Charlestown Navy Yard. Since 1897 the ship has been overhauled several times in Dry Dock 1.
  • Revere Beach was the first public beach in the United States and is host to Suffolk Downs horse racing track, Wonderland dog racing track and a 14-screen cinema complex.
  • The official state dessert of Massachusetts is Boston cream pie.
  • Milford is known the world over for its unique pink granite, discovered in the 1870’s and quarried for many years to grace the exteriors of museums, government buildings, monuments and railroad stations.
  • Acushnet is the hometown of the Titleist golf ball company.

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