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5 Fun Facts About May 18 In Massachusetts History

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1. The Treaty of Hartford was signed on May 18, 1637 between English colonists and Native American tribes in Connecticut. The agreement ended the Pequot War and established English control over Connecticut.

2. On May 18, 1812, the USS Constitution (also known as “Old Ironsides”) engaged and defeated HMS Guerriere in a famous naval battle during the War of 1812. The victory was a significant boost to American morale and marked the first time an American frigate defeated a British ship of equal size.

3. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded on May 18, 1861. Originally established as a response to the growing industrialization of the United States, MIT has since become one of the world’s leading research universities.

4. On May 18, 1896, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that segregation on streetcars in the state was unconstitutional. The decision paved the way for future civil rights legal battles in the United States.

5. The infamous Boston Molasses Disaster occurred on January 15, 1919, but the cleanup efforts continued for several months afterward. On May 18 of that year, the last of the molasses still remaining in the streets was finally cleared away. The disaster, in which a storage tank containing 2.3 million gallons of molasses burst, resulted in 21 deaths and over 150 injuries.
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