Massachusetts

The Bay State

Massachusetts played a significant role in American history.  Plymouth was the site of the colony founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims.  Harvard University, founded in 1636, is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.    It was called the Province of Massachusetts Bay before becoming a state.  In 1692, Salem and its surrounding towns experienced the mass hysteria of the Salem witch trials.  In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the Cradle of Liberty due to the conflict there that led to the American Revolution and the independence of the United States from Britain.    In 1777, General Henry Knox founded the Springfield Armory which catalyzed numerous important technological advances including interchangeable parts.  In 1837, Mount Holyoke College, the first college for women, opened in South Hadley.  In 2004, Massachusetts became the first US state to legally recognize same-sex marriages.  

 

Originally inhabited by tribes of the Algonquian such as Wampanoag, Narragansett, Nipmuc, Pocomtuc and Mahican.  In the early 1600's before permanent settlements were established, large numbers of residents were killed by virgin soil epidemics such as small pox, measles, influenza and leptospirosis.  In 1617-19, smallpox reportedly killed 90% of the Massachusetts Bay Native Americans.  

 

Plymouth was the second successful permanent English colony in North America after the Jamestown Colony.  They were followed by Puritans who established Massachusetts Bay Colony in Boston in 1630.  Dissension from the Church of England resulted in several new colonies elsewhere in New England.  By 1640 there were eight towns in Plymouth County.

 

In 1691, the colonies of Massachusetts bay and Plymouth united along with Maine into the Province of Massachusetts Bay.  During the Revolution, Salem, became a center for privateering, nearly 800 vessels were credited with capturing or destroying 600 British ships.  

 

Protests against British attempts to tax the colonies after the French and Indian War ended in 1763, led to the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the 1773 Boston Tea Party.  This was the primary reason for the unity of the Thirteen Colonies and the outbreak of the American Revolution.   Paul Revere's ride from Boston to Lexington was to report that the British troops had closed Boston Harbor.   Bostonian John Adams was important in the struggle for independence and the formation of the new United States.

 

By the 1920's, manufacturing competition from the south and mid-west, followed by the Great Depression, led to the collapse of the three main industries in the state; textiles, shoe making and precision mechanics.

The above information was acquired from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Capital and largest city -    Boston

Area -    10,555 sq. miles,  183 X 113 miles, 7th smallest state in the US

Population -    6,692,824 (2013 est.), ranked 14th in US.

State flower -    Mayflower   (Ground Laurel)

State tree -    American Elm

State bird -    Black-capped Chickadee,  Wild Turkey

State drink -    Cranberry juice

State Mammal - Morgan horse, descended from a bay horse born in West  Springfield.

State fish -    Cod

State dog -    Boston Terrier

 Noted for Boston Cream Pie & Chocolate Chip Cookie (Toll House Cookie invented in MA)

Sports -    Home of 5 major league sports teams: 

                    Basketball -    Boston Celtics ( 17 time NBA champs)

                    Baseball -    Boston Red Sox (8 time World Series winners)

                    Hockey -    Boston Bruins (6 time Stanley Cup winners)

                    Football -    New England Patriots (5 time Super Bowl champs)

                    Soccer -    The New England Revolution

Important people -    Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,                            E.E.Cummings and Norman Rockwell.

 

 Basketball and soccer were invented in Springfield, Mass.  The Basketball Hall of Fame is a major tourist attraction in the City of Springfield.  Massachusetts has several minor league professional sports teams.  The state is noted for its collegiate athletics, home of rowing events, the Boston Marathon and major golfing events including nine U. S. Opens and two Ryder Cups. The Commonwealth produced several internationally successful gymnasts, Olympian winners of silver and gold medals. It offers long distance hiking trails, sailing and yachting, fresh and deep-sea fishing, whale watching, skiing and hunting.

 

83.7% white

 

Residents are called "Bay Stater"

 

Mount Greylock highest point.  

 

Massachusetts features two separate metropolitan areas; Greater Boston in the east and Springfield in the west.  Approximately 2/3 rds of the population lives in Greater Boston.  The state is the most populated of the New England states.  Many of the names of the towns, cities and counties in Mass. are identical to those in England.

 

The most destructive earthquake in New England occurred in 1755, causing considerable damage in Massachusetts.

 

During the early and mid 19th century, immigrant groups began arriving in the state in large numbers.  As of 2010, only 78.93% of its residents spoke English.

 

Agricultural products include tobacco, livestock, fruits, tree nuts, berries and Mass. is the second largest cranberry-producing state in the Union.

 

Originally dependent on fishing, agriculture and trade, Massachusetts transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution.  During the 20 th century, the state's economy shifted from manufacturing to services, becoming  a leader in higher education, healthcare technology, high technology and financial services.

 

Massachusetts destinations -    Cape Cod National Seashore, Boston Harbor Islands Recreational Area.  Tourism is playing an ever-important role in the state's economy with Boston and Cape Cod the leading destinations.  The state is an important center for the performing arts and theater, home of a large number of museums and historical sites.  It is famous for its many colleges, annual marathon and baked beans.

 

62% of the state is forested.  It is home to Peregrine Falcons, coyote, white-tailed deer, raccoons, wild turkeys, eastern gray squirrel and moose & black bear; loons, long-tailed ducks, piping plover & gray seals.