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January 5, 1885: Boston Swears in First Irish-born Mayor

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Worcester Becomes a City: March 1, 1848
On this day in 1848, the Governor of Massachusetts signed a charter giving the once-sleepy village of Worcester the legal status of a city. For over a...

Boston Movie Mogul Releases First Movie: December 29, 1918
On this day in 1918, Louis B. Mayer traveled from his Boston office to New York City for the premiere of his first movie release, the silent film Virtuous...

Fall River Church Locks Out Priest: December 16, 1884
On this day in 1884, a Fall River newspaper reported that French Canadian Roman Catholic parishioners had locked their newly-appointed priest out of their...

First YMCA in the United States Organized in Boston: December 15, 1851
On this day in 1851, a group of evangelicals from several Boston churches founded the first Young Men's Christian Association in the United States....

The Fortune Sails from Plymouth for England: December 13, 1621
On this day in 1621, the ship Fortune set sail from Plymouth Colony. The arrival of the vessel two weeks earlier — sent by the English investors...

Crowd Gathers to Hear Writer Mary Antin: December 8, 1912
On this day in 1912, over 1,000 people gathered at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York to hear Boston writer Mary Antin. She had come to make a plea...

Quincy's Granite Industry Begins: November 16, 1825
On this day in 1825, a Boston newspaper carried a notice seeking 9,000 tons of "the best Quincy granite" for the Bunker Hill Monument....

Congress Designates Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor: November 10, 1986
On this day in 1986, Congress designated the historic Blackstone River Valley a National Heritage Corridor. Running from Worcester to Providence, the...

Islamic Society Breaks Ground in Roxbury: November 7, 2002
...in 2002, the Islamic Society of Boston held a ceremonial groundbreaking in Roxbury for New England's largest mosque and Islamic cultural center....

Mayor Curley Jeopardizes Election: November 3, 1929
On this day in 1929, James Michael Curley, heavily favored to win his third term as mayor of Boston, used a radio appearance to defame a school committee...

Ku Klux Klan Rallies in Worcester: October 19, 1924
On this day in 1924, the largest gathering of the Ku Klux Klan ever held in New England took place at the Agricultural Fairgrounds in Worcester. Klansmen...

Margaret Marshall Appointed to Supreme Judicial Court: October 14, 1999
On this day in 1999, Margaret Marshall became the first woman appointed Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The oldest court in...

Dunkiní Donuts Founder Dies: September 20, 2002
On this day in 2002, Dorchester native William Rosenberg, who made a morning stop for coffee and donuts a national habit, died at the age of 86. In a...

Boston Celebrates 250th Birthday: September 17, 1880
On this day in 1880 Boston celebrated its 250th birthday. For three and a half hours during the day, a column of 14,500 people marched four and a half...

Brandeis University Receives Phi Beta Kappa Charter: August 30, 1961
On this day in 1961, Brandeis University received good news. Less than a decade after accepting its first students, the school had been given approval...

Massachusetts Executes Sacco and Vanzetti: August 23, 1927
On this day in 1927, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were put to death in the state prison in Charlestown. A jury convicted them of murder and robbery...

Pilgrim Monument Completed in Provincetown: August 21, 1909
On this day in 1909, two young girls, using ropes and a pulley, helped haul the last stone into place to complete the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown....

Boston Police Vote to Unionize, Precipitating Riots: August 15, 1919
On this day in 1919, Boston policemen seeking better wages and working conditions voted to form a union. The Commissioner of Police forbid them to unionize....

Charlestown Convent Lies in Ruins: August 12, 1834
On this day in 1834, the Ursuline Convent in Charlestown lay in ruins. The night before, a Protestant mob sacked it and burned it to the ground. The nuns...

Foster Furcolo, State's First Italian American Governor, Born: July 29, 1911
On this day in 1911, Foster Furcolo was born in New Haven. Raised in Connecticut and educated at Yale, Furcolo moved to Springfield after World War II....

Ponzi Scheme Begins to Unravel: July 24, 1920
On this day in 1920, the Boston Post ran a story that ultimately exposed one of the biggest financial swindles in history. In a series of articles that...

Yiddish Book Rescuer Wins Genius Grant: July 17, 1989
On this day in 1989, an Amherst man who had spent more than a decade scrounging in dumpsters, basements, and attics was awarded a MacArthur Foundation...

Borden Announces Plan to Sell Prince Pasta Plant: July 16, 1997
On this day in 1997, the Borden company announced a tentative deal to save the Prince pasta factory in Lowell. When Borden closed the failing plant, Senator...

Bostonians Lay Cornerstone for Bunker Hill Monument: June 17, 1825
On this day in 1825, at the laying of the cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument, Daniel Webster addressed a crowd of 100,000, including 190 veterans...

Chinese Workers Arrive in North Adams: June 13, 1870
On this day in 1870, a train arrived in North Adams with 75 young men from China hired to replace striking shoe workers. Over 2,000 people watched as...

Firemen and Irish Clash in Boston Riot: June 11, 1837
On this day in 1837, an Irish funeral procession and a company of Yankee volunteer firefighters came face-to-face in the streets of Boston. Over the next...

Composer Stravinsky Visits Gropius House in Lincoln: May 2, 1940
On this day in 1940, the German-born architect Walter Gropius and his wife Ise opened their new home in Lincoln to some old friends — the great...

Boston Jews Petition for First Cemetery: April 29, 1844
On this day in 1844, members of Boston's first Jewish congregation petitioned city officials to set aside a corner of an East Boston cemetery for...

Legislature Designates Day of Remembrance for Armenian Genocide: April 24, 1990
On this day in 1990, the 75th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Massachusetts legislature officially designated the date as a Day of Remembrance...

Puritans Leave for Massachusetts: April 7, 1630
On this day in 1630, the last well-wishers stepped off the ship Arabella and returned to shore. More than a week after the vessel first set out, the winds...

Boston Celebrates First Evacuation Day: March 17, 1901
On this day in 1901, the City of Boston officially celebrated Evacuation Day for the first time. In early March of 1776, Continental troops managed to...

Bostonians Respond to Irish Famine: February 18, 1847
On this day in 1847, Boston's leading citizens held a meeting at Fanueil Hall in response to news of the famine devastating Ireland. With the failure...

Silvio Conte Dies: February 8, 1991
On this day in 1991, Representative Silvio Conte died at age 70. A Republican in a largely Democratic state, more liberal than most members of his party,...

Great Molasses Flood: January 15, 1919
On this day in 1919, people in Boston's North End were startled by a loud rumbling noise. They watched in horror as a five-story tank broke apart,...

Bread and Roses Strike Begins: January 12, 1912
On this day in 1912, the labor protest later known as the "Bread and Roses" strike began in Lawrence. A new state law had reduced the...

JFK's Farewell to Massachusetts Legislature: January 9, 1961
On this day in 1961, John F. Kennedy bade farewell to the people of Massachusetts and reminded them of the state's unique legacy. In a speech at...

Boston Swears in First Irish-born Mayor: January 5, 1885
On this day in 1885, Hugh O'Brien, the first Irish immigrant elected mayor of Boston, took the oath of office. A new era was beginning. For several...

Isaac Asimov Born: January 2, 1920
On this day in 1920, Isaac Asimov was born. He grew up in New York, but it was during his two decades in Boston that he made his name as a master of science...

Brownies Take a Winter Swim: January 1, 1904
On this day in 1904, the L Street Brownies held their first New Year's Day swim in Boston Harbor. Every year since then, a crowd of swimmers and...

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