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August 24, 1951: Route 128 Opens Boston's High Tech Age

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The Great Republic Burns: December 26, 1853
On this day in 1853, the Great Republic burned to the waterline in New York harbor the day before she was to set sail on her maiden voyage. Built by Donald...

Boston Ends Discharge of Sewer Sludge into Harbor: December 24, 1991
On this day in 1991, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority ended an age-old practice of dumping sewer sludge directly into Boston Harbor. Proponents...

Erastus Bigelow Dies: December 6, 1879
On this day in 1879, Erastus Bigelow, the father of the modern carpet industry, died in Boston. Born in West Boylston, Bigelow and his brother followed...

First Steamboat Passes Through South Hadley Canal: December 1, 1826
On this day in 1826, the Barnet, the first steamboat to operate on the Connecticut River, passed through the South Hadley Canal on its way to Vermont....

Workers Complete Hoosac Tunnel: November 27, 1874
On this day in 1874, workers in the small western Massachusetts town of Florida finished the Hoosac Tunnel, bringing to completion one of the world's...

Boston Lighthouse Lit for the First Time: September 14, 1716
On this day in 1716, Boston Light on Little Brewster Island was lit for the first time. The first lighthouse built in North America, the structure weathered...

Boston Receives First Transcontinental TV Broadcast: September 4, 1951
. . . in 1951, anyone in Boston with access to a television set could be part of history — a program was transmitted live from coast-to-coast...

Nation's First Subway Opens in Boston: September 1, 1897
On this day in 1897, at 6 am, over 100 people crowded onto the first train to travel through a tunnel under downtown Boston. More than 100,000 people...

Route 128 Opens Boston's High Tech Age: August 24, 1951
On this day in 1951, the first segment of Route 128 was opened. By 1956, the expressway stretched 65 miles from Gloucester to Braintree. While officials...

Central Artery Project Announced: August 8, 1954
On this day in 1954, The Boston Globe announced the opening of the first elevated expressway in the United States. Hailed as an engineering marvel and...

Tupperware Inventor Born: July 28, 1907
On this day in 1907, Earl Tupper, inventor of Tupperware, was born. Raised in central Massachusetts, birthplace of the plastics industry, he was a compulsive...

Percy Spencer, Inventor of Microwave Oven, Born: July 19, 1894
On this day in 1894, Percy Spencer, the self-taught scientist who discovered the power of microwave technology, was born. With an endlessly curious mind,...

Quincy Shipyard Launches First Nuclear Powered Cruiser: July 14, 1959
On this day in 1959, the nation's first nuclear-powered cruiser was launched from Fore River Shipyard in Quincy. With its deep and sheltered harbor,...

Last Elevated Train Runs in Boston: June 25, 2004
On this day in 2004, Boston's last elevated train pulled into North Station. For over a century, Bostonians had avoided the congested streets below...

Quabbin Reservoir Filled to the Brim: June 22, 1946
On this day in 1946, water flowed over the spillway and officials declared Quabbin Reservoir full. Construction took more than 20 years and required the...

Matzeliger Demonstrates Revolutionary Machine: May 29, 1885
On this day in 1885, Jan Matzeliger demonstrated his invention — a machine that could finish 75 shoes in a 10-hour day. The most skilled craftsmen...

Winthrop Buys Passage for Ironworkers: May 5, 1643
On this day in 1643, John Winthrop, Jr. paid 50 pounds for the passage of skilled ironworkers from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Initially,...

Robert Goddard Launches Space Age: March 16, 1926
On this day in 1926, Clark University physics professor Robert Goddard launched the world's first liquid fuel rocket — and with it the space...

Eli Whitney Patents the Cotton Gin: March 14, 1794
On this day in 1794, Westborough native Eli Whitney applied for a patent on the cotton gin. Raised on a farm in Massachusetts, he invented a machine that...

Alexander Graham Bell Receives First Patent: March 7, 1876
On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone. Born in Scotland, Bell settled in Boston when he was in his early 20s....

Clarence Birdseye Tests Frozen Food: March 6, 1930
On this day in 1930, shoppers in Springfield became the first Americans to find frozen food in their grocery stores. A test marketing program was designed...

Lynn Shoeworkers Strike: February 22, 1860
On this day in 1860, thousands of striking shoeworkers filled Lyceum Hall in Lynn. By choosing to begin their protest on Washington's birthday, the...

UMass Researchers Clone Calves: January 20, 1998
On this day in 1998, two researchers affiliated with the University of Massachusetts drew worldwide attention when they went public with a birth announcement....

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