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September 17, 1880: Boston Celebrates 250th Birthday

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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...

First "National Day of Mourning" Held in Plymouth: November 26, 1970
On this day in 1970, a group of Native Americans attending a Thanksgiving feast in Plymouth walked out in protest. The Indians and their supporters gathered...

Quakers Outlawed in Plymouth: December 3, 1658
On this day in 1658, Plymouth Court ordered that any boat carrying Quakers to Sandwich be seized to prevent the religious heretics from landing. A year...

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....

Duxbury Dedicates Standish Monument: October 7, 1872
On this day in 1872, a crowd of 10,000 climbed to the top of Captain's Hill in Duxbury to watch the cornerstone being laid for the Myles Standish...

King Philip's War Breaks Out: June 24, 1675
On this day in 1675, Wampanoag warriors killed seven colonists in Swansea in retaliation for a series of injustices suffered at the hands of the English....

Mercy Otis Marries James Warren: November 14, 1754
On this day in 1754, Mercy Otis of Barnstable and James Warren of Plymouth began their remarkable 54-year partnership. When she married into a family...

Fire Rages at Myles Standish State Forest: May 25, 1964
On this day in 1964, a raging wildfire crossed the boundaries of Myles Standish State Forest, and into the town of Plymouth. Two days earlier flames had...

Roger Williams Banished: October 9, 1635
On this day in 1635, Puritan minister Roger Williams was found guilty of spreading "newe & dangerous opinions" and banished...

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...

Mashpee Indians Sue for Recognition: October 17, 1978
On this day in 1978, a trial began on Cape Cod to determine whether the Mashpee Indians met the legal definition of a tribe. If they did, they could sue...

Washington Commissions First Naval Officer: September 2, 1775
On this day in 1775, General George Washington commissioned Nicholson Broughton captain "in the Army of the United Colonies of North America."...

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...

Calvin Coolidge Sworn in as President: August 3, 1923
On this day in 1923, upon the death of Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as President of the United States. "Silent Cal"...

Trainer Discovers Seabiscuit at Suffolk Downs: June 29, 1936
On this day in 1936, Tom Smith, an experienced horse trainer, spied an unlikely looking three-year-old Thoroughbred on the track at East Boston's...

James Otis, Jr., Enrages Colonial Governor: June 21, 1768
On this day in 1768, James Otis, Jr. gave a characteristically fiery speech to his fellow legislators in Boston. He referred to the British House of Commons...

Massachusetts Bay Colony Bans Catholic Priests: May 26, 1647
On this day in 1647, Massachusetts Bay banned Jesuit priests from the colony on penalty of death. The English Puritans who settled the colony feared the...

Indians in Mashpee Demand Self-Government: May 21, 1833
On this day in 1833, the Mashpee of Cape Cod signed what amounted to an Indian Declaration of Independence. They reminded officials in Boston that "all...

Marblehead Carved Out of Salem: May 6, 1635
On this day in 1635, the General Court of Massachusetts Bay established the town of Marblehead on land that belonged to Salem. The move was meant to punish...

Deborah Sampson Performs in Boston: March 26, 1802
On this day in 1802, a performance of "The American Heroine" took place in a fashionable Boston theater. The audience watched spellbound...

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