Search Results


Balloonist Takes First Aerial Photograph

October 8, 1860
October 8, 1860

Balloonist Takes First Aerial Photograph

On this day in 1860, Boston newspapers carried an advertisement for an extraordinary event: photographer James Wallace Black would photograph Boston from a hot-air balloon hovering over the city. Black accomplished this well-publicized feat five...

Roger Williams Banished

October 9, 1635
October 9, 1635

Roger Williams Banished

On this day in 1635, Puritan minister Roger Williams was found guilty of spreading "newe & dangerous opinions" and banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Before leaving England in 1630, Williams had seen heretics whipped,...

"Snow Hurricane" Hits Massachusetts

October 10, 1804
October 10, 1804

"Snow Hurricane" Hits Massachusetts

On this day in 1804, a "snow hurricane" struck Massachusetts. The storm began with winds so powerful that whole forests were leveled. Houses, barns, chimneys, and church steeples came crashing down. Even when the wind...

Utopians Purchase Brook Farm

October 11, 1841
October 11, 1841

Utopians Purchase Brook Farm

On this day in 1841, a group of Boston-area utopians purchased Brook Farm in West Roxbury. The writer Nathaniel Hawthorne spent six months there and later wrote about his experiences in his satirical novel Blithedale...

Boston Doctors Use First Iron Lung

October 12, 1928
October 12, 1928

Boston Doctors Use First Iron Lung

On this day in 1928, Children's Hospital in Boston was the scene of the first use of an "iron lung." Developed by a young Harvard doctor, it was little more than a galvanized iron box,...

Framingham Disassembles Meetinghouse

October 13, 1735
October 13, 1735

Framingham Disassembles Meetinghouse

On this day in 1735, Framingham's town meeting voted to "give the old meeting house frame" to their minister, who would undoubtedly find another use for it. The town had erected its first meetinghouse in...

Margaret Marshall Appointed to Supreme Judicial Court

October 14, 1999
October 14, 1999

Margaret Marshall Appointed to Supreme Judicial Court

On this day in 1999, Margaret Marshall became the first woman appointed Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The oldest court in the Western Hemisphere, the SJC was established in 1693 in the...

Indian Rights Activist Born in Amherst

October 15, 1830
October 15, 1830

Indian Rights Activist Born in Amherst

On this day in 1830, an Amherst College professor and his wife rejoiced at the safe delivery of their second child, Helen Maria Fiske. A lifelong friend of Emily Dickinson and a talented poet in...

Boston Dentist Demonstrates Ether

October 16, 1846
October 16, 1846

Boston Dentist Demonstrates Ether

On this day in 1846, a crowd gathered in the operating theater at Massachusetts General Hospital. A Boston printer with a tumor on his jaw lay on the table. Curious and skeptical physicians and...

Mashpee Indians Sue for Recognition

October 17, 1978
October 17, 1978

Mashpee Indians Sue for Recognition

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 for the return of land...

Mass Moments is a project of Mass Humanities, whose mission is to support programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life throughout the Commonwealth.

Please consider helping us towards our goals with a donation today.

Interested in sponsoring Mass Moments?

Please calculate 2 plus 3.