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Coast Guard Cutter Collides with Navy Submarine

December 17, 1927
December 17, 1927

Coast Guard Cutter Collides with Navy Submarine

On this day in 1927, a Navy submarine, S-4, and a Coast Guard cutter collided within sight of Provincetown. The cutter's bow sliced into the submarine's hull, sending it to the bottom of the bay...

Architect Charles Bulfinch Obtains Mortgage

December 18, 1794
December 18, 1794

Architect Charles Bulfinch Obtains Mortgage

On this day in 1794, Boston architect Charles Bulfinch obtained a mortgage for the house he had recently designed and built for his family. The 31-year-old Bulfinch had donated so many plans for city churches,...

Aerosmith Opens Lansdowne Street Music Hall

December 19, 1994
December 19, 1994

Aerosmith Opens Lansdowne Street Music Hall

On this day in 1994, Boston-based rock band Aerosmith opened the Mama Kin Music Hall. In the shadow of Fenway Park, the Lansdowne Street facility enjoyed moderate success as a live music venue before the...

Abner Kneeland Prints Blasphemous Letter

December 20, 1833
December 20, 1833

Abner Kneeland Prints Blasphemous Letter

On this day in 1833, religious and social reformer Abner Kneeland printed a letter deemed so blasphemous by a Massachusetts court that it landed the former clergyman in jail. Kneeland capped 30 years of increasingly...

First Game of Basketball Played in Springfield

December 21, 1891
December 21, 1891

First Game of Basketball Played in Springfield

On this day in 1891, the first game of basketball was played at what is now Springfield College. The game was invented by a Canadian, Dr. James Naismith, a versatile athlete, theologian, and physical education...

State House Celebrates "Return of the Colors"

December 22, 1865
December 22, 1865

State House Celebrates "Return of the Colors"

On this day in 1865, Governor John Andrew officially received the battered regimental colors of Massachusetts units of the Union Army in a solemn State House ceremony called "The Return of the Flags." It had...

Alice Freeman and George Palmer Marry

December 23, 1887
December 23, 1887

Alice Freeman and George Palmer Marry

On this day in 1887, Alice Freeman, charismatic president of Wellesley College, wed Harvard professor George Palmer, to the consternation of many Boston intellectuals. In her six years as president, Freeman had transformed the fledgling...

Boston Ends Discharge of Sewer Sludge into Harbor

December 24, 1991
December 24, 1991

Boston Ends Discharge of Sewer Sludge into Harbor

On this day in 1991, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority ended an age-old practice of dumping sewer sludge directly into Boston Harbor. Proponents of the Boston Harbor Project celebrated this milestone in an 11-year, $3.6...

Christmas Celebration Outlawed

December 25, 1659
December 25, 1659

Christmas Celebration Outlawed

On this day in 1659, a law was passed by the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony requiring a five-shilling fine from anyone caught "observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by...

The Great Republic Burns

December 26, 1853
December 26, 1853

The Great Republic Burns

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 McKay, the man most...

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