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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...

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...

Northfield Couple Launches U.S. Youth Hostel Movement

December 27, 1934
December 27, 1934

Northfield Couple Launches U.S. Youth Hostel Movement

On this day in 1934, Isabel and Monroe Smith opened the first U.S. youth hostel in Northfield. The young couple had discovered hosteling during a trip to Europe and had become devoted disciples of the...

Site for Cambridge Selected

December 28, 1630
December 28, 1630

Site for Cambridge Selected

On this day in 1630, the Massachusetts Bay Colony proprietors chose a site along the northern bank of the Charles River for their capital. They named it Newtowne, and laid out an orderly grid of...

Harvard Shakers Record Spiritual Visit

December 30, 1841
December 30, 1841

Harvard Shakers Record Spiritual Visit

On this day in 1841, the Shakers in Harvard reported a spiritual visit by their long-dead founder Mother Ann, "Holy Angels," and "ancient Saints and departed spirits." Shaker communities across New England were receiving such...