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Charlotte Forten Enters Salem Normal School

March 13, 1855
March 13, 1855

Charlotte Forten Enters Salem Normal School

On this day in 1855, Charlotte Forten passed the entrance examination for the Salem Normal School, one of four colleges recently established in Massachusetts to train teachers. She was the school's first black student. Eighteen...

Eli Whitney Patents the Cotton Gin

March 14, 1794
March 14, 1794

Eli Whitney Patents the Cotton Gin

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 made growing cotton so profitable that the...

Robert Goddard Launches Space Age

March 16, 1926
March 16, 1926

Robert Goddard Launches Space Age

On this day in 1926, Clark University physics professor Robert Goddard launched the world's first liquid fuel rocket — and with it the space age. Standing in a snow-covered field in Auburn, Massachusetts, he watched...

Boston Celebrates First Evacuation Day

March 17, 1901
March 17, 1901

Boston Celebrates First Evacuation Day

On this day in 1901, the City of Boston officially celebrated Evacuation Day for the first time. In early March of 1776, Continental troops managed to move heavy cannon to the top of Dorchester Heights....

Boston Burns

March 20, 1760
March 20, 1760

Boston Burns

On this day in 1760, the dreaded cry of "Fire!" roused sleeping Bostonians. Over the next ten hours, the worst fire to strike a colonial American city ravaged the capital of Massachusetts. Beginning in a...

Anne Hutchinson Banished

March 22, 1638
March 22, 1638

Anne Hutchinson Banished

On this day in 1638, Anne Hutchinson was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Three years after arriving in Boston, she found herself the first female defendant in a Massachusetts court. When she held prayer...

Birth Control Pioneer Born

March 24, 1890
March 24, 1890

Birth Control Pioneer Born

On this day in 1890, birth control pioneer John Rock was born in the small Massachusetts town of Marlborough. He was a deeply religious Catholic even as a child. After college and medical school at...

Legislature Guarantees Access to Public Schools

March 25, 1845
March 25, 1845

Legislature Guarantees Access to Public Schools

On this day in 1845, the Massachusetts legislature guaranteed that every child in the state would have access to a public school. One source of pressure on the lawmakers was a petition submitted by a...

Jordan Marsh Announces New Store

March 27, 1947
March 27, 1947

Jordan Marsh Announces New Store

On this day in 1947, Jordan, Marsh and Company announced that it was going to build "the greatest department store in the world" in downtown Boston. Almost a hundred years earlier, in 1851, Eben Jordan...

Dorothea Dix Begins Her Crusade

March 28, 1841
March 28, 1841

Dorothea Dix Begins Her Crusade

On this day in 1841, Dorothea Dix visited an East Cambridge jail and was appalled to see mentally ill women confined alongside hardened criminals. The 40-year-old teacher and writer had been exposed to the work...