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Telephone Operators Strike

April 20, 1919
April 20, 1919

Telephone Operators Strike

On this day in 1919, striking telephone operators in Massachusetts won the right to negotiate with the New England Telephone Company. The young, single women who had flooded into the industry in the early 1900s...

Annie Oakley Purchases Smith & Wesson Gun

April 25, 1888
April 25, 1888

Annie Oakley Purchases Smith & Wesson Gun

On this day in 1888, Annie Oakley, the star female sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show, purchased a Model 3 handgun made by the Springfield firm of Smith & Wesson. Horace Smith and...

Springfield Armory Closes

April 30, 1968
April 30, 1968

Springfield Armory Closes

On this day in 1968, there was great sadness in Springfield as the city's historic armory closed its doors after nearly two centuries as the leading producer of small arms for the American military. First...

Winthrop Buys Passage for Ironworkers

May 5, 1643
May 5, 1643

Winthrop Buys Passage for Ironworkers

On this day in 1643, John Winthrop, Jr. paid 50 pounds for the passage of skilled ironworkers from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Initially, the men worked at the iron works that Winthrop and...

Berkshire-Hathaway Announces Mill Closing

May 7, 1958
May 7, 1958

Berkshire-Hathaway Announces Mill Closing

On this day in 1958, the North Adams Transcript reported that the owners of the Berkshire-Hathaway Company had passed a death sentence on their factory in Adams. The company announced that it was shutting down...

Ames Brothers Celebrate "Golden Spike"

May 10, 1869
May 10, 1869

Ames Brothers Celebrate "Golden Spike"

On this day in 1869, officials of the Union Pacific Railroad drove the symbolic "Golden Spike" to mark the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. Telegraph wires attached to the spike and sledgehammer carried the...

Complaint Filed on Toxic Pollution in Woburn

May 14, 1984
May 14, 1984

Complaint Filed on Toxic Pollution in Woburn

On this day in 1984, lawyer Jan Schlichtmann filed the first motion in the case made famous by the book and film "A Civil Action." For over a decade, children in Woburn had been falling...

The "Big E" Incorporated

May 27, 1914
May 27, 1914

The "Big E" Incorporated

On this day in 1914, a group of western Massachusetts businessmen created a new organization, the Eastern States Agricultural and Industrial Exposition. Its purpose was to promote New England agriculture, which was in serious decline,...

Matzeliger Demonstrates Revolutionary Machine

May 29, 1885
May 29, 1885

Matzeliger Demonstrates Revolutionary Machine

On this day in 1885, Jan Matzeliger demonstrated his invention — a machine that could finish 75 shoes in a 10-hour day. The most skilled craftsmen working by hand could turn out 50. An improved...

George McNeill Organizes Workers

June 2, 1852
June 2, 1852

George McNeill Organizes Workers

On this day in 1852, hundreds of mill workers at the Woolen Company in Amesbury walked out on strike. Fourteen-year-old George McNeill, who had worked in the carding room since he was ten, immediately organized...