Search Results


Jury Decides in Favor of Elizabeth "Mum Bett" Freeman

August 22, 1781
August 22, 1781

Jury Decides in Favor of Elizabeth "Mum Bett" Freeman

On this day in 1781, a jury in Great Barrington found in favor of "Mum Bett," a black woman who had been a slave in the home of Colonel John Ashley for at least 30...

Massachusetts Executes Sacco and Vanzetti

August 23, 1927
August 23, 1927

Massachusetts Executes Sacco and Vanzetti

On this day in 1927, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were put to death in the state prison in Charlestown. A jury convicted them of murder and robbery in 1921, but a long struggle was...

Oliver Wendell Holmes Born in Cambridge

August 29, 1809
August 29, 1809

Oliver Wendell Holmes Born in Cambridge

On this day in 1809, Oliver Wendell Holmes was born in Cambridge. The man who coined the phrase "Boston Brahmin," he was a true member of that class, and he entertained the nation with poems,...

Polaroid Wins Patent Suit Against Kodak

September 13, 1985
September 13, 1985

Polaroid Wins Patent Suit Against Kodak

On this day in 1985, Polaroid won a huge victory in federal court. A judge ruled that Kodak had violated Polaroid's patents for instant photography. The decision ended a nine-year legal struggle between the two...

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...

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...

Senator Edward Brooke Born

October 26, 1919
October 26, 1919

Senator Edward Brooke Born

On this day in 1919, Edward Brooke, III, the only African American to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Congress, was born. A decorated veteran, he graduated from the BU School of Law in 1948 and...

Voters Deny Massachusetts Women the Vote

November 2, 1915
November 2, 1915

Voters Deny Massachusetts Women the Vote

On this day in 1915, a referendum to give Massachusetts women the vote failed at the polls. In spite of its leading role in the nineteenth-century woman's rights movement, Massachusetts was the first state to...

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...

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 add 8 and 6.