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Herman Melville Sails from New Bedford

January 3, 1841
January 3, 1841

Herman Melville Sails from New Bedford

On this day in 1841, Herman Melville boarded the whaleship Acushnet and sailed out of New Bedford, the whaling capital of the world. As he later wrote about his character Ishmael, that ship would be...

Marconi Transmits Radio Message

January 18, 1903
January 18, 1903

Marconi Transmits Radio Message

On this day in 1903, Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian inventor of wireless telegraphy, arrived on Cape Cod hoping to make history. The night was cold but perfectly clear, and the first trans-Atlantic radio transmission, a...

News of Peace Treaty Reaches Boston

February 12, 1815
February 12, 1815

News of Peace Treaty Reaches Boston

On this day in 1815, news reached Boston that the War of 1812 was over. The U.S. had at first been a neutral party in a conflict between Britain and France. But when the British...

Newbury Offers Wolf Bounty

March 9, 1704
March 9, 1704

Newbury Offers Wolf Bounty

On this day in 1704, the town of Newbury voted to pay a bounty to men who had killed two wolves on Plum Island. Wolves were a threat to the cattle, sheep, and pigs grazing...

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...

Gloucester Fish Companies Merge

March 31, 1906
March 31, 1906

Gloucester Fish Companies Merge

On this day in 1906, Slade Gorton and Company of Gloucester stunned the fishing industry by announcing that it would merge with three other local fishing companies. With a fleet of 55 vessels, mostly sleek...

Puritans Leave for Massachusetts

April 7, 1630
April 7, 1630

Puritans Leave for Massachusetts

On this day in 1630, the last well-wishers stepped off the ship Arabella and returned to shore. More than a week after the vessel first set out, the winds were finally favorable. The ship weighed...

First Whale Watch Departs

April 15, 1975
April 15, 1975

First Whale Watch Departs

On this day in 1975 charter boat captain Al Avellar left Provincetown Harbor with a boatload of school children. They were going to look, not fish. This was the first whale-watching trip on the eastern...

Marblehead Carved Out of Salem

May 6, 1635
May 6, 1635

Marblehead Carved Out of Salem

On this day in 1635, the General Court of Massachusetts Bay established the town of Marblehead on land that belonged to Salem. The move was meant to punish Salem for allowing Roger Williams to express...

Explorer Gosnold Names "Cape Cod"

May 15, 1602
May 15, 1602

Explorer Gosnold Names "Cape Cod"

On this day in 1602, the English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold dropped anchor off the Massachusetts coast. While he and four others went ashore, the rest of the crew pulled in so many cod that they...