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Captain Absalom Boston Dies on Nantucket

June 6, 1855
June 6, 1855

Captain Absalom Boston Dies on Nantucket

On this day in 1855, Captain Absalom Boston of Nantucket died. In an era when many African Americans worked as seamen, Absalom Boston stood out. In 1822 he captained an all-black crew on the whaleship...

Fire Nearly Destroys Nantucket Town

July 13, 1846
July 13, 1846

Fire Nearly Destroys Nantucket Town

On this day in 1846, a fire began in a hat store on Nantucket's Main Street. In no time, it raced through town, consuming everything in its path. Barrels of whale oil were stored on...

Quincy Shipyard Launches First Nuclear Powered Cruiser

July 14, 1959
July 14, 1959

Quincy Shipyard Launches First Nuclear Powered Cruiser

On this day in 1959, the nation's first nuclear-powered cruiser was launched from Fore River Shipyard in Quincy. With its deep and sheltered harbor, Quincy was an ideal site for shipbuilding. Men had been building...

German U-Boat Attacks Cape Cod

July 21, 1918
July 21, 1918

German U-Boat Attacks Cape Cod

On this day in 1918, people in the Cape Cod town of Orleans were astonished to see a German U-boat surface offshore and begin firing on an unarmed tugboat and the four barges it was...

The Stockholm Rams the Andrea Doria

July 25, 1956
July 25, 1956

The Stockholm Rams the Andrea Doria

On this day in 1956, two ocean liners collided in thick fog, approximately 50 miles south of Nantucket. The Stockholm had just left New York City bound for Sweden. The Andrea Doria was due to...

Revenue Cutter Service School Established in New Bedford

July 31, 1876
July 31, 1876

Revenue Cutter Service School Established in New Bedford

On this day in 1876, Congress established at New Bedford the first School of Instruction to train officers for the Revenue Service. The Service traced its history back to 1790 when Congress decided it needed...

Pilgrim Monument Completed in Provincetown

August 21, 1909
August 21, 1909

Pilgrim Monument Completed in Provincetown

On this day in 1909, two young girls, using ropes and a pulley, helped haul the last stone into place to complete the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown. The town's Yankee residents had long been seeking...

Harvard Awards Bowditch Honorary Degree

August 25, 1802
August 25, 1802

Harvard Awards Bowditch Honorary Degree

On this day in 1802, Harvard College awarded Nathaniel Bowditch an honorary Master's Degree. The Salem-born astronomer, mathematician, and navigator was almost entirely self-educated. His formal schooling ended when he was ten. While apprenticed to...

Washington Commissions First Naval Officer

September 2, 1775
September 2, 1775

Washington Commissions First Naval Officer

On this day in 1775, General George Washington commissioned Nicholson Broughton captain "in the Army of the United Colonies of North America." Broughton had a novel assignment: The Marblehead man was to be master of...

Boston Lighthouse Lit for the First Time

September 14, 1716
September 14, 1716

Boston Lighthouse Lit for the First Time

On this day in 1716, Boston Light on Little Brewster Island was lit for the first time. The first lighthouse built in North America, the structure weathered 60 years of lightning strikes and hurricane-force winds...

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