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Boston Police Vote to Unionize, Precipitating Riots

August 15, 1919
August 15, 1919

Boston Police Vote to Unionize, Precipitating Riots

On this day in 1919, Boston policemen seeking better wages and working conditions voted to form a union. The Commissioner of Police forbade them to unionize. Tensions escalated until, three weeks later, 19 officers were...

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...

John Greenleaf Whittier Dies

September 7, 1892
September 7, 1892

John Greenleaf Whittier Dies

On this day in 1892, the poet John Greenleaf Whittier died at the age of 85. He had come a long way from his Quaker boyhood on a struggling farm in Haverhill. He began writing...

First Newspaper Published in the Colonies

September 25, 1690
September 25, 1690

First Newspaper Published in the Colonies

On this day in 1690, Boston printer Benjamin Harris produced the first issue of Publick Occurrences, the first newspaper published in Britain's North American colonies. Readers were enthusiastic, but the governor was not. Under British...

Massachusetts Soldiers Threaten Mutiny

September 30, 1759
September 30, 1759

Massachusetts Soldiers Threaten Mutiny

On this day in 1759, a regiment of Massachusetts men serving in the French and Indian War began to talk of mutiny against their British commander. The colonel had decided not to release the volunteers...

Samuel Adams Dies

October 2, 1803
October 2, 1803

Samuel Adams Dies

On this day in 1803, the fiery patriot Samuel Adams died at the age of 81. A complete failure as a businessman, he was a brilliant political organizer, a talented writer, and a passionate public...

Northampton Dedicates Sojourner Truth Statue

October 4, 2002
October 4, 2002

Northampton Dedicates Sojourner Truth Statue

On this day in 2002, a statue was installed in Florence, a village of Northampton, to honor Sojourner Truth, the former enslaved woman best known for the "Ain't I a Woman" speech she delivered in 1851....

New Bedford Strikers Cast Vote

October 6, 1928
October 6, 1928

New Bedford Strikers Cast Vote

On this day in 1928, after a bitter six-month strike, the members of New Bedford's Textile Council voted to accept a compromise offer. Faced with overproduction and falling profits, the mill owners had imposed a...

Roger Williams Banished

October 9, 1635
October 9, 1635

Roger Williams Banished

On this day in 1635, Puritan minister Roger Williams was found guilty of spreading "newe & dangerous opinions" and banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Before leaving England in 1630, Williams had seen heretics whipped,...

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