Trending Moments

Frederick Douglass First Addresses White Audience

August 11, 1841
August 11, 1841

Frederick Douglass First Addresses White Audience

On this day in 1841, Frederick Douglass, a fugitive slave, addressed a white audience for the first time when he spoke to a gathering of abolitionists on Nantucket. "It was with the utmost difficulty that...

First Game of Basketball Played in Springfield

December 21, 1891
December 21, 1891

First Game of Basketball Played in Springfield

On this day in 1891, the first game of basketball was played at what is now Springfield College. The game was invented by a Canadian, Dr. James Naismith, a versatile athlete, theologian, and physical education...

Malcolm X Imprisoned

February 27, 1946
February 27, 1946

Malcolm X Imprisoned

On this day in 1946, 20-year-old Malcolm Little entered the state prison in Charlestown to begin serving a sentence for burglary. While in jail, he joined the Black Muslims, a new branch of Islam. Burning...

Massachusetts Loses Maine

March 15, 1820
March 15, 1820

Massachusetts Loses Maine

On this day in 1820, Massachusetts lost over 30,000 square miles of land as its former province of Maine gained statehood. Mainers had begun campaigning for statehood in the years following the Revolution. The Massachusetts...

First Slaves Arrive in Massachusetts

February 26, 1638
February 26, 1638

First Slaves Arrive in Massachusetts

On this day in 1638, a ship returned to Massachusetts Bay from the West Indies after a seven-month voyage. Its cargo included cotton, tobacco and, as far as we know, the first enslaved Africans to be...

Henry Knox Brings Cannon to Boston

January 24, 1776
January 24, 1776

Henry Knox Brings Cannon to Boston

On this day in 1776, Colonel Henry Knox reached the headquarters of the Continental Army in Cambridge. The young Boston bookseller had pulled off a daring plan. He had led a small group of men...

Anne Hutchinson Banished

March 22, 1638
March 22, 1638

Anne Hutchinson Banished

On this day in 1638, Anne Hutchinson was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Three years after arriving in Boston, she found herself the first female defendant in a Massachusetts court. When she held prayer...

Dorothea Dix Begins Her Crusade

March 28, 1841
March 28, 1841

Dorothea Dix Begins Her Crusade

On this day in 1841, Dorothea Dix visited an East Cambridge jail and was appalled to see mentally ill women confined alongside hardened criminals. The 40-year-old teacher and writer had been exposed to the work...

Henry David Thoreau Spends Night in Jail

July 23, 1846
July 23, 1846

Henry David Thoreau Spends Night in Jail

On this day in 1846, Henry David Thoreau left his cabin at Walden Pond for a brief walk into town and ended up in the Concord jail for refusing to pay his poll tax. A...

Percy Spencer, Inventor of Microwave Oven, Born

July 19, 1894
July 19, 1894

Percy Spencer, Inventor of Microwave Oven, Born

On this day in 1894, Percy Spencer, the self-taught scientist who discovered the power of microwave technology, was born. With an endlessly curious mind, Spencer spent much of his early life figuring out how things...