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First Esperanto Society Formed

February 16, 1905
February 16, 1905

First Esperanto Society Formed

On this day in 1905, the first Esperanto Society in the United States was established in Boston. Invented by a Polish doctor in the 1880s, Esperanto was an entirely new language created to promote international...

Calvin Coolidge Sworn in as President

August 3, 1923
August 3, 1923

Calvin Coolidge Sworn in as President

On this day in 1923, upon the death of Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as President of the United States. "Silent Cal" had been the Republican governor of Massachusetts, little known outside...

Boston Holds First "Rat Day"

February 13, 1917
February 13, 1917

Boston Holds First "Rat Day"

On this day in 1917, the Boston Women's Municipal League held the first — and as it happened, only — Rat Day. Increasing numbers of rats infested neighborhoods ranging from the overcrowded North End to...

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...

Boston Celebrates Opening of Aqueduct

October 25, 1848
October 25, 1848

Boston Celebrates Opening of Aqueduct

On this day in 1848, 300,000 people from all over New England gathered on Boston Common. They came to celebrate the completion of the city's first municipal water system. With the construction of an aqueduct...

Trainer Discovers Seabiscuit at Suffolk Downs

June 29, 1936
June 29, 1936

Trainer Discovers Seabiscuit at Suffolk Downs

On this day in 1936, Tom Smith, an experienced horse trainer, spied an unlikely looking three-year-old Thoroughbred on the track at East Boston's Suffolk Downs. The two exchanged knowing nods. One year later, Smith returned...

Northfield Couple Launches U.S. Youth Hostel Movement

December 27, 1934
December 27, 1934

Northfield Couple Launches U.S. Youth Hostel Movement

On this day in 1934, Isabel and Monroe Smith opened the first U.S. youth hostel in Northfield. The young couple had discovered hosteling during a trip to Europe and had become devoted disciples of the...

State Acts to Protect Mt. Greylock

June 20, 1898
June 20, 1898

State Acts to Protect Mt. Greylock

On this day in 1898, the legislature established the first state park in Massachusetts on Mount Greylock. The tallest peak in the state, at almost 3500 feet, Greylock is like an island, different in geology,...

Newburyport Fire Leads to Execution for Arson

May 18, 1820
May 18, 1820

Newburyport Fire Leads to Execution for Arson

On this day in 1820, a barn filled with hay burned to the ground in Newburyport. Just three days later, cries of "fire" alarmed the town again. Terrified residents were convinced they had an arsonist...

Governor Honors Activist Melnea Cass

June 19, 1968
June 19, 1968

Governor Honors Activist Melnea Cass

On this day in 1968, Governor John Volpe dedicated the Melnea Cass Swimming and Skating Rink in Roxbury. The new facility was intended to improve life in Boston's urban neighborhoods. It was named for a...

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