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Phillis Wheatley Arrives in Boston

July 11, 1761
July 11, 1761

Phillis Wheatley Arrives in Boston

On this day in 1761, a girl from West Africa arrived in Boston, enslaved with 74 other people on the ship Phillis. John Wheatley, a successful merchant, purchased her and named her Phillis, after the...

Perkins School for the Blind Incorporated

March 2, 1829
March 2, 1829

Perkins School for the Blind Incorporated

On this day in 1829, the New England Asylum for the Blind was incorporated in Boston. The institution opened with six students, but within six years, it had ten times that number. For the first time, blind...

Critic Declares Springsteen Future of Rock and Roll

May 9, 1974
May 9, 1974

Critic Declares Springsteen Future of Rock and Roll

On this day in 1974, 25-year-old Bruce Springsteen played at the Harvard Square Theater in Cambridge. Although popular with the college crowd in the Northeast, Springsteen was not yet a star. That night, he and...

Shadrach Minkins Seized

February 15, 1851
February 15, 1851

Shadrach Minkins Seized

On this day in 1851, a group of outraged African American men burst into a courtroom in Boston and rescued Shadrach Minkins, the first escaped slave seized in New England under the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law....

Quakers Outlawed in Plymouth

December 3, 1658
December 3, 1658

Quakers Outlawed in Plymouth

On this day in 1658, Plymouth Court ordered that any boat carrying Quakers to Sandwich be seized to prevent the religious heretics from landing. A year earlier, Quakers in Sandwich had established the first Friends‘...

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 Arbella and returned to shore. More than a week after the vessel first set out, the winds were finally favorable. The ship weighed...

Fire Destroys Malden Mills

December 11, 1995
December 11, 1995

Fire Destroys Malden Mills

On this day in 1995, a massive, wind-whipped fire completely destroyed three buildings at Malden Mills in Lawrence, where the company's signature Polartec fabric was produced. Just two weeks before Christmas, thousands of workers faced...

King Philip's War Breaks Out

June 24, 1675
June 24, 1675

King Philip's War Breaks Out

On this day in 1675, Wampanoag warriors killed seven colonists in Swansea in retaliation for a series of injustices suffered at the hands of the English. This raid is generally considered the beginning of King...

Fugitive Slave Anthony Burns Arrested

May 24, 1854
May 24, 1854

Fugitive Slave Anthony Burns Arrested

On this day in 1854, Anthony Burns, a fugitive slave from Virginia, was arrested in Boston. His capture enraged black and white abolitionists. Two days after the arrest, a number of them attacked the federal...

Supreme Court Strikes Down "Separate but Equal"

May 17, 1954
May 17, 1954

Supreme Court Strikes Down "Separate but Equal"

On this day in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the doctrine of separate but equal. "Segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race . . . deprives the children of...

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