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Christmas Celebration Outlawed

December 25, 1659
December 25, 1659

Christmas Celebration Outlawed

On this day in 1659, a law was passed by the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony requiring a five-shilling fine from anyone caught "observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by...

Herman Melville Sails from New Bedford

January 3, 1841
January 3, 1841

Herman Melville Sails from New Bedford

On this day in 1841, Herman Melville boarded the whaleship Acushnet and sailed out of New Bedford, the whaling capital of the world. As he later wrote about his character Ishmael, that ship would be...

Benjamin Franklin Introduces "Silence Dogood"

April 2, 1722
April 2, 1722

Benjamin Franklin Introduces "Silence Dogood"

On this day in 1722, the Boston paper The Courant first published a letter from a widow with a keen wit and a gift for satire. Every few weeks, another letter from "Silence Dogood" appeared....

Nation's First Country Club Established

January 14, 1882
January 14, 1882

Nation's First Country Club Established

On this day in 1882, a group of men from the social elite of Boston formally established The Country Club of Brookline, the first such club in the United States. Only four miles from the...

Charles Goodyear Receives Patent for Vulcanized Rubber

June 15, 1844
June 15, 1844

Charles Goodyear Receives Patent for Vulcanized Rubber

On this day in 1844, after a decade of hardship and perseverance, Charles Goodyear received a patent for vulcanized rubber. The first boots and clothing made from rubber had performed poorly in the American environment....

Angelina Grimke Addresses Legislature

February 21, 1838
February 21, 1838

Angelina Grimke Addresses Legislature

On this day in 1838 a woman addressed a legislative body for the first time in American history. An overflow crowd gathered at the State House in Boston as Angelina Grimké, daughter of a South...

Blizzard Shuts Down Massachusetts

March 11, 1888
March 11, 1888

Blizzard Shuts Down Massachusetts

On this day in 1888, ordinary life in Massachusetts came to a standstill. One of the most destructive blizzards ever to strike the East Coast raged for 36 hours. Called "the White Hurricane," the storm...

Lewis Latimer Awarded First Patent

February 10, 1874
February 10, 1874

Lewis Latimer Awarded First Patent

On this day in 1874, inventor Lewis Latimer received his first patent. The son of a Virginia couple who had escaped from slavery, he was born and raised in Chelsea. After a stint in the...

Massachusetts Bay Colony Bans Catholic Priests

May 26, 1647
May 26, 1647

Massachusetts Bay Colony Bans Catholic Priests

On this day in 1647, Massachusetts Bay banned Jesuit priests from the colony on penalty of death. The English Puritans who settled the colony feared the Jesuits for several reasons. First, simply because they were...

Mercy Otis Marries James Warren

November 14, 1754
November 14, 1754

Mercy Otis Marries James Warren

On this day in 1754, Mercy Otis of Barnstable and James Warren of Plymouth began their remarkable 54-year partnership. When she married into a family active in public affairs, Mercy embraced the chance to be...

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