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Whaleship Essex Sinks

November 20, 1820
November 20, 1820

Whaleship Essex Sinks

On this day in 1820, an enormous sperm whale rammed and sank the Nantucket whaleship Essex in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. The first mate described the 85-foot whale's unprovoked attack as enraged and...

Stock Market Crash Heralds Great Depression

October 29, 1929
October 29, 1929

Stock Market Crash Heralds Great Depression

On this day in 1929, stock markets in Boston, New York, and other major American cities tumbled so dramatically that the day was named Black Tuesday. Capping five days of frenzied panic selling, Black Tuesday...

Arlo Guthrie Convicted of Littering

November 28, 1965
November 28, 1965

Arlo Guthrie Convicted of Littering

On this day in 1965, 20-year-old Arlo Guthrie was convicted of littering in the Berkshire County town of Stockbridge, and the song "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" was born. The son of legendary musician Woody Guthrie, Arlo...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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....

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