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Phillis is Enslaved by the Wheatley Family

July 11, 1761
July 11, 1761

Phillis is Enslaved by the Wheatley Family

On this day in 1761, John Wheatley, a successful merchant, purchased a frail African girl off a slave ship in Boston. The Wheatleys named her Phillis, after the vessel that had brought her across the Atlantic...

German U-Boat Attacks Cape Cod

July 21, 1918
July 21, 1918

German U-Boat Attacks Cape Cod

On this day in 1918, people in the Cape Cod town of Orleans were astonished to see a German U-boat surface offshore and begin firing on an unarmed tugboat and the four barges it was...

Jury Finds Mary Parsons Not Guilty of Witchcraft

May 13, 1675
May 13, 1675

Jury Finds Mary Parsons Not Guilty of Witchcraft

On this day in 1675, a Boston jury reached a verdict in the case of Mary Bliss Parsons of Northampton: they found her not guilty of witchcraft. In seventeenth-century New England, virtually everyone believed in...

Woman's Rights Pioneer Lucy Stone Born

August 13, 1818
August 13, 1818

Woman's Rights Pioneer Lucy Stone Born

On this day in 1818, woman's rights pioneer Lucy Stone was born on a farm in West Brookfield. Her mother greeted the news that her sixth child was a girl by exclaiming, "Oh Dear! I...

The First Leprosy Patients Arrive on Penikese Island

November 18, 1905
November 18, 1905

The First Leprosy Patients Arrive on Penikese Island

On this day in 1905, five leprosy patients arrived on Penikese Island in Buzzard's Bay, the site of the first and only leprosarium in Massachusetts. Over the next 16 years, 36 victims of leprosy, or...

Tupperware Inventor Born

July 28, 1907
July 28, 1907

Tupperware Inventor Born

On this day in 1907, Earl Tupper, inventor of Tupperware, was born. Raised in central Massachusetts, birthplace of the plastics industry, he was a compulsive tinkerer, inventing, among hundreds of other things, a fish-powered boat....

Route 128 Opens Boston's High Tech Age

August 24, 1951
August 24, 1951

Route 128 Opens Boston's High Tech Age

On this day in 1951, the first segment of Route 128 was opened. By 1956, the expressway stretched 65 miles from Gloucester to Braintree. While officials were confident the road would relieve traffic in Boston...

William Dawes Dies

February 25, 1799
February 25, 1799

William Dawes Dies

On this day in 1799, William Dawes died. The first man to be dispatched on the night of April 18, 1775, Dawes carried the same message as Paul Revere, but while Revere rowed across the...

Boston Celebrates First Evacuation Day

March 17, 1901
March 17, 1901

Boston Celebrates First Evacuation Day

On this day in 1901, the City of Boston officially celebrated Evacuation Day for the first time. In early March of 1776, Continental troops managed to move heavy cannon to the top of Dorchester Heights....

Chinese Workers Arrive in North Adams

June 13, 1870
June 13, 1870

Chinese Workers Arrive in North Adams

On this day in 1870, a train arrived in North Adams with 75 young men from China hired to replace striking shoe workers. Over 2,000 people watched as the men walked to the factory under...

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