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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...

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...

Alexander Graham Bell Receives First Patent

March 7, 1876
March 7, 1876

Alexander Graham Bell Receives First Patent

On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone. Born in Scotland, Bell settled in Boston when he was in his early 20s. He made his living as a teacher...

The Fortune Sails from Plymouth for England

December 13, 1621
December 13, 1621

The Fortune Sails from Plymouth for England

On this day in 1621, the ship Fortune set sail from Plymouth Colony. The arrival of the vessel two weeks earlier — sent by the English investors who had funded the Mayflower colonists— should have...

Sumner Attacked in U.S. Senate

May 22, 1856
May 22, 1856

Sumner Attacked in U.S. Senate

On this day in 1856, Preston Brooks, a congressman from South Carolina, viciously attacked Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the United States Senate. Three days earlier, in a passionate anti-slavery speech, Sumner...

Rosie Ruiz Steals Boston Marathon

April 21, 1980
April 21, 1980

Rosie Ruiz Steals Boston Marathon

On this day in 1980 Rosie Ruiz tried to steal the Boston Marathon. Crowned the women's champion when she crossed the finish line, Ruiz looked surprisingly well-rested for someone who had just run 26.2 miles...

"Gerrymander" Born in Massachusetts

February 11, 1812
February 11, 1812

"Gerrymander" Born in Massachusetts

On this day in 1812, a political monster — the "Gerrymander" — was born in the Massachusetts State House. Governor Elbridge Gerry signed a bill that created oddly-shaped voting districts in several parts of the...

Five Die in Boston Massacre

March 5, 1770
March 5, 1770

Five Die in Boston Massacre

On this day in 1770, Crispus Attucks, a black man from Framingham, and four other civilians were shot by British soldiers. Attucks worked on whaling ships and, between voyages, as a semi-skilled laborer around the...

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...

First American-Made Valentines Sold

February 14, 1849
February 14, 1849

First American-Made Valentines Sold

On this day in 1849, the first American-made valentines were sold in Worcester. They were designed and made by Esther Howland, the daughter of a local stationer. After graduating from Mt. Holyoke College, she returned...

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