Massachusetts is the sixth state of the United States. “The Bay State” has contributed largely to history, culture and business/economy in the country since the Pilgrims founded Plymouth in 1620, while seeking religious freedom. It has also been famous for its intellectual activity of its writers and educators since the 19th century, and Massachusetts might be everyone’s idea of a “big brains hub” since Harvard and MIT are also located there. Massachusetts is also renowned for its fishing industry, that’s why it has also earned another nickname as “The Codfish State.”
Here are some more interesting facts about Massachusetts that you’d love to know!
Lowell, Massachusetts’ fourth-largest city, became famous as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in America. Lowell had the largest industrial complex in the US during the 1850s as its textile industry continued to thrive, thus attracting migrant workers as well as immigrants to the city’s cotton mills.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the most renowned institutions of higher learning of the world. Founded in 1861 and opened in 1865, the MIT gave the world several Nobel laureates and astronauts, as well as famous almuni who are successful in their own fields from medicine and engineering to architecture to business. It is located in the Massachusetts city of Cambridge, which is also home to another prestigious university in the world, Harvard University.
The mayflower (Epigaea repens) is white or pink and fragrant flower that has been the floral emblem of Massachusetts since it was made as an official state flower in 1918. The flower is held with so much importance that digging up one is punishable with $50 fine.
Located in the state capital and city of Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts (founded in 1870) is one of the largest museums in the United States. It’s also one of most visited American museums, accounting for over a million visitors per year. It houses over 450,000 works of art and historical artifacs. Among the museum’s notable collections are Egyptian artifacts, ancient Chinese paintings, some works by Gaugin, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh and Cezanne as well as by American artists John Singleton Copley and John Singer Sargent.
The Massachusetts State House is the Massachusett’s state capitol which is located in the state capital and biggest city, Boston. Designed by renowned architect Charles Bullfinch, construction was finished in 1798. It is one of the finest examples of Federal architecture, leading the capitol to also become one of the finest architectural jewels in the United States.
Hebert’s Candies, located in the Massachusetts town of Shrewsbury, was the first to introduce white chocolates in the United States in the early 1950s
Bell, a Scottish immigrant, moved to Boston during the early 1870s and worked as a professor at Boston University. Specializing in the field of vocal physiology, Bell was compelled to invent a device which became an experimental telephone which he first demonstrated in the city.
The American Elm (Ulmus americana) is a hardy tree native to eastern North America. It was designated as Massachusett’s official state tree in 1941.
Now one of the most popular team sports in the world, basketball was first invented in Springfield, Massachusetts when sports coach James Naismith invented the game in 1891. The harsh December winter forced him and his rowdy class to confine themselves inside the YMCA Training School, now Springfield College. They needed to play an indoor sport and so Naismith invented a game that consisted of a soccer ball and two peach baskets.
The Boston Terrier was designated as the state’s official dog breed in 1979.
The black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapilla) was adopted as Massachusetts’s official state bird in 1941. It is one of the Massachusetts’ two state birds, the other being wild turkey (state game bird).
Clark University is a private university located in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1887, the university is best known as the birth place of rocket propulsion. However, the birth control pill was also invented at the same university. Now you know!
Edgartown Harbor Light is one of the five lighthouses in Martha’s Vineyard, known as the summer colony of the affluent and the upper-class. Edgartown Harbor Light was first constructed in 1828, becoming also the island’s first-ever lighthouse.
The first Edgartown lighthouse was badly damaged by the 1938 hurricane. The following year, the US Coast Guard demolished the original structure and installed a cast iron tower brought from Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts. The lighthouse had suffered wear and tear over the decades before it was fully restored in 1988. It is managed today by the Martha Vineyard’s Historical Society. In 2014, the actual ownership of the lighthouse was awarded to the Town of Edgartown, under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act.
The current version of the flag of Massachusetts was officially adopted in 1908 and revised in 1971.
The flag consists of a white field, with the state coat of arms in the center. The shield displays an image of an Algonquian Native American holding a bow and arrow, which is pointed downwards, symbolizing peace. The white star that appears next to the figure’s head represents Massachusetts’ status as one of the original 13 states. Around the shield is a dark blue ribbon that displays the motto: Ense Petit Placidam, Sub Libertate Quietem which means “By the Sword We Seek Peace, but Peace Only Under Liberty.” On top of the shield is an arm holding a sword, which refers to the first part of the motto.