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Colonial "rebel" and brewer Samuel Adams led the Boston Tea Party.

In 1838, Boston, Massachusetts was the first city to estalish its own police department.
Town Nicknames: Metropolis Of New England, Hub Of The Solar System, Hub Of New England, City Of Notions
The first U.S. mail route was opened in 1672 between the two cities of Boston and New York.
The oldest park in the U.S. is Boston Common.
Boston Cream Pie is the official dessert of Massachusetts.
Town Nicknames: The Hub Town, Athens, Literary Emporium, Athens Of The New World, Tri- Mountain City
Town Nicknames: American Athens, Beantown, Athens Of America, The Hub, Hub Of The Universe
Town Nicknames: City Of Kind Hearts, City Of Baked Beans, Puritan City, City Of Bean Eaters, Modern Athens
Town Nicknames: Panhandler's Heaven, Athens Of The United States, Bay Horse, Classic City
Founded on September 17, 1630, on a peninsula called Shawmut by the Native Americans who lived there, Boston is named after Boston, England, a town in Lincolnshire from which several prominent colonists originated. The Puritans who led the Winthrop Fleet to Boston were not Separatists like the Pilgrim Fathers, but chartered colonists. Boston's deep harbor and advantageous geographic position helped it to become the busiest port in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, surpassing Plymouth, and Salem. From its founding until the 1760s, Boston was America's largest, wealthiest, and most influential city.

Early colonists believed that Boston was a community with a special covenant with God. Winthrop's sermon, "a City upon a Hill," captured this idea, which influenced every facet of Boston life, and made it imperative that colonists legislate morality, enforce marriage, enforce church attendance, enforce education in the Word of God, and enforce the persecution of sinners. Puritan values of hard work, moral uprightness, and education remain a part of Boston's culture.

On June 1, 1660, Mary Dyer was hanged on Boston Common for repeatedly defying a law banning Quakers from the colony. She is considered to be the last religious martyr in North America.

On March 20, 1760 the "Great Fire" of Boston destroyed 349 buildings.

Boston played a key role in the American Revolutionary War. The Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and several of the early battles of the revolutionary war (such as the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the Siege of Boston) occurred near the city. During this period, Paul Revere made his famous ride. As a result Boston is known as the Cradle of Liberty and historic sites remain a popular tourist draw to this day.

After the revolutionary war, the city became one of the world's wealthiest international trading ports, exporting products such as rum, fish, salt and tobacco. It was chartered as a city in 1822, and by the mid-1800s it was one of the largest manufacturing centers in the nation noted for its garment, leather goods, and machinery industries.

In 1831, William Lloyd Garrison founded The Liberator, an abolitionist newsletter, in Boston. It advocated "immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves" in the United States, and established Boston as the center of the abolitionist movement.

A poem about Boston, attributed to various people, describes the city thus: "And here’s to good old Boston/The land of the bean and the cod/Where Lowells talk only to Cabots/And Cabots talk only to God." But while wealthy colonial families like the Lowells and Cabots (often called the Boston Brahmins) continued to be powerful in the city , by the 1840s waves of new immigrants began to arrive from Europe. These included large numbers of Irish, and Italians giving the city a large Roman Catholic population. It is currently the third largest Catholic community in the United States (after Chicago and Los Angeles).

The first medical school for women, The Boston Female Medical School (which later merged with the Boston University School of Medicine), opened in Boston on November 1, 1848.

The Great Boston Fire of 1872 started on Lincoln Street on November 9 and in two days destroyed about 65 acres (260,000 m˛) of city, 776 buildings, much of the financial district and caused US$60 million in damage.

1888 German map of BostonIn 1879, Mary Baker Eddy founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston.

"As a literary centre Boston was long supreme in the United States and still disputes the palm with New York," says Baedeker's United States (1893). "A list of its distinguished literary men would be endless; but it may not be invidious to mention Hawthorne, Emerson, Longfellow, Holmes, Lowell, Everett, Agassiz, Whittier, Motley, Bancroft, Prescott, Parkman, Ticknor, Channing, Theodore Parker, Henry James, T. B. Aldrich and Howells among the names more or less closely associated with Boston." Most of the great publishing houses of Boston have been acquired or moved, leaving little but the magazine The Atlantic Monthly (founded 1857) and the publisher Houghton Mifflin to bear witness to Boston's former publishing glory. Despite this, many renowned authors continue to live and work in Boston.

The first vaudeville theater opened on February 28, 1883 in Boston. The last one, the Old Howard in Scollay Square, which had gradually evolved from opera to vaudeville to burlesque, closed in 1953.

On September 1, 1897 the Boston subway opened as the first underground metro in North America. Today it is affectionately known as "The T" and is run by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

From the late 19th century until the mid-20th century, the phrase "Banned in Boston" was used to describe a literary work, motion picture, play, or other work prohibited from distribution or exhibition in Boston. During this time, city officials took it upon themselves to "ban" anything that they found to be salacious or offensive; theatrical shows were run out of town, books confiscated, and motion pictures (only beginning to be exhibited at about the time this crusade against vice got under way) were prevented from being shown, sometimes stopped in mid-showing after an official had "seen enough".

This movement had several effects. One was that Boston, arguably the cultural center of the United States since its founding, now came across as less sophisticated than many lesser cities without such stringent censorship practices. Another is that the phrase "banned in Boston" began to be associated in the popular mind with something sexy and lurid; many distributors of such works were happy when they were banned in Boston, as that made them have more appeal elsewere; many distributors also advertised that their products had been banned in Boston when in fact they had not in order to increase their appeal.

On January 15, 1919, the Boston Molasses Disaster occurred in the North End. Twenty-one people were killed and 150 injured as hot molasses crushed, asphyxiated, and cooked many of the victims to death. It took over six months to remove the molasses from the cobblestone streets, theaters, businesses, automobiles, and homes. Boston Harbor ran brown until summer.

On August 23, 1927, Italian anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti were sent to the electric chair after a seven year trial in Boston. Their execution sparked riots in London, Paris and Germany, and helped to reinforce the image of Boston as a hotbed of intolerance and discipline.

On November 28, 1942, Boston's Cocoanut Grove speakeasy was the site of the deadliest nightclub fire in United States history, killing 492 people and injuring hundreds more.

Between June 14, 1962 and January 4, 1964 thirteen single women between the ages of 19 and 85 were murdered in Boston by the infamous Boston Strangler.

By 1950, Boston was slumping. Few major buildings were being built anywhere in the city. Factories were closing up, and moving their operations south, where labor was cheaper. The assets Boston had -- excellent banks, hospitals, universities and technical know-how -- were minimal parts of the U.S. economy.

But all that changed in the next 50 years and Boston boomed. Financial institutions got far more latitude, many more people began to play the market, and Boston became a leader in the mutual fund industry. Health care became far more extensive and expensive, and hospitals such as Massachusetts General, Beth Israel Deaconess, and Brigham and Women's became major profit centers in the city. Universities, such as Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Boston University and Tufts University brought thousands of bright students to the area; many stayed and became citizens.

Finally, MIT and other universities became a source of high-tech talent. Many MIT graduates, in particular, founded successful high-tech companies in the Boston area. Powerful politicians such as John F. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy and Tip O'Neill made sure Boston got plenty of federal investment.

In 1974, the city had to deal with a crisis when a federal district court judge, W. Arthur Garrity, ordered busing to integrate the city's public schools. Violence flared in some neighborhoods of the city when some white parents resisted the busing plan, and public schools - particularly high schools - in these and some other city neighborhoods became the scene of considerable unrest. The tension continued throughout the middle third of the 1970s, leading to the term forced busing entering the American political lexicon. Many parents chose to abandon the public school system, opting for private schools instead.

The last person to get across that town in under three hours was yelling "The British are coming! The British are coming!" —Lewis Black

As of 2004, the city is in the final stages of a massive highway construction project called the Big Dig. Planned and approved in the 1980s under Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, with actual construction beginning in 1991, the Big Dig has moved several major highway routes through the city from antique and crumbling elevated highways into newer, larger underground tunnels, including a brand new tunnel built underneath Boston Harbor called the Ted Williams Tunnel. The Big Dig project is meant to both ease traffic congestion (which has become a major problem for the city) and also contribute significantly to urban renewal, as it removes enormous elevated highway structures and makes large areas of prime city land available for public development. The Big Dig has been plagued by cost overruns and delays, and it has become one of the largest and most expensive construction projects in the history of the entire United States.

High tech, education, finance and medical research, and health care are key industries and Boston has world-renowned cultural attractions (including the Museum of Fine Arts and two famous orchestras, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra).

The largest art theft in US history occurred in Boston on March 18, 1990 when 12 paintings, collectively worth $100 million, were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum by two thieves posing as police officers. As of 2004 these paintings had not been recovered.

Downtown Boston and the Back Bay neighborhood seen across the Charles River Basin.In recent years as of 2004, like many cities in the United States, Boston has experienced a significant loss of regional institutions and practices that once gave it a very distinct identity, and become part of a more homogenized U. S. culture. Examples include: the acquisition of the Boston Globe by The New York Times; the loss of Boston-headquartered publishing houses (noted above), the acquisition of the century-old Jordan Marsh department store by Macy's; the increasing rarity of ice-cream shops using cone-shaped scoops; the financial crisis currently being experienced by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society; and the loss, to mergers, failures, and acquisitions of once-prominent local financial institutions such as Shawmut Bank, BayBanks, Bank of New England, and Bank of Boston. In 2004, this trend continued as Charlotte-based Bank of America acquired FleetBoston Financial (formerly Bank of Boston). - Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia

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