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What is the history of Boston, Massachusetts, USA?

People, Pictures, Old Postcards and Stories From the Past

Explore Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures and genealogy.
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA

"Boston, a city of the United States, capital of Massachusetts and of Suffolk co., on a bay called Boston Harbor, which forms the inner bight of Massachusetts Bay, at the mouth of the Charles and Mystic Rivers. Lat. 42° 21' 29.6" N.; lon. 71°3' 51" W. The original town stood upon a peninsula called by the Indians Shawmut, and by the settlers Tremont or Trimountain, from the three summits of a conspicuous hill, which, though now much reduced, is still prominent, and known as Beacon Hill. The city now includes the island of East Boston (Noddle's Island), and the peninsular suburbs of South Boston and Charlestown, besides the former towns of Dorchester, Roxbury (or Boston Highlands), West Roxbury, and Brighton, with their minor villages of Allston, Jamaica Plain, Neponset, Mattapan, &c. The cities of Quincy, Newton, Cambridge, Somervfile, and Chelsea are near suburbs, and there are many large towns (such as Milton, Dedham, Brookline, Watertown, and Everett) in close proximity. Great areas adjoining the original Shawmut have been reclaimed from the harbor and its in lets, so that what was originally the neck of the peninsula is now the widest part of it. These parts are now covered with substantial and costly buildings. Several large tracts of low ground have been elevated to perfect the system of sewers, the houses being raised at public expense. The city is the terminus of many railroads, of which the principal are the Old Colony, the New York & New England, the Boston & Albany, the Fitchburg, the Boston & Maine, and the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn, and in the outskirts runs the Grand Junction Railway, which connects most of these roads. Twenty-five bridges over navigable waters, besides the railway bridges, connect the city and suburbs, while East Boston and Chelsea are reached by steam ferries. Boston is one of the best built cities in the United States, and has strongly felt the recent spirit of architectural progress. The streets in the older portion, once singularly irregular in their course, have been somewhat straightened, at great expense, but are still far from the uniform regularity in many younger towns. Most of the principal streets are traversed by railways, which extend for many miles, connecting the suburban towns with Boston...

The population of Boston in 1790 was 18,320; in 1800, 34,937; in 1810,33,787; in 1820, 43,298; in 1830, 61,392; in 1840, 93,383; in 1850, 136,881; in 1860, 177,840; in 1870,250,526; in 1880, 362,839 (the gain having been in part due to the annexation of adjacent suburbs), and in 1890, 448,477."

Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ...
Joseph Thomas
January 1, 1895
J.B. Lippincott

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Old Photos, Pictures, Advertisements and Postcards from Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
GLEASON’S PICTORIAL DRAWING ROOM COMPANION illustrated newspaper (Boston, MA), October 11, 1851

"THE GREAT RAILROAD JUBILEE" (September 17-19, 1851, Boston, MA)

Celebration of the first connection by rail from Boston, MA to Montreal, via the... Read MORE...

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Fairbanks' Celebrate Scales
34 Kilby Street, Boston

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier
Bangor, Maine
June 25, 1857

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
"Cuticura soap, manufactured by the Potter Drug and Chemical company, is an antibacterial medicated soap in use since 1865. Noted Boston philanthropist George Robert White (1847-1922) was once the president and owner of Potter Drug and Chemical.... Read MORE...

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Malt Bitters Company, Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Putnam Nail Co., Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
1880s Wm. H. Zinn
Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Bradley's Super-Phosphate of Lime
Bradley Fertilzer Co.
Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Rexall Acid-Dyspesia Tablets
United Drug Company, Boston - St. Louis, USA
Found at The Way It Was Museum, Virginia City, Nevada

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Lowney's Chocolate Bonbons

The Walter M. Lowney Company
89 Pearl Street

The Ladies' Home Journal
April 1898

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Vose & Sons Piano Co.
174 Tremont St.
Boston, Mass.

Ladies' Home Journal
November 1898

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Faneuil Hall, Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Old North Church, Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Charles River Esplanade, Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Boston Light, Boston Harbor, Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Custom House Tower, Boston, Mass.

"The Custom House Tower is a skyscraper in McKinley Square, in the Financial District neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. Construction began in the mid-19th century; the tower was added... Read MORE...

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Boston, Mass., Washington Street and Old South Church

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
The Shopping Hour
Washington Street, Boston, Mass.

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The Liberator

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Boston, Massachusetts, USA
The Union Central Life Insurance Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio
One of the ten leading Companies of the World
Ranks first in low cost to the Policyholder
79 Milk Street, Boston, Mass.
THE...
This is the best natural soap EVER! One With Nature Dead Sea Mineral Soap

Made in Jordan with dead sea minerals. Triple Milled Rejuvenating Bar with Dead Sea Salts & Shea Butter. Natural, thoughtfully designed fragrances and textures. Unique combination of salts and over twenty minerals...

History and News of Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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  • 1630 - The city of Boston, Massachusetts is founded.
    The Puritans settled in Massachusetts and the town of Boston was founded by John Winthrop as an extension of the colony at Salem. (www.virtualnorfolk.... Read MORE...

  • 1632 - Capital
    Boston made capital of Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • 1634 - First Public Park
    Boston Common first public park in U.S.
  • 1635 - First Public Secondary School
    The first American public secondary school, Boston Latin Grammar School, founded in Boston.
  • 1635 - Great Colonial Hurricane hits New England in August
    The eye passed between Boston and Plymouth, Mass., and caused a twenty-foot tide in Boston. Gov. William Bradford reported, "It blew down many hundred... Read MORE...

  • 1639 - First Post Office
    First Post Office in U. S. established in Boston at Richard Fairbanks' tavern. countrys/namerica/usstates/matimeln.htm
  • News  1644 - January 18 - Perplexed Pilgrims in Boston reported America's 1st UFO sighting
    "...Massachusetts Bay Colony founder John Winthrop detailed instances of unidentified flying objects in the heavens above seventeenth-century Boston i... Read MORE...

  • 1650 - Unsuccessful Meeting
    September 1: Father Gabriel Druillettes (1610-1681) departed Quebec for Boston to establish an alliance with New England against the Iroquois, but he ... Read MORE...

  • News  1652 - In Boston, John Hull opens the 1st mint in America
    June 10, 1652
  • News  1656 - July 1 - 1st Quakers (Mary Fisher/Ann Austin) arrive in Boston (arrested)
    July 1, 1656
  • News  1673 - January 22 - Postal service between New York & Boston inaugurated
    "In 1673, Governor Francis Lovelace of New York set up a monthly post between New York and Boston. The service was short-lived, but the post rider’s t... Read MORE...

  • 1690 - First Newspaper Issued in America
    The first [newspaper] issued in America was published in Boston in September, 1690. It was printed on three pages seven by eleven inches square, on a ... Read MORE...

  • 1699 - December 10 - A severe ice storm hit Boston, MA, causing much damage to orchards.
    The Weather Channel
  • Teaching American History - The City of Boston

    Teaching American History - The City of Boston (
  • 1704 - First Newspaper
    The first regularly issued American newspaper, The Boston News-Letter, published in Boston. resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
  • News  1706 - Benjamin Franklin born January 17, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    January 17, 1706
  • 1716 - First Lighthouse
    First lighthouse in America, "The Boston Light" built in Boston Harbor countrys/namerica/usstates/matimeln.htm
  • 1717 - THE GREAT SNOW OF 1717
    Four successive snowstorms-two of them minor, two of them of major proportions-fell within a ten-day interval (February 27th through March 7th), and l... Read MORE...

  • News  1733 - July 30 - Society of Freemasons opens 1st American lodge in Boston
    July 30, 1733
  • News  1735 - August 18 - Evening Post begins publishing (Boston, Mass)
    August 18, 1735
  • 1761 - First regular U.S. stagecoach run is begun, from Boston to Portsmouth, New Hampshire
    The World Almanac of the U.S.A, by Allan Carpenter and Carl Provorse, 1996
  • 1770 - March 5 - Boston Massacre
    Tensions between the American colonists and the British were already running high in the early spring of 1770. Late in the afternoon, on March 5, a crowd of jeering Bostonians slinging snowballs gathered around a small group of British soldiers guarding the Boston Customs House. The soldiers became ... Read MORE...

  • 1773 - December 16 - Boston Tea Party
    Angry and frustrated at a new tax on tea, American colonists calling themselves the Sons of Liberty and disguised as Mohawk Native Americans boarded three British ships (the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver) and dumped 342 whole crates of British tea into Boston harbor on December 16, 1773.... Read MORE...

  • 1774 - June 1 - Boston Port Bill: British government orders Port of Boston closed
    June 1, 1774
  • 1775 - April 20 - British begin siege of Boston
    April 20, 1775
  • 1775 - June 17 - Battle of Bunker Hill
    On June 17, 1775, early in the Revolutionary War (1775-83), the British defeated the Americans at the Battle of Bunker Hill in Massachusetts. Despite ... Read MORE...

  • News  1776 - March 17 - British, Get Out!
    Colonial troops force British to evacuate Boston. March 17, 1776
  • 1795 - State House
    State House built in Boston.
  • 1797 - October 21 - The U.S. Navy frigate Constitution, nicknames Old Ironsides, launches from Boston.
  • 1806 - First Church Built by Free Blacks
    The first church built by free blacks in America, the African Meeting House, opened on Joy Street in Boston. resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
  • News  1806 - June 16 - A total eclipse of the sun was viewed from southern California to Massachusetts.

    Extract of a letter from Boston, June 16th.
    "The long expected Solar Eclipse has completely engrossed the attention of all order... Read MORE...

  • News  1829 - October 16 - Tremont Hotel, 1st US modern hotel opens (Boston)
    October 16, 1829
  • 1831 - January 1 - First Abolitionist Newspaper
    The first abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator, published in Boston by William Lloyd Garrison resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
    January 1, 1831
  • 1832 - The New England Anti-Slavery Society in Boston was formed. The society helped slaves escape to Canada.
  • News  1837 - June 11 - The Broad Street Riot occurres in Boston, fueled by ethnic tensions between English-Americans and Irish-Americans.
    June 11, 1837
  • News  1839 - March 23 – The Boston Morning Post first records the use of "OK" (oll korrect).
    March 23, 1839
  • 1842 - November 17 - Fugitive slave George Latimer captured in Boston
  • BOSTON. Inc. 1630. Population, in 1845. E. 115,000
    The Indian name of Boston was Shawmut, which is said to mean a spring of water.
    The first name given to it by the English was Tri-mountain or... Read MORE...

  • 1845 - Sewing Machine
    Elias Howe invented sewing machine in Boston
  • 1846 - Anesthesia
    William T.G. Morton, a Boston dentist, first demonstrated the use of anesthesia in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, using a specially design... Read MORE...

  • News  1846 - SCENE: A street in Boston.
    Dramais Persona: Jonathan, a youth from the country visiting the city for the first time. Susan, his intended; both in rustic garbs; both eagerly devo... Read MORE...

  • News  1851 - February 15 – In Boston, Massachusetts, members of the anti-slavery Boston Vigilance Committee rescue fugitive slave Shadrach Minkins from a courtroom following his arrest by U.S. marshals.
    February 15, 1851
  • News  1852 - March 20 – Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was published in book form in Boston.
    March 20, 1852
  • News  1852 - December 29 - Emma Snodgrass arrested in Boston for wearing pants
    December 29, 1852
  • 1854 - March 20 – The Boston Public Library opens to the public.
    March 20, 1854
  • News  1854 - The Destructive Gate - Its Effects at the East.
    ...One or two very ludicrous scenes occurred on Warren bridge, Boston. A cartman, with a load of empty hogsheads, attempted to pass over into Charlest... Read MORE...

  • 1856 - Boston Cream Pie is served for the first time (Omni Parker House)
  • News  1858 - August 2 - 1st mailboxes installed in Boston & NYC streets
    August 2, 1858
  • News  1863 - January 15 - 1st US newspaper printed on wood-pulp paper, Boston Morning Journal
    January 15, 1863
  • News  1863 - May 28 – American Civil War – The 54th Massachusetts, the first African-American regiment, leaves Boston to fight for the Union.
    May 28, 1863
  • News  1872 - The Great Boston Fire.
    The city of Boston, second commercial city in the United States, has, within the past thirty-six hours, been visited by one of the most extensive and ... Read MORE...

  • 1875 - First American Christmas Card
    The first American Christmas card printed by Louis Prang in Boston. resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
  • 1876 - Telephone
    Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated first telephone in Boston
    BOSTON, Mass., July 3 - The night watchman employed at the factory of the Revere Rubber Company, on Eastern-avenue, Chelsea, discovered flames, at 3 o... Read MORE...

  • News  1885 - Men of Brains - Some of the Distinguished American Inventors
    Benjamin Franklin, born at Boston, 1706; died in 1790; at twelve, printer's apprentice, fond of useful reading; twenty-seven to forty teaches himself ... Read MORE...

  • 1888 - "The Great White Hurricane"
    March 11-14, 1888
    More than 120 winters have come and gone since the so-called “Great White Hurricane,” but this whopper of a storm still lives in in... Read MORE...

  • News  1888 - Women met at Boston on the 29th and nominated Miss Alice D. Stockton, of Wheaton, as candidate of the Equal Rights party for Governor of Massachusetts.
    St Joseph Herald
    Saint Joseph, Michigan
    November 3, 1888
  • Boston Massachusetts, 1890
    BOSTON, the metropolis of New England, the capital of Massachusetts, and seat of justice for the county of Suffolk, lies at the western extremity, or ... Read MORE...

  • News  1893 - A great fire at Boston destroyed nearly $5,000,000 of property and several lives.
    The World Almanac and Book of Facts, Volume 1894 Press Publishing Company. 1894
    ...Severe All Over New England.
    Boston, Feb. 9. - Reports from all over New England indicate that the storm is one of the most severe in years. Bosto... Read MORE...

  • News  1897 - April 19 The first Boston Marathon is held, with fifteen men competing, and won by John McDermott.
    April 19, 1897
  • 1897 - September 1 – The Boston subway opens, becoming the first underground metro in North America.
    in 1897, at 6 am, over 100 people crowded onto the first train to travel through a tunnel under downtown Boston. More than 100,000 people would take t... Read MORE...

  • 1898 - Revolutionary Boston - Then and there American Independence was born by Edward Everertt Hale
    The American Revolution began in Boston. Different dates are set for the beginning. John Adams says of Otis's speech in 1761 in the Council Chamber of... Read MORE...

  • 1901 - King Camp Gillette and William Emery Nickerson invented the world's first disposable razor blade in 1901. (Boston)
  • 1903 - October - First World Series
    The 1903 World Series was the first modern World Series to be played in Major League Baseball. It matched the Boston Americans of the American League ... Read MORE...

  • News  1904 - May 5 - Pitching against the Philadelphia Athletics, Cy Young of the Boston Americans throws the first perfect game in the modern era of baseball.
    May 5, 1904
  • 1911 - July 4 - Temperature reached 104°F
    The Weather Channel
  • News  1912 - April 20 – Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, opens.
    April 20, 1912
  • News  1914 - July 11 – Baseball legend Babe Ruth makes his major league debut with the Red Sox.
    July 11, 1914
  • 1916
    Boston, a city of the United States, capital of Massachusetts and of Suffolk co., on a bay called Boston Harbor, which forms the inner bight of Massac... Read MORE...

  • 1919 - The mayor of Boston refused to let the city's police form a union.
    Around three fourths of the police force went on strike. Governor Calvin Coolidge had to send in the National Guard to end the strike.
    The Great Boston Molasses Flood


    Wreckage Covered with Sticky Stream of 2,000,000 Gallons.

    3 ...

  • News  1920 - January 1 - Babe Ruth is traded by the Red Sox for $125,000, the largest sum ever paid for a player at that time.
    January 1, 1920
  • 1921 - September 15 - WBZ-AM in Boston MA begins radio transmissions
  • 1924 - September 24 - Boston, Massachusetts opens its airport
  • News  1925 - July 4 - 44 die when Dreyfus Hotel in Boston collapses
    July 4, 1925
  • 1928 - November 17 - Boston Garden officially opens
  • News  1930 - December 7 – The television station W1XAV in Boston, Massachusetts, broadcasts video and audio from the radio orchestra program The Fox Trappers.
    This broadcast also includes the first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for the I. J. Fox Furriers company which sponsored... Read MORE...

  • News  February 14, 1940 - A "Saint Valentine's Day Blizzard" hit the northeastern U.S. Up to a foot and a half of snow blanketed southern New England, and whole gales accompanied the heavy snow stranding many in downtown Boston.
    February 14, 1940
  • News  1942 - November 28 - Cocoanut Grove fire: A fire in the Cocoanut Grove night club in Boston, Massachusetts, kills 491.

    Boston...

  • 1948 - June 9 - WBZ TV channel 4 in Boston, MA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • News  1950 - January 17 - The Great Brinks Robbery - 11 men rob $1.2M cash & $1.5M securities from armored car company Brink's offices in Boston, Massachusetts
    "The Great Brinks Robbery of 1950: Not Quite the Perfect Crime

    The Great Brinks Robbery was the biggest armed robbery in U.S. history at the time. ... Read MORE...

  • 1954 - First Kidney Transplant
    First medically successful kidney transplant was performed in Boston
  • News  1963 - June 18 - 3,000 blacks boycott Boston public school
    June 18, 1963
  • 1974 - Integration of Schools
    Federal Court ordered integration of Boston schools; whites held boycotts and demonstrations against integrated busing program countrys/namerica/usstates/ matimeln.htm
  • 1976 - First Night
    Boston was the first city in America to celebrate New Year's Eve with a "First Night" event. resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
  • 1987 - Big Dig
    Construction began on "Big Dig" in Boston

Boston, Massachusetts, USA Genealogy

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Updated: 5/14/2019 4:39:36 PM

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