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What is the history of Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA?

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

"Cambridge, a city and semi-capital of Middlesex co., Mass, separated from Boston by Charles River, in lat. 42° 22'21" N, lon, 71° 7'38" W. It comprises “Old Cam bridge," the seat of Harvard University, East Cambridge (formerly Lechmere Point), Cambridgeport, about mid way between Old Cambridge and Boston, and the district called North Cambridge. Old Cambridge, or Cambridge proper, 3 miles W. from Boston, is delightfully situated in the midst of a beautiful plain, extending from Charles River. The streets are generally broad and shaded with lofty elms. Many of the dwellings stand at considerable distances from one another, and are surrounded with spacious yards, ornamented with shrubbery and evergreens. The Principal object of interest in the place is Harvard University, the oldest and best-endowed collegiate institution in the United States. It was founded in 1638, and derives its name from the Rev. John Harvard, who bequeathed it a "gay of about £780. Its funds at the present time amount to about $7,300,000, and the yearly income at present is about $1,000,000. Besides the collegiate department proper, the university embraces a law school, a theological school, a medical school, a dental school, a scientific school, a school of agriculture and horticulture, an astronomical observatory, a botanic garden, herbarium and arboretum. The library, containing about 500,000 volumes, consists of over 30 collections, situated in the main library building and in the departments. The great university museum consists of various departments, including a museum of comparative zoölogy and a museum of archaeology and ethnology. The buildings occupied by the university are numerous; a few being in Boston. The most prominent are Memorial Hall, containing the dining-hall, the academic theatre, and a monumental hall in honor of the graduates and students of the university who served in the army and navy of the United States during the war of 1861–65; University Hall, containing recitation- and lecture-rooms; Harvard Hall, containing the classical and historical reference libraries; Gore Hall, a fine granite structure, having in it the college library; the Appleton Chapel; the zoölogical museum; and Boylston Hall, containing the chemical laboratory. In addition to these there are Divinity Hall, occupied by the theological students; Austin Hall, occupied by the law school; Lawrence Hall, occupied by the scientific school, and other buildings for the accommodation of students. The institution has a botanical garden of about eight acres, stored with a choice selection of shrubs and plants, both native and exotic; and one of the most powerful telescopes in the country. The lectures to medical students are given at the Medical College in Boston. Besides the Divinity School (professedly unsectarian) noticed above, there is an Episcopalian school of theology in Cambridge, and also one of the New Church (Swedenborgian). In 1890 Harvard had graduated about 17,000, of whom more than half were living, a greater number than those of any other college in the Union. There are within the limits of the city about "churches, 8 banks, 2 savings-institutions, a fire-insurance company, and various literary and charitable associations.

Cambridge is one of the oldest towns in New England, having been settled in 1630. It first took the name of New town, which was soon after changed for its present one. The Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed in British America, was issued here by Stephen Day in 1640; and printing is still one of the principal industries of the place. During the Revolutionary War the American army was encamped in Cambridge while the British had possession of Boston. The British troops that surrendered under Burgoyne at Saratoga were quartered here in 1777 as prisoners of war. Pop. in 1830, 6072; 1840, 8409; in 1850, 15,215; # 1860, 26,060; in 1870, 39,634; in 1880, 52,669; in 1890, 70,028."

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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  • 1631 - Cambridge founded

  • Harvard College was established in 1636. It was named for after John Harvard of Charlestown, who left half his estate to the new institution upon his death in 1638. Founded in Newtowne (now Cambridge). resources/ state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html

  • 1638 - The first American printing press was set up in Cambridge by Stephen Daye

  • 1680 - July 8 - The first confirmed tornado in America kills a servant at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Home of James Russell Lowell, Built 1767
  • 1775 - July 3 - Washington takes command of Continental Army at Cambridge, Mass

  • General Henry Knox and his troops passed through here in the winter of 1775-76 with a load of 59 cannons pulled by teams of oxen.
    The cannons were captured from the British at Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point. They were transported from Lake Champlain to Dorchester Heights, Mass...Read MORE...

  • 3. CAMBRIDGE. [Pop. 8,409. Inc. 1631.]

    Cambridge, originally called The New Town, was settled by the first Governor, and intended for the seat of government. It was named Cambridge, a...Read MORE...

  • 1848 - Cambridge
    The settlement of Cambridge commenced in 1631. It was originally intended to make it the metropolis of the province of Massachusetts. Governor Winthro...Read MORE...

  • News 1858 - Destructive Conflagrations
    The printing establishment of H. O. Houghton & Co. at Cambridge, Mass., was burned on Saturday. The premises were owned by Little, Brown & Co. Boston ...Read MORE...

  • 1859
    CAMBRIDGE, a town in the state of Massachusetts, U.S., 3 m. NW of Boston and 431 m. from Washington, in N lat. 42 23, W long. 71 08. It is composed of...Read MORE...

  • News 1881 - June 14 - Player piano patented by John McTammany Jr (Cambridge, Mass)
    June 14, 1881

  • Cambridge Massachusetts, 1890
    CAMBRIDGE (L. Cantabridgia), the seat of Harvard College, is opulent and elegant city, forming the southeastern extremity of Middlesex County, of whic...Read MORE...

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Seaver Hall, Harvard College
  • 1898 - Cambridge - There is no place like it, no, not even for taxes - by Samuel A. Eliot
    The early history of New England seems to many minds dry and unromantic. No mist of distance softens the harsh outlines, no mirage of tradition lifts ...Read MORE...

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Harvard Square, 1905
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Hotel Dixon, 1905
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Captains Island or Magazine Beach
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Shoe & Leather Exposition Building
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Harvard Medical School
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Shepard Memorial Congregational Church
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Central Square and Massachusetts Avenue
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Fletcher School
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Harvard Stadium, 1910
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Scenic Temple
  • News 1911 - Boy May Die From Burns
    Lighting a match to find the stopper of a backyard gasoline tank nearly cost Charles Durgin, 12, of 171 Sherman street, Cambridge, his life last night...Read MORE...

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Central Square, 1912
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Manual Training School, 1914
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Central Square Hardware Co.
  • 1916
    Cambridge, a city and semi-capital of Middlesex co., Mass., separated from Boston by the Charles River, in lat. (observatory) 42° 22' 47" N., Lon. 71°...Read MORE...

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Longfellow House
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Riverbank Court, On-the-Charles
  • News 1922 - Killed By Exploding Still.
    Alexander Rutstein Victim In Boston-Fire Wrecks Building.

    Cambridge, Mass., June 25. - Alexander Rutstein of the Dorchester District, Boston, died ...Read MORE...

  • 1928 - The first computer, a non-electronic "differential analyzer," developed by Dr. Vannevar Bush of M.I.T. in Cambridge. resources/ state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Hotel Continental

    "... John J. Shine, an enterprising Cambridge builder, took out permits in 1928 to construct the Hotels Continental, Commander, and Ambassador...

    The Continental opened in the fall of 1929, only a few weeks before the Black... Read MORE...

  • News 1931 - Students' Suite Burns At Cambridge Hotel
    CAMBRIDGE, April 27. (AP) - A fire at the Hotel Commander early today destroyed a suite occupied by A. B. Young and R. T. Dunn, Harvard Law school stu...Read MORE...

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Cambridge High School
  • 1944 - Howard Aiken of Harvard developed the first automatic digital computer. resources/ state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Charles River Basin from John Hancock Building, showing Storrow Drive and the Longfellow Bridge spanning the basin between Boston and Cambridge, Mass.
  • 1953 - August 31 - WKBG TV channel 56 in Cambridge-Boston, MA (IND) begins

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Updated: 6/14/2019 6:30:36 PM

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