Massachusetts History Timeline

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Massachusetts is a state rich in history. Its geological history dates back millions of years while its native population has lived in the area for over 10,000 years.

Explorers, fishermen and traders first started visiting New England around the 15th and 16th centuries. After Massachusetts was colonized in the 17th century, its population exploded and the Massachusetts colonies quickly became some of the most prosperous colonies in the New World.

As the Age of Enlightenment dawned, the highly literate and well educated citizens of Massachusetts began to rebel against the English monarchy in the name of liberty and, as a result, Massachusetts became the birthplace of the American Revolution.

During the 19th century, the industrial revolution spread from England and quickly took hold in Massachusetts, completely transforming the state, its economy and its landscape.

The following is a timeline of the history of Massachusetts:

Pre-Historic Massachusetts:

Around 565 million years ago, a microcontinent called Avalonia developed as a volcanic island arc and was made up of what would later become the coastal area of New England as well as sections of Nova Scotia in Canada and western Europe.

Around 450 million years ago, a volcano on Avalonia violently erupted, then eventually collapsed and eroded over millions of years, forming what is now the Great Blue Hill in Milton, Massachusetts

Between 425 and 375 million years ago, all the major continents collided and formed a major supercontinent called Pangaea. During this collision, Avalonia and another continent called Laurentia merged

Around 201 – 145 million years ago, Pangaea broke off into two minor supercontinents: Laurasia (which was made up of Avalonia and Laurentia) and Gondwana

Around 145 – 66 million years ago, Laurasia split into two separate continents called Laurentia and Eurasia. Laurentia became the continent of North America and Eurasia became Europe and Asia.

Around 75,000 years ago, the Laurentide Ice Sheet formed, covering much of Canada and large portions of the northern United States

Around 25,000 years ago, the expanding ice sheet reached New England

Around 21,000 years ago, the climate began to warm which caused the ice sheet to retreat and drop its soil, sand and gravel deposits along the north and south shores of Massachusetts, creating the peninsulas of Cape Cod and Cape Ann and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket

Around 12,200 and 11,600 years ago, the ice sheet made a short readvance and pushed some of the blue clay in Boston harbor into a low ridge, forming Boston neck, a small land bridge that once connected Boston to the mainland

Around 12,000 years ago, nomadic Paleoindian hunters began migrating into New England and established a site, now called the Turners Falls site, in Montague, Mass

Around 11,000 – 10,000 years ago, Paleoindians established a site now called the Bull Brook Site in Ipswich, Massachusetts and a site now called the Sands of the Blackstone site, in the Blackstone River Valley in southern Massachusetts

Around 10,000 years ago, Paleoindians established a site in Middleboro, Mass

Between 9,000 to 8,000 B.P., at least 10 sites were established by Archaic peoples in central Massachusetts, at least four were established on mainland Cape Cod, two were established on Martha’s Vineyard and four on Nantucket

Between 8,000 and 6,500 B.P, around 22 sites were established by Archaic peoples in central Massachusetts, 29 sites were established in the Greater Boston area, 34 sites were established on the mainland of Cape Cod, 25 sites were established on Martha’s Vineyard and 12 sites were established on Nantucket

Between 6,500 and 3,000 B.P, around 87 sites were established by Archaic peoples in central Massachusetts and 20 were established on mainland Cape Cod, 26 on Martha’s Vineyard and nine on Nantucket

Between 3,000 and 2,400 B.P, a total of 87 sites were established by Woodland peoples on Cape Cod

Between 2,400 and 1,000 B.P , a total of 95 sites were established by Woodland peoples on Cape Cod

Between 1,000 and 500 B.P, a total of 144 sites were established by Woodland peoples on Cape Cod while only a handful of sites were established in central Massachusetts during the entire Woodland period, indicating humans were migrating to the coast

17th Century Massachusetts:

On May 15, 1602, English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold anchors off the Massachusetts coast

On July 15, 1605, French explorer Samuel de Champlain visits Cape Ann in northern Massachusetts

On July 17, 1605, French explorer Samuel de Champlain visits Boston Harbor and the harbor islands

On July 19, 1605, French explorer Sameul de Champlain visits Plymouth Harbor

On October 15, 1606, around 400 Native-Americans attack French explorer Sieur de Monts and his crew at Stage Harbor in Chatham, Mass

Between 1616 – 1619, an epidemic broke out and decimated the native population in coastal New England

Massachusetts History Timeline Infographic

On August 15, 1620, the Mayflower sets sail for the New World alongside the Speedwell but is forced to turn back after the Speedwell begins taking on water

On September 16, 1620, the Mayflower departs Plymouth, England and sets sail for the New World

On November 9, 1620, the Mayflower pilgrims get their first glimpse of the New World off the coast of Massachusetts

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower pilgrims sign the Mayflower Compact

On December 7, 1620, Dorothy Bradford falls overboard on the Mayflower and drowns in Cape Cod Bay

On December 18, 1620, the Mayflower anchors at Plymouth Harbor

On August 14, 1621, the Plymouth pilgrims rescue Squanto after he was taken prisoner by a nearby tribe

On March 16, 1621, Samoset befriends the pilgrims of Plymouth Colony

On December 25, 1621, Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony confiscates toys from Pilgrims on Christmas Day

On June 20, 1628, John Endecott of the New England Company arrives in the New World and officially settles Salem, Mass

On March 4, 1629, King Charles I grants a charter to the Massachusetts Bay Company

On June 12, 1630, John Winthrop and the Massachusetts Bay Company reach the New World and land in Salem, Mass

In September of 1630, Plymouth colonist John Billington is hanged for the murder of fellow colonist John Newcomen

On September 7, 1630, the Massachusetts Bay colonists officially name their new settlement Boston

On February 5, 1631, religious leader Roger Williams arrives in the Massachusetts Bay Colony aboard the ship Lyon

On October 9, 1631, John Proctor is born in Assington, England

On September 3, 1633, Reverend John Cotton arrives in the Massachusetts Bay Colony

On September 18, 1634, Anne Hutchinson arrives in the Massachusetts Bay Colony

On September 12, 1635, the General Court grants permission to start a settlement in Concord, Mass

On October 9, 1635, Roger Williams is banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony

On August 15, 1636, the Covenant of the Town of Dedham, Mass is first signed

On September 8, 1636, Harvard College is founded in Cambridge, Mass

On December 13, 1636, the Massachusetts Bay Colony organizes three militia regiments to defend the colony against the Pequot Indians. This organization is recognized today as the founding of the United States National Guard

On November 7, 1637, Anne Hutchinson is brought to trial for sedition

On February 16, 1638, the first slaves imported directly from Africa arrive in Massachusetts

On April 1, 1638, Anne Hutchinson leaves the Massachusetts Bay Colony and travels to Rhode Island on foot

On September 6, 1638, the General Court grants permission to start a settlement in Salisbury, Mass

On November 6, 1639, the first post office is established in Boston, Mass

On November 14, 1640, Judge Jonathan Corwin is born in Salem, Mass

On August 5, 1641, Salem Witch Trials Judge John Hathorne is born in Salem, Mass

On December 10, 1641, Massachusetts becomes the first colony to legalize slavery

On April 14, 1642, the Massachusetts Bay Colony passes the first education law

On May 16, 1643, Salem Witch Trials victim Samuel Wardwell is born in Boston, Mass

On June 15, 1648, Margaret Jones becomes the first person executed for witchcraft in Massachusetts

On January 12, 1652, the Salem Witch Trials ringleader Thomas Putnam is born in Salem, Mass

On May 9, 1657, William Bradford dies in Plymouth at the age of 69

On May 11, 1659, the Massachusetts Bay Colony legislature banned Christmas

On June 1, 1660, Mary Dyer is hanged for defying a law banning Quakers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony

On August 6, 1662, Metacom, aka King Philip, makes an appearance at the Plymouth court where he denies he is planning a war against the English

On February 12, 1663, Cotton Mather is born in Boston, Mass

On January 29, 1675, John Sassamon’s body is found at Assawompset Pond in Lakeville, Mass during the build up to King Philip’s War

On June 24, 1675, King Philip’s War begins in Swansea, Mass

On August 13, 1675, the Massachusetts Council orders all Christian Indians to be confined to their Praying Towns to prevent them from joining King Philip’s War

On October 13, 1675, the Massachusetts Council orders all Christian Indians to be relocated and confined to Deer Island for the duration of King Philip’s War

On April 21, 1676, around 500 Algonquins attack Sudbury, Mass during King Philip’s War

On June 19, 1676, Massachusetts issues a declaration of amnesty for Native-Americans who surrender during King Philip’s War

On October 18, 1679, afflicted girl Ann Putnam, Jr., is born in Salem, Mass

In 1681, the Massachusetts Bay Colony legislature repeals its ban on Christmas

On November 28, 1682, Salem Witch Trials afflicted girl Betty Parris is born in Boston, Mass

On March 27, 1683, the Northampton county court magistrates examines Mary Webster of Hadley on suspicion of witchcraft

On October 23, 1684, the Massachusetts Bay Colony charter is revoked

On December 20, 1686, Sir Edmund Andros arrives in Boston and takes control of the Dominion of New England

On February 13, 1689, Mary and William of Orange become King and Queen of England during the Glorious Revolution, sparking a series of revolts in the colonies

On April 18, 1689, news of the Glorious Revolution in England inspires the Boston Revolt during which the Dominion of New England is overthrown

On September 25, 1690, the first newspaper is published in the colonies in Boston, Mass

On October 7, 1691, the charter for the Province of Massachusetts Bay is issued

On September 19, 1692, Giles Corey is pressed to death during the Salem Witch Trials

On September 22, 1692, Martha Corey, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Margaret Scott, Wilmot Redd, Samuel Wardwell, & Mary Parker are hanged. These are the last hangings of the Salem Witch Trials

On July 19, 1692, Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe and Sarah Wildes are hanged during the Salem Witch Trials

On August 2, 1692, the trial of Martha Carrier begins in Salem, Mass

On August 5, 1692, John and Elizabeth Proctor are found guilty of witchcraft and sentenced to death

On June 16, 1692, Roger Toothaker dies in prison during the Salem Witch Trials

On June 29, 1692, the trial of Sarah Wildes begins in Salem, Mass

On June 30, 1692, the trial of Elizabeth Howe begins in Salem, Mass

On September 1, 1692, Samuel Wardwell is arrested on charges of witchcraft

On March 1, 1692, Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osbourn are arrested on charges of witchcraft in Salem, Mass

On March 21, 1692, Martha Corey is arrested on charges of witchcraft

On March 24, 1692, Rebecca Nurse is arrested on charges of witchcraft in Danvers, Mass

On April 11, 1692, Elizabeth Proctor is examined in Salem on charges of witchcraft

On April 18, 1692, Mary Warren, Giles Corey, Abigail Hobbs & Bridget Bishop are arrested on charges of witchcraft

On April 21, 1692, a warrant is issued for the arrest of Sarah Wildes, Mary Easty, Williams Hobbs, Deliverance Hobbs, Nehemiah Abott, Jr, Edward Bishop, Jr, Sarah Bishop, Mary Black, and Mary English on charges of witchcraft

On April 22, 1692, Sarah Wildes of Topsfield is examined at Salem Village

On May 2, 1692, Susannah Martin is arrested on charges of witchcraft

On May 4, 1692, George Burroughs is arrested in Wells, Maine on charges of witchcraft

On May 10, 1692, George Jacobs Sr is arrested on charges of witchcraft

On May 12, 1692, Anne Pudeator and Alice Parker are arrested on charges of witchcraft

On May 14, 1692, the charter for the Province of Massachusetts Bay takes effect

On May 18, 1692, John Willard is arrested on charges of witchcraft

On May 18, 1692, Roger Toothaker is arrested on charges of witchcraft

On May 28, 1692, Martha Carrier is arrested on charges of witchcraft

On May 29, 1692, Elizabeth Howe is arrested on charges of witchcraft

On May 31, 1692, John Alden Jr is arrested on charges of witchcraft

On May 31, 1692, Wilmott Redd is arrested on charges of witchcraft

On June 2, 1692, the trial of Bridget Bishop begins in Salem, Mass

On June 10, 1692, Bridget Bishop becomes the first person executed during the Salem Witch Trials

On August 19, 1692, John Proctor, George Jacobs, Sr., Reverend George Burroughs, Martha Carrier, John Willard are hanged during the Salem Witch Trials

On July 27, 1694, Abenaki warriors attack Groton, Mass

On May 24, 1699, Thomas Putnam dies in Salem at the age of 47

18th Century Massachusetts:

On May 15, 1700, Reverend John Hale dies in his home at the John Hale Farm in Beverly, Mass

On February 29, 1704, the Raid on Deerfield, Mass occurs during Queen Anne’s War

On August 25, 1706, afflicted girl Ann Putnam, Jr, publicly apologizes for her role in the Salem Witch Trials

On October 17, 1711, the Massachusetts Legislature clears the names of some of the Salem Witch Trials victims

On May 10, 1717, Salem Witch Trials Judge John Hathorne dies at the age of 76

On June 9, 1718, Salem Witch Judge Jonathan Corwin dies in Salem, Mass

On February 27, 1720, former Salem minister Samuel Parris dies at the age of 67

On February 13, 1728, Cotton Mather dies at the age of 65

On October 30, 1735, John Adams is born in Braintree, Mass

On January 23, 1737, John Hancock is born in Braintree, Mass

On November 18, 1755, the strongest earthquake ever recorded in Massachusetts occurs

On September 30, 1759, Massachusetts soldiers threaten mutiny during the French and Indian War

On December 17, 1760, Deborah Sampson is born in Plimpton, Mass

On July 11, 1761, Phillis Wheatley is purchased as a slave in Boston, Mass

On October 7, 1763, the British government issues the Royal Proclamation of 1763

On August 24, 1764, 3,000 angry colonists storm Salem after members of the committee of correspondence are arrested for holding a town meeting

On August 14, 1765, the Sons of Liberty incite a riot in Boston over the Stamp Act

On March 5, 1770, Five civilians are killed during the Boston Massacre on King Street

On December 14, 1770, two British soldiers convicted in the Boston Massacre trial are branded as punishment

On January 6, 1773, Massachusetts slaves petition legislature for freedom

On December 16, 1773, the Boston Tea Party takes place in Boston harbor

On March 28, 1774, Britain passes the Coercive Acts against Massachusetts

On September 1, 1774, thousands of farmers storm Cambridge to protest the powder raid in Somerville, Mass

On September 26, 1774, Johnny Appleseed is born in Leominster, Mass

On October 6, 1774, Judge John Hathorne’s mansion at 114 Washington Street, a nearby meetinghouse, 8 dwellings and 14 stores are destroyed in a fire in Salem, Mass

On December 13, 1774, Paul Revere rides to Portsmouth N.H. to warn colonists the redcoats were coming

On February 26, 1775, a skirmish occurs at North Bridge in Salem during the American Revolution

On April 7, 1775, Francis Cabot Lowell is born in Newburyport, Mass

On April 19, 1775, Paul Revere and William Dawes take their midnight ride

On April 19, 1775, the Shot Heard Round the World occurs in Concord, Mass

On April 19, 1775, the Siege of Boston begins after the battles of Lexington and Concord take place

On April 22, 1775, British General Thomas Gage meets with town officials to work out a deal that would allow civilians to leave or enter Boston during the Siege of Boston

On May 21, 1775, the Battle of Grape Island takes place during the Siege of Boston

On May 27, 1775, the Battle of Chelsea Creek takes place during the Siege of Boston

On June 17, 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill takes place in Charlestown, Mass

On July 8, 1775, a skirmish at Boston Neck during Siege of Boston

On July 21, 1775, the Battle of Brewster Island takes place during the Siege of Boston

On August 8, 1775, the Battle of Gloucester occurs during the Siege of Boston

On March 17, 1776, the Siege of Boston comes to an end

On April 28, 1778, the Massachusetts legislature passes a law officially allowing the enlistment of African-American soldiers in the Continental Army

On September 9, 1779, Paul Revere is court-martialed for disobeying orders during the Penobscot Expedition

On June 16, 1780, Massachusetts legislature approves the State Constitution

On October 25, 1780, John Hancock becomes the first elected governor of Massachusetts

On October 8, 1782, the Dutch Republic signs a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the United States during the Revolutionary War

On August 29, 1786, Shays’ Rebellion begins in Massachusetts

On January 25, 1787, rebels attack Springfield Arsenal during Shay’s Rebellion

On February 6, 1788, Massachusetts becomes the sixth state to join the United States of America

On March 14, 1794, Massachusetts native Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin

On September 20, 1797, the first attempt to launch the newly built USS Constitution into Boston harbor fails

On September 22, 1797, the second attempt to launch the USS Constitution fails

On October 21, 1797, the USS Constitution is officially launched at Edmund Hartt’s Shipyard in Boston, Mass

On February 24, 1799, midnight rider William Dawes dies

19th Century Massachusetts:

On March 7, 1801 Massachusetts enacts the first state voter registration law in history

On March 26, 1802, Revolutionary War veteran Deborah Sampson performs in Boston, Mass

On October 2, 1803, Samuel Adams dies

On July 4, 1804, Nathaniel Hawthorne is born in Salem, Mass

On January 19, 1809, Edgar Allan Poe is born in Boston, Mass

On February 11, 1812, Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry signs a redistricting bill, now known as the”gerrymander”

On June 26, 1812, the Massachusetts House of Representatives condemns the war of 1812 and votes against it

On August 5, 1812, the Massachusetts Governor Caleb Strong refuses to commit the Massachusetts state militia to the War of 1812. In response, President Madison refuses to send troops to Massachusetts to protect them from a British invasion

On June 1, 1813, the Battle of Boston Harbor takes place during the War of 1812

On June 11, 1814, barges from two British ships enter Scituate Harbor in Massachusetts and burn several ships before stealing several others during the War of 1812

On June 13, 1814, British troops from the HMS Nimrod bombard and invade Wareham, Mass during the War of 1812

On September 9, 1814, Old Stone Fort at Bearskin Neck in Rockport, Mass is captured by British forces during the War of 1812

On January 28, 1814, Falmouth, Mass is bombarded by a British brig, HMS Nimrod, during the War of 1812

On April 3, 1814, the USS Constitution is chased into Marblehead Harbor by two British warships, the Tenedos and Junon, during the War of 1812

On February 12, 1815, news of a peace treaty reaches Boston during the War of 1812

On July 12, 1817, Henry David Thoreau is born in Concord, Mass

On May 10, 1818, Paul Revere dies of natural causes at the age of 83

On August 13, 1818, Women’s rights pioneer Lucy Stone is born in West Brookfield, Mass

On March 15, 1820, Massachusetts loses Maine when it officially becomes a state

On July 4, 1826, John Adams dies at the age of 91

On August 26, 1826, Quincy Market Opens in Boston, Mass

On October 11, 1828, the defunct Beverly Cotton Manufactory burns down

On November 1, 1830, former U.S. President John Adams is elected to the House of Representatives

On April 30, 1844, Henry David Thoreau accidentally burns down half of the Concord woods

On March 18, 1845, Johnny Appleseed dies

On July 23, 1846, Henry David Thoreau spends a night in jail for refusing to pay a poll tax

On October 16, 1846, a Boston dentist demonstrates ether for the first time at Massachusetts General Hospital

On February 18, 1847, Bostonians hold a meeting at Faneuil Hall in response to the news of the Irish famine

On February 29, 1848, Worcester becomes a city

On February 14, 1849, the first American-made Valentines are sold in Worcester, Mass

On November 23, 1849, Dr. George Parkman is murdered and his body is dismembered and partially cremated in a furnace at Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Mass

On January 26, 1850, John Webster is indicted in the murder of Dr. George Parkman

On April 1, 1850, John Webster is found guilty in the murder of Dr. George Parkman is sentenced to death by hanging

On August 30, 1850, John Webster is publicly hanged at the Leverett Street Jail in Boston for the murder of Dr. George Parkman

On May 24, 1854, fugitive slave Anthony Burns is captured in Boston, Mass

On August 9, 1854, Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden is published

On February 17, 1855, William Bradford’s long lost manuscript about Plymouth Colony is discovered in England

On April 28, 1855, a state law was signed making segregated schools in Massachusetts unlawful

On May 22, 1856, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner is attacked on the floor of the U.S. Senate

On March 12, 1857, abolitionist John Brown speaks in Concord, Mass

On April 3, 1860, Concord schoolmaster Franklin Benjamin Sanborn is detained by federal marshals on suspicion that he was a member of the Secret Six who assisted abolitionist John Brown

On May 6, 1862, Henry David Thoreau dies of tuberculosis at the age of 44

On April 9, 1863, John Wilkes Booth purchases property on Commonwealth Ave in Boston

On July 14, 1863, the Boston Draft Riots occur on Prince Street in the North End

On July 26, 1864, John Wilkes Booth meets with his fellow conspirators at the Parker House Hotel in Boston to hatch a plan to kidnap Abraham Lincoln

On February 2, 1865, Governor Andrew orders a 100 gun salute on Boston Common in celebration of the newly passed 13th amendment

On April 5, 1865, John Wilkes Booth arrives in Boston for a short trip during which he is seen at a local firing range practicing his pistol shooting just 10 days before assassinating President Lincoln

On April 17, 1865, after being detained in Boston by federal marshals following Lincoln’s assassination, Edwin Booth, brother to John Wilkes Booth, is released and allowed to return to New York City

On November 19, 1867, Charles Dickens arrives in Boston during a two-year reading tour of ‘A Christmas Carol’ and other stories

On March 4, 1872, the Boston Globe publishes its first edition

On November 9, 1872, the Great Boston Fire begins in a warehouse basement on Sumner Street

On February 12, 1877, Alexander Graham Bell publicly demonstrates the telephone for the first time in Salem, Mass

On April 4, 1877, the first home telephone is installed in Somerville, Mass

On May 13, 1878, the Danvers State Hospital officially opens in Danvers, Mass

On March 29, 1880, Louisa May Alcott is the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Mass

On January 5, 1885, Boston swears in first Irish-born mayor

On March 6, 1888, Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, dies in Concord, Mass at the age of 55

In 1891, the first gasoline-powered car debuts in Springfield, Mass

On December 12, 1891 the first game of basketball is played in Springfield, Mass

On August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother are murdered in Fall River, Mass

On September 7, 1892, poet John Greenleaf Whittier dies at the age of 85

On June 20, 1893, Lizzie Borden is acquitted in Fall River, Mass

On February 9, 1895, volleyball is invented by W. G. Morgan in Holyoke, Mass

On April 18, 1895, workers building the Boston subway discover human remains under Boylston street

On March 4, 1897, a gas explosion on Tremont street in Boston kills 10 people and causes extensive damage to nearby buildings

On April 12, 1897, a royal decree is issued to return William Bradford’s manuscript, Of Plymouth Plantation, to the United States, more than 40 years after it was discovered in Fulham, England

On May 26, 1897, the British government officially returns William Bradford’s manuscript, Of Plymouth Plantation, to Massachusetts

On September 1, 1897, the first subway in America opens in Boston, Mass

20th Century Massachusetts:

On March 17, 1901, Boston celebrates its first Evacuation Day

On December 12, 1901, Parker Brothers is founded in Salem, Mass

On February 23, 1903, the Gardner Museum opens in Boston, Mass

On January 18, 1903, the first trans-Atlantic radio broadcast, between President Theodore Roosevelt and King Edward VII of Great Britain, takes place at Marconi Station in Wellfleet, Mass

On August 21, 1909, the Pilgrim Monument is completed in Provincetown, Mass

On June 4, 1912, Massachusetts passes the first US minimum wage law

On December 24, 1912, one of the nation’s first public Christmas trees is lit on Boston Common

On July 21, 1918, a German submarine U-156 attacks Nauset Beach, in Orleans, Mass

On September 11, 1918, the Boston Red Sox win the World Series

On January 15, 1919, the Great Molasses Flood takes place in Boston, Mass

On June 25, 1914, the Great Salem Fire of 1914 takes place in Salem, Mass

On May 5, 1920, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are arrested for the robbery and murder of a paymaster at a shoe factory in Massachusetts

On August 23, 1927, Massachusetts executes anarchists and convicted murderers Sacco and Vanzetti

On September 22, 1940, the Paul Revere Statue is unveiled in Boston, Mass

On February 27, 1946, Malcolm X is imprisoned at Charlestown State Prison in Charlestown, Mass

On June 22, 1946, the Quabbin Reservoir is filled in

On July 16, 1952, the Coast Guard spots unidentified flying objects over Winter’s Island in Salem, Mass

On May 16, 1957, the Massachusetts Turnpike opens

On November 8, 1960, Boston native John F. Kennedy is elected President of the United States

On January 9, 1961, John F. Kennedy bids farewell to the Massachusetts Legislature before leaving for Washington D.C. for his presidential inauguration

On June 14, 1962, police find the first victim of the Boston strangler

On November 6, 1962, Edward “Ted” Kennedy of Massachusetts is elected to the U.S. Senate and remains Senator until his death in 2009

On July 2, 1976, domestic terrorists bomb three sites in Massachusetts

On August 8, 1985, the 1629 Massachusetts Bay Colony charter is stolen from a display case at the Old Statehouse in Boston, Mass

On March 10, 1985, the stolen Massachusetts Bay Colony charter is found during a drug raid at an apartment in Dorchester, Mass

On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art are stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

In September of 1991, construction begins on the Big Dig

On June 24, 1992, the Danvers State Hospital officially closes downs in Danvers, Mass

21st Century Massachusetts:

On September 11, 2001, two planes take off from Logan Airport in Boston and are hijacked and flown into the Twin Towers in New York City during the September 11 terrorist attacks

On October 31, 2001, the Massachusetts Legislature clears the names of five Salem Witch Trials victims

On October 4, 2002, the newly constructed Leonard P. Zakim bridge is dedicated

On October 14, 2002, fourteen elephants from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus are walked across the Zakim Bridge to test its structural integrity

In December of 2003, the southbound lanes of the Zakim bridge are opened and the remaining lanes are opened in April of 2005

On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts becomes the first state to legalize same-sex marriage after a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court

On October 27, 2004, the Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the first time in 86 years

On April 4, 2006, the Massachusetts General Court passes a healthcare reform law, titled An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care, that makes it the first state in America to offer universal healthcare

On December 31, 2007, construction on the Big Dig is completed

On August 25, 2009, Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy dies of cancer in Hyannis Port, Mass

On June 22, 2011, Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger is captured in California after 16 years on the run

On April 15, 2013, the Boston Marathon Bombing takes place near the finish line on Boylston Street

On April 18, 2013, a massive two-day manhunt ensues for the Boston Marathon bombers after surveillance photos of two suspects are made public and the two men attack a MIT police officer and carjack a vehicle on campus

On April 19, 2013, one of the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is killed during a shoot out with police in Watertown while the other suspect, his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is injured but escapes on foot. He is captured eight hours later in Watertown

On April 8, 2015, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is convicted on 30 counts

On May 15, 2015, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is sentenced to death on six counts for his role in the Boston Marathon Bombing

Sources:
Brooks, Rebecca Beatrice. “Timeline of the American Revolution.” History of Massachusetts Blog, November 10, 2011, /historyofmassachusetts.org/timeline-of-the-american-revolution/
Brooks, Rebecca Beatrice. “Timeline of the Salem Witch Trials.” History of Massachusetts Blog, Jan. 4, 2012, historyofmassachusetts.org/timeline-of-the-salem-witch-trials/
Brooks, Rebecca Beatrice. “Timeline of the War of 1812.” History of Massachusetts Blog, Jan. 25, 2018, historyofmassachusetts.org/war-of-1812-timeline/
Brooks, Rebecca Beatrice. “Industrial Revolution Timeline.” History of Massachusetts Blog, March 16, 2019, historyofmassachusetts.org/industrial-revolution-timeline/
Brooks, Rebecca Beatrice. “Plymouth Colony Timeline.” History of Massachusetts Blog, Sept. 19, 2017, historyofmassachusetts.org/plymouth-colony-timeline/
Brooks, Rebecca Beatrice. “Massachusetts Bay Colony Timeline.” History of Massachusetts Blog, Dec. 14, 2019, historyofmassachusetts.org/massachusetts-bay-colony-timeline/
O’Neill, Ann. “Tsarnaev Trial: Timeline of the Bombings, Manhunt and Aftermath.” CNN, 15 March. 2015, www.cnn.com/2015/03/04/us/tsarnaev-trial-timeline/index.html
“USS Constitution Timeline.” USS Constitution Museum, ussconstitutionmuseum.org/discover-learn/history/timeline/

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