Thursday, February 16, 2012

Massachusetts - #6, February 6, 1788

If April Showers bring May Flowers,
What do Mayflowers bring?

(get it?)

Many years ago, I used to work retail (for Filene's Department Store). Occasionally, I would travel to the "home office" in Boston. It was a fair trip from Poughkeepsie (where I was working) to Boston, but I could do it in a few hours, compliments of the Mass Pike. In addition, most summers growing up, my family would travel to Maine for vacation and for some reason (although the state is more narrow width-wise than length-wise) it would take FOREVER to get through Massachusetts. I have some really vivid memories of stopping at rest areas in Massachusetts to eat sandwiches that my mother had prepared that morning. It was nice to eat with the cars whizzing by with the smell of exhaust permeating your sandwiches.

I have been to Boston several times, the last time was a professional meeting in 2004. It's a great city and I could see myself living there. It's a great walking city (because you really don't want to drive there). But then again, I don't know if I could root for the teams that play there. It's a New York thing, sorry. I will point out that Massachusetts is home to the first lighthouse in the United States, the Boston Light. (and we all know how much Brave Astronaut likes lighthouses).

I've also been to Fall River, home to the Bordens, although I was more interested in seeing the ships. I've also been to the library of the 35th President (I interviewed for a job there many years ago). Kennedy is one of four Presidents to hail from Massachusetts (there's also a fifth who is linked to Massachusetts (although represented another state as President). Of course, the Adams father and son are the first two - can you name the other two? (The fourth one was born in Massachusetts, aligned to another New England state, and elected from another state)?

Massachusetts is, of course the location where the American Revolution got its start, with the Boston Tea Party, the ride of Paul Revere, the battles of Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill and is now the permanent home of Old Ironsides.

The Bay State also has made a significant contribution to education in the United States. The state was the first state to require teachers be appointed and grammar schools to be established following the passage of the Massachusetts Education Law of 1647. Horace Mann also made Massachusetts his home and pushed many 19th Century education reforms from his home, founded Westfield State University, and laid much of the groundwork for contemporary universal public education. Other firsts in the state include:
Massachusetts is one of the most "blue" states in the Union, home to the Democratic family dynasty, the Kennedys. The current governor of Massachusetts is a Democrat, Deval Patrick. The Senators for the state are currently split, with John Kerry on the Democratic side and Scott Brown, a Republican, although that may be rectified later this year. All ten Representatives are Democrats.
  • State Capital - Boston (NOT Springfield)
  • Date of Admission - February 6, 1788
  • Area - 10,555 sq mi (44th)
  • State Motto - "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" ("by the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty")
  • State Nickname - the Bay State
  • State bird - chickadee and the wild turkey (or is that the official drink?)
  • State flower - the Mayflower (duh)
  • State dog - you really don't need me to tell you this one, do you?
  • State University - UMass
  • State Archives - Massachusetts Archives
  • Population (2011 est.) - 6,587,536
  • Signers of the Declaration of Independence - John "Sit Down, John" Adams, Samuel Adams, Elbridge Gerry, John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine
Prominent Massachusites / Bay Staters (more here and here)
  • The Adamses (Abigail, John, John Quincy, Samuel, et. al.)
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Leonard Bernstein
  • New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
  • The Band, Boston (again, duh)
  • John Singleton Copley
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Michael Dukakis
  • Dr. Seuss (aka Theodore Geisel)
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. and Jr. (Jr. was the former Supreme Court Justice)
  • The Kennedys
  • John Krasinski (that's why he does these commercials with Alec Baldwin)
  • Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. and Jr.
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Christa McAuliffe (although she's remembered as being from New Hampshire)
  • Samuel F. B. Morse (but his home is in Poughkeepsie, NY)
  • Elizabeth Poole (the first woman to found a town in the Americas)
  • Paul Revere
  • Mitt Romney
  • Eli Whitney


Unknown said...

Calvin Coolidge is one of the other Mass. Presidents.

Brave Astronaut said...

C - Yes. Yes he is.