Massachusetts in History

Massachusetts: Boston - Lowell - Newton - Springfield, MA - Worcester

Historical Events

Events 1 - 100 of 221

  • 1613-07-02 The first English expedition from Massachusetts against Acadia led by Samuel Argall

The Mayflower

1620-12-11 Mayflower Pilgrims come ashore in Plymouth Bay, traditionally thought to be at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts [NS: Dec 21]

  • 1620-12-21 Mayflower Pilgrims come ashore in Plymouth Bay, traditionally thought to be at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts [OS: Dec 11] [some sources disagree, and OS/NS adds to confusion, could be +/- several days]
  • 1621-03-16 Native American chief visits colony of Plymouth, Massachusetts

Historic Event

1621-12-25 Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony (now in Massachusetts) forbids game playing on Christmas Day

  • 1623-11-01 Fire at Plymouth, Massachusetts, destroys several buildings

Historic Event

1628-03-04 England's King Charles I grants a royal charter to Massachusetts Bay Colony

  • 1628-03-19 Massachusetts Bay Colony granted land by England
  • 1628-06-09 1st deportation from what is now US, Thomas Morton from Massachusetts
  • 1629-07-10 1st non-Separatist Congregational Church in US founded (Salem, Massachusetts)
  • 1629-08-26 Cambridge Agreement, Massachusetts Bay Company stockholders agree to emigrate
  • 1630-09-07 City of Boston, Massachusetts, is founded
  • 1630-09-16 Massachusetts village of Shawmut changes its name to Boston
  • 1631-05-18 English colony Massachusetts Bay grants Puritan voting right

Election of Interest

1631-05-18 John Winthrop is elected 1st Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony

  • 1633-10-08 Massachusetts Bay Colony forms its first government
  • 1634-05-31 The colony of Massachusetts Bay annexes Maine colony
  • 1636-08-18 The Covenant of the Town of Dedham, Massachusetts is first signed.
  • 1636-10-04 In Massachusetts the Plymouth Colony's 1st law drafted
  • 1636-10-28 Harvard University, Cambridge, founded by a vote of the Massachusetts General Court
  • 1636-12-13 The Massachusetts Bay Colony organizes three militia regiments to defend the colony against the Pequot Indians. Recognized today as the founding of the United States National Guard.
  • 1637-11-07 Anne Hutchinson tried in Massachusetts Bay Colony as a heretic
  • 1638-03-22 Religious dissident Anne Hutchinson expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony
  • 1638-06-01 1st earthquake recorded in US, at Plymouth, Massachusetts
  • 1639-03-13 Cambridge College, Massachusetts, renamed Harvard for clergyman John Harvard
  • 1639-05-20 Dorchester Massachusetts forms 1st school funded by local taxes
  • 1639-06-06 Massachusetts grants 500 acres of land to erect a gunpowder mill
  • 1639-11-05 First post office in the colonies is set up in Massachusetts
  • 1641-12-01 Massachusetts becomes the first colony to give statutory recognition to slavery
  • 1642-06-14 1st compulsory education law in America passed by Massachusetts
  • 1642-09-23 Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1st commencement
  • 1643-05-19 Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Harbor form the United Colonies of New England
  • 1643-07-05 1st recorded tornado in US (Essex County, Massachusetts)
  • 1644-03-07 Massachusetts establishes 1st two-chamber legislature in colonies
  • 1646-02-28 Roger Scott tried in Massachusetts for sleeping in church
  • 1646-03-06 Joseph Jenkes receives the 1st patent in North America for making scythes from the General Court of Massachusetts
  • 1646-10-28 First Protestant church assembly for American Indians established in Massachusetts
  • 1646-11-04 Massachusetts uses death penalty for denying that Holy Bible is God's word
  • 1647-05-26 Massachusetts disallows priest access to colony
  • 1647-11-11 Massachusetts passes first compulsory school attendance law in the American colonies
  • 1651-12-25 Massachusetts General Court ordered a five shilling fine for "observing any such day as Christmas"
  • 1654-05-03 Bridge at Rowley, Massachusetts begins charging tolls for animals
  • 1660-06-01 Mary Dyer is hanged for defying a law banning Quakers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony
  • 1672-05-15 1st copyright law enacted by Massachusetts
  • 1672-06-25 1st recorded monthly Quaker meeting in US held at Sandwich, Massachusetts
  • 1675-06-20 Abenaki, Massachusetts, Mohegan and Wampanoag Native Americans form anti-English front under Metacom
  • 1675-11-02 King Philip's War: Plymouth Colony Governor Josiah Winslow leads Plymouth, Rhode Island, Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut militias attacks against the Narragansetts, fearing they would join King Philip's cause
  • 1676-11-16 1st colonial prison organized in Nantucket, Massachusetts
  • 1677-03-13 Massachusetts gains title to Maine for $6,000
  • 1679-09-18 New Hampshire becomes a county in Massachusetts Bay Colony
  • 1680-07-08 The first confirmed tornado in America kills a servant at Cambridge, Massachusetts

Historic Event

1684-06-21 King Charles II revokes Massachusetts Bay Colony charter

  • 1684-10-23 Colony Massachusetts under authority of English crown mounted
  • 1690-12-10 Massachusetts Bay becomes first American colonial government to issue paper money
  • 1691-09-17 Massachusetts Bay Colony granted new charter
  • 1691-10-17 New royal charter for Massachusetts, now including Maine, Plymouth

Salem Witch Trials

1692-02-29 First people are accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts - Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba, a West Indian slave

  • 1692-04-22 Edward Bishop is jailed for proposing flogging as a cure for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts
  • 1692-05-27 Court of Oyer and Terminer ("to hear and determine") established by Governor of Massachusetts to hear accusations of witchcraft
  • 1692-06-10 The first victim of the Salem witch trials, Bridget Bishop, is hanged for witchcraft in the colony of Massachusetts
  • 1692-07-19 5 more people are hanged for witchcraft (19 in all) in Salem, Massachusetts
  • 1692-08-19 Five more people hanged for witchcraft (19 in all) in Salem, Massachusetts
  • 1699-01-14 Massachusetts holds day of fasting for wrongly persecuting "witches"
  • 1700-06-17 Massachusetts orders priest to leave the colony
  • 1704-02-29 French & Indians attack Deerfield, Massachusetts, kill 50, abduct 100
  • 1708-08-29 Haverhill, Massachusetts destroyed by French & Indians
  • 1722-07-25 The Three Years War begins along the Maine and Massachusetts border
  • 1749-06-25 General fast because of drought in Massachusetts
  • 1753-07-18 Lemuel Haynes, escapes from slave holder in Framingham, Massachusetts
  • 1755-11-18 Worst quake in Massachusetts Bay area strikes Boston; no deaths reported
  • 1765-08-14 Massachusetts colonists challenge British rule by an Elm (Liberty Tree)
  • 1769-09-18 John Harris of Boston, Massachusetts, builds 1st spinet piano
  • 1773-01-06 Massachusetts slaves petition legislature for freedom
  • 1774-03-28 Britain passes Coercive Act against Massachusetts
  • 1774-05-20 The British pass the second of the Intolerable Acts: the Massachusetts Government Act, giving British-appointed governor wide-ranging powers
  • 1774-10-21 First display of the word "Liberty" on a flag, raised by colonists in Taunton, Massachusetts and which was in defiance of British rule in Colonial America.
  • 1775-02-09 British Parliament declares Massachusetts colony in rebellion

The Shot Heard Round the World

1775-04-19 American Revolution begins in Lexington, Massachusetts. The "Shot Heard Round the World" takes place later that day in Concord

  • 1775-07-03 George Washington takes command of Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts

Historic Event

1775-12-05 At Fort Ticonderoga, Henry Knox begins his historic transport of artillery to Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  • 1776-01-24 Henry Knox arrives at Cambridge, Massachusetts, with the artillery that he has transported from Fort Ticonderoga
  • 1776-03-04 American War of Independence: The Americans capture Dorchester Heights dominating the port of Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1778-01-20 1st American military court martial trial begins in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Historic Event

1780-10-25 John Hancock becomes the first Governor of Massachusetts

  • 1785-01-29 In a surprising announcement, John Hancock resigns as Governor of Massachusetts, allegedly due to his failing health
  • 1786-08-29 Shays' Rebellion, an armed uprising in Springfield and Worcester, Massachusetts, by citizens in opposition to the government's increased efforts to collect taxes on both individuals and their businesses
  • 1787-01-25 Shays' Rebellion suffers a setback when debt-ridden farmers, led by Capt Daniel Shays, fail to capture an arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts
  • 1787-02-04 Shays' Rebellion (of debt-ridden Massachusetts farmers) fails
  • 1788-02-06 Massachusetts becomes 6th state to ratify constitution
  • 1791-03-10 John Stone of Concord, Massachusetts, patents a pile driver
  • 1792-02-23 Humane Society of Massachusetts incorporated (erected life-saving stations for distressed mariners)
  • 1799-02-13 1st US law regulating insurance passed by Massachusetts legislature
  • 1801-03-07 Massachusetts enacts first state voter registration law
  • 1812-02-11 Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry signs a redistricting bill - first "gerrymander"
  • 1813-02-23 1st US raw cotton-to-cloth mill founded in Waltham, Massachusetts
  • 1816-07-08 Frost in Waltham, Massachusetts during "year without a summer"
  • 1817-08-18 60-70ft sea serpent sightings reported offshore in Gloucester, Massachusetts
  • 1822-02-23 Boston, Massachusetts, is incorporated as a city
  • 1822-03-19 Boston, Massachusetts incorporated as a city
  • 1826-03-04 1st US railroad chartered, Granite Railway in Quincy, Massachusetts

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 1,000

  • 1576-10-12 Thomas Dudley, British colonial governor of Massachusetts, born in Northamptonshire, England (d. 1653)

John WinthropJohn Winthrop (1588-1649)

1588-01-12 English Puritan lawyer and 1st governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, born in Edwardstone, England

  • 1594-05-01 John Haynes, 5th Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, born in Essex, England (d. 1653)
  • 1603-03-18 Simon Bradstreet, Massachusetts Bay colonist (d. 1693)
  • 1609-10-26 William Sprague, English co-founder of Charlestown, Massachusetts (d. 1675)
  • 1620-11-20 Peregrine White, First English child born in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, born aboard the Mayflower (d. 1704)
  • 1639-06-21 Increase Mather, New England Puritan minister, born in Dorchester, Massachusetts (d. 1723)
  • 1649-04-05 Elihu Yale, English merchant and philanthropist (benefactor of Yale University), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1721)

Cotton MatherCotton Mather (1663-1728)

1663-02-12 American Puritan minister (Salem witchcraft trials), born in Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1675-09-03 Paul Dudley, Attorney-General of Massachusetts, born in Roxbury, Massachusetts (d. 1751)
  • 1689-06-26 Edward Holyoke, American academic and 9th President of Harvard University, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1769)
  • 1694-12-02 William Shirley, British Colonial Governor of Massachusetts (played an important role in Britain’s struggle against France for control of North America), born in Preston, Sussex, England (d. 1771)
  • 1703-06-26 Thomas Clap, American academic, 1st President of Yale University, born in Scituate, Massachusetts (d. 1767)

Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

1706-01-17 US Founding Father, inventor, ambassador and writer (Poor Richards Almanac), born in Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1711-09-09 Thomas Hutchinson, Loyalist politician of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, born in Boston, Massachusetts Bay British America (d. 1780)
  • 1715-03-07 Ephraim Williams, American philanthropist, born in Newton, Massachusetts (d. 1755)
  • 1717-01-05 William Wildman Shute Barrington, British statesman, born in Becket, Massachusetts (d. 1793)
  • 1720-10-08 Jonathan Mayhew, American Congregational minister, born in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts (d. 1766)

Roger ShermanRoger Sherman (1721-1793)

1721-04-19 American lawyer and Founding Father of the United States (Declaration of Independence, Constitution), born in Newton, Massachusetts

Samuel AdamsSamuel Adams (1722-1803)

1722-09-27 American revolutionary (Boston Massacre-Tea Party) and politician (Lt Gov-Mass, 1789-94), born in Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1724-04-27 Colonel Thomas Gardner, American heroic political figure and soldier, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (d. 1775)
  • 1725-02-05 James Otis, American lawyer and patriot, born in Barnstable, Massachusetts (d. 1783)
  • 1725-03-24 Thomas Cushing, American Continental Congressman and acting Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1788)
  • 1726-08-07 James Bowdoin, American Revolutionary leader and politician, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1790)
  • 1727-11-26 Artemas Ward, American politician and soldier (major general during the American Revolutionary War), born in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts (d. 1800)

Benjamin LincolnBenjamin Lincoln (1733-1810)

1733-01-24 American military officer (Battles of Saratoga, Charleston and Yorktown during the American Revolutionary War), born in Hingham, Massachusetts

Paul ReverePaul Revere (1735-1818)

1735-01-01 American silversmith and patriot who alerted the colonial militia to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord, born in Boston, Massachusetts

John AdamsJohn Adams (1735-1826)

1735-10-30 2nd US President (1797-1801), born in Braintree, Massachusetts

John HancockJohn Hancock (1737-1793)

1737-01-23 American merchant and statesman who was 1st to sign the Declaration of Independence, born in Braintree, Massachusetts

  • 1738-05-27 Nathaniel Gorham, American politician (6th President of the Confederation Congress), born in Charlestown, Massachusetts (d. 1796)
  • 1738-07-03 John Singleton Copley, American painter of portraits and historical objects, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1815)
  • 1739-03-05 Benjamin Ruggles Woodbridge, doctor, Massachusetts militia officer, member of the Massachusetts legislature (d. 1819)
  • 1741-06-11 Joseph Warren, American physician and soldier, born in Roxbury, Province of Massachusetts Bay (d. 1775)
  • 1742-06-17 William Hooper, American attorney and signer of U.S. Declaration of Independence, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1790)
  • 1744-04-22 James Sullivan, 7th Governor of Massachusetts (1807-08), born in Berwick, Province of Massachusetts Bay (d. 1808)
  • 1744-07-17 Elbridge Gerry, American statesman who invented gerrymandering and 5th Vice President of the United States, born in Marblehead, Massachusetts Bay (d. 1814)

Abigail AdamsAbigail Adams (1744-1818)

1744-11-22 2nd US First Lady (1797-1801) [11 Nov O.S.] born in Weymouth Massachusetts

  • 1745-01-09 Caleb Strong, 6th and 10th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1819)
  • 1746-10-07 William Billings, American hymn composer (Rose of Sharon), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1800)
  • 1746-11-27 Increase Sumner, American politician (5th Governor of Massachusetts), born in Roxbury, Province of Massachusetts Bay (d. 1799)
  • 1749-05-15 Levi Lincoln, Sr., American revolutionary, statesman, politician, and acting Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1820)
  • 1750-05-08 Elias Mann, American composer, born in Weymouth, Massachusetts (d. 1825)

Henry KnoxHenry Knox (1750-1806)

1750-07-25 American general (Continental Army and later the United States Army) and 1st US Secretary of War (1785-94), born in Boston, Massachusetts Bay

  • 1751-03-29 Supply Belcher, American composer and singer (The Harmony of Maine), born in Stoughton, Massachusetts (d. 1836)
  • 1752-05-04 John Brooks, 11th Governor of Massachusetts (1816-23), born in Medford (d. 1825)
  • 1753-03-26 Benjamin Thompson, American physicist and inventor (Royal Institution of Great Britain), born in Woburn, Massachusetts (d. 1814)
  • 1753-06-10 William Eustis, 12th Governor of Massachusetts (1823-25), born in Cambridge, Massachusetts Bay, British America (d. 1825)
  • 1755-03-24 Rufus King, American politician and framer of US constitution, born in Scarborough, Massachusetts (d. 1827)
  • 1758-09-10 Hannah Webster Foster, American author (The Coquette; or, The History of Eliza Wharton), born in Salisbury, Massachusetts (d. 1840)
  • 1758-09-21 Christopher Gore, American lawyer and politician (8th Governor of Massachusetts), born in Boston, Province of Massachusetts Bay (d. 1827)
  • 1762-10-15 Samuel Adams Holyoke, American composer, born in Boxford, Massachusetts (d. 1820)
  • 1763-08-08 Charles Bulfinch, 1st US pro architect (Mass State House), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1765-09-18 Oliver Holden, American composer, born in Shirley, Massachusetts (d. 1844)

Eli WhitneyEli Whitney (1765-1825)

1765-12-08 American inventor (Cotton Gin), born in Westborough, Massachusetts

  • 1766-04-24 Robert Bailey Thomas, American journalist and founder (The Farmer's Almanac), born in Grafton, Massachusetts (d. 1846)
  • 1766-07-09 Jacob Perkins, American inventor (father of the refrigerator), born in Newburyport, Massachusetts (d. 1849)
  • 1766-09-13 Samuel Wilson, American meat packer and possible namesake of Uncle Sam, born in Menotomy, Province of Massachusetts Bay (d. 1854)

John Quincy AdamsJohn Quincy Adams (1767-1848)

1767-07-11 6th President of the United States (Democratic: 1825-1829), born in Braintree, Massachusetts

  • 1771-02-09 Daniel Belknap, American composer, born in Framingham, Massachusetts (d. 1815)
  • 1773-03-26 Nathaniel Bowditch, American mathematician, astronomer and author (Marine Sextant), born in Salem, Province of Massachusetts Bay (d. 1838)
  • 1774-09-26 Johnny Appleseed [John Chapman], American pioneer nurseryman (introduced apple trees to Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois), born in Leominster, Massachusetts (d. 1845)

Laura SecordLaura Secord (1775-1868)

1775-09-13 Canadian heroine of the war of 1812, born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts Bay

  • 1779-09-18 Joseph Story, American lawyer and 19th Supreme Court justice (1812-45), born in Marblehead, Massachusetts (d. 1845)
  • 1780-09-25 Jason Fairbanks, American murderer, born in Dedham, Massachusetts (d. 1801)
  • 1782-10-25 Levi Lincoln, Jr., American lawyer and 13th Governor of Massachusetts (1825-34), born in Worcester, Massachusetts (d. 1868)
  • 1784-04-29 Samuel Turell Armstrong, American politician and acting Governor of Massachusetts (1833- 36), born in Dorchester, Massachusetts (d. 1850)
  • 1784-12-19 Marcus Morton, 16th and 18th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1864)
  • 1786-12-12 William L. Marcy, American statesman, born in Southbridge, Massachusetts (d. 1857)
  • 1787-01-13 John Davis, 14th and 17th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1854)
  • 1789-10-08 John Ruggles, American politician, born in Westborough, Massachusetts (d. 1874)
  • 1791-01-14 Calvin Phillips, American midget & shortest known adult male (67 cm; 2' 2"), born in Bridgewater, Massachusetts (d. 1812)

Samuel MorseSamuel Morse (1791-1872)

1791-04-27 American inventor (telegraph, Morse code) and painter, born in Charlestown, Massachusetts

  • 1791-10-26 Charles Sprague, American banker and poet (Curiosity), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1875)
  • 1793-01-14 John C. Clark, American politician, born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts (d. 1852)
  • 1794-04-11 Edward Everett, American statesman and orator, born in Dorchester, Massachusetts (d. 1865)
  • 1795-06-12 John Marston, U.S. Navy officer, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1885)
  • 1796-04-12 George N. Briggs, American lawyer and politician, 19th Governor of Massachusetts, born in Adams, Massachusetts (d. 1861)

Horace MannHorace Mann (1796-1859)

1796-05-04 American educator, author and editor who pioneered public schools, born in Franklin, Massachusetts

  • 1796-05-04 William H. Prescott, American historian, born in Salem, Massachusetts (d. 1859)
  • 1797-01-30 Edwin Vose Sumner, American Major General (Union Army), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1863)
  • 1798-01-20 Anson Jones, 5th and last President of Texas, born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts (d. 1858)
  • 1799-07-26 Isaac Babbitt, American goldsmith who invented babbitt's metal for bearings, born in Taunton, Massachusetts (d. 1862)
  • 1799-10-01 Rufus Choate, American lawyer (Hall of Fame), born in Ipswich, Massachusetts (d. 1859)
  • 1800-02-14 Emory Washburn, 22nd Governor of Massachusetts (1854-55), born in Leicester, Massachusetts (d. 1877)

George BancroftGeorge Bancroft (1800-1891)

1800-10-03 American historian (History of the United States), born in Worcester Massachusetts

  • 1800-10-27 Benjamin Franklin Wade, American politician, US Senator from Ohio (1851-69), born in Springfield, Massachusetts (d. 1878)
  • 1801-11-10 Samuel Gridley Howe, United States physician, abolitionist, and advocate of education for the blind, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1876)
  • 1801-12-28 James Barnes, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1869)
  • 1802-02-11 Lydia Maria Child, American author, journalist and abolitionist (Juvenile Miscellany), born in Medford, Massachusetts (d. 1880)

Ralph Waldo EmersonRalph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

1803-05-25 American essayist and philosopher (Concord Hymn), born in Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1804-02-14 Otis Tufts, American machinist & inventor who built printing machines, steam engines, firefighting equipment and invented the steam pile driver, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (d. 1869)
  • 1804-03-08 Alvan Clark, American astronomer and maker of the Dearborn Observatory telescope, the largest telescope in the world at the time, born in Ashfield, Massachusetts (d. 1887)
  • 1804-05-16 Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, American educator, founder of first English-language kindergarten in the US, born in Billerica, Massachusetts (d. 1894)
  • 1804-06-24 Willard Richards, American physician and religious leader, born in Hopkinton, Massachusetts (d. 1854)

Nathaniel HawthorneNathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

1804-07-04 American author (House of 7 Gables, The Scarlet Letter), born in Salem, Massachusetts

  • 1805-06-21 Charles Thomas Jackson, American physician and geologist, born in Plymouth, Massachusetts (d. 1880)
  • 1805-09-06 Horatio Greenough, American neo-classical sculptor and writer (Form & Function), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1852)

William Lloyd GarrisonWilliam Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879)

1805-12-10 American abolitionist, and publisher ("The Liberator"), born in Newburyport, Massachusetts

  • 1807-02-16 Lysander Cutler, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Royalston, Massachusetts (d. 1866)
  • 1807-08-18 Charles Francis Adams Snr., American writer and diplomat, US Minister to the UK, son of President John Quincy Adams, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1886)

Famous Weddings

Roger Sherman

1749-11-17 Founding Father of the United States Roger Sherman (28) weds first wife Elizabeth Hartwell in Massachusetts

Paul Revere

1757-08-04 American revolution patriot Paul Revere (22) weds Sarah Orne in Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Wedding of Interest

1764-10-25 Future 2nd American President John Adams (28) weds Abigail Smith (19) in Weymouth, Massachusetts (marriage lasts 54 years)

Ralph Waldo Emerson

1835-09-14 American leading transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson (33) marries 2nd wife Lydia (Lidian) Jackson in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Herman Melville

1847-08-04 Author of Moby-Dick, American novelist Herman Melville (28) marries Elizabeth Shaw, daughter of Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Alexander Graham Bell

1877-07-11 Scientist and inventor Alexander Graham Bell (30) weds Mabel Hubbard (19) at the Hubbard estate in Cambridge, Massachusetts

James Naismith

1894-06-20 Basketball inventor James Naismith (32) weds Maude Evelyn Sherman (23) in Springfield, Massachusetts

Robert Frost

1895-12-19 Poet Robert Frost (21) weds Elinor Miriam White in Lawrence, Massachusetts

Owen D. Young

1898-06-13 US diplomat Owen D. Young weds Josephine Sheldon Edmonds in Southbridge, Massachusetts

D. W. Griffith

1906-03-14 Film director D. W. Griffith (31) weds Linda Arvidson (21) at Old North Church in Boston, Massachusetts

Henry J. Kaiser

1907-04-08 American industrialist Henry J. Kaiser (24) weds Bess Fosburgh in Boston, Massachusetts

George S. Patton

1910-05-26 US General George S. Patton (24) weds Frederick Ayer's daughter Beatrice Ayer at Beverly Farms Episcopal Church near Boston, Massachusetts

Chester Nimitz

1913-04-09 US Admiral Chester Nimitz (28) weds Catherine Freeman (21) in Wollaston, Massachusetts

Mike Wallace

1940-08-30 CBS news correspondent Mike Wallace (22) weds Norma Kaphan in Brookline, Massachusetts

Rocky Marciano

1950-12-31 World heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano (27) weds Barbara Cousins in Brockton, Massachusetts

Anthony Perkins

1973-08-09 American Actor Anthony Perkins (40) weds American photographer and actress Berinthia "Berry" Berenson (25) in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Howard Stern

1978-06-04 Broadcaster Howard Stern (24) marries Alison Berns at Temple Ohabei Shalom, Brookline Massachusetts.

Kate Jackson

1978-08-23 Actress Kate Jackson (29) weds actor Andrew Stevens (23) in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts

  • 1986-07-19 Caroline Kennedy (28) weds Edwin Schlossberg (41) at the Church of Our Lady of Victory in Centerville, Massachusetts

Christopher Reeve

1992-04-11 "Superman" actor Christopher Reeve (39) weds actress and singer Dana Morosini (31) in Williamstown, Massachusetts

John Kerry

1995-05-26 US Secretary of State John Kerry (51) weds philanthropist Teresa Heinz (56) in Nantucket, Massachusetts

  • 1996-10-19 "Rescue Me" actor-comedian Lenny Clarke (43) weds former TV producer Jennifer Miller (31) at Martha's Vineyard in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 1998-08-22 FOX News Channel correspondent and Robert F Kennedy's youngest son Douglas Kennedy (32) weds Molly Stark (29) in Nantucket, Massachusetts
  • 2002-07-05 "Smallville" actor Tom Welling (25) weds model Jamie White in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
  • 2004-07-31 "Ed" actor Tom Cavanagh (35) weds "Sports Illustrated" photo editor Maureen Grise (33) at a 19th-century, cedar-shingled Roman Catholic church in Nantucket, Massachusetts

Julianna Margulies

2007-11-10 Former "E.R." actress Julianna Margulies (41) weds lawyer Keith Lieberthal in Lenox, Massachusetts

John Cena

2009-07-11 WWE star John Cena (32) weds Elizabeth Huberdeau in Boston, Massachusetts

  • 2011-07-15 Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy (44) weds Amy Petitgout in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts

Seth Meyers

2013-09-01 Comedian Seth Meyers (39) weds human rights lawyer Alexi Ashe on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts

  • 2016-08-20 Olympic figure skater Sasha Cohen (31) weds Tom May in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Famous Deaths

John WinthropJohn Winthrop (1588-1649)

1649-03-26 English Puritan lawyer and 1st governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, dies at 61

  • 1653-01-09 John Haynes, 5th Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, dies at 58
  • 1653-07-31 Thomas Dudley, British colonial governor of Massachusetts, dies at 76
  • 1660-06-01 Mary Dyer, English Quaker (martyred) - hanged for defying a law banning Quakers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony
  • 1662-06-14 Henry Vane the Younger, English politician and Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1613)
  • 1672-12-07 Richard Bellingham, English-born Massachusetts colonial magistrate (b. 1592)
  • 1675-10-26 William Sprague, English co-founder of Charlestown, Massachusetts (b. 1609)
  • 1679-03-16 John Leverett, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (b. 1616)
  • 1690-05-21 John Eliot, English missionary in Massachusetts, dies at 85
  • 1692-06-10 Bridget Bishop, 1st person to be hanged in the Salem witch trials at 60
  • 1697-03-27 Simon Bradstreet, English colonial magistrate, last governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, dies at 93
  • 1704-07-20 Peregrine White, First English child born in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, dies at 83
  • 1720-04-02 Joseph Dudley, colonial Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1647)
  • 1751-01-25 Paul Dudley, Attorney-General of Massachusetts, dies at 75

George WhitefieldGeorge Whitefield (1714-1770)

1770-09-30 English-born Methodist leader and preacher, dies in Newburyport, Massachusetts, at age 55

  • 1779-06-16 Sir Francis Bernard, Governor of New Jersey and Massachusetts (b. 1712)
  • 1780-06-03 Thomas Hutchinson, Loyalist politician of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, dies at 68
  • 1808-12-10 James Sullivan, 7th Governor of Massachusetts (1807-08), dies at 64
  • 1819-03-08 Benjamin Ruggles Woodbridge, doctor, Massachusetts militia officer, member of the Massachusetts legislature (b. 1739)
  • 1825-02-06 William Eustis, 12th Governor of Massachusetts (1823-25), dies at 71
  • 1827-03-01 Christopher Gore, American lawyer & politician (8th Governor of Massachusetts), dies at 68
  • 1832-04-01 Robert the Hermit, US ex-slave/hermit in Massachusetts, dies
  • 1850-03-26 Samuel Turell Armstrong, American politician and acting Governor of Massachusetts (1833- 36), dies at 65
  • 1861-09-12 George N. Briggs, American lawyer and politician, 19th Governor of Massachusetts, dies at 65
  • 1867-10-30 John Albion Andrew, American politician (25th Governor of Massachusetts), dies at 49
  • 1868-05-29 Levi Lincoln, Jr., American lawyer and 13th Governor of Massachusetts (1825-34), dies at 85
  • 1874-03-11 Charles Sumner, American politician, Senator Massachusetts (1851-74) and anti-slavery advocate, dies at 63
  • 1885-10-06 Thomas Talbot, American politician, 31st Governor of Massachusetts, dies at 67
  • 1892-07-21 Henry Gardner, 23rd Governor of Massachusetts (1855-58), dies at 73
  • 1900-12-21 Roger Wolcott, American political figure, 39th Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1847)
  • 1914-04-09 Eben Sumner Draper, American businessman and politician (44th Governor of Massachusetts), dies at 55
  • 1915-08-28 John Davis Long, 32nd Governor of Massachusetts (1880-1915), dies at 76
  • 1918-04-06 John Q. A. Brackett, American politician, 36th Governor of Massachusetts (1890-91), dies at 75
  • 1920-10-02 Winthrop M. Crane, American politician, 40th Governor of Massachusetts, dies at 67
  • 1927-08-23 Nicola Sacco & Bartolomeo Vanzetti, executed in Massachusetts
  • 1939-09-13 Eugene Foss, American politician (45th Governor of Massachusetts), dies at 80
  • 1946-06-08 John L. Bates, American lawyer and politician (41st Governor of Massachusetts), dies at 86
  • 1947-12-25 Gaspar G. Bacon, was Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1886)
  • 1953-07-19 Maurice J. Tobin, 56th Governor of Massachusetts, dies at 52
  • 1954-06-22 Karl Taylor Compton, American physicist and 9th President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, dies at 66
  • 1966-12-30 Christian Herter, American Republican politician, 59th Governor of Massachusetts (1953-57) and US Secretary of State (1959-61), dies at 71
  • 1988-01-29 James R. Killian Jr., 10th president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1948-59), dies at 83
  • 1994-11-11 John Volpe, American politician (61st and 63rd Governor of Massachusetts) and U.S. Secretary of Treasury (1969-73), dies at 85
  • 1997-02-10 Matthew Eappen of Newton Massachusetts (b. 1996)
  • 1997-12-02 Endicott Peabody, American politician (62nd Governor of Massachusetts), dies at 77
  • 1998-10-21 Francis W. Sargent, 64th Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1915)
  • 2001-05-28 Joe Moakley, American politician, U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts (1973-2001), dies at 74
  • 2006-09-18 Edward J. King, 66th Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1925)
  • 2013-06-08 Paul Cellucci, American politician, 69th Governor of Massachusetts and former United States Ambassador to Canada, dies from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at 65
  • 2018-05-01 Robert B. Kennedy, American politician (Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1975–1979), dies at 78
  • 2018-05-02 Chris Walsh, American politician (Massachusetts House of Representatives, 2010–2018), dies of lymphoma at 66