American history and Massachusetts really go hand in hand. In fact, the state holds a highly coveted spot among the states for being so well know throughout not only the rest of the country, but the rest of the world. Americans traveling abroad who hail from the Commonwealth will readily be recognized as living in a state as full of history as it is scenic beauty, colorful accents and delicious Boston cream pie. But hidden within the annals of history are fun facts about the state that even many citizens may be unaware of.
For starters, Boston and not New York City built the first subway system in the United states at the end of the nineteenth century. And it was at a Holyoke that a new game called mintonette was invented in the eighteen-nineties, featuring a ball, a net and a squad of players on both sides who would volley the ball back and forth.
The county of Norfolk holds unique distinction as the sole county of birth of four U.S. presidents. A founding father, his son, John Quincy Adams, JFK and shortly thereafter, George H.W. Bush. And not far away a delicious fig based snack received its famous name in the town of Newton.
The birthplace of the Industrial revolution in America began in the town of Lowell where the first factories went up, giving birth to industrial city planning. And again, it was in Boston and not New York City where the first public park in America was founded. In 1634 the Boston Common was made free and open to all.
In 1636 the first college to be established in North America was Harvard University. And the Mather school of Dorchester was the first public elementary school in the nation, opening the young students in 1639.
With so many firsts, and so many only here factoids, it’s clear to see why people the country and world over respect Massachusetts so much.