Mass Moments http://www.massmoments.org/ A daily almanac of Massachusetts history 1440 Copyright 2006 Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities TheOtherRoom.com CFML RSS Generator Fri, 22 May 2015 04:00:00 EST en-us Visitors of Mass Moments--a daily almanac of Massachusetts history--can learn more about the Moments presented on the radio, see images and illustrations, read a primary source document, and get suggestions of links to follow and places to visit. Additionally, they can view a timeline to see when a given Moment occurred, and where applicable, a map to see where it happened. Visitors are invited to comment or ask questions about a Moment on our message board, thus providing an on-line community where Bay State history enthusiasts can meet and discuss our past. They can sign up to receive Mass Moments daily in their email, and if they post a question to the message board, they can be notified when someone has responded. Past Moments (those posted since January 1, 2005) are searchable, by key words, subject, time period, and region. A daily almanac of Massachusetts history. Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities Massachusetts almanac, radio program, eMoment, eMoments, Massachusetts history, Bay State, Western Mass, MA, Eastern Mass, Boston, Mass Moments, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, daily history, this day in history, today's history, today in history http://www.massmoments.org/rss/images/mass_moments_75.jpg Mass Moments http://www.massmoments.org/ info@massmoments.org Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities Sumner Attacked in U.S. Senate: May 22, 1856 http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=151 On this day in 1856, Preston Brooks, a congressman from South Carolina, viciously attacked Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the United States Senate. Three days earlier, in a passionate anti-slavery speech, Sumner had used language southerners found deeply offensive. Rather than challenge Sumner to a duel, as he would have a gentleman, Brooks beat him with a cane. It was three-and-a-half years before Charles Sumner was well enough to return to the Senate. Although he never fully recovered from the assault, he served another 15 years. An abolitionist who not only opposed slavery but advocated equal rights for African Americans, Charles Sumner was remembered as a man who marched "ahead of his followers when they were afraid to follow." Fri, 22 May 2015 04:00:00 EST http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=151 On this day in 1856, Preston Brooks, a congressman from South Carolina, viciously attacked Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the United States Senate. Three days earlier, in a passionate anti-slavery speech, Sumner had used language southerners found deeply offensive. Rather than challenge Sumner to a duel, as he would have a gentleman, Brooks beat him with a cane. It was three-and-a-half years before Charles Sumner was well enough to return to the Senate. Although he never fully recovered from the assault, he served another 15 years. An abolitionist who not only opposed slavery but advocated equal rights for African Americans, Charles Sumner was remembered as a man who marched "ahead of his followers when they were afraid to follow." no 0:01:00 Sumner Attacked in U.S. Senate: May 22, 1856 Indians in Mashpee Demand Self-Government: May 21, 1833 http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=150 On this day in 1833, the Mashpee of Cape Cod signed what amounted to an Indian Declaration of Independence. They reminded officials in Boston that "all men are born free and Equal, as says the constitution of the country" and spelled out the details of what had become an intolerable situation -- the appropriation of their woodlots, hay fields, pastures, and shellfish beds by whites. The Mashpee declared that they would take action against further encroachment by white settlers. A group of Barnstable farmers decided to test the Indians' resolve. When they arrived to cut wood on Mashpee land, the Indians resisted, and a violent confrontation followed. Fearing an insurrection, the legislature granted the Mashpee the right of self-government in 1834. Thu, 21 May 2015 04:00:00 EST http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=150 On this day in 1833, the Mashpee of Cape Cod signed what amounted to an Indian Declaration of Independence. They reminded officials in Boston that "all men are born free and Equal, as says the constitution of the country" and spelled out the details of what had become an intolerable situation -- the appropriation of their woodlots, hay fields, pastures, and shellfish beds by whites. The Mashpee declared that they would take action against further encroachment by white settlers. A group of Barnstable farmers decided to test the Indians' resolve. When they arrived to cut wood on Mashpee land, the Indians resisted, and a violent confrontation followed. Fearing an insurrection, the legislature granted the Mashpee the right of self-government in 1834. no 0:01:00 Indians in Mashpee Demand Self-Government: May 21, 1833 Final Episode of "Cheers" Airs: May 20, 1993 http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=149 On this day in 1993, the sitcom "Cheers" aired its 275th and final episode. One of the most popular shows in television history, "Cheers" was set in a bar modeled on the Bull and Finch Pub on Beacon St. in Boston. For 11 seasons, fans tuned in to follow the intertwined lives of people who seemed to spend every night in Sam Malone's bar, a place "where everybody knows your name." On May 20th, the cast came to Boston for a celebration, complete with proclamations from the governor, tributes from the legislature, and a special broadcast of "The Tonight Show." Thousands of people crowded onto Beacon Street. One fan spoke for many when he explained, "It's the end of an era. It's part of Boston." Wed, 20 May 2015 04:00:00 EST http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=149 On this day in 1993, the sitcom "Cheers" aired its 275th and final episode. One of the most popular shows in television history, "Cheers" was set in a bar modeled on the Bull and Finch Pub on Beacon St. in Boston. For 11 seasons, fans tuned in to follow the intertwined lives of people who seemed to spend every night in Sam Malone's bar, a place "where everybody knows your name." On May 20th, the cast came to Boston for a celebration, complete with proclamations from the governor, tributes from the legislature, and a special broadcast of "The Tonight Show." Thousands of people crowded onto Beacon Street. One fan spoke for many when he explained, "It's the end of an era. It's part of Boston." no 0:01:00 Final Episode of "Cheers" Airs: May 20, 1993 Boston's Poor Riot Over Cost of Bread: May 19, 1713 http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=148 On this day in 1713, more than 200 people rioted on Boston Common over the high price of bread. The lieutenant governor tried to intervene but was shot and wounded for his efforts. This was the third such riot in four years. With grain in short supply, merchants were hoarding it to drive up prices. If they exported the grain to the West Indies, they could make even greater profits by selling to the sugar planters there. Boston selectmen tried without success to restrict grain sales to the domestic market. The riots helped persuade the colonial legislature to pass regulations designed to manage food shortages. Even with these laws on the books, however, hoarding and food riots continued throughout the eighteenth century. Tue, 19 May 2015 04:00:00 EST http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=148 On this day in 1713, more than 200 people rioted on Boston Common over the high price of bread. The lieutenant governor tried to intervene but was shot and wounded for his efforts. This was the third such riot in four years. With grain in short supply, merchants were hoarding it to drive up prices. If they exported the grain to the West Indies, they could make even greater profits by selling to the sugar planters there. Boston selectmen tried without success to restrict grain sales to the domestic market. The riots helped persuade the colonial legislature to pass regulations designed to manage food shortages. Even with these laws on the books, however, hoarding and food riots continued throughout the eighteenth century. no 0:01:00 Boston's Poor Riot Over Cost of Bread: May 19, 1713 Newburyport Fire Leads to Execution for Arson: May 18, 1820 http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=147 On this day in 1820, a barn filled with hay burned to the ground in Newburyport. Just three days later, cries of "fire" alarmed the town again. Terrified residents were convinced they had an arsonist in their midst. Sixteen-year-old Stephen Clark was arrested and charged with arson -- a capital offense even when there was no personal injury or loss of life. The jury found him guilty but recommended commutation of the sentence. Nevertheless, the state hanged him on May 10, 1821. Clark's case fueled the movement in Massachusetts to reduce the number of capital crimes, if not abolish the death penalty altogether. By 1852 only murder remained on the books as a capital offense. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in 1984. Mon, 18 May 2015 04:00:00 EST http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=147 On this day in 1820, a barn filled with hay burned to the ground in Newburyport. Just three days later, cries of "fire" alarmed the town again. Terrified residents were convinced they had an arsonist in their midst. Sixteen-year-old Stephen Clark was arrested and charged with arson -- a capital offense even when there was no personal injury or loss of life. The jury found him guilty but recommended commutation of the sentence. Nevertheless, the state hanged him on May 10, 1821. Clark's case fueled the movement in Massachusetts to reduce the number of capital crimes, if not abolish the death penalty altogether. By 1852 only murder remained on the books as a capital offense. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in 1984. no 0:01:00 Newburyport Fire Leads to Execution for Arson: May 18, 1820 Supreme Court Strikes Down "Separate but Equal": May 17, 1954 http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=146 On this day in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the doctrine of separate but equal. "Segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race . . . deprives the children of a minority group of equal educational opportunities," the justices ruled in Brown v. Board of Education. In 1848 Boston's black community had turned to the courts to integrate the city's public schools. In ruling against them, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court asserted that separate was equal. The cause was won only when the fight moved from the courts to the state legislature, which voted to outlaw segregated public schools in 1855. A century later, attorneys in Brown v. Board used some of the same arguments lawyers had made in the Boston case. Sun, 17 May 2015 04:00:00 EST http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=146 On this day in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the doctrine of separate but equal. "Segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race . . . deprives the children of a minority group of equal educational opportunities," the justices ruled in Brown v. Board of Education. In 1848 Boston's black community had turned to the courts to integrate the city's public schools. In ruling against them, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court asserted that separate was equal. The cause was won only when the fight moved from the courts to the state legislature, which voted to outlaw segregated public schools in 1855. A century later, attorneys in Brown v. Board used some of the same arguments lawyers had made in the Boston case. no 0:01:00 Supreme Court Strikes Down "Separate but Equal": May 17, 1954 Dam Breaks, Causing Catastrophic Flood: May 16, 1874 http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=145 On this day in 1874, on the Mill River in western Massachusetts, an earthenwork dam gave way. A wall of water between 20- and 40-feet high and 300-feet wide rushed downstream. The flood destroyed almost everything in its path. Factories were crushed and houses swept off their foundations; cows, horses, and people were sucked into the roiling water. Within an hour, the flood leveled four villages. Finally, it reached a broad plain just north of Northampton. There, the river spread out over acres of freshly ploughed fields, depositing its awful contents -- machinery, furniture, bridges, rocks, trees, livestock, and bodies -- in a layer ten-feet deep. It took days to recover the bodies of the 139 people who lost their lives to the Mill River flood. Sat, 16 May 2015 04:00:00 EST http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=145 On this day in 1874, on the Mill River in western Massachusetts, an earthenwork dam gave way. A wall of water between 20- and 40-feet high and 300-feet wide rushed downstream. The flood destroyed almost everything in its path. Factories were crushed and houses swept off their foundations; cows, horses, and people were sucked into the roiling water. Within an hour, the flood leveled four villages. Finally, it reached a broad plain just north of Northampton. There, the river spread out over acres of freshly ploughed fields, depositing its awful contents -- machinery, furniture, bridges, rocks, trees, livestock, and bodies -- in a layer ten-feet deep. It took days to recover the bodies of the 139 people who lost their lives to the Mill River flood. no 0:01:00 Dam Breaks, Causing Catastrophic Flood: May 16, 1874