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 Sat, 20 Dec 2014 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 Abner Kneeland Prints Blasphemous Letter: December 20, 1833 http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=364 On this day in 1833, religious and social reformer Abner Kneeland printed a letter deemed so blasphemous by a Massachusetts court that it landed the former clergyman in jail. Kneeland capped 30 years of increasingly liberal religious preaching by declaring, "Universalists believe in a god . . . that . . . is nothing more than a chimera of their own imagination." He was tried, convicted of having libeled God, and sentenced to 60 days in jail. Freethinkers such as Emerson, Garrison, and Alcott rallied, unsuccessfully, to defend his freedom of speech. Massachusetts authorities were so embarrassed by the case that, even though the law against blasphemy remains on the books, no one in the state has ever again been convicted of that offense. Sat, 20 Dec 2014 04:00:00 EST http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=364 On this day in 1833, religious and social reformer Abner Kneeland printed a letter deemed so blasphemous by a Massachusetts court that it landed the former clergyman in jail. Kneeland capped 30 years of increasingly liberal religious preaching by declaring, "Universalists believe in a god . . . that . . . is nothing more than a chimera of their own imagination." He was tried, convicted of having libeled God, and sentenced to 60 days in jail. Freethinkers such as Emerson, Garrison, and Alcott rallied, unsuccessfully, to defend his freedom of speech. Massachusetts authorities were so embarrassed by the case that, even though the law against blasphemy remains on the books, no one in the state has ever again been convicted of that offense. no 0:01:00 Abner Kneeland Prints Blasphemous Letter: December 20, 1833 Aerosmith Opens Lansdowne Street Music Hall: December 19, 1994 http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=363 On this day in 1994, Boston-based rock band Aerosmith opened the Mama Kin Music Hall. In the shadow of Fenway Park, the Lansdowne Street facility enjoyed moderate success as a live music venue before the band sold its share of the business in 1999. Long after their 1970 debut gig at a Massachusetts high school, Aerosmith remains one of the more iconic representatives of modern American rock music. Despite early puritanical laws prohibiting music for secular purposes, Massachusetts has fostered some of the most innovative performers in American music history. The state is home to the oldest music conservatory in the country, the first female principal player in an American orchestra, and a rock star who is also a starting pitcher. Fri, 19 Dec 2014 04:00:00 EST http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=363 On this day in 1994, Boston-based rock band Aerosmith opened the Mama Kin Music Hall. In the shadow of Fenway Park, the Lansdowne Street facility enjoyed moderate success as a live music venue before the band sold its share of the business in 1999. Long after their 1970 debut gig at a Massachusetts high school, Aerosmith remains one of the more iconic representatives of modern American rock music. Despite early puritanical laws prohibiting music for secular purposes, Massachusetts has fostered some of the most innovative performers in American music history. The state is home to the oldest music conservatory in the country, the first female principal player in an American orchestra, and a rock star who is also a starting pitcher. no 0:01:00 Aerosmith Opens Lansdowne Street Music Hall: December 19, 1994 Architect Charles Bulfinch Obtains Mortgage: December 18, 1794 http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=362 On this day in 1794, Boston architect Charles Bulfinch obtained a mortgage for the house he had recently designed and built for his family. The 31-year-old Bulfinch had donated so many plans for city churches, monuments, and public buildings that the architect seemed to be single-handedly re-creating his hometown as a place of classical beauty. A bad investment eventually sent Bulfinch to debtors' prison. The city responded by offering him a salary; for the next 20 years Bulfinch served as a city administrator, planner, and master designer. Boston was the beneficiary of the nation's first native-born professional architect. "Bulfinch's Boston" includes the State House, India Wharf, and the Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital. Thu, 18 Dec 2014 04:00:00 EST http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=362 On this day in 1794, Boston architect Charles Bulfinch obtained a mortgage for the house he had recently designed and built for his family. The 31-year-old Bulfinch had donated so many plans for city churches, monuments, and public buildings that the architect seemed to be single-handedly re-creating his hometown as a place of classical beauty. A bad investment eventually sent Bulfinch to debtors' prison. The city responded by offering him a salary; for the next 20 years Bulfinch served as a city administrator, planner, and master designer. Boston was the beneficiary of the nation's first native-born professional architect. "Bulfinch's Boston" includes the State House, India Wharf, and the Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital. no 0:01:00 Architect Charles Bulfinch Obtains Mortgage: December 18, 1794 Coast Guard Cutter Collides with Navy Submarine: December 17, 1927 http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=361 On this day in 1927, a Navy submarine, S-4, and a Coast Guard cutter collided within sight of Provincetown. The cutter's bow sliced into the submarine's hull, sending it to the bottom of the bay within minutes. The Coast Guard and Navy immediately dispatched rescue ships and divers, but a growing nor'easter and treacherous underwater currents thwarted their attempts to rescue the six trapped survivors. By the time divers reached them again four days after the accident, all six had died. The failed rescue attempt got international media coverage, and an inquiry followed. To the outrage of many, only the captain of the submarine was held responsible for the tragedy. However, subsequent improvements in rescue equipment helped save lives in later sea disasters. Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:00:00 EST http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=361 On this day in 1927, a Navy submarine, S-4, and a Coast Guard cutter collided within sight of Provincetown. The cutter's bow sliced into the submarine's hull, sending it to the bottom of the bay within minutes. The Coast Guard and Navy immediately dispatched rescue ships and divers, but a growing nor'easter and treacherous underwater currents thwarted their attempts to rescue the six trapped survivors. By the time divers reached them again four days after the accident, all six had died. The failed rescue attempt got international media coverage, and an inquiry followed. To the outrage of many, only the captain of the submarine was held responsible for the tragedy. However, subsequent improvements in rescue equipment helped save lives in later sea disasters. no 0:01:00 Coast Guard Cutter Collides with Navy Submarine: December 17, 1927 Fall River Church Locks Out Priest: December 16, 1884 http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=360 On this day in 1884, a Fall River newspaper reported that French Canadian Roman Catholic parishioners had locked their newly-appointed priest out of their church. When the priest finally gained entry to the building, he was confined to the vestry and then threatened with further violence. The priest's "offense"? He was Irish, and the French Canadians would, as one of them proclaimed, "stand on the brink of hell" before they would submit to an Irishman. In this textile-manufacturing city, hard feelings between the more established Irish immigrants and the French Canadian newcomers ran deep, in spite of their shared religion. The quarrel was about ethnicity, class, and politics. In response to their parishioners' rejection of the Irish priest, the bishop closed the French Canadian parish. Tue, 16 Dec 2014 04:00:00 EST http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=360 On this day in 1884, a Fall River newspaper reported that French Canadian Roman Catholic parishioners had locked their newly-appointed priest out of their church. When the priest finally gained entry to the building, he was confined to the vestry and then threatened with further violence. The priest's "offense"? He was Irish, and the French Canadians would, as one of them proclaimed, "stand on the brink of hell" before they would submit to an Irishman. In this textile-manufacturing city, hard feelings between the more established Irish immigrants and the French Canadian newcomers ran deep, in spite of their shared religion. The quarrel was about ethnicity, class, and politics. In response to their parishioners' rejection of the Irish priest, the bishop closed the French Canadian parish. no 0:01:00 Fall River Church Locks Out Priest: December 16, 1884 First YMCA in the United States Organized in Boston: December 15, 1851 http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=359 On this day in 1851, a group of evangelicals from several Boston churches founded the first Young Men's Christian Association in the United States. Modeled on the YMCA in London, the chapter intended to safeguard young men who came to Boston from the vices of city life. It offered a safe gathering place, opportunities for exercise and socializing, Bible-study classes and prayer meetings. Future evangelist Dwight Moody, who arrived in Boston in 1853 from his family's farm in Northfield, wrote home about the Y, a place where he could read "all the books I want free" and hear "smart men from Boston lecture." In 1896 the Boston Y opened an evening institute for working men, the forerunner of Northeastern University. Mon, 15 Dec 2014 04:00:00 EST http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=359 On this day in 1851, a group of evangelicals from several Boston churches founded the first Young Men's Christian Association in the United States. Modeled on the YMCA in London, the chapter intended to safeguard young men who came to Boston from the vices of city life. It offered a safe gathering place, opportunities for exercise and socializing, Bible-study classes and prayer meetings. Future evangelist Dwight Moody, who arrived in Boston in 1853 from his family's farm in Northfield, wrote home about the Y, a place where he could read "all the books I want free" and hear "smart men from Boston lecture." In 1896 the Boston Y opened an evening institute for working men, the forerunner of Northeastern University. no 0:01:00 First YMCA in the United States Organized in Boston: December 15, 1851 Henrietta Leavitt Buried in Cambridge: December 14, 1921 http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=358 On this day in 1921, Henrietta Leavitt, a scientist at the Harvard Observatory, was buried in Cambridge. Her premature death cut short a brilliant career as an astronomer. In the late nineteenth century, observatory director Edward Pickering wanted to map the brightness and color of the visible stars. He proposed a painstaking process of manually counting and computing the images revealed in thousands of photographs of starfields. Pickering knew he would need bright, meticulous, and dedicated people willing to work for low pay. So he hired women. These recent college graduates threw themselves into the work with enthusiasm. They discovered new stars and developed laws that provided a "cosmic yardstick" for measuring the universe, proving that women could be astronomers and scientists. Sun, 14 Dec 2014 04:00:00 EST http://www.massmoments.org/index.cfm?mid=358 On this day in 1921, Henrietta Leavitt, a scientist at the Harvard Observatory, was buried in Cambridge. Her premature death cut short a brilliant career as an astronomer. In the late nineteenth century, observatory director Edward Pickering wanted to map the brightness and color of the visible stars. He proposed a painstaking process of manually counting and computing the images revealed in thousands of photographs of starfields. Pickering knew he would need bright, meticulous, and dedicated people willing to work for low pay. So he hired women. These recent college graduates threw themselves into the work with enthusiasm. They discovered new stars and developed laws that provided a "cosmic yardstick" for measuring the universe, proving that women could be astronomers and scientists. no 0:01:00 Henrietta Leavitt Buried in Cambridge: December 14, 1921