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July 15, 1635: William Pynchon Buys Land for Springfield

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Boston Movie Mogul Releases First Movie: December 29, 1918
On this day in 1918, Louis B. Mayer traveled from his Boston office to New York City for the premiere of his first movie release, the silent film Virtuous...

The Fortune Sails from Plymouth for England: December 13, 1621
On this day in 1621, the ship Fortune set sail from Plymouth Colony. The arrival of the vessel two weeks earlier — sent by the English investors...

Salem Brothers Incorporate Game Company: December 12, 1901
On this day in 1901, George, Charles, and Edward Parker incorporated a game company: Parker Brothers. Started by George in 1883 with a single, self-invented...

Erastus Bigelow Dies: December 6, 1879
On this day in 1879, Erastus Bigelow, the father of the modern carpet industry, died in Boston. Born in West Boylston, Bigelow and his brother followed...

George Peabody Thanks Danvers: November 30, 1853
On this day in 1853, George Peabody thanked the citizens of South Danvers for naming the high school in his honor and immediately set up a $200 account...

"Richest Woman in America" Born in New Bedford: November 21, 1834
On this day in 1834, the wealthiest whaling family in New Bedford celebrated the birth of their only daughter. This little girl would grow up to be the...

King Gillette Patents Safety Razor: November 15, 1904
On this day in 1904, Boston-based inventor King Camp Gillette received a patent for an improved safety razor with a disposable blade. After almost 10...

First Artificial Snow Falls on Mt. Greylock: November 13, 1946
On this day in 1946, an airplane flew over Mount Greylock in western Massachusetts and seeded the clouds with super-cooled ice crystals. The first-ever...

Great Fire Devastates Boston: November 9, 1872
On this day in 1872, a monstrous fire nearly destroyed Boston's business district, ravaging the city from the Common to the waterfront. Beginning...

Stock Market Crash Heralds Great Depression: October 29, 1929
On this day in 1929, stock markets in Boston, New York, and other major American cities tumbled so dramatically that the day was named Black Tuesday....

Shoppers' World Launches Mall Era: October 5, 1951
On this day in 1951, Shoppers' World in Framingham opened for business. The first suburban shopping mall in the Northeast, and only the second in...

First Merriam-Webster Dictionary Published in Springfield: September 24, 1847
On this day in 1847, Charles and George Merriam of Springfield published the first edition of The American Dictionary of the English Language. Four years...

Dunkiní Donuts Founder Dies: September 20, 2002
On this day in 2002, Dorchester native William Rosenberg, who made a morning stop for coffee and donuts a national habit, died at the age of 86. In a...

Boston Wheelmen Sponsor Nation's First 100-Mile Bicycle Race: September 6, 1882
On this day in 1882, seven men took over 12 hours to cover the distance from Worcester to Boston in the nation's first 100-mile bicycle race. Boston...

Boston Public Library Receives $1 Million Donation: September 5, 1947
On this day in 1947, self-made millionaire John Deferrari donated over $1,000,000 to the Boston Public Library to express his gratitude to the institution...

Quincy's Market Opens: August 26, 1826
On this day in 1826, Boston celebrated the grand opening of the Faneuil Hall, commonly known as Quincy Marketplace. Located on the site that had long...

Tupperware Inventor Born: July 28, 1907
On this day in 1907, Earl Tupper, inventor of Tupperware, was born. Raised in central Massachusetts, birthplace of the plastics industry, he was a compulsive...

Ponzi Scheme Begins to Unravel: July 24, 1920
On this day in 1920, the Boston Post ran a story that ultimately exposed one of the biggest financial swindles in history. In a series of articles that...

Borden Announces Plan to Sell Prince Pasta Plant: July 16, 1997
On this day in 1997, the Borden company announced a tentative deal to save the Prince pasta factory in Lowell. When Borden closed the failing plant, Senator...

William Pynchon Buys Land for Springfield: July 15, 1635
On this day in 1636, William Pynchon received the deed giving him title to most of what is now Springfield, Longmeadow, and Agawam. In exchange, he paid...

Fire Nearly Destroys Nantucket Town: July 13, 1846
On this day in 1846, a fire began in a hat store on Nantucket's Main Street. In no time, it raced through town, consuming everything in its path....

Patent Office Rules in Favor of Elias Howe: July 1, 1854
On this day in 1854, the battle ended over who owned the patent for the first sewing machine. A federal commission ruled that the patent held by Elias...

American Optical Celebrates 150th Anniversary: June 18, 1983
On this day in 1983, Southbridge celebrated the 150th anniversary of the nation's oldest optical company — the American Optical Company,...

Ames Brothers Celebrate "Golden Spike": May 10, 1869
On this day in 1869, officials of the Union Pacific Railroad drove the symbolic "Golden Spike" to mark the completion of the first transcontinental...

Dewey Proposes Library Classification System: May 8, 1873
On this day in 1873, Amherst College junior Melvil Dewey made a proposal to the faculty. He had been working in the college library and was frustrated...

Berkshire-Hathaway Announces Mill Closing: May 7, 1958
On this day in 1958, the North Adams Transcript reported that the owners of the Berkshire-Hathaway Company had passed a death sentence on their factory...

Winthrop Buys Passage for Ironworkers: May 5, 1643
On this day in 1643, John Winthrop, Jr. paid 50 pounds for the passage of skilled ironworkers from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Initially,...

Annie Oakley Purchases Smith & Wesson Gun: April 25, 1888
On this day in 1888, Annie Oakley, the star female sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show, purchased a Model 3 handgun made by the Springfield...

First Whale Watch Departs: April 15, 1975
On this day in 1975 charter boat captain Al Avellar left Provincetown Harbor with a boatload of school children. They were going to look, not fish. This...

Gloucester Fish Companies Merge: March 31, 1906
On this day in 1906, Slade Gorton and Company of Gloucester stunned the fishing industry by announcing that it would merge with three other local fishing...

Jordan Marsh Announces New Store: March 27, 1947
On this day in 1947, Jordan, Marsh and Company announced that it was going to build "the greatest department store in the world" in...

Flood Devastates Springfield: March 21, 1936
On this day in 1936, the worst flood in the state's recorded history inundated the city of Springfield. An unusually cold and snowy winter, followed...

"Johnny Appleseed" Dies: March 18, 1845
On this day in 1845, John Chapman died having made a fortune planting apple saplings on the American frontier. Born and raised in Leominster, the man...

Alexander Graham Bell Receives First Patent: March 7, 1876
On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone. Born in Scotland, Bell settled in Boston when he was in his early 20s....

Clarence Birdseye Tests Frozen Food: March 6, 1930
On this day in 1930, shoppers in Springfield became the first Americans to find frozen food in their grocery stores. A test marketing program was designed...

Globe Publishes First Edition: March 4, 1872
On this day in 1872, a brand-new newspaper hit the streets of Boston. Costing four cents, the Globe had twice the number of pages as most competitors...

Northampton Bank Receives Ransom Note: February 28, 1876
On this day in 1876, a ransom note was sent to the Northampton National Bank. Just a month earlier, a notorious gang of New York thieves had managed to...

First American-Made Valentines Sold: February 14, 1849
On this day in 1849, the first American-made valentines were sold in Worcester. They were designed and made by Esther Howland, the daughter of a local...

Lowell Women Sign On to Teach in the West: January 26, 1864
On this day in 1864, a visitor from Seattle held a meeting in Lowell. Asa Mercer explained to his largely female audience that there was a great scarcity...

Rebels Attack Springfield Arsenal: January 25, 1787
On this day in 1787, 2,000 farmers from western Massachusetts attacked the new federal arsenal at Springfield. The government soldiers returned fire,...

UMass Researchers Clone Calves: January 20, 1998
On this day in 1998, two researchers affiliated with the University of Massachusetts drew worldwide attention when they went public with a birth announcement....

First Legal Sea Foods Lost to Fire: January 16, 1980
On this day in 1980, fire destroyed the original Legal Sea Foods fish market and restaurant in Cambridge. The restaurant re-opened, but the business soon...

Great Molasses Flood: January 15, 1919
On this day in 1919, people in Boston's North End were startled by a loud rumbling noise. They watched in horror as a five-story tank broke apart,...

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