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April 30, 1968: Springfield Armory Closes

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Worcester Becomes a City: March 1, 1848
On this day in 1848, the Governor of Massachusetts signed a charter giving the once-sleepy village of Worcester the legal status of a city. For over a...

Fire Destroys Malden Mills: December 11, 1995
On this day in 1995, a massive, wind-whipped fire completely destroyed three buildings at Malden Mills in Lawrence, where the company's signature...

WW II Sends Record Number of Bay State Women to Work: December 7, 1941
On this day in 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor launched the people of Massachusetts into World War II — and out of the Depression....

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...

First Steamboat Passes Through South Hadley Canal: December 1, 1826
On this day in 1826, the Barnet, the first steamboat to operate on the Connecticut River, passed through the South Hadley Canal on its way to Vermont....

Quincy’s Granite Industry Begins: November 16, 1825
On this day in 1825, a Boston newspaper carried a notice seeking 9,000 tons of "the best Quincy granite" for the Bunker Hill Monument....

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...

Congress Designates Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor: November 10, 1986
On this day in 1986, Congress designated the historic Blackstone River Valley a National Heritage Corridor. Running from Worcester to Providence, the...

Boston’s “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald Elected to Congress: November 6, 1895
On this day in 1895, a colorful Irishman from Boston's North End, nicknamed "Honey Fitz" for his charming and loquacious ways,...

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....

New Bedford Strikers Cast Vote: October 6, 1928
On this day in 1928, after a bitter six-month strike, the members of New Bedford's Textile Council voted to accept a compromise offer. Faced with...

Paul Revere Statue Unveiled: September 22, 1940
On this day in 1940, a bronze statue of Paul Revere was unveiled in the shadow of the Old North Church. In the crowd of 8,000, stood the sculptor —...

Polaroid Wins Patent Suit Against Kodak: September 13, 1985
On this day in 1985, Polaroid won a huge victory in federal court. A judge ruled that Kodak had violated Polaroid's patents for instant photography....

Watertown-built Car Climbs Mt. Washington: August 31, 1899
On this day in 1899, Newton inventor F.O. Stanley took his wife Flora for a drive — into the record books. Leaving home in a steam-powered Locomobile,...

Hawthorne Visits Natural Bridge in North Adams: August 17, 1883
On this day in 1838, Nathaniel Hawthorne visited Natural Bridge just outside of North Adams. It was just the kind of awe-inspiring scene that so moved...

Percy Spencer, Inventor of Microwave Oven, Born: July 19, 1894
On this day in 1894, Percy Spencer, the self-taught scientist who discovered the power of microwave technology, was born. With an endlessly curious mind,...

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...

Quincy Shipyard Launches First Nuclear Powered Cruiser: July 14, 1959
On this day in 1959, the nation's first nuclear-powered cruiser was launched from Fore River Shipyard in Quincy. With its deep and sheltered harbor,...

Strike Ends in Hopedale: July 5, 1913
On this day in 1913, a 13-week strike at the Draper Corporation in Hopedale ended in failure, and the workers returned to their jobs. This was a time...

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,...

George McNeill Organizes Workers: June 2, 1852
On this day in 1852, hundreds of mill workers at the Woolen Company in Amesbury walked out on strike. Fourteen-year-old George McNeill, who had worked...

Matzeliger Demonstrates Revolutionary Machine: May 29, 1885
On this day in 1885, Jan Matzeliger demonstrated his invention — a machine that could finish 75 shoes in a 10-hour day. The most skilled craftsmen...

The “Big E” Incorporated: May 27, 1914
On this day in 1914, a group of western Massachusetts businessmen created a new organization, the Eastern States Agricultural and Industrial Exposition....

Complaint Filed on Toxic Pollution in Woburn: May 14, 1984
On this day in 1984, lawyer Jan Schlichtmann filed the first motion in the case made famous by the book and film "A Civil Action." For...

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...

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,...

Springfield Armory Closes: April 30, 1968
On this day in 1968, there was great sadness in Springfield as the city's historic armory closed its doors after nearly two centuries as the leading...

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...

Telephone Operators Strike: April 20, 1919
On this day in 1919, striking telephone operators in Massachusetts won the right to negotiate with the New England Telephone Company. The young, single...

G.E. Engineers Test Jet Engine: April 18, 1942
On this day in 1942, after months of highly secret work, GE engineers in Lynn successfully tested the engine they called by the innocuous name "I-A."...

“Mill Girl” Writer Lucy Larcom Dies: April 17, 1893
On this day in 1893, Lucy Larcom died. A popular poet during her lifetime, she would be forgotten today except for a work of prose that she wrote in 1889....

Frances Perkins Born in Boston: April 10, 1880
On this day in 1880, Frances Perkins, the first woman to hold a cabinet position, was born in Boston. Raised in Worcester, she attended Mt. Holyoke College,...

Eli Whitney Patents the Cotton Gin: March 14, 1794
On this day in 1794, Westborough native Eli Whitney applied for a patent on the cotton gin. Raised on a farm in Massachusetts, he invented a machine that...

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...

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,...

Marconi Transmits Radio Message: January 18, 1903
On this day in 1903, Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian inventor of wireless telegraphy, arrived on Cape Cod hoping to make history. The night was cold but...

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,...

Bread and Roses Strike Begins: January 12, 1912
On this day in 1912, the labor protest later known as the "Bread and Roses" strike began in Lawrence. A new state law had reduced the...

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