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May 23, 1810: Writer Margaret Fuller Born

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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...

Boston Abolitionists Await Emancipation Proclamation: December 31, 1862
On this day, New Year's Eve 1862, William Lloyd Garrison, publisher of the abolitionist paper The Liberator, delayed printing the latest edition...

Harvard Shakers Record Spiritual Visit: December 30, 1841
On this day in 1841, the Shakers in Harvard reported a spiritual visit by their long-dead founder Mother Ann, "Holy Angels," and "ancient...

Alice Freeman and George Palmer Marry: December 23, 1887
On this day in 1887, Alice Freeman, charismatic president of Wellesley College, wed Harvard professor George Palmer, to the consternation of many Boston...

Abner Kneeland Prints Blasphemous Letter: December 20, 1833
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...

First YMCA in the United States Organized in Boston: December 15, 1851
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....

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...

Edward Everett Gives Gettysburg Address: November 19, 1863
On this day in 1863, Edward Everett spoke at the dedication of Gettysburg's National Cemetery, giving what is remembered today as the other Gettysburg...

Evangelist Billy Sunday Draws 70,000 to Boston Revival: November 12, 1916
On this day in 1916, 55,000 people came to hear Billy Sunday preach in Boston. An overflow crowd of 15,000 had to be turned away from the temporary tabernacle...

Boston Celebrates Opening of Aqueduct: October 25, 1848
On this day in 1848, 300,000 people from all over New England gathered on Boston Common. They came to celebrate the completion of the city's first...

Millerites Await End of the World: October 22, 1844
On this day in 1844, tens of thousands of people in Massachusetts expected the world to come to an end. They were followers of William Miller, a man who...

Lydia Maria Child Dies: October 20, 1880
On this day in 1880, Lydia Maria Child, whom abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison called "the first woman in the Republic," was buried...

Town Meeting Auctions Poor Woman to Lowest Bidder: October 18, 1786
On this day in 1786, Malden's selectmen put up for "vendue" Mary Degresha, who was unable to support herself. They auctioned her...

Indian Rights Activist Born in Amherst: October 15, 1830
On this day in 1830, an Amherst College professor and his wife rejoiced at the safe delivery of their second child, Helen Maria Fiske. A lifelong friend...

Utopians Purchase Brook Farm: October 11, 1841
On this day in 1841, a group of Boston-area utopians purchased Brook Farm in West Roxbury. The writer Nathaniel Hawthorne spent six months there and later...

Northampton Dedicates Sojourner Truth Statue: October 4, 2002
On this day in 2002, a statue was installed in Florence, a village of Northampton, to honor Sojourner Truth, the former slave best known for the "Ain't...

Office to Help Freed Slaves Opens in Worcester: September 27, 1867
On this day in 1867, a Worcester newspaper announced that "in accordance with the desire of a number of citizens," a freedmens'...

Massachusetts Audubon Society Makes First Land Purchase: September 9, 1922
On this day in 1922, the Massachusetts Audubon Society purchased its first parcel of land. For $8,000, it acquired 43 acres in the town of Sharon —...

John Greenleaf Whittier Dies: September 7, 1892
On this day in 1892, the poet John Greenleaf Whittier died at the age of 85. He had come a long way from his Quaker boyhood on a struggling farm in Haverhill....

Massachusetts General Hospital Admits First Patient: September 3, 1821
On this day in 1821, the Massachusetts General Hospital admitted its first patient, a 30-year-old sailor. More than a decade earlier, two Boston doctors...

Jury Decides in Favor of Elizabeth “Mum Bett” Freeman: August 22, 1781
On this day in 1781, a jury in Great Barrington found in favor of "Mum Bett," a black woman who had been a slave in the home of Colonel...

Woman’s Rights Pioneer Lucy Stone Born: August 13, 1818
On this day in 1818, woman's rights pioneer Lucy Stone was born on a farm in West Brookfield. Her mother greeted the news that her sixth child was...

Frederick Douglass First Addresses White Audience: August 11, 1841
On this day in 1841, Frederick Douglass, a fugitive slave, addressed a white audience for the first time when he spoke to a gathering of abolitionists...

Boston Doctors Appeal for Mental Hospital: August 10, 1810
On August 20, 1810, two Boston doctors circulated an appeal for "a hospital for the reception of lunatics and other sick persons." (Some...

John Quincy Adams Returns to Paris: August 9, 1783
On this day in 1783 John Quincy Adams traveled from Holland to Paris with his father, John Adams. The senior Adams was involved in negotiating a peace...

Free Love Supporters Protest at Faneuil Hall: August 1, 1878
On this day in 1878, several thousand supporters of Ezra Heywood held an "Indignation Meeting" at Boston's Faneuil Hall. They were...

Henry David Thoreau Spends Night in Jail: July 23, 1846
On this day in 1846, Henry David Thoreau left his cabin at Walden Pond for a brief walk into town and ended up in the Concord jail for refusing to pay...

Rockport Women Smash Liquor Barrels: July 8, 1856
On this day in 1856, 200 women, some of them wielding hatchets and ranging in age from 37 to 75, rampaged through the town of Rockport destroying every...

Dr. Harriot K. Hunt Visits the Shakers: July 7, 1848
On this day in 1848, Dr. Harriot K. Hunt of Boston, one of the nation's first female physicians, made a visit to the Shaker community in Harvard....

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...

Transcendentalists Publish The Dial: June 30, 1830
On this day in 1840 the first issue of the Transcendentalist magazine "The Dial" was published in Boston. The moving force behind this...

David Walker Found Dead: June 28, 1830
On this day in 1830, David Walker, a prominent and outspoken black man, was found dead in his Boston home. The year before he had written David Walker's...

Legislature Allows Establishment of Mount Auburn Cemetery: June 23, 1831
On this day in 1831, the legislature granted the Massachusetts Horticultural Society permission to purchase land for use as an experimental garden and...

Paper Publishes First Installment of Uncle Tom’s Cabin: June 5, 1851
On this day in 1851 an abolitionist newspaper published the first installment of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. The following March,...

Ellen Swallow Marries Robert Richards: June 4, 1875
On this day in 1875, Ellen Swallow married M.I.T. Professor Robert Hallowell Richards. Three days later, they set off on a wedding trip to Nova Scotia...

Alcott Family Arrives at Fruitlands: June 1, 1843
On this day in 1843, a group of three adults and five children made its way from Concord to the town of Harvard. Their destination was an old and dilapidated...

Writer Margaret Fuller Born: May 23, 1810
On this day in 1810, Margaret Fuller was born in Cambridge. Teacher, author, critic, philosopher, journalist, she is remembered today as a woman with...

Sumner Attacked in U.S. Senate: May 22, 1856
On this day in 1856, Preston Brooks, a congressman from South Carolina, viciously attacked Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the United...

Newburyport Fire Leads to Execution for Arson: May 18, 1820
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...

Sarah Remond Ejected from Boston Theater: May 4, 1853
On this day in 1853, Sarah Parker Remond and two other African Americans entered a Boston theater intending to enjoy a Mozart opera. When the manager...

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,...

Boston Minister Tried for Inciting a Riot: April 3, 1855
On this day in 1855, the case against Boston minister Theodore Parker came to trial. Charged with inciting an abolitionist riot, he defended himself by...

Dorothea Dix Begins Her Crusade: March 28, 1841
On this day in 1841, Dorothea Dix visited an East Cambridge jail and was appalled to see mentally ill women confined alongside hardened criminals. The...

Massachusetts Loses Maine: March 15, 1820
On this day in 1820, Massachusetts lost over 30,000 square miles of land as its former province of Maine gained statehood. Mainers had begun campaigning...

Charlotte Forten Enters Salem Normal School: March 13, 1855
On this day in 1855, Charlotte Forten passed the entrance examination for the Salem Normal School, one of four colleges recently established in Massachusetts...

John Brown Speaks in Concord: March 12, 1857
On this day in 1857, John Brown addressed a crowd in Concord Town Hall. He spoke about the situation in Kansas, where a bitter struggle was underway between...

Perkins School for the Blind Incorporated: March 2, 1829
On this day in 1829, the New England Asylum for the Blind was incorporated in Boston. Begun with six students, within six years, the institution had ten...

Angelina Grimke Addresses Legislature: February 21, 1838
On this day in 1838 a woman addressed a legislative body for the first time in American history. An overflow crowd gathered at the State House in Boston...

Worcester Puts Fosters’ Home Up For Auction: February 20, 1872
On this day in 1872, Worcester city officials put up for auction the home of Stephen and Abby Kelley Foster. The veteran abolitionists were once again...

Shadrach Minkins Seized: February 15, 1851
On this day in 1851, a group of outraged black men burst into a courtroom in Boston and rescued Shadrach Minkins, the first escaped slave seized in New...

Boston Holds First “Rat Day”: February 13, 1917
On this day in 1917, the Boston Women's Municipal League held the first — and as it happened, only — Rat Day. Increasing numbers...

Lewis Latimer Awarded First Patent: February 10, 1874
On this day in 1874, inventor Lewis Latimer received his first patent. The son of a Virginia couple who had escaped from slavery, he was born and raised...

Activist Florence Luscomb Born: February 6, 1887
On this day in 1887, lifelong political activist Florence Luscomb was born in Lowell. As a child, she heard the legendary Susan B. Anthony speak. In her...

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,...

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...

Emily Greene Balch Born: January 8, 1867
On this day in 1867, Emily Balch was born in Jamaica Plain. Her parents' affluence and enlightened views allowed her to attend college at a time...

Fannie Farmer Cookbook Published: January 7, 1896
On this day in 1896, the first edition of the Boston Cooking-School Cookbook was published. Later known as the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, the book was the...

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