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June 3, 1893: Massachusetts Creates Nation’s First Regional Park System

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Workers Complete Hoosac Tunnel: November 27, 1874
On this day in 1874, workers in the small western Massachusetts town of Florida finished the Hoosac Tunnel, bringing to completion one of the world's...

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....

“Snow Hurricane” Hits Massachusetts: October 10, 1804
On this day in 1804, a "snow hurricane" struck Massachusetts. The storm began with winds so powerful that whole forests were leveled....

Boston Celebrates 250th Birthday: September 17, 1880
On this day in 1880 Boston celebrated its 250th birthday. For three and a half hours during the day, a column of 14,500 people marched four and a half...

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 —...

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...

J.F.K. Signs Bill Creating Cape Cod National Seashore: August 7, 1961
On this day in 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed a bill authorizing the establishment of Cape Cod National Seashore. A long-time summer resident...

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...

Quabbin Reservoir Filled to the Brim: June 22, 1946
On this day in 1946, water flowed over the spillway and officials declared Quabbin Reservoir full. Construction took more than 20 years and required the...

State Acts to Protect Mt. Greylock: June 20, 1898
On this day in 1898, the legislature established the first state park in Massachusetts on Mount Greylock. The tallest peak in the state, at almost 3500...

Massachusetts Creates Nation’s First Regional Park System: June 3, 1893
On this day in 1893, Governor William Eustis Russell signed a bill creating the Metropolitan Parks Commission, the nation's first regional park system....

Fire Rages at Myles Standish State Forest: May 25, 1964
On this day in 1964, a raging wildfire crossed the boundaries of Myles Standish State Forest, and into the town of Plymouth. Two days earlier flames had...

Indians in Mashpee Demand Self-Government: May 21, 1833
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...

Explorer Gosnold Names “Cape Cod”: May 15, 1602
On this day in 1602, the English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold dropped anchor off the Massachusetts coast. While he and four others went ashore, the rest...

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...

First CCC Enrollees Arrive at Ft. Devens: April 13, 1933
On this day in 1933, the first enrollees of the Massachusetts Civilian Conservation Corps arrived at Fort Devens in Ayer. They were soldiers in a peacetime...

“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...

Newbury Offers Wolf Bounty: March 9, 1704
On this day in 1704, the town of Newbury voted to pay a bounty to men who had killed two wolves on Plum Island. The wolves were a threat to the cattle,...

Mt. Holyoke Cable Car Burned: February 17, 1965
On this day in 1965, Massachusetts officials burned what was left of the wooden tramway that had carried thousands of people to the summit of Mt. Holyoke....

Silvio Conte Dies: February 8, 1991
On this day in 1991, Representative Silvio Conte died at age 70. A Republican in a largely Democratic state, more liberal than most members of his party,...

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