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Massachusetts, US (Population: 6,437,193)

State Capitol: Boston

Major Cities: Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, Cambridge, Brockton, New Bedford, Fall river, Lynn, Quincy

State Nickname/Motto: Bay State. Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem: By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty

Statehood Granted: February 6, 1788

History: Massachusetts was originally inhabited by several Algonquian tribes, such as the Wampanoag, Nauset, Nipmuc, Pocomtuc, Pennacook, Mahican, and some Narragansett and Pequot. Most of the Native American tribes were heavily decimated by waves of smallpox which spread after initial contact with European settlers. The first European settlers, the Pilgrims, established their settlement at Plymouth in 1620, and developed friendly relations with the native Wampanoag. The Pilgrims were soon followed by Puritans who established the Massachusetts Bay Colony at present-day Boston. American Indian-European racial tensions led to King Philip's War (1675-76). There were major campaigns in the Pioneer Valley and Plymouth Colony, as well as an unsuccessful expedition against Quebec under William Phips in 1690. Massachusetts became a single colony in 1692, the largest in New England, and one where many American institutions and traditions were formed.

Geography: Highest point; Mt. Greylock at 3,491 feet. Massachusetts is bordered on the north by New Hampshire and Vermont, on the west by New York, on the south by Connecticut and Rhode Island, and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the state is uplands of resistant metamorphic rock that were scraped by Pleistocene glaciers that deposited moraines and outwash on a large, sandy, arm-shaped peninsula called Cape Cod and the islands Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Upland elevations increase to the north and west and the highest point in the state is Mount Greylock located near the state's northwest corner.

Ethnic Diversity: One Race (98.6%), White (83.4%), Black or African American (5.9%), American Indian and Alaska Native (0.2%), Asian (4.7%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.0%), Some other race 4.4), Two or more races (1.4%), Hispanic or Latino (7.9%)*

Famous State People:

  • John Adams (1735 - 1826) The 2nd President of the United States; born in Quincy.
  • John Quincy Adams (1767 - 1848) The 6th President of the United States and son of John Adams; born in Quincy.
  • Samuel Adams (1722 - 1803) Revolutionist that organized the Boston Tea Party, referred to as the "Father of the American Revolution”; born in Boston.
  • Susan B. Anthony (1820 - 1906) One of the leaders in the fight for women’s right to vote; born in Adams.
  • Louisa May Alcott (1832 - 1888) Author of the classic novel Little Women; grew up in Boston.
  • Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990) First American conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and famous for composing the music to West Side Story; born in Lawrence.
  • George Bush(1924 - ) The 41st President of the United States; born in Milton.
  • Bette Davis (1908 - 1989) Actress that earned ten Academy Award nominations and won twice, famous for The Little Foxes and All About Eve; born in Lowell.
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882) Considered the most influential poet of his day with famous works such as “The Courtship of Miles Standish” and “Evangeline.”
  • Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790) Inventor, statesman, and publisher that helped write the Declaration of Independence; born in Boston.
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 - 1864) Author of The Scarlet Letter; born in Salem.
  • Theodore Seuss Geisel (1904 - 1991) Author who created the Dr. Seuss books; born in Springfield.
  • John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963) The 35th President of the United States; born in Brookline.
  • Horace Mann (1796 - 1859) The father of public education; helped to establish the nation’s first board of education and was a leading figure in promoting nonreligious public education; born in Franklin.
  • Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886) Famous poet of American literature; born in Amherst.
  • John Hancock (1737 - 1793) Merchant, statesman, first signer of the Declaration of Independence, and first governor of the state of Massachusetts.
  • Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862) Essayist, naturalist, and philosopher; born in Concord.
  • Paul Revere (1734 - 1818), Silversmith and patriot; born in Boston.

  • Major Colleges/Universities: American International College, Amherst College, Andover Newton Theological School, Ana Maria College, The Art institute of Boston, Assumption College, Atlantic Union College, Babson College, Bay Path College, Becker College, Bentley College, Berklee College of Music, Boston Architectural College, Boston Baptist College, Boston Colleges, Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Brandeis University, Bridgewater State College, Cambridge College, Clark University, College of the Holy Cross, Curry College, Dean College, Eastern Nazarene College, Elms College, Emerson College, Emmanuel College, Endicott College, Fisher College Framingham State College, Gordon College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Hampshire College, Harvard University, Hebrew College, Lasell College, Lesley University, Massachusetts College of Art, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Merrimack College, Regis College, Salem State College, Suffolk University, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts System, Wellesley College, Wheaton College, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester State College

    State Parks: Ames Nowell, Ashland, Massasoit, Maudslay, Monroe, Moore, Bash Bish Falls, Borderland, Bradley Palmer, Natural Bridge, Nickerson, Clarksburg, Cochituate, Dunn, Ellisville Harbor, Quinsigamond, Rutland, Skinner, South Cape Beach, Halibut Point, Hampton Ponds, Hopkinton, Lake Lorraine, Lake Wyola, Lowell Heritage, Wahconah Falls, Watson Pond, Wells, Whitehall, Wompatuck

    Misc: Massachusetts has been one of the most politically influential states in America. The first battles of the American Revolution were fought in the Massachusetts towns of Concord and Lexington. The Boston Tea Party is a well-known example of the revolutionary spirit of those times. In the 19th century, the state became a bastion of social progressivism and a birthplace of the abolitionist movement that emancipated southern blacks from slavery. The Kennedy family dominated Massachusetts politics in the 20th century. In the 21st century, the state continues to lead the country in social and cultural change, and in 2004 became the first state in the union to allow same-sex couples to marry.

    *U.S. Census - 2005