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Definition: Massachusetts from Collins English Dictionary

n

1 a state of the northeastern US, on the Atlantic: a centre of resistance to English colonial policy during the War of American Independence; consists of a coastal plain rising to mountains in the west. Capital: Boston. Pop: 6 433 422 (2003 est). Area: 20 269 sq km (7826 sq miles) Abbreviation: Mass or with zip code MA


Summary Article: Massachusetts
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

State of northeastern USA, a New England state and the sixth smallest state in the nation; bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and southeast, Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; area 20,306 sq km/7,8407,840 sq mi; population (2010) 6,547,629; capital and largest city Boston. It is nicknamed Bay State because of the early settlement on Cape Cod Bay, and Old Colony State due to its historical significance. The state includes part of the Taconic Mountains, the valley of the Housatonic River, the Berkshire Massif, known as the Berkshires, and the northeasternmost section of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, including the Cape Cod peninsula. The Massachusetts economy is based on the service sector, and high-tech and electrical industries are also significant. Agricultural products include cranberries, apples, and dairy goods. Towns include Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, Cambridge, Brockton, New Bedford, Fall River, Lynn, and Quincy. One of the Thirteen Colonies, the state is a region of great significance to US history, being the point of disembarkation for the Mayflower Pilgrims, as well as the site of key conflicts in the American Revolution. Massachusetts entered the Union in 1788 as the 6th of the original 13 states.

Physical Massachusetts can be divided into six main land regions: the Taconic section, the Berkshire Massif, the New England Upland, the Connecticut Valley lowland, the Coastal Lowland, and the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Almost the entire land area of the state was at one time glaciated. The Taconic Hills or Range in western Massachusetts consists of rugged mountains rising to the highest peak in the state, Mount Greylock, at 1,065 m/3,495 ft near Adams. The Berkshires are heavily forested highlands. The adjoining New England Upland slopes downwards towards the coast and intersects with the Connecticut Valley lowland. Here the land becomes level plains with rich alluvial soils.

The swampy Coastal Plain covers most of eastern-central Massachusetts and features glaciated small hills known as drumlins, of which Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill are the most famous. The Atlantic Coastal Plain is a region of deep bays and marshy inlets and features Cape Cod, the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, the Elizabeth Islands, and other smaller islands.

Massachusetts has generally cold winters, a high degree of precipitation, and warm summers.

The Connecticut River is the largest in the state and the Merrimack River, flowing through the northeast, is the second largest. Other important rivers include the Charles River and the Mystic River, the Concord, the Housatonic, Blackstone, Nashua, Ipswich, and Taunton. Massachusetts has many lakes, of which the largest natural lake is Assawompsett Pond, covering about 10 sq km/4 sq mi. Central Massachusetts is dominated by the Quabbin Reservoir, covering 101 sq km/39 sq mi.

The state's largest bays are Massachusetts Bay, north of Boston, Cape Cod Bay, and Buzzards Bay, an inlet west of Cape Cod. Boston Harbor, the innermost part of Boston Bay, is the largest harbour and there are smaller harbours at New Bedford, Fall River, Provincetown, Salem, Gloucester, and Plymouth.

In common with much of New England, Massachusetts has mainly deciduous forests of beech, birch, maple, cherry, and hickory. Red cedar and oak are also found, and coniferous trees such as white pine and spruce are more common in the higher parts of the state. Fauna and flora range from marsh grasses, marigolds, and violets on the coastal dunes to ferns and flowering shrubs, such as dogwood, azalea, mountain laurel, wild cherry, and trailing arbutus, or mayflower (the state flower), in the forested areas.

There is a wide range of birds, from coastal birds, including gulls, loons, and petrels, to freshwater ducks and resident Canada geese, and, in the interior and western woods and mountains, song birds, hawks, and owls. Wildlife includes beavers, otters, cottontail rabbits, moles and shrews, chipmunks, woodchuck and flying squirrels, martens, weasels, and mink, as well as harbour and grey seals on the coast. The minke whale and the humpback whale can also be spotted in Massachusetts coastal waters. Inland fish include pike, sunfish, bass, trout, perch, and salmon, and in coastal waters cod, haddock, summer flounder, black sea bass, and squid.

Features Massachusetts's long, complex history is reflected in its numerous sites of historic interest, most importantly at Plymouth Plantation, Salem, Concord, Lexington, and in the city of Boston.

On Massachusetts's South Shore, Plymouth Plantation is one of the most famous landmarks in the USA and the site of Plymouth Rock. It features living history exhibits, including a reconstructed 1627 pilgrim village and Hobbamock's home site and the Mayflower II, a full-scale reproduction of the 17th-century vessel. The 1749 Court House Museum is in the oldest wooden courthouse in the country.

Plymouth is also home to several historic houses, including Richard Sparrow House (1640), Jabez Howland House (1667), Harlow Old Fort House (1677), Spooner House (1749), the Mayflower Society Museum (1754), and Hedge House (1809). Hingham, also on the South Shore, is home to the Old Ship Church, the oldest continuously operating wooden church in the USA, built in 1681, and the Hingham Historical Society Museum, built as the Old Ordinary in 1680. The Adams National Historical Park also lies in the South Shore region and features memorials to the USA's original presidential dynasty, the Adams family.

On the North Shore, Salem is perhaps Massachusetts's most famous historic site, with its McIntire Historic District featuring Chestnut Street, considered one of the most architecturally beautiful streets in the USA. Also in Salem are Hamilton Hall, a National Historic Landmark; Nathaniel Bowditch House; the New England Pirate Museum; the Peabody Essex Museum; Pickering Wharf; Salem Maritime National Historic Site, including Custom House and Derby House; the Old Burying Point, a cemetery dating from 1637; and the House of the Seven Gables, built in 1688 and made famous in a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Salem Witch Museum and Salem Witch Village present the story of the witch hysteria that took hold of the region in 1692 (see Salem witch trials).

Located 35 km/22 mi outside Boston, within the towns of Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord, Massachusetts's Minuteman National Historical Park marks the site of the first shot fired in the American Revolution and preserves the site of the first battle, as well as other Revolutionary period landmarks. Also at this site are the former homes of three of the USA's most famous writers, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Louisa May Alcott. Walden Pond, in Concord, is where Henry David Thoreau conceived his transcendentalist work Walden, or Life in the Woods.

Boston is Massachusetts's largest city and one of the most important financial, commercial, educational, and cultural centres of the USA. The Boston National Historical Site includes the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, and the Bunker Hill Monument. Famous historic areas in the city area include Charlestown Navy Yard, one of the first naval shipyards in the nation; Beacon Hill; Back Bay; Brookline; Cambridge; Jamaica Plain; and North End. Colonial features in the city include Paul Revere House, Old Corner Bookstore, Old North Church, Old South Meeting House, and King's Chapel. Federal period sites include the Massachusetts State House, Quincy Market, Harrison Gray Otis' Mansion, Charles St Meeting House, and Sears House.

Boston is rich in Victorian architecture, as can be seen at Trinity Church, Boston Public Library, Old Boston City Hall, the Custom House, Brattle Square Congregational Church, New Old South Church, Chadwick Lead Works, 10 Liberty Square, the International Trust Company, and the Flour and Grain Exchange. Examples of contemporary architecture include the New Boston City Hall, the John Hancock Tower, Rowe's Wharf, and the Prudential Center. Other important places in Boston include Fenway Park, the oldest baseball stadium in operation in the USA and home to the Red Sox; the New England Aquarium; and Franklin Park Zoo.

Boston's numerous museums include the Bostonian Historical Society and Museum at the State House, the USS Constitution Museum, the JFK Library and Museum, the Boston African-American National Historic Site, the Commonwealth Museum, the Museum of Afro-American History, the Museum of Science, and the Paul Revere House. The Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology are in Cambridge.

Boston is a major centre of higher education in the USA and the Boston public (free) school system is the oldest in the USA. Over a hundred colleges, universities, and teaching hospitals are located in Massachusetts, including an extensive network of state colleges. Its largest universities are Boston University (1869) and Northeastern University (1898). In nearby Cambridge, Harvard University (1636) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; 1861) are internationally renowned. The chief state-supported university is the University of Massachusetts, with branches at Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, and Worcester.

Lexington, northwest of Boston, has important historical sites, including the Buckman Tavern, the Hancock-Clarke House, and the Munroe Tavern. On the coast, north of Boston, is Cape Ann, with the picturesque fishing and summer vacation resorts of Essex, Rockport, Gloucester, and Manchester-by-the-Sea. Lowell, on the Merrimack River, is home to the American Textile Museum and the Lowell National Historic Park, featuring a working textile mill, canals, and museums detailing 19th-century industry and life. New Bedford is an old whaling town, featured in Herman Melville's novel, Moby Dick, and home to the New Bedford Whaling Museum, as well as being one of the USA's largest and oldest Portuguese communities.

After Boston, the two largest cities in Massachusetts are Worcester and Springfield. Worcester is home to the Higgins Armory Museum, housed in a Gothic castle. Springfield features the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, the Springfield Science Museum, and the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum which reflects mainly 19th-century regional history.

Central Massachusetts is famous for its apple orchards and antiques, and features the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor; Old Sturbridge Village, the largest history museum in the northeast; and the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, a museum of the New England landscape. Western Massachusetts and the Berkshires are popular tourist destinations. Historic towns in the region include Egremont, Adams, Clarksburg, Great Barrington, Housatonic, Lenox, Monterey, and Williamstown. Amherst is home to the Robert Frost Trail and Emily Dickinson House. Amherst College, in Amherst, and Williams College, in Williamstown, are among the top US liberal arts colleges. Deerfield, in the Connecticut River Valley, was the site of an American Indian raid during Queen Anne's War in the early 18th century. Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield is an 18th- and 19th-century living history Shaker village. Also in western Massachusetts is the small town of Shelburne Falls, with its Bridge of Flowers and historic Mohawk Trail.

The Cape Cod area is especially rich in historical sites, including the Heritage Plantation of Sandwich and, in Barnstable, the oldest public library in the USA (1644), the Olde Colonial Courthouse (1772), the Trayser Museum Complex with maritime and Indian artefacts, and a jail dating from 1690. The French Cable Station Museum marks the place where, during the 19th century, transatlantic cable connected North America to Europe by telephone. There are also numerous old mills, small historical museums, historic houses and gardens, old schoolhouses, and windmills. The Cape Cod National Seashore is a 145 km-/90 mi-long federally protected stretch of coast, stretching from Chatham to Provincetown.

Near Cape Cod are the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, also popular summer holiday destinations. In Martha's Vineyard the town of Edgartown has the Martha's Vineyard Museum and Historical Society, with whaling artefacts, antique furniture, and the Fresnel lens, installed in the Gay Head Lighthouse in 1856. Nantucket is home to the Historical Association's Whaling Museum and Historic Sites. Other points of interest include the African Meeting House, an 1827 church that later served as a school for African children, and Jethro Coffin House.

Culture Massachusetts, and particularly Boston, is famous historically for its Irish-American and white Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture. Contemporary Boston, however, is the most cosmopolitan and ethnically diverse city in the state, with old Irish, Italian, Jewish, and black American neighbourhoods, and a famous Chinatown district. Other ethnic groups in the city include Armenian, Caribbean, Hawaiian, Hispanic, Korean, Polish, and Russian. Boston also has a large number of cultural resources and attractions. Cambridge is famous for its progressive, student-orientated neighbourhoods, associated with Harvard University. Massachusetts is primarily a Democrat-sympathetic state, home to the Kennedys, and its ‘Yankee’ culture is known nationally for liberalism and a tendency to intellectualism.

One of the most important museums in Massachusetts is the Peabody Essex in Salem, with one of the world's largest and most important collections of Asian arts and the most comprehensive and renowned maritime art and history collection in the USA. Also included in the permanent collection are works reflecting the arts and cultures of American Indians, Oceania, and Africa.

In Cambridge, the Harvard University art museums house world-famous collections. The Fogg Art Museum covers Western art from the Middle Ages to the present and features one of the most important Renaissance collections in the USA. The Busch-Reisinger Museum reflects the cultures of central and northern Europe and features German expressionism, Vienna Secession art, 1920s abstraction, and works by German sculptor Joseph Beuys. The Arthur M Sackler Museum houses superb collections of ancient Asian and Islamic art.

Boston has several fine art resources. The Museum of Fine Arts is well known for its Asian collection and for its European and US painting. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has famous collections of Western art, furniture, decorative arts, and textiles throughout history. The Institute of Contemporary Art is mainly an exhibition centre.

Worcester and Springfield have fine art museums and there are many other museums in the state, of which the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, housed in a former factory, is a more recent addition. Others include the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover; the Cahoon Museum of American Art, featuring US primitive painting; the Clark Institute in Williamstown; the Fuller Museum in Brockton; the Heritage Plantation Art Museum in Sandwich; the McCullen Museum of Art at Boston College in Chestnut Hill; the Amherst History Museum, with 18th- and 19th-century art and furniture; the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists in Roxbury; the Flynt Center of Early New England Life at Deerfield, with decorative art treasures; the Franklin Waters Museum in Ipswich, containing a collection of antique furniture from China and colonial America; Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton; Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell, housed in the birthplace of artist James McNeill Whistler; the DeCordova Museum of Contemporary Art in Lincoln; and, also in Lincoln, Gropius House, featuring Bauhaus furnishings and pieces of modern art.

Massachusetts has many famous literary sites, including the Longfellow National Historic Site; a study used by Ralph Waldo Emerson, preserved at Concord; a house designed and built by novelist Edith Wharton in Lenox; Emily Dickinson's house in Amherst; and the former homes of Louisa May Alcott, Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau, in Concord and Salem. Herman Melville lived in Pittsfield.

The state has a rich musical life, with many symphony orchestras and classical music ensembles. The Boston Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1881, ranks as one of the most esteemed orchestras of the world. Tanglewood in Lenox in the Berkshires has become famous as one of the world's leading music festivals. Sevenars Music Festival, also in Western Massachusetts, is increasingly significant, and the Berkshires Summer Art Festival is also important. Other events include the Cambridge River Festival, the New England Folk Festival in Boston, and the Boston Blues Festival. Lowell has an annual Folk Festival.

There are also numerous theatre, dance, and performance companies, mainly based in Boston. Boston is important, too, for television production, particularly of news, arts, and documentaries.

Massachusetts is a traditional state and prides itself on its fishing heritage and fine seafood. Boston is popularly known as Bean Town, because of its fondness for baked beans, and many famous US beers are brewed there. Festivals and events include craft fairs, arts fairs, garden shows, antiques fairs, apple blossom festivals, flower festivals, chowder festivals, scallop and lobster festivals, and numerous harvest festivals. Boston Harborfest is held every July and the Arts Festival of Boston every September. New Bedford has an annual Whaling City Festival and a Summerfest. Gloucester has an annual seafood festival and Plymouth an annual summer waterfront festival.

Sports in Massachusetts are a major preoccupation and important national teams include the Boston Celtics (basketball), New England Patriots (American football), the Boston Red Sox (baseball), and the Boston Bruins (hockey). Boston also holds an annual marathon each April and the annual Head of the Charles Regatta rowing race each October. Hiking, boating, and fishing in Massachusetts are also popular activities.

GovernmentMassachusetts's state constitution The constitution of Massachusetts is the oldest written constitution in the world still in effect, ratified in 1780.

Structure of state government The legislature, known as the General Court, has a Senate of 40 members and a House of Representatives with 160 members, all of whom serve two-year terms. The Senate is one of the oldest in the world. Massachusetts sends nine representatives and two senators to the US Congress and has 11 electoral votes in presidential elections.

The governor of Massachusetts is elected for a four-year term. Democrat Deval Patrick took the governorship in January 2007. The governor's executive council consists of the lieutenant governor and eight elected councillors. Its function is to give its consent to judicial appointments made by the governor and it also considers pardons for criminals. The Democratic Party dominates state politics, but moderate Republicans held the governor's office 1991–2007.

The state's court system consists of the Supreme Judicial Court (the highest court, with a chief justice and six associate justices), appeals court, and seven trial court departments.

Massachusetts has 14 counties, some of which are governed by county governments, while others are governed by state and local or regional agencies. Counties cannot levy taxes. There are 351 incorporated cities and towns.

Economy Massachusetts has one of the highest per capita incomes among the US states. It has a service-industry-led economy, in which healthcare, tourism, education, finance, and insurance play significant roles, but high-tech industries are also important. Biotechnology, biomedicine, artificial intelligence, marine sciences, renewable energy, and polymer technology have all been encouraged and developed. Manufactures include electrical and electronic equipment, industrial equipment, technical instruments, plastics, machinery, tools, and metal and rubber products. Other important industries include jewellery, paper and publishing, and shipping. Agricultural products include cranberries, greenhouse and nursery items, apples, and dairy goods. Fishing has declined in importance in recent years.

HistoryIndigenous people Early inhabitants of the Massachusetts region included the Nauset Algonquian Indian tribe who lived on Cape Cod; the Massachusett, a North American Indian tribe; the Wampanoag, a powerful Algonquian Indian tribe; the Pennacook; the Mohican (Stockbridge); the Pocumtuck; and the Nipmuck. Early European travellers introduced new diseases to which the American Indians had no natural immunity, with devastating effects on native populations.

Exploration and early settlements The first Europeans to visit the Massachusetts area were probably Norse explorers, fishing for cod. The voyages of Giovanni Caboto in 1497 and 1498 established England's claim to the New England region. John Smith'sA Description of New England made the prospect of settlement there seem attractive and Pilgrims seeking religious freedom sailed from England on the Mayflower, anchoring off the tip of Cape Cod in late 1620. Almost half the Pilgrims died, but Plymouth Plantation eventually became the first permanent European settlement in southern New England. Relations with American Indians were friendly, and in 1621 a peaceful first Thanksgiving was observed. Fishing and trading posts quickly grew up around the area and more settlers arrived in 1628, when English Puritans led by John Endicott arrived in Salem.

Colonial days In 1629 the Massachusetts Bay Company was granted a royal charter and began forming a local government at the Massachusetts Bay Colony. More Puritans, led by John Winthrop, arrived in 1630, bringing with them a much-desired charter, assuring self-governance as a self-contained English colony. Settlements grew up in the Charlestown and Boston areas and colonization spread rapidly along the coast. A style of government particular to New England was established, in which the town meeting played a central role. In western Massachusetts lucrative fur trading was established around Springfield, Northampton, Hadley, and Deerfield; small-scale farming and villages featuring the characteristic central green were more typical, however. In 1637 the Pequot War led to an alliance between the Massachusetts and Connecticut Puritans, with an attack on the Pequot people at Mystic. American Indians were eventually forced to retreat westward into the Berkshires.

Royal province In 1603 the Stuarts acceded to the English throne and initiated more stringent control of the colony. After losing its royal charter, the Massachusetts Bay Colony fell to the control of Edmund Andros. In 1691 it became a royal province under a governor appointed by the Crown. Restrictions that sprang up subsequently led to a build-up of anti-English feeling, but Massachusetts remained largely peaceful and played a significant role as a maritime trading power, owing to profitable trade with Caribbean ports. Boston by this time had become an important intellectual centre, known for Harvard College and its cultural institutions.

The American Revolution The Sugar Act (1764) and the Stamp Act (1765) provoked rioting and boycotts in the Massachusetts area. Although the Sugar Act was repealed in 1766, other repressive measures followed and the people of Massachusetts became increasingly rebellious. The Boston Massacre took place on 5 March 1770, followed by the Boston Tea Party, in which politician Samuel Adams directed the dumping of the cargoes of three East India Company ships into Boston Harbor. A Continental Congress ordered a general boycott of English goods. On the night of 18 April 1775 Paul Revere and William Dawes made their famous rides to warn of the arrival of British troops, and American rebels engaged the British at Lexington and Concord. The siege of Boston followed, including the ‘glorious defeat’ at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and on 17 March 1776 the British evacuated their troops from the area.

Independence and Civil War John Adams, among others, drafted a Constitutional Convention that was ratified by the people on 15 June 1780. A federal constitution followed, under the presidency of George Washington.

After a period of post-war depression, Massachusetts once again flourished as a trading region, expanding her foreign commerce to include China. The Embargo Act, which was passed in 1807 and closed US ports to export shipping, caused a setback to this growing prosperity, however, and the War of 1812 precluded maritime trade altogether until 1815. The embargo and War of 1812 also forced the region to develop its own manufacturing industries, however, and an 1816 protective tariff served to promote US goods by blocking foreign imports.

Progressive social movements, new theories, and women's rights were hotly debated in Massachusetts towns and cities. Colonies of idealists and communists sprang up, and the Constitutional Convention of 1820 reflected the new mood by giving the people a greater voice.

In 1831, William Lloyd Garrison founded the abolitionist paper The Liberator, and in 1832 the New England Anti-Slavery Society was formed in Boston and began organizing the Underground Railroad in an effort to free slaves. After the Civil War erupted, Massachusetts, a staunchly Unionist and abolitionist state, provided many troops to the Union side, including the first black American regiments.

Industrialization With plentiful water power and abundant raw materials, by the early 19th century Massachusetts had became a leading manufacturing region. The cities of Lawrence, Lowell, Fall River, and New Bedford quickly transformed into major textiles centres, with further textiles and footwear factories at Lynn, Brockton, Haverhill, Marlborough, and Worcester.

After the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, which increased agricultural competition, urbanization occurred in Massachusetts as farmers and farm workers moved to the towns. New immigrants also arrived to work in the factories, including Finns, Latvians, Lithuanians, Turks, Scots, Irish, French, Italians, Poles, Portuguese, Germans, and Slavs.

Massachusetts fostered its public schools system and was able to develop a highly skilled labour force. A spirit of entrepreneurialism characterized industry in the state and considerable diversification took place. Progressive laws, combined with an advanced bill of civil rights, created the now-legendary east coast Democrat liberal ideology. The suffragist movement meanwhile became a more coherent political force.

20th century During the Great Depression, Massachusetts suffered and manufacturing declined, particularly the shoes and textile industries, which were unable to compete with low-wage competition from the South. The state's economy had recovered by World War II and the state profited from wartime industries. The Korean War further stimulated industry. Military and aerospace industries developed rapidly and allowed new technologies to be adopted. Electronic components and other high-technology industries received research funding. From the 1970s, the Route 128 corridor around Boston saw rapid economic growth, based around high-tech industries. Massachusetts's wealth is concentrated in Boston, which has been undergoing intensive redevelopment.

Politically, the Democratic Party has dominated state politics. The most prominent Democrat family has been the Kennedy's. They provided the US's charismatic president, John F Kennedy, 1961–63, attorney-general Robert Kennedy, and state's senator Edward Kennedy, 1962–2009.

Famous peoplethe arts John Singleton Copley (1738–1815), painter; William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878), poet and editor; Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), philosopher and poet; Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864), author; John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892), poet; Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–1894), writer; Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849), writer and poet; Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), author; Emily Dickinson (1830–1886), poet; Helen Hunt Jackson (1830–1885), writer; James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), painter; Winslow Homer (1836–1910), painter; Louis Henry Sullivan (1856–1924), architect; Amy Lowell (1874–1925), poet; Cecil B de Mille (1881–1959), film director and producer; E E Cummings (1894–1962), poet; Theodor Seuss Giesel, Dr Seuss (1904–1991), author and illustrator; Robert Lowell (1917–1977), poet; Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990), conductor and composer; Bette Davis (1918–1989), actor

science Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), political figure and scientist; Eli Whitney (1765–1825), inventor of the cotton gin; John Chapman, ‘Johnny Appleseed’ (1774–1845), pioneer and folk hero; William D Coolidge (1873–1975), inventor; Robert Goddard (1882–1945), rocket pioneer; Rachel Fuller Brown (1898–1980), inventor

society and education Horace Mann (1796–1859), political leader and educator; Susan B Anthony (1820–1906), suffragist and reformer

politics and law John Winthrop (1588–1649), English-born colonial leader; John Endecott (1589–1665), English-born colonial leader; John Eliot (1640–1690), religious missionary to the American Indians; Samuel Adams (1722–1803), patriot and politician; John Adams (1735–1826), 2nd president of the USA; Paul Revere (1735–1818), American Revolutionary; John Quincy Adams (1767–1848), 6th president of the USA; Tip O'Neill (1912–1994), Democratic politician and Speaker of the House of Representatives; John F Kennedy (1917–1963), 35th president of the USA; George H W Bush (1924– ), 41st president of the USA; Michael Dukakis (1933– ), Democrat governor; John Kerry (1943– ), US senator.

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