- 1602. Bartholomew Gosnold explores coast.
- 1604. Samuel de Champlain explores and maps coast.
- 1606. James I grants charter to Plymouth Company to colonize Northern Virginia.
- 1614. Capt. John Smith maps coast.
- 1620. Plymouth Company reorganized as Council for New England. Pilgrims land;
found Plymouth; elect John Carver governor.
- 1621. Pilgrims celebrate the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth.
- 1628. John Endecott founds Puritan settlement in what is now Salem.
- 1629. Massachusetts Bay Company chartered.
- 1630. Dorchester founded. John Winthrop and group of settlers establish Boston.
- 1632. Boston made
of Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- 1634. Boston Common became the first public park in America.
- 1635. The first American public secondary school, Boston Latin Grammar School,
founded in Boston.
- 1636. Harvard, the first American College, founded in Newtowne (now Cambridge).
The people of America could now earn a
- 1639. First commercial printing press in English-speaking North America set up in
Cambridge by Stephen Daye.
- 1639. The first free American public school, the Mather school, founded in
Dorchester, a neighborhood of Boston.
- 1643. Puritan colonies form New England Confederation to oppose Dutch and
- 1643. The first American ironworks established in Saugus.
- 1653. The first American public library founded in Boston.
- 1675-76. King Philip's War brings Indian attacks on settlers.
- 1684. Massachusetts charter annulled.
- 1686. Dominion of New England established.
- 1691. Massachusetts granted new charter; becomes royal colony including
Maine and Plymouth.
- 1692. Witchcraft trials begin in Salem.
- 1704. The first regularly issued American newspaper, The Boston News-Letter,
published in Boston.
- 1716. The first American lighthouse built in Boston Harbor.
- 1770. British troops shoot colonists in Boston Massacre.
- 1773. Boston Tea Party dumps tea into bay. Colonists at Faneuil Hall, in Boston,
- 1775. The first battle of the American Revolution fought in Lexington and Concord.
- 1775. The first ship of the U.S. Navy, the schooner "Hannah", commissioned in
- 1776. Colonial troops force British to evacuate Boston.
- 1780. State constitution adopted; John Hancock becomes first elected governor.
- 1786-87. Shays's Rebellion occurs.
- 1788. Massachusetts is sixth state to ratify the United States Constitution on
Feb. 6, 1788.
- 1789. The first American novel, William Hill Brown's The Power of Sympathy,
published in Worcester.
- 1795. State House built in Boston.
- 1796. John Adams, born 1735 in Quincy, elected 2nd president of United States.
- 1796. Horace Mann, often called the Father of American public school education,
was born in Franklin, Massachusetts on May 4th.
- 1806. The first church built by free blacks in America, the African Meeting House,
opened on Joy Street in Boston.
- 1820. Maine separated from Massachusetts.
- 1822. Lowell set up as factory town. Boston chartered.
- 1824. John Quincy Adams, born 1767 in Quincy, elected 6th president of United
- 1826. The first American railroad built in Quincy.
- 1831. The first abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator, published in Boston by
William Lloyd Garrison.
- 1833. Constitutional amendment separates church and state; ends Puritanism in
- 1837. State Board of Education established under leadership of Horace Mann.
- 1839. The first vulcanized rubber produced by Charles Goodyear in Woburn.
- 1845. The first sewing machine made by Elias Howe in Boston.
- 1846. The first public use of ether anesthetic demonstrated in Boston.
- 1863. University of Massachusetts chartered at Amherst.
- 1866. The first African-American legislators in New England elected to the
- 1875. The first American Christmas card printed by Louis Prang in Boston.
- 1876. The first telephone demonstrated by Alexander Graham Bell in Boston.
- 1886. The first transformer demonstrated by William Stanley in Great Barrington.
- 1891. The first
game played in Springfield.
- 1892. The first successful gasoline-powered automobile perfected by Charles and
Frank Duryea in Springfield.
- 1895. The first volleyball game played in Holyoke.
- 1896. The first American public beach established in Revere.
- 1897. The first successful American subway system opened in Boston.
- 1914. Canal links Cape Cod Bay with Buzzards Bay.
- 1920. Governor Calvin Coolidge elected vice-president; becomes 30th president
of United States in 1923.
- 1920-27. Sacco-Vanzetti case gains world attention.
- 1926. The first successful liquid fuel rocket launched by Dr. Robert Goddard inAuburn.
- 1928. The first computer, a non-electronic "differential analyzer," developed by
Dr. Vannevar Bush of M.I.T. in Cambridge.
- 1944. And, not to be outdone by M.I.T., Howard Aiken of Harvard developed the
first automatic digital computer.
- 1957. Massachusetts Turnpike opened.
- 1960. John F. Kennedy, born 1917 in Brookline, elected 35th president of United
States; assassinated 1963.
- 1961. The first nuclear-powered surface vessel, USS Long Beach CG(N)9,
launched at Quincy.
- 1966. Edward W. Brooke is first black elected to United States Senate by popular
- 1974. Busing program to integrate Boston public schools sparks white boycotts
and violent demonstrations.
- 1988. Governor Michael Dukakis signs bill guaranteeing health insurance to all
state residents. Construction begins on 6-billion-dollar sewage-treatment project
to clean up Boston Harbor. Voters reject proposal to shut down the state's two
nuclear power plants. Dukakis becomes Democratic nominee for president of the
MassHome introduces a comprehensive online directory of web sites
in Massachusetts. Public acclaim dubs the site as the
"unofficial home page for the Commonwealth".