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Flag of Massachusetts.svg

Massachusetts (/ˌmæsəˈsɪts/ (About this soundlisten), /-zɪts/), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.

Plymouth was the site of the second colony in New England after Popham Colony in 1607 in what is now Maine . Plymouth was founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims, passengers of the Mayflower. In 1692, the town of Salem and surrounding areas experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem witch trials. In 1777, General Henry Knox founded the Springfield Armory, which during the Industrial Revolution catalyzed numerous important technological advances, including interchangeable parts. In 1786, Shays' Rebellion, a populist revolt led by disaffected American Revolutionary War veterans, influenced the United States Constitutional Convention. In the 18th century, the Protestant First Great Awakening, which swept the Atlantic World, originated from the pulpit of Northampton preacher Jonathan Edwards. In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution.

Selected article

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum at night
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library and museum of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. It is located on Columbia Point in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, next to the Boston campus of the University of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Archives. It was designed by the architect I. M. Pei. The building is the official repository for original papers and correspondence of the Kennedy Administration, as well as special bodies of published and unpublished materials, such as books and papers by and about Ernest Hemingway. The library and museum were dedicated in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter and members of the Kennedy family.

During a weekend visit to Boston on October 19, 1963, President Kennedy, along with John Carl Warnecke — the architect who would design the President’s tomb in Arlington — viewed several locations offered by Harvard as a site for the library and museum. The chosen location, as well as a second location owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, both proved unsatisfactory, causing a long series of delays that would allow Kennedy's successor as president, Lyndon B. Johnson, to dedicate his own Presidential Library before work began at the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

The library's first floor features a museum containing video monitors, family photographs, political memorabilia. Visitors to the museum begin their visit by watching a film narrated by President Kennedy in one of two cinemas that show an orientation film — and a third shows a documentary on the Cuban Missile Crisis. They are then allowed to peruse the permanent exhibits on display, which include an exhibit on the US Space Program during Project Mercury; the Briefing Room is an exhibit on talks given to the public, at home and abroad; an exhibit on his presidential campaign trail; a look at the Kennedy Family; a section dedicated to the First Lady, and partial replicas of the Kennedy Oval Office and his brother Robert F. Kennedy's office as Attorney General at the Department of Justice Building, which has been named for him.

Selected biography

Calvin Coolidge (1923)
Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States, from 1923 to 1929. He was born in Plymouth, Vermont on July 4, 1872. He went to St. Johnsbury Academy for a year before attending Amherst College. A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, serving in the state House of Representatives, mayor of Northampton, Massachusetts, State Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and eventually Governor of Massachusetts. His conduct during the Boston Police Strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight and gave him a reputation as a man of decisive action. Soon after, he was elected as the 29th Vice President in 1920 and succeeded to the Presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding in 1923. Elected in his own right in 1924, Coolidge restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor's administration, and left office with considerable popularity.

Selected location

The Orange Line Bridge over the Mystic River
The Mystic River is a 7.0-mile-long (11.3 km) river in Massachusetts. Its name derives from the Wampanoag word "muhs-uhtuq", which translates to "big river." In an Algonquian language, "Missi-Tuk" means "a great river whose waters are driven by waves", alluding to the natural tidal nature of the Mystic. It lies to the north of and flows approximately parallel to the lower portions of the Charles River. The river flows from the Lower Mystic Lake and travels through the Boston-area communities of Arlington, Medford, Somerville, Everett, Charlestown, Chelsea, and East Boston. The river joins the Charles River to form inner Boston Harbor. Significant portions of the river's shores are within the Mystic River Reservation and are administered by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The river has been the inspiration for the Lydia Child poem "Over the River and Through the Woods", and was one of the settings of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride". The river gave its name to the 2001 Dennis Lehane novel and its 2003 Academy Award winning Clint Eastwood film adaptation, Mystic River.

Selected images

Hurricane Bob passing over New England
Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (1991)

Hurricane Bob, one of the costliest hurricanes in New England history, hovering over Massachusetts

State facts

Location of Massachusetts in the United States
Location of Massachusetts in the United States
Atlas showing the location of the major urban areas and roads in Massachusetts
Atlas of Massachusetts with Greater Boston highlighted

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In this month

Massachusetts militiamen with fixed bayonets surround a parade of peaceful strikers

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State symbols

Colors Blue, Green, and Cranberry
Motto Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem
Song All Hail to Massachusetts
Bird Black-capped Chickadee
Tree American Elm
Flower Mayflower
Bug Ladybug
Mineral Babingtonite
Fish Cod
Beverage Cranberry Juice
Fossil Dinosaur Tracks
Soil Paxton Soil

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