Portal:Massachusetts

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Massachusetts Listeni/ˌmæsəˈsɨts/, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is the 7th smallest, but the 14th most populous and the 3rd most densely populated of the 50 United States, and has the United States' sixth highest GDP per capita.

Massachusetts has played a significant historical, cultural, and commercial role in American history. Plymouth was the site of the colony founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims. Harvard University, founded in 1636, is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Protestant First Great Awakening originated from the pulpit of Northampton, Massachusetts 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. In 1786, a populist revolt led directly to the Constitutional Convention. Before the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center for the temperance, transcendentalist, and abolitionist movements. In the late 19th century, basketball and volleyball were invented in Springfield and Holyoke, respectively. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legally recognize same-sex marriage.

Originally dependent on fishing, agriculture, and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts' economy shifted from manufacturing to services. In the 21st century, Massachusetts is a leader in higher education, health care technology, high technology, and financial services.

More about Massachusetts...

Selected article

Godsmack. From left to right: Robbie Merrill, Sully Erna, Criss Angel, Shannon Larkin, and Tony Rombola
Godsmack is an American heavy metal band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. The band is composed of founder, frontman and songwriter Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and drummer Shannon Larkin. Since its formation, Godsmack has released five studio albums, one EP, four DVDs, one compilation album collection and one live album.

During their first two years the band played throughout the Boston area. Eventually Godsmack's CD landed in the hands of Rocko, the night-time DJ for Boston radio station WAAF (FM). The radio station put the song "Keep Away" into heavy rotation and the song rose to the number one spot at the station very quickly. Newbury Comics, a New England record store chain, agreed to sell the CD on consignment. Shortly after the success of "Keep Away", Godsmack went back into the studio and recorded a single titled "Whatever", which became the new local favorite on WAAF (FM). Their success in Boston led to the band being signed by the Universal/Republic Records label.

The band has had three consecutive number one albums (Faceless, IV, and The Oracle) on the Billboard 200. The band also has parked a ratified 20 top ten rock radio hits, including 15 songs in the Top Five, a record number of top ten singles by a rock artist. Since its inception, Godsmack has toured on Ozzfest on more than one occasion, and has toured with many other large tours and festivals, including supporting its albums with its own arena tours. Godsmack has sold over 20 million records in just over a decade, yet despite the decline of album sales in recent years, they have proven to be one of the highest-grossing artists in the United States.

Selected biography

Emily Dickinson (1846 or 1847)
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was an American poet. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. After she studied at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she spent a short time at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family's house in Amherst. Thought of as an eccentric by the locals, she became known for her penchant for white clothing and her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, even leave her room. While Dickinson was a prolific private poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly eighteen hundred poems were published during her lifetime. Although most of her acquaintances were probably aware of Dickinson's writing, It was not until after her death in 1886—when Lavinia, Emily's younger sister, discovered her cache of poems—that the breadth of Dickinson's work became apparent. Dickinson's poems are unique for the era in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends.

Selected location

Gosnold Town Hall
Gosnold is a town that encompasses the Elizabeth Islands in Dukes County, Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 75, making it the least populous town in Massachusetts. Most of the residents live in the village of Cuttyhunk, while most of the land in the town is owned by the Forbes family. The town is so small and so remote that it is exempt from state nepotism laws.

The earliest settlers of the Elizabeth Islands were the Wampanoag Native Americans. The tribe did not settle permanently on the Elizabeth Islands, but used them in summer for hunting, fishing, and gardening. The Elizabeth Islands were discovered by Europeans in 1602 by Bartholomew Gosnold, who later attempted to establish a trading post there, the first attempt by Europeans to do so. Gosnold was first settled in 1641, the year of purchase of the islands by Thomas Mayhew, Sr. The islands were claimed by the Wampanoag until 1658, when the Wampanoag sachem transferred the deed of ownership to Mayhew. Gosnold was officially incorporated in 1864, having formerly belonged to the town of Chilmark.


Selected picture

1812 political cartoon that led to the term Gerrymandering
Credit: Elkanah Tisdale (1812)

1812 political cartoon that led to the term Gerrymandering; originally appearing in the Boston Centinel

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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