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Portal:Massachusetts

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Introduction

Flag of Massachusetts.svg

Massachusetts (/ˌmæsəˈsɪts/ (About this sound listen), /-zɪts/), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by 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 first colony in New England, 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

Ellis Paul (2006)
Ellis Paul is an American singer-songwriter and folk musician. Born in Aroostook County, Maine, Paul is a key figure in what has become known as the Boston school of songwriting, a literate, provocative and urbanely romantic folk-pop style that helped ignite the folk revival of the 1990s. His pop music songs have appeared in movies and on television, bridging the gap between the modern folk sound and the populist traditions of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Having grown up in a small town in Maine, Paul attended Boston College on a track scholarship where he majored in English. An athletic injury sustained during his junior year changed the course of his professional career. Paul picked up a guitar to pass the time while sidelined, and discovered that playing guitar and writing songs was the creative outlet he had been looking for. After graduating from college he began playing at open mic nights in the Boston area while working with inner-city school children. Paul's growing popularity at Boston coffeehouses, coupled with winning a Boston Acoustic Underground songwriter competition and national exposure on a Windham Hill Records compilation combined to give him the confidence to resign his day-job and pursue a career as a professional musician. To date, Paul has released 18 albums and has been the recipient of 14 Boston Music Awards, considered by some to be a pinnacle of contemporary acoustic music success.

Selected location

Lowell on the Merrimack river with Cox Bridge
Lowell is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and one of its two county seats. It the fourth largest city in the state.

Founded in the 1820s as a planned manufacturing center for textiles, Lowell is located along the rapids of the Merrimack River, 25 miles northwest of Boston in what was once the farming community of East Chelmsford, Massachusetts. The so-called Boston Associates named the new mill town after their leader, Francis Cabot Lowell. As Lowell's population grew, it acquired more land from neighboring towns, and diversified into a full-fledged urban center. In 1860, there were more cotton spindles in Lowell than in all eleven states combined that would form the Confederacy.

The city's manufacturing base declined as many companies began to relocate to the South in the 1920s, causing a period of hard times. The mills were reactivated during World War II to make parachutes, but closed again after the war. In the 1970s, Lowell became part of the Massachusetts Miracle when it became the headquarters of Wang Laboratories.

Selected images

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

A portion of the Granite Railway

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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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