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The Massachusetts Portal

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.

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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.

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James Bowdoin (1748)
James Bowdoin II was an American political and intellectual leader from Boston, Massachusetts during the American Revolution. He served in both branches of the Massachusetts General Court from the 1750s to the 1770s. Although he was initially supportive of the royal governors, he opposed British colonial policy and eventually became an influential advocate of independence. He authored a highly political report on the 1770 Boston Massacre that has been described as one of the most influential pieces of writing that shaped public opinion in the colonies. From 1775 to 1777 he served as president of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress' executive council, the de facto head of the Massachusetts government. He was elected president of the constitutional convention that drafted the state's constitution in 1779, and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1780, losing to John Hancock. In 1785, following Hancock's resignation, he was elected governor. His harsh fiscal policy while in office contributed to Shays' Rebellion. In addition to his political activities, Bowdoin was active in scientific pursuits, collaborating with Benjamin Franklin in his pioneering research on electricity. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and was a founder and first president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Hingham Bay in April 2010
Hingham Bay is the easternmost of the three small bays of outer Boston Harbor, part of Massachusetts Bay and forming the western shoreline of the town of Hull and the northern shoreline of Hingham, in the state of Massachusetts. The bay is home to several of the Boston Harbor Islands.

Military posts were established on Peddocks Island and Fort Revere at the strategically important Hull Gut entrance to Hingham Bay beginning in the American Revolution. Ships and submarines were produced at Fore River Shipyard located on Weymouth Fore River near where the river enters Hingham Bay beginning in the early 20th century. During World War II, hundreds of ships produced for the United States Navy at Fore River Shipyard and the associated Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard in Hingham first entered the Atlantic at Hingham Bay. Following the war, the list of possible locations for United Nations Headquarters included the unused land at World's End on Hingham Bay. The land was also later considered as a location for a nuclear power plant that was eventually built in Plymouth.

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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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The lithograph "The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor"

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