State of Massachusetts - MA

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. With a population approaching 6.5 million in a relatively small area, it is mostly urban and suburban in its eastern half but still primarily rural in the west. It is the most populous of the six New England states and contains the region's main urban center, Boston.

The first Europeans to settle New England landed in present-day Massachusetts. These settlers were Pilgrims and Puritans from England seeking religious freedom. The majority of early settlers came from within 60 miles of Haverhill, England. They founded Plymouth, Salem, and Boston, which soon became the hub of the region. A century and a half later, Massachusetts became known as the 'Cradle of Liberty' for the revolutionary ferment in Boston that helped spawn the war of the Thirteen Colonies for independence.

During the 19th century, Massachusetts transformed itself from a mainly agricultural economy to a manufacturing one, making use of its many rivers for power to operate factories for shoes, furniture, and clothing. Its economy declined in the early twentieth century when industry moved south in search of cheaper labor. A revitalization came in the 1970s when, nourished by the graduates of the area's many elite institutions of higher education, the Boston suburbs (particularly those around Route 128) became home to dozens of high-tech companies.

Massachusetts' colleges and universities, as well as its technology sectors, continue to thrive. The state is also considered a haven for progressive, liberal thought and often sends political candidates to the national scene. Massachusetts was the home state of US Presidents John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy and George H. W. Bush; however, two of its last presidential aspirants, Michael Dukakis and John Kerry, were unsuccessful.

As of 2006, Massachusetts is the only state in the union to legalize marriage of gay and lesbian couples.

Main article: Massachusetts geography
Massachusetts is bordered on the north by New Hampshire and Vermont; on the west by New York; on the south by Connecticut and Rhode Island; and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. At the southeastern corner of the state is a large, sandy, arm-shaped peninsula called Cape Cod. The islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket lie to the south of Cape Cod.

A portion of the north-central Pioneer Valley near South Deerfield, much more rural than Springfield, in the southern part of the valley, or Boston, which is on the coast.Massachusetts is known as the Bay State because of the several large bays that give its coastline its distinctive shape: Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay on the state's east coast, and Buzzards Bay to the south. A few cities and towns on the Massachusetts–Rhode Island border are also adjacent to Narragansett Bay. The name Massachusetts comes from the name of an Algonquian tribe that means "at or about the great hill" or "land of the blue hills."

Boston is the largest city, located at the innermost point of Massachusetts Bay, at the mouth of the Charles River, the longest river entirely within Massachusetts. Most of the population of the Boston metropolitan area (approximately 5,800,000) does not live in the city; eastern Massachusetts on the whole is fairly densely populated and largely suburban.

Western Massachusetts is more rural and sparsely populated, especially in the Berkshires, the branch of the Appalachian Mountains that dominates the western quarter of the state. The most populated part of western Massachusetts is the "Pioneer Valley," alongside the Connecticut River, which flows across western Massachusetts from north to south.

The fourteen counties, moving roughly from west to east, are Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, Worcester, Middlesex, Essex, Suffolk, Norfork, Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket.

Areas under the control and management of the National Park Service include:

Adams National Historical Park in Quincy
Longfellow National Historic Site in Cambridge
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Lowell National Historical Park in Lowell
Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor in Worcester County
Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord, Lincoln, and Lexington
Boston African American National Historic Site in Boston
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park in New Bedford
Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area (in partnership with other agencies)
Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor
Boston National Historical Park
Salem Maritime National Historic Site in Salem
Cape Cod National Seashore
Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site in Saugus
Essex National Heritage Area around Salem
Springfield Armory National Historic Site in Springfield
Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline
Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Wild and Scenic Rivers
John F. Kennedy National Historic Site in Brookline
Westfield Wild and Scenic River near Westfield

The following text needs to be harmonized with text in the article History of Massachusetts.

Main article: History of Massachusetts
Colonial Massachusetts - Various Algonquian tribes inhabited the area prior to European settlement. Massachusetts became a single colony in 1692, the largest in New England, and one where many American institutions and traditions were formed. Unlike southern colonies, it was built around small towns rather than scattered farms. The Pilgrims settled the Plymouth Colony, and Puritan settlers traveled to Salem and later to Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. As the Puritans gradually secularized and became known as Yankees, the Congregational Church they founded continued to dominate most small towns. Late in the colonial period Baptist and other dissenting churches emerged, and the elites in Boston and other large towns turned to the Anglican and Unitarian religions. The colony, usually including present-day Maine, defeated some Indian tribes in King Philip's War in the 1670s and fought with Britain a series of French and Indian Wars that were characterized by brutal border raids and successful attacks on Canada.
Pre-revolutionary events - Massachusetts was a center of the American Revolution, with actions by the patriots and counter-actions by the Crown (including the Intolerable Acts) a main reason for the unity of the Thirteen Colonies and the outbreak of war, starting with battles in and around Boston in 1775-76. Also see Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party.
Battles of the American Revolution - Battles of Lexington and Concord, Siege of Boston, Battle of Bunker Hill.
First Governor of the Commonwealth - John Hancock was the first governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Shays' Rebellion - Western Massachusetts uprising after the Revolution.
U.S. Constitution - On February 6, 1788, Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the United States Constitution.
Slavery - Massachusetts was the first U.S. state to abolish slavery, in a 1783 judicial interpretation of its 1780 constitution. A 1790 census showed a slave population of zero.
District of Maine - On March 15, 1820, Maine was separated from Massachusetts, of which it had been a non-contiguous part, and entered the Union as the 23rd State. (See Missouri Compromise)
U.S. Civil War - The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was one of the first African-American regiments in the U.S. military.
The Central Artery/Tunnel Project (CA/T) - Known as the Big Dig to locals, it is the most expensive single highway construction project in the United States. The project began 1991, with final construction occurring in 2006.


Historical populations
year Population


1790 378,787
1800 422,845
1810 472,040
1820 523,287
1830 610,408
1840 737,699
1850 994,514
1860 1,231,066
1870 1,457,351
1880 1,783,085
1890 2,238,947
1900 2,805,346
1910 3,366,416
1920 3,852,356
1930 4,249,614
1940 4,316,721
1950 4,690,514
1960 5,148,578
1970 5,689,170
1980 5,737,037
1990 6,016,425
2000 6,349,097
As of 2005, Massachusetts has an estimated population of 6,398,743, which is a decrease of 8,639, or 0.1%, from the prior year and an increase of 49,638, or 0.8%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 131,329 people (that is 426,232 births minus 294,903 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 73,741 people out of the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 162,674 people, and net migration within the country resulted in a loss of 236,415 people.

Massachusetts has seen both a population increase and decrease. For example, while many native Bay Staters are leaving, Asian, Hispanic and African immigrants continue to fill in their place. And despite recent population decreases, the population is expected to reach 7.3 million by 2030.

The population of Massachusetts in 2004 included 881,400 foreign-born residents.

About five out of six Bay Staters (5,327,337 people in 2005) live in Greater Boston, including the City of Boston, an inner ring of neighboring cities and towns, the North Shore, South Shore, and the interior northern, western, and southern suburbs. In addition, Greater Boston includes most of southeastern Massachusetts and central Massachusetts, or Worcester County. Eastern Massachusetts is more urban than central or Western Massachusetts, which is primarily rural, save for the cities of Springfield and Worcester.

Massachusetts Population Density Map
Race and ancestry
Demographics of Massachusetts (csv)
By race White Black AIAN Asian NHPI
AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native - NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
2000 (total population) 89.23% 6.97% 0.62% 4.22% 0.15%
2000 (hispanic only) 5.64% 1.09% 0.12% 0.06% 0.05%
2005 (total population) 87.89% 7.58% 0.65% 5.13% 0.17%
2005 (hispanic only) 6.63% 1.29% 0.14% 0.07% 0.05%
Growth 2000-2005 (total population) -0.73% 9.65% 4.39% 22.61% 13.10%
Growth 2000-2005 (non-hispanic only) -2.03% 7.84% 2.72% 22.74% 14.37%
Growth 2000-2005 (hispanic only) 18.51% 19.43% 11.24% 13.47% 10.30%

The five largest reported ancestries in Massachusetts are: Irish (22.5%), Italian (13.5%), French/French Canadian (12.9%) English (11.4%), German (5.9%).

Massachusetts has one of the highest populations of Irish ancestry in the nation. Massachusetts also has large communities of people of Italian and French descent. Other influential ethnicities are Greek Americans, Lithuanian Americans and Polish Americans. Massachusetts "Yankees," of colonial English ancestry, still have a strong presence in the small towns. Franco-Bay Staters are the largest group in much of western and central Massachusetts. Boston has a large African-American population, and its largest immigrant group is Haitians. Fall River and New Bedford on the south coast have large populations of people with Portuguese, Brazilian, and Cape Verdean heritage, which is also very prevailent in the Brockton area. There is a growing Brazilian population in the Boston area. Lowell, in the northeast of the state, is home to the second largest Cambodian (Khmer) community in the country, outside of Long Beach, California. Although most of the Native Americans intermarried or died out, the Wampanoag tribe maintains a small reservation at Aquinnah, on Martha's Vineyard, and a non-recognized reservation at Mashpee. The Nipmuck maintain two state-recognized reservations in the central part of the state. Other Wampanoags and other Native people live scattered around the state outside of reservations.

Massachusetts was initially founded and settled by staunch Puritans in the 17th century and remained a majority-Yankee state for most of its history. Today Protestants make up less than 1/3 of the state's population, but have a prominent role in finance, big business, the arts, education, and cultural institutions[citation needed]. Catholics now predominate due to massive immigration from Ireland, Quebec, Italy, Portugal, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. A large Jewish population came to the Boston area 1880-1920. Mary Baker Eddy made the Boston Mother Church of Christian Science the world headquarters. The descendants of the Puritans belong to many different churches; in the direct line of inheritance are the Congregational/United Church of Christ and Unitarian Universalist churches. Both of these denominations are noted for their strong support of social justice, civil rights, and moral issues, including strong and early advocacy of abolition of slavery, women's liberation, and (after 2000) legal recognition of gay marriage.

The religious affiliations of the people of Massachusetts (as of 2001) are shown in the table below:

Christian – 79%
Catholic – 47%
Protestant – 31%
Congregational/United Church of Christ – 4%
Baptist – 4%
Episcopal – 3%
Methodist – 2%
Pentecostal – 2%
Other Protestant or general Protestant – 16%
Other Christian – 1%
Jewish – 2%
Unitarian – 1%
Other Religions – 1%
Non-Religious – 17%

According to a poll by University of New Hampshire Survey Center, there is an outflow of about 40,000 people, many young people of working age, leaving Massachusetts each year with many working class migrants moving to New Hampshire and professionals moving further afield. [citation needed] High housing costs and searching for a better job were cited by many as major reasons for their move. Other factors cited included taxes, a better place to raise children, the weather, and traffic. On the other hand, Massachusetts is still one of the top states for immigrants. The latest census figures for 2006 has a net surplus when immigrants are factored in. An example of a Massachusetts city that is a gateway for immigrants is Lynn, Massachusetts.

Crane Paper Company in Dalton produces the paper material used for printing U. S. Federal Reserve notesThe Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Massachusetts's gross state product in 2004 was US$318 billion. Per capita personal income in 2004 was US$42,102, making it the 2nd highest in the country behind Connecticut. Gross state product increased 2.6% from 2004 to 2005, below the national average of 3.5%. [1]

Its agricultural outputs are seafood, nursery stock, dairy products, cranberries, and vegetables. Its industrial outputs are machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, scientific instruments, printing, and publishing. Thanks largely to the Ocean Spray cooperative, Massachusetts is the second largest cranberry producing state in the union (after Wisconsin). Other sectors vital to the Massachusetts economy include higher education, health care, financial services and tourism.

As of 2005, there were 6,100 farms in Massachusetts encompassing a total of 520,000 acres, averaging 85 acres apiece. Particular agricultural products of note include tobacco, animals and animal products, and fruits, tree nuts, and berries, for which the state is nationally ranked 11th, 16th, and 17th, respectively.[1]

Massachusetts has a flat-rate personal income tax of 5.3%, with an exemption for income below a threshold that varies from year to year. The state imposes a 5% sales tax on retail sales of tangible personal property—except for groceries, clothing, and periodicals—in Massachusetts by any vendor. All real and tangible personal property located within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is taxable unless specifically exempted by statute. The administration of the assessment and collection of all real and tangible personal property taxes in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is handled by the city and town assessor and collected in the jurisdiction where the property is located. Massachusetts imposes a tax on any gains from the sale or exchange of capital assets held for more than one year. The state also collects a 12% tax on interest (except interest from Massachusetts banks), dividends, gains from the sale or exchange of capital assets held for one year or less (short-term capital gains). There is no inheritance tax and limited Massachusetts estate tax related to federal estate tax collection.

Massachusetts locations by per capita income

Interstate highways crossing the state include: I-91, I-291, I-86, I-95, I-495, I-195, I-395, I-93, I-290, I-190, and I-90. Other major thoroughfares are U.S. Route 1, Route 2, Route 3, U.S. Route 3, U.S. Route 6, and Route 24. A massive undertaking to depress I-93 in the Boston downtown area called the Big Dig has brought the city's highway system under public scrutiny over the last decade. Public transportation in the form of a subway system and longer distance Commuter Rail in the Boston metro area is operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority but mostly runs through the Greater Boston area, including service to Worcester and Providence, Rhode Island. Fifteen other regional transit authorities provide public transportation, mostly outside the MBTA service area. [2]

Category:Transportation in Massachusetts

Law and government
State House (Boston)Main article: Massachusetts Government
See also: Massachusetts Constitution and Governor of Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Constitution was ratified in 1780 while the Revolutionary War was still in progress, nine years before the United States Constitution was adopted. Massachusetts has the oldest written Constitution now in use by any government in the world. It specifies three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial.

The governor is head of the executive branch and serves as chief administrative officer of the state and as commander-in-chief of the Massachusetts National Guard. The current governor is Mitt Romney (Republican). All governors of Massachusetts are given the title His/Her Excellency, a carry-over from the Commonwealth's British past, despite titles being uncommon in American political traditions. Responsibilities of the governor include preparation of the annual budget, nomination of all judicial officers, the granting of pardons (with the approval of the governor's Council), appointments of the heads of most major state departments, and the acceptance or veto of each bill passed by the Legislature. Several executive offices have also been established, each headed by a secretary appointed by the governor, much like the president's cabinet.

The Governor's Council (also called the Executive Council) is composed of the Lieutenant Governor and eight councilors elected from councilor districts for a two-year term. It has the constitutional power to approve judicial appointments and pardons, to authorize expenditures from the Treasury, to approve the appointment of constitutional officers if a vacancy occurs when the legislature is not in session, and to compile and certify the results of statewide elections. It also approves the appointments of notaries public and justices of the peace.

The Massachusetts state legislature is known as the "General Court." (See Massachusetts General Court) Elected every two years, the General Court is made up of a Senate of 40 members and a House of Representatives of 160 members. The Massachusetts Senate is the second oldest democratic deliberative body in the world. Each branch elects its own leader from its membership. The Senate elects its president; the House its speaker. These officers exercise power through their appointments of majority floor leaders and whips (the minority party elects its leaders in a party caucus), their selection of chairs and all members of joint committees, and in their rulings as presiding officers. Joint committees of the General Court are made up of 6 senators and 15 representatives, with a Senate and House chair for each committee. These committees must hold hearings on all bills filed. Their report usually determines whether or not a bill will pass. Each chamber has its own Rules Committee and Ways and Means Committee and these are among the most important committee assignments.

Judicial appointments are held to the age of seventy. The Supreme Judicial Court, consisting of a chief justice and six associate justices, is the highest court in the Commonwealth; it is empowered to advise the governor and the legislature on questions of law. All trials are held in departments and divisions of a unified Trial Court, headed by a chief administrative justice assisted by an administrator of courts. It hears civil and criminal cases. Cases may be appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court or the Appeals Court for review of law, but findings of fact made by the Trial Court are final. The Superior Court, consisting of a chief justice and sixty-six associate justices, is the highest department of the Trial Court. Other departments are the District, Housing, Juvenile, Land, and Probate Courts.

Massachusetts's two U.S. senators (since 1985) are Edward Kennedy (Democrat) and John Kerry (Democrat); as of the 2001 redistricting, Massachusetts has ten seats in the United States House of Representatives (all Democrats), giving Massachusetts the largest one-party delegation in Congress (i.e. twelve Democrats). The state legislature is formally styled the "Great and General Court" and is manned mostly by Democrats: the Democrats currently maintain a 138-21 advantage over the Republicans in the State House (with one vacancy), and a 34-6 advantage in the State Senate.

During the first half of the 1900s, Boston was socially conservative and strongly under the influence of Methodist minister J. Frank Chase and his New England Watch and Ward Society, founded in 1878. In 1903, the Old Corner Bookstore was raided and fined for selling Boccaccio's Decameron. Howard Johnson's got its start when Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude was banned in Boston, and the production had to be moved to Quincy. In 1927, works by Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, and Sherwood Anderson were removed from bookstore shelves. "Banned in Boston" on a book's cover could actually boost sales. Burlesque artists such as Sally Rand needed to modify their act when performing at Boston's Old Howard Casino. The clean version of a performance used to be known as the "Boston version." By 1929, the Watch and Ward society was perceived to be in decline when it failed in its attempt to ban Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, but as late as 1935 it succeeded in banning Lillian Hellman's play The Children's Hour. Censorship was enforced by city officials, notably the "city censor" within the Boston Licensing Division. That position was held by Richard J. Sinnott from 1959 until the office was abolished on March 2, 1982. In modern times, few such puritanical social mores persist.

Massachusetts has since gained a reputation as being a politically liberal state and is often used as an archetype of liberalism. Massachusetts is the home of the Kennedy family of political fame and routinely votes for the Democratic Party in federal elections. Although Republicans have held the governor's office continuously since 1991, many of these (especially William Weld, the first of the recent lineage of Republican governors) are considered among the most liberal Republicans in the nation. Two of these governors, Paul Cellucci and Jane Swift, took office when their predecessors resigned to take other positions. Massachusetts has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1984.

In presidential elections, Massachusetts supported Republicans until 1912, from 1916 through 1924, in the 1950s, and in 1980 and 1984. From 1988 through 2004, Massachusetts has supported Democratic presidential candidates, most recently giving native son John Kerry 61.9% of the vote and his largest margin of victory in any state. (It should be noted, however, John Kerry's margin of victory in the District of Columbia was much higher in 2004.) Every county in the Commonwealth supported the Democratic candidate. In addition, Massachusetts is the most populous state to have an all-Democratic Congressional delegation.

Following a November 2003 decision of the state's Supreme Court, Massachusetts became the first (and so far only) state to issue same-sex marriage licenses on May 17, 2004. See the articles on same-sex marriage in the United States and same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

Cities and towns
Main article: Massachusetts Government#Local government
There are 50 cities and 301 towns in Massachusetts, grouped into 14 counties.[2] Massachusetts shares the governmental structure known as the New England town with the five other New England states, as well as New York and New Jersey.

Massachusetts is known for having one of the best public school systems in the nation. It was the first state to mandate a public education system, with the passage of the Old Deluder Satan Act in 1647; this mandate was later made a part of the state constitution in 1789. Massachusetts is home to the country's oldest high school, English High School, oldest university (Harvard University), and oldest public library (Boston Public Library). It has one of the lowest high-school dropout rates in the nation and is tied with New Jersey for having the 2nd highest percentage of students who go on to college after high-school. It is also one of the highest-scoring states on advanced placement tests. In 2004, Massachusetts' high school students ranked 1st in the nation for test scores relating to the fields of math and science.

Massachusetts contains only 2.5% of the U.S. population but is home to many of its most renowned preparatory schools, colleges, and universities[3] (see full list of colleges and universities in Massachusetts). There are 62 colleges located in the greater Boston area alone. The population of metropolitan Boston and of the Five Colleges area in Western Massachusetts, in particular, surges during the school year (see list of colleges and universities in metropolitan Boston).

Colleges and universities
Amherst College
Babson College
Bay Path College
Berklee College of Music
Bentley College
Boston College
Boston University
Brandeis University
Bridgewater State College
Bunker Hill Community College
Clark University
College of the Holy Cross
Emerson College
Emmanuel College
Endicott College
Fitchburg State College
Forsyth Institute
Framingham State College
Gordon College
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Greenfield Community College
Hampshire College
Harvard University
Massachusetts Bay Community College
Massachusetts College of Art
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Merrimack College
Middlesex Community College
Montserrat College of Art
Mount Holyoke College
Mount Wachusett Community College
New England Institute of Art
Northeastern University
North Shore Community College
Radcliffe College
Salem State College
Simmons College
Smith College
Springfield College
Stonehill College
Suffolk University
Tufts University
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Boston
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
University of Massachusetts Lowell
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Wellesley College
Wentworth Institute of Technology
Western New England College
Westfield State College
Wheelock College
Williams College
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester State College
Wheaton College

colleges and universities in Massachusetts

Professional sports
The following table lists the professional sports teams in Massachusetts. Massachusetts is also the home to the Basketball Hall of Fame (Springfield), the Volleyball Hall of Fame (Holyoke), and the Cape Cod Baseball League.

Club Sports Founded League Venue
Boston Red Sox Baseball 1901 Major League Baseball: American League Fenway Park
Brockton Rox Baseball 2002 Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball Campanelli Stadium
Lowell Spinners Baseball 1996 Single-A Minor League Baseball Edward A. LeLacheur Park
North Shore Spirit Baseball 2003 Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball Fraser Field
Worcester Tornadoes Baseball 2005 Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball Fitton Field
Boston Celtics Basketball 1946 National Basketball Association: Eastern Conference TD Banknorth Garden
Cape Cod Frenzy Basketball 2004 American Basketball Association TBA
Bay State Warriors Football 2001 Independent Women's Football League Hormel Stadium
Mass Mutiny Football 2001 National Women's Football Association English High School
New England Patriots Football 1960 National Football League: American Football Conference Gillette Stadium
Boston Bruins Ice Hockey 1924 National Hockey League TD Banknorth Garden
Lowell Devils Ice Hockey 2006 American Hockey League Tsongas Arena
Springfield Falcons Ice Hockey 1994 American Hockey League MassMutual Center
Worcester Sharks Ice Hockey 2006 American Hockey League DCU Center
Boston Cannons Lacrosse 2001 Major League Lacrosse Nickerson Field
Boston Braves Rugby 2006 American National Rugby League
New England Riptide Softball 2004 National Pro Fastpitch Martin Softball Field
New England Revolution Soccer 1995 Major League Soccer Gillette Stadium
Western Mass Pioneers Soccer 1998 United Soccer League Second Division Lusitano Stadium
Boston Lobsters Tennis 1974 World TeamTennis Harvard University Bright Arena&
New England Hurricanes Paintball 2000 Boston Paintball Maynerd and NPPL Boston

Miscellaneous topics
The Commonwealth's nickname is the Bay State. Other nicknames are the Old Colony State, and less commonly the Puritan state and the Baked Bean state. On December 18, 1990, the Legislature decided that the people of the Commonwealth would be designated as Bay Staters.

Seven ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Massachusetts in honor of this state.

When the Governor dies, resigns, or is removed from office, the office of Governor remains vacant for the rest of the 4 year term. The Lieutenant Governor does not succeed but only discharges powers and duties as Acting Governor.

The front doors of the state house are only opened when a governor leaves office or a head of state comes to visit the State House. It is also traditionally opened for the return of flags from Massachusetts regiments at the end of wars. The tradition of the ceremonial door originated when leaving governor Benjamin Butler kicked open the front door and walked out by himself in 1884.

Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade is the second-largest in the country, annually attracting more than 850,000 spectators.[3]

Massachusetts is the first state in the union to mandate health insurance for all its citizens. See Chapter 58 for more details.

The Boston Cream Donut is the official Donut of the Commonwealth.[4] For other official symbols, see List of official symbols of Massachusetts.

In Harry Potter the Fitchburg Finches, mentioned in the Quidditch Through the Ages replica school book, are from Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was named after the indigenous population, the Massachusett, whose name can be segmented as mass-achu-sets, where mass is "great", achu is "hill" and sets is a locative suffix. It has been translated as "at the great hill," "at the place of large hills," or "at the range of hills," with reference to the Blue Hills, or in particular, Great Blue Hill, located on the boundary of Milton and Canton, to the southwest of Boston.

Main article: Commonwealth (United States)
Massachusetts officially designates itself a "commonwealth." Colloquially, it is often referred to simply as "the Commonwealth," although "state" is used interchangeably. While this designation is part of the state's official name, it has no practical implications. Massachusetts has the same position and powers within the United States as other states and a similar form of internal government.

Famous politicians and public figures
John Adams, 1st Vice President of the U.S., 2nd President of the U.S., 1800 Federalist presidential nominee
John Quincy Adams, Congressman, Senator, 6th President of the U.S.
Samuel Adams, Patriot in the American Revolutionary War
George H. W. Bush, 43rd Vice President of the U.S., 41st President of the U.S.
Calvin Coolidge, 29th Vice President of the U.S., 30th President of the U.S.
Michael Dukakis, Governor, 1988 Democratic presidential nominee
Benjamin Franklin, Patriot in the American Revolutionary War
Elbridge Gerry, Congressman, Governor, 5th Vice President of the U.S., namesake of gerrymandering
John Hancock, Governor, President of the Continental Congress
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Supreme Court Justice
James Michael Curley, Governor, Congressman, Mayor of Boston
Edward M. Kennedy, incumbent U.S. Senator, 1980 Democratic presidential candidate
John F. Kennedy, U.S. Senator, 35th President of the U.S.
Robert F. Kennedy, U.S. Senator (representing New York), 1968 Democratic presidential candidate
John F. Kerry incumbent U.S. Senator, 2004 Democratic presidential nominee
Barry McCaffrey, (4-star) Army General, Drug Czar
John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Tip O'Neill, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Theodore Sedgwick, President pro tempore of the Senate, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Paul Tsongas, U.S. Senator, 1992 Democratic presidential candidate
Henry Wilson, U.S. Senator, 18th Vice President of the U.S.

See also
Daughters of the American Revolution
Cape Cod
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Massachusetts Rifle Association
New England
Patriot's Day
Puritanism and Transcendentalism
Salem Witch Trials
List of Massachusetts county seats
Scouting in Massachusetts
For historical context, see:

Governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
Colonial America
Slavery in Colonial America
Slavery in Massachusetts
American Revolution
History of the United States


Overviews and Surveys
Brown, Richard D. and Jack Tager. Massachusetts: A Concise History (2002)
Hall, Donald. ed. The Encyclopedia of New England (2005)
Works Progress Administration. Guide to Massachusetts (1939)

Secondary Sources
Abrams, Richard M. Conservatism in a Progressive Era: Massachusetts Politics, 1900-1912 (1964)
Adams, James Truslow. Revolutionary New England, 1691-1776 (1923)
Adams, James Truslow. New England in the Republic, 1776-1850 (1926)
Andrews, Charles M. The Fathers of New England: A Chronicle of the Puritan Commonwealths (1919), short survey
Conforti, Joseph A. Imagining New England: Explorations of Regional Identity from the Pilgrims to the Mid-Twentieth Century (2001)
Cumbler, John T. Reasonable Use: The People, the Environment, and the State, New England, 1790-1930 (1930), environmental history
Fischer, David Hackett. Paul Revere's Ride (1994), 1775 in depth
Green, James R., William F. Hartford, and Tom Juravich. Commonwealth of Toil: Chapters in the History of Massachusetts Workers and Their Unions (1996)
Huthmacher, J. Joseph. Massachusetts People and Politics, 1919-1933 (1958)
Labaree,Benjamin Woods. Colonial Massachusetts: A History (1979)
Morison, Samuel Eliot. The Maritime History of Massachusetts, 1783-1860 (1921)
Peirce, Neal R. The New England States: People, Politics, and Power in the Six New England States (1976), 1960-75 era
Porter, Susan L. Women of the Commonwealth: Work, Family, and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts (1996)
Sletcher, Michael. New England (2004).
Starkey, Marion L. The Devil in Massachusetts (1949), Salem witches
Tager, Jack, and John W. Ifkovic, eds. Massachusetts in the Gilded Age: Selected Essays (1985), ethnic groups
Zimmerman, Joseph F. The New England Town Meeting: Democracy in Action (1999)

^, accessed 18 Sep 2006
^ Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth: A Listing of Counties and the Cities and Towns Within
^ "The 106th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade" The Boston Herald, March 18, 2006
^ Mass General Laws chapter 2, section 51. Donut of commonwealth


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