Sunday 29 January 2012

The America Project - Massachusetts

Massachusetts (MA) size 10,554 sq.m population 6.5 million

Bordering states New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut (5)
State capital & most populous city Boston
Other notable places Worcester, Northampton, Springfield, Lowell, Cape Cod
Notable landmarks and natural features American Antiquarian Society, Worcester; Cole's Hill, Plymouth; Springfield Armoury; Harvard University, Cambridge.

Statehood 6th February 1788 (6th)

Twelve famous Bay Staters
John Adams (politician, 2nd President of the USA; born Braintree (now Quincy), 1735-1826)
John Quincy Adams (politician, 6th President of the USA; born Braintree, 1767-1848)
Susan B. Anthony (social reformer; born Adams, 1820-1906)
George H.W. Bush (politician, 41st President of the USA; born Milton, 1924 -)
Bette Davis (actress; born Lowell, 1908-1989)
Benjamin Franklin (politician, author, social philosopher, inventor and founding father of the USA; born Boston, 1706-1790)
Theodor Seuss Geisel (cartoonist and author; born Springfield, 1904-1991)
John F. Kennedy (politician, 35th President of the USA; born Brookline, 1917-1963)
Jack Lemmon (actor; born Newton, 1925-2001)
Christa McAuliffe (teacher and astronaut; born Boston, 1948-1986)
Donna Summer (singer; born Boston, 1948 -)
James Abbott McNeill Whistler (artist and painter; born Lowell, 1834-1903)

Three important events

1. Boston Tea Party (16th December 1773)
A hotbed of intellectuals, liberals and revolutionaries, Boston played a major part in the American Revolution. With tensions already running high over British taxes on paper and printing, an additional tax - that on tea - became the straw that broke the camel's back. A group of rebels known as the Sons of Liberty snuck on board an East India Company tea ship moored in Boston Harbour during the day of 16th December 1773. Come nightfall, they chucked all the tea into the bay. The British responded with further economic and military punishments for Massachusetts. By 1775 the situation had become a tinderbox, finally ignited by an armed confrontation in Lexington, MA which sparked the War of Independence.

2. The Boston Strangler (1962-1964)
Between 1962 and 1964, 13 women in and around Boston were murdered in their own homes, sexually assaulted and strangled with a silk stocking. There were no signs of forced entry into any of the homes, and panic quickly spread amongst Boston's female inhabitants. The victims were of all ages - the youngest, the final victim Mary Sullivan, was just 19 whilst the oldest, the second victim Mary Mullen, was 85. In October 1964, a man entered a young woman's apartment and raped her but then left. The victim identified her assailant as Albert DeSalvo. Quickly arrested, DeSalvo confessed to a fellow prison inmate to being the Boston Strangler whilst in custody. Tried for the offence, he was sentenced to life inprisonment in 1967. Doubts persist in many quarters, however, that the crimes were committed by DeSalvo or even the work of just one man.

3. September 11th 2001
On Tuesday September 11th 2001, two groups of hijackers boarded planes at Logan International Airport, Boston. American Airlines flight 11 was bound for Los Angeles International and departed at 7.46 a.m.. Half an hour later the Boeing 767 was hijacked by a group of five terrorists led by Mohamed Atta. It was flown into the North Tower of New York City's World Trade Center at 8.46 a.m., killing all 92 people aboard.

United Airlines Flight 175, another Boeing 767 bound for Los Angeles took off from Logan International at 8.14 a.m. At around the same time that AA Flight 11 was striking WTC 1, UA 175 too was hijacked by five men, led by Marwan al-Shehhi, and flown into the World Trade Center's South Tower at 9.03 a.m and killing all 65 people aboard. It was the beginning of the single biggest and most lethal terrorist attack in human history. In all, over 3,000 people lost their lives.

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