Roger Williams landed in America in 1631. He came for religious freedom, but he found the Massachusetts colony restrictive. Banished by Massachusetts leaders in early 1636, he founded the colony of Rhode Island and the city of Providence. Children can learn more at: Roger Williams
Massachusetts became the sixth state in the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1788. The word Massachusetts means, “at or about the great hill.” The state ranks forty-fifth in size and thirteenth in population. Its state beverage is cranberry juice. Children could visit an internet site at: Massachusetts. They could toast Massachusetts’s birthday with cranberry juice.
Volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan of Massachusetts in 1895. He invented a game to be played indoors and that would provide good exercise but not as much physical contact as other sports, for example basketball.
Salem witch trials commenced in 1692. The mania concluded in the fall. Nineteen people were hanged. One man was pressed to death. Over 50 more people awaited execution, and 150 were in jail, waiting to be tried. All the living were pardoned by late 1692. Older children could read Beyond the Burning Time by Kathryn Lasky.
Telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His first telephone message was “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.” Children can learn more at: Telephone.
Maine became the twenty-third state of the United States in 1820. Vikings explored the area around AD 1000. Originally Maine was a part of the Massachusetts colony. Augusta is the state capital, and the state nickname is the “Pinetree State.” People who live in Maine are called Down-Easters. Today fishing, lumbering, and growing potatoes are strong sources of income. It is home to Acadia National Park. The moose is the state mammal. Children can visit an Internet site at: Maine. Idea: Children could find out when and why Maine separated from Massachusetts.
Robert Goddard fired the first liquid-fueled rocket in 1926 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to this launch, only solid-fueled propellents had been constructed. His work regarding different fuels and rockets became the foundation of America’s space program. Older children can see how liquid-fueled rockets work at: http://science.howstuffworks.com/rocket5.htm.
Paul Revere and William Dawes conducted their famous horse ride at 10:00 PM in 1775. They warned their fellow patriots that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. Children could read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s account of the ride, “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” at: Midnight Ride. They could learn more at: Revere and Dawes.
First recorded American earthquake occurred in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1638. Since English citizens had rarely experienced earthquakes, the colonists did not even have a word to describe their experience. Scientists today believe the earthquake was between a 6.5 to 7 on the Richter Magnitude Scale, making the earthquake one of the strongest ever in New England. Children could visit a WONDERFUL interactive site about earthquakes at: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/kids/.
USS Constitution began its maiden voyage in 1798. Nicknamed Old Ironsides, the three-masted, wooden ship was named by President George Washington. She was most active in the War of 1812, and in 1907 she became a museum. Today she is the world’s oldest active vessel. Berthed in the Charlestown Naval Yard in Boston, Massachusetts, she sports a crew of 60 and provides historical perspectives and tours for visitors. Children can learn more at: USS Constitution.