If you are a fan of early American history, Massachusetts is the state for you. Visit Plymouth, where the Pilgrims settled in 1620. The Mayflower Compact, the first constitution in America, governed them; it was named for the ship aboard which they sailed to the New World. Only half of them survived the first harsh winter, but the Pilgrims persevered and became the second permanent English settlement in America. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in the Plymouth Colony in 1621 when the Pilgrims and 90 Indians feasted on wild turkeys, deer, and Indian corn. Speaking of Thanksgiving, Massachusetts is the nation's leading producer of cranberries.
Massachusetts also has many historical sites from the American Revolution. You can follow Boston's Freedom Trail back to the Revolutionary War period. It all began in 1765 when the colonists protested "taxation without representation" with the Stamp Act riots. See where the Boston Massacre, in which British soldiers killed several colonists on March 5, 1770, occurred. Visit Boston Harbor, the site of the Boston Tea Party; on December 16, 1773, Bostonians, many disguised as Indians, dumped tea from three British ships into the sea to protest the British tea tax.
"One if by land. Two if by sea," was the signal Paul Revere used when he made his famous ride to warn the colonists that British troops were coming. See Lexington, where the first shot of the American Revolution was fired. Visit Concord, the site of the first serious battle of the war. Two hundred minutemen courageously held off 700 British soldiers, or redcoats, who then retreated.
Massachusetts is famous for being a state of firsts. The first secondary school, first public high school, and first college in our country, Harvard, were established there. Other schools in Massachusetts include MIT and Amherst College. Massachusetts was also the first colony to have a printing press, newspaper, and library.
Massachusetts has several nicknames. Because early settlers built their colony in a bay area, the state is known as the "Bay State." Massachusetts has also been called the "Pilgrim State" and the "Puritan State." The word "Massachusetts" comes from an Indian tribe named after "large hill place." The abbreviation for Massachusetts is MA.
Massachusetts, located in the center of New England, is bordered by New Hampshire to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Connecticut to the south, and New York to the west. The state, whose landscape consists of a series of hills and valleys, is the sixth smallest and has the third most people per square mile. Boston is the state's capital and largest city.
If you like sightseeing, Massachusetts is a good place to go. Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard are popular tourist attractions; artists often try to capture their charm. See the "House of Seven Gables," made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne, who was born in Salem. Speaking of Salem, visit the city's Witch Museum; twenty alleged witches were executed in the city after the famous witchcraft trials in 1692. Do you like to fish? Commercial fishermen go to New Bedford and Gloucester for great catches.
Several Presidents have been born in Massachusetts. Visit Quincy, where John Adams and John Quincy Adams were born. They were the only father-and-son presidents in United States history. John Kennedy and George Bush were also born in the state.