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Massachusetts Facts

Massachusetts is a New England state and one of the original 13 colonies.

If you’ve heard of the Mayflower, the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere, or the Boston Massacre, then you know that Massachusetts has played a major part in U.S. history.


Today, the state is known for its colonial landmarks, scenic landscapes, and picturesque villages.

Plus, it’s home to Harvard University and the Boston Red Sox!

Harvard College

Quick Facts

Capital: Boston

Population: 7 million

Nickname: The Bay State

Key Cities: Boston, Springfield, Salem, Cambridge, Plymouth, Worcester

Postal Abbreviation: MA

Major Industries: Life sciences, finance, information technology, manufacturing, renewable energy

solar energy plant


How did Massachusetts get its name: Massachusetts was named after the natives who lived in the area, the “Massachusett”.

The tribe’s name means “near the great hill,” which refers to the Blue Hills southwest of Boston.

Date admitted to the Union: Wednesday, February 6, 1788


Size: 10,565 sq. miles


Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean at sea level

Highest point: Greylock at 3,491 feet

Counties: 14

Famous locations: Freedom Trail, Cape Cod, Minute Man National Historical Park, Faneuil Hall, Martha’s Vineyard, Harvard Square

Famous Bay Staters

John Adams– president

John Adams
President John Adams

John Quincy Adams– president

Samuel Adams- patriot

Susan B. Anthony- women’s rights activist

Uma Thurman- actress

Mark Wahlberg- actor

Eliza Dushku- actress

John Quincy Adams biography
President John Quincy Adams

Fun Facts

Not only has Massachusetts played an important part in U.S. history, but it’s also played an important part in the history of sports!

Basketball was invented in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891 by a man named James Naismith.

baseball player cartoon

Just four years later, volleyball was invented in Holyoke, Massachusetts by William G. Morgan. At the time, he called the sport “Mintonette.”

The first phone call in history was made in Boston on March 10, 1876.

The inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, called his assistant Thomas Watson in the next room and said, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.”

Alexander Graham Bell

Webster, Massachusetts is home to Webster Lake, but that’s not its real name. Officially, the lake is called Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.

The name is a loose translation of an Algonquian word that means “English knifemen and Nipmuck Indians at the boundary or neutral fishing place.”

It’s the fifth longest word in the world. Now say it five times fast!


Massachusetts has also played an important role in the history of desserts.

The first U.S. chocolate factory was built in a Boston neighborhood, and the chocolate chip cookie was invented in 1930 at the Tollhouse Restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts.

And Quincy, Massachusetts is home to the first Dunkin Donuts.

First Dunkin Donuts

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621.

More US facts.

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