Massachusetts is already pretty well-known for a lot of historical facts. Some you might find in history books throughout the US of A, and some you might have heard from some random people passing by that have already stuck in your head. Either way, chances are those are just the tip of Massachusetts’ incredibly big iceberg.
We could have kept going! Instead, we kept it to just the right amount of 71 so you can still have a lot more in store for your Massachusetts adventure. Tick off every Massachusetts fact that you already know in this list and expand your knowledge even more!
Whether you’re a tourist finding your way around the Baked Bean State, a local wanting to learn more about your Massachusetts hometown, or just someone who loves to store facts and blurt them out when the right time comes, here are 70 fun, quirky, and interesting facts I bet you never knew about the Bay State until now.
Fun Facts about Massachusetts
- The capital city of Massachusetts is Boston
- Massachusetts is the Bay State
- Massachusetts’ motto is “Ense Petit Placidam Sub Libertate Quietem,” which, when translated, means, “By the Sword, We Seek Peace, But Peace Only Under Liberty.”
- Massachusetts has the second-largest cranberry crop in the nation.
- The first subway system in the US is from Massachusetts.
- Massachusetts is home to an abundance of animals, such as bobcats, black bears, eastern coyotes, and moose.
- The Massachusetts state tree is the American elm.
- The Massachusetts state fish is the cod.
- It’s the most populated New England state.
- There are two state birds: the black-capped chickadee and the wild turkey.
Interesting Facts about Massachusetts
- Massachusetts’ name originated from a tribe of Native Americans
- The state poem is “The Blue Hills of Massachusetts by Katherine E. Mullen
- Boston Common was the first public park
- James Naismith invented the basketball sport
- Massachusetts has one of the lowest divorce rates in the entire country
- Volleyball was also invented in Massachusetts
- The state dog is the Boston Terrier
- Fig Newtons are named after the town of Newton, Massachusetts
- Boston’s Ted Williams Tunnel is the deepest in North America
- The city of Boston that we know today was once completely underwater and was considered to be part of the Charles River
- Massachusetts has over 1,500 miles of coastline
Scary Facts about Massachusetts
- In Lincoln, Massachusetts, there is a mysterious gathering of toy rocking horses called Ponyhenge
- Lizzie Borden lived in Massachusetts
- The Boston Athenaeum has the Skin Book in its library
- The Witch House in Salem, Massachusetts, is haunted by witches
- The Freetown Fall River State Forest is considered America’s most haunted forest
- The USS Salem, a decommissioned navy cruiser that served in World War II, is believed to be haunted
- The Salem Witch Trials occurred in Massachusetts
Historical Facts about Massachusetts
- Massachusetts is the site of the first Thanksgiving
- Paul Revere took his famous ride in Massachusetts
- The town of Plymouth was where the first-ever Thanksgiving celebration took place
- Alexander Graham Bell lived in Boston
- The first-ever telephone call in all of history took place in Boston
- Harvard University is the oldest university
- The Boston Tea Party changed history
- Boston Latin is the oldest school in America, established in 1635
- Boston had the first post office
- The chocolate chip cookie was invented in Massachusetts
- Massachusetts has the first lighthouse in the country
- The Mayflower is the ship that carried the Pilgrims across the ocean; it is also the Massachusetts state flower since 1893
Weird Facts about Massachusetts
- You can create your own Massachusetts state slogan
- Somerville is home to the Museum of Bad Art
- The place with the longest name is Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg
- The Paper House is a unique home made almost entirely out of newspapers
- Celebrating the Christmas holiday was once against the law in Massachusetts
- It’s against the law to take a lion to the movies or put a gorilla in your backseat
- Boston had the first chocolate factory
- Massachusetts is sometimes called the Baked Bean State
- The use of tomatoes in clam chowder is prohibited.
Amazing Facts about Massachusetts
- Boston had the first telephone
- 88 jobs are created by Massachusetts startups in the first year
- The Blue Hills Reservation covers six counties
- Boston Harbor is a major US port
- Massachusetts is home to the iconic and world-renowned Harvard University, located in Cambridge
- There are currently over 700,000 small businesses operating out of Massachusetts
- Dunkin’ Donuts was founded in Massachusetts and opened in Quincy in 1948
- Rhodonite is found in Massachusetts
- Cranberry juice was named the state beverage in honor of the many cranberry farmers in the state
- In 1903, the first transatlantic wireless message between the US and England took place in Wellfleet
- The computer was invented in Cambridge in 1928
Random Facts about Massachusetts
- Marshmallow fluff was invented in Somerville in 1917
- Happy hour drinks do not exist in the city of Boston
- There are 150 state parks in Massachusetts
- The maximum speed limit in Massachusetts is 65 mph
- Pink plastic flamingos were first manufactured in Leominster
- Steve Carell is from Marshfield and typically still spends summers there
- The first-ever religious meeting house was built in Plymouth
- Massachusetts has had a state seal since 1775
- All Hail Massachusetts, written by Arthur James Marsh, became the official Massachusetts state song in 1966
- The Massachusetts state mammal is the right whale
- The Massachusetts land mammal is the Morgan horse
There you have it, 71 of the most fun, quirky, interesting, and even scary facts about Massachusetts that you should know! Were you surprised or even spooked by some of the facts mentioned above? Massachusetts is more than just a history enthusiast’s dream—it has almost everything!
As mentioned, these are just almost the tip of Massachusetts’ iceberg. There’s more interesting things in store for you as you experience the Codfish State in all its might. What do you think of everything that the Old Colony State holds?
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