Massachusetts Stamp

Massachusetts is a state with a rich history. (Actually, it’s officially called the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but for the rest of this post, we’ll refer to it as a state.)

Much of the state’s history is tied to Boston which is the largest city and the state capital. Boston is named after a town in England, and it’s a city that has experienced a lot of firsts:

  • Boston built America’s first subway in 1897.
  • Boston has the oldest public park in the USA.
  • The first public school was opened in Boston in 1635. It’s the Boston Latin School, which is both the oldest public school in America and the oldest existing school in the United States.
  • And the first Dunkin’ Donuts was located near Boston.


More About Massachusetts

Boston isn’t just the biggest city in Massachusetts; it’s also the biggest city in New England.  New England consists of six states in the northeastern United States. The New England states are Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

Massachusetts was originally inhabited by Native American tribes that were generally dependent on hunting, gathering, and fishing for most of their food supply. Villages consisted of lodges called wigwams and wooden buildings called longhouses.

The first English settlers in Massachusetts were the Pilgrims. They arrived on a ship called the Mayflower in 1620. The Pilgrims developed friendly relations with the native American people.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the new world. The first Thanksgiving lasted for three days. The Pilgrims were soon followed by other Puritans, who established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. So it’s no surprise that Massachusetts is called The Bay State.

John Adams

Four U.S. Presidents Were Born in Massachusetts

  • John Adams (pictured here) was the 2nd president
  • John Quincy Adams was the 6th president (John Quincy was John Adams’ son)
  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th president
  • George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st president
More Fun Facts

Fact #1The game of basketball was invented in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith, a physical education instructor.

Fact #2Just four years after James Naismith invented basketball, volleyball was invented in Holyoke, Massachusetts by William G. Morgan. At the time, he called the sport “Mintonette.”

Fact #3: Boston is one of a few U.S. cities to have title-winning teams in professional baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. The New England Patriots pro football team and the Boston Celtics basketball team both hold their leagues’ records for championship wins.

Fact #4In 1636, Harvard University was founded in Cambridge Mass. Harvard is the oldest college in the United States. 

Fact #5The first phone call in history was made in Boston in 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.”

Q and A
Just for fun, see if you can answer these questions.
Which game was invented in Massachusetts: baseball, basketball, tennis, or soccer?

Basketball was invented in Massachusetts by James Maismith.

Which of the following states is not a part of New England: Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, or New Mexico?

New Mexico, which is located in the southwest, is not part of New England.

Which inventor made the first telephone call? Was it Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, or Wilbur Wright?

Alexander Graham Bell

Which donut company was started in Massachusetts? Was it Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts, or Shiley Do-Nuts?

Dunkin’ Donuts’ first shop was in Massachusetts.

Write Your Own Story

If you have time, you can write a story of your own.

Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from.

Idea #1: You can write a brief story about some of the cool things you learned about the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Idea #2: How would you like to own a donut shop like Dunkin’ Donuts? Do you think you’d ever get tired of eating donuts if you could eat them whever you wanted?

To help you write a great story, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.

Today's Ryder Riddle

Here's a riddle for you:

Which state is the easiest place to catch a cold?


The Mystery Ryders

For fun-to-read books about a girl detective who homeschools on a train... check out The Mystery Ryders, a series from the creators of the Homeschool Express.

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