History

By - 5/26/17 - 9:25 am

No, we don't have any statues of Robert E. Lee - our memorials for slavery supporters are more subtle than that. Kevin Peterson wonders if it's time for some name changing on places such as Winthrop Square, named for slave-owning John Winthrop, and Faneuil Hall, named for slave-owning Peter Faneuil.

By - 5/16/17 - 11:30 am
Street scene in old Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this scene. See it larger.

By - 5/15/17 - 11:26 am

The Yiddish Book Center in Amherst has compiled some oral histories of vertical shtetls, Blue Hill Avenue and, of course, Leonard Nimoy's West End.

By - 5/12/17 - 9:38 am

J.L. Bell makes the case that the painting the Tate Gallery acquired last year is not really by John Singleton Copley:

I can imagine Copley being influenced by the recent “conversation pieces” by Zoffany and others. He might have studied examples, even sketching figures from them in his style. And then he tried out the form with his own family as models, creating the biggest group portrait he’d made to date. But I’m not convinced he took an one-off side journey into the style of a second-rate provincial portraitist.

By - 5/8/17 - 11:25 am
Old Boston street scene

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this photo.

By - 5/4/17 - 12:47 pm
Mayor White with Luke and C3-PO in Boston City Hall

On Star Wars Day, the Boston City Archives posted some photos of C3-PO, Luke and R2-D2 visiting with Mayor White at City Hall back in 1980.

By - 5/2/17 - 4:13 pm
Trolleys in a circle in old Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this photo. See it larger.

By - 4/28/17 - 2:04 pm

Soundcloud:

It was just two years ago that the Greater Boston region was in the thick of a high-stakes showdown over whether to proceed with a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. In January 2015, Boston was designated the US entry in the global competition for the 2024 Games.

It was all downhill from there.

By - 4/21/17 - 12:48 pm
Empty playground in Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives acknowledge the last mystery photo may have been a bit too easy, so have come up with this one - can you place it?

By - 4/19/17 - 11:09 am
Trolleys in old Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this photo. See it larger.

By - 4/17/17 - 10:44 am
Paul Revere in Charlestown

Gary Waldeck spotted Paul galloping through Charlestown this morning.

By - 4/16/17 - 10:25 am

J.L. Bell recounts the tale of the Wrentham Minutemen. Oh, they saw plenty of action - at local taverns - before finally marching up to West Roxbury, where they found a tory and took him to a patriot tavern at Centre and Allandale to figure out what to do with him (and then Bell leaves us hanging for tomorrow's account).

By - 4/12/17 - 10:46 am
Old building at Boston City Hospital

Today's mystery photo comes, as usual, from the folks at the Boston City Archives. But this one's different because they don't know the story of this building, either, and are looking for help to identify it.

Our own John Keith thinks he has the answer.

By - 4/9/17 - 7:16 pm
Where I-95 was supposed to go in Revere

Undead I-95 remains in Revere.

The unfinished northern half of the cloverleaf in Canton where 95 was supposed to head into Boston from the south is perhaps better known, but there's also the undone right-of-way where the highway was supposed to come out of Boston and smash through some marshes in Revere at Copeland Circle - which our own Cybah walked today.

By - 4/6/17 - 10:11 am
World War I recruitment poster

Today's the 100th anniversary of the formal American declaration of war against Germany. Within days, the National Guard began patrols of the Boston waterfront to guard against German spies - Boston being a key Atlantic port, of course.

Recruitment poster from the BPL collection. Posted under this Creative Commons license.

By - 4/4/17 - 11:18 am
Small street in old Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this photo. See it larger.

By - 3/28/17 - 10:51 am
Doodle on old city document

The folks at the Boston City Archives report they recently ran across this doodle in the 1869 city tax records. Do you know what it represents? See it larger.

By - 3/21/17 - 11:18 am
One-horse carriage in Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this scene involving a one-HP trolley. See it larger.

By - 3/19/17 - 1:47 pm
Asbestos applicator job posting from 1963

Brad Nailer was doing some work on a house in West Roxbury and came across some copies of the Globe and Herald from 1963.

Back then, help-wanted ads were segregated into two main categories: Male and Female: Read more.