History

By - 1/16/17 - 9:51 am

Martin Luther King formed many of his ideas about non-violent protest while a doctoral student at Boston University, from which he earned a PhD in systematic theology in 1955. Read more.

By - 1/10/17 - 11:37 am
Old Boston building

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

By - 1/7/17 - 10:14 pm

Hentoff's son, Nick, reports he died today, "surrounded by family, listening to Billie Holiday." Read more.

By - 1/6/17 - 12:51 pm
Trolley in the snow in old Boston

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

By - 1/3/17 - 11:14 am
Trolley barn in old Boston

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

By - 12/28/16 - 10:29 am
Rueter's Sterling Ale in old Boston

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

By - 12/24/16 - 4:26 pm
Bailey's Candies on West Street in Boston

This ad, printed sometime between 1875 and 1900, is from the Library of Congress collection.

By - 12/23/16 - 9:30 am

J.L. Bell introduces us to Robert Treat Paine, more specifically, John Adams's disgust for his fellow signer of the Declaration of Independence:

That evening at Put[nam]s, he called me, a Numbskull and a Blunder Buss before all the Superiour Judges. I was not present indeed, but such expressions were indecent and tended to give the Judges a low Opinion of me, as if I was despized by my Acquaintance. He is an impudent, ill-bred, conceited fellow.

By - 12/20/16 - 12:27 pm
Waterfront scene in old Boston

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

By - 12/14/16 - 10:55 am
Ladies' cafe in old Boston

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

By - 12/11/16 - 4:02 pm

New England Folklore recounts how even Puritans would unbuckle their hats and whoop it up over Christmas break, despite the best efforts of stern leaders such as Cotton Mather:

Historians have analyzed New England birth records from the early 18th century, and they've found that the largest number of children were born in September and October, roughly nine months after Christmas. Even more interesting, many of these children were born only seven months after their parents were married. In other words, they were conceived illegitimately during Christmas, and their parents only married once they realized a child was coming.

By - 12/8/16 - 2:04 pm

BU Today reports a BU researcher has ripped the covers off Medford's claim to be home to "Jingle Bells," discovering that the guy who wrote the song couldn't have done so in a local tavern in 1850 since he was in California that year looking for gold. She couldn't say for certain where he did write it, but says some evidence points to a boarding house across the river in Boston, near the Old State House, where he'd moved after failing in the California gold rush and from which he would eventually flee - after orchestrating the song for blackface performers in a minstrel show in a Washington Street theater - abandoning his children and taking up arms for the Confederacy, for which he wrote fight songs.

By - 12/8/16 - 11:06 am
Riders on an old Boston subway train

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can identify these people and what they're up to. See it larger.

By - 12/7/16 - 2:21 pm

Jocelyn watched the Pearl Harbor commemoration aboard the USS Cassin Young today.

By - 12/5/16 - 10:56 am
Car barn in old Boston

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

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By - 12/4/16 - 1:35 pm

J.L. Bell unearths a British officer's report to the folks back home that mentioned how awful the weather was on Dec. 4, 1775. Only thing is, the weather was actually quite nice that day. What gives?

By - 12/4/16 - 12:48 pm
Model train set in Roslindale

Jed Hresko took in the Bay State Model Railroad Museum's semi-annual open house in Roslindale yesterday. It's open today until 3 p.m. - admission is $5 for adults, free for kids - at 760 South St. in Roslindale Square.

By - 11/30/16 - 10:25 am
New road going in in old Boston

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By - 11/28/16 - 3:34 pm

I get treated like Ebenezer Scrooge at holiday time. After all, there is no investment advisor in Boston’s Enchanted Village. But rather than admonish my readers to rein in spending, I’m recommending you treat yourself this season.

By - 11/22/16 - 10:47 am
Elevated subway in old Boston

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