By - 12/25/06 - 5:06 pm

After Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, rioting broke out in cities across the country - but not in Boston. James Brown had been scheduled to perform at the Boston Garden on April 5. At first, a panicky Mayor Kevin White wanted to cancel all public events, including Brown's concert, but his aides convinced him that cancelling Brown's show might make things even worse. Brown played - and the show was aired on WGBH - and Boston stayed relatively calm. The Phoenix calls the concert one of the greatest concerts in Boston history:

... The show was an absolute tour de force. Brown soothed his mourning audience by dedicating the concert to Dr. King and delivering a million-watt performance packed with greats: "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," "Cold Sweat," "That's Life," "Try Me," "Please, Please, Please," and more. He invited White to speak to the crowd and the cameras. And when police reacted to fans who rushed the stage at one point, Brown assured them he could handle things himself, pleading, successfully, for everyone to return to their seats. On this night, music literally helped determine the course of Boston's history.

Brown at the Boston Garden in 1968:

Collateral Damage feels bad.

Geoff Edgers has more.

By - 2/22/06 - 8:41 am
By - 11/18/05 - 8:44 am

Little known fun fact: There are four areas in the U.S. considered to be at risk for potentially devastating earthquakes: the Pacific coast, southern Illinois and Missouri, Charleston, S.C. and Boston.

The main reason we should stop making fun of people who move to California is the Cape Ann Earthquake of 1755, which, Michael informs us, happened 250 years ago today:

In Boston, hundreds of walls and chimneys collapsed and fell to the ground. John Adams, one of many people who reported on the quake, noted that the tremors lasted for about four minutes. In Pembroke and Scituate chasms opened in the earth and sand reached the surface. Sailors on the sea felt as if the ships were striking land. The earthquake was felt from Lake George, New York to 200 miles east of the cape and from Chesapeake Bay to Montreal and Nova Scotia. ...

It also knocked the grasshopper off Faneuil Hall and, as Michael adds, was blamed on Benjamin Franklin, because God was expressing his ire at Franklin's attempt to stop divine lightning from smoting sinners with his newfangled lightning rods. Modern scientists estimate it between 6.0 and 6.3 on the Richter scale.

Also see:

By - 3/10/05 - 7:12 pm

Boston Church Plant is a Weblog by students at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, who are moving to the Boston area next summer to start a church. On the profile page, the students explain why they chose Boston. Says one:

... Last spring break (03) Taylor, Meg, and I went on a campaign to the Boston area. This got me hooked. I was so amazed by the lack of Christianity there that I knew church planting was what I wanted to do. ...

By - 11/9/03 - 11:58 am

Hub of the UniverseSource, via Bostonography.

What Boston is: The Hub of the Universe. First coined by writer Oliver Wendell Holmes, who actually referred to the State House as the hub of the solar system; for many years, a plaque in the sidewalk in front of Filene's downtown commemorated the exact center of the universe (Ed. note: As of April, 2015, the marker is back!). Actually, pretty much the only people who use the word anymore are headline writers looking for a short synonym for "Boston,'' as in the aprocryphal Globe headline: