History

By - 2/18/19 - 8:51 am
Proclaiming a day for George Washington in 1800 by John Adams

On Jan. 6, 1800, our own John Adams, then serving as president in the nation's capital of Philadelpha, declared a national day of mourning for George Washington, who had died less than a month earlier. The date chosen was Washington's birthday - Feb. 22.

Massachusetts declared its own day of mourning for Feb. 22 that year as well: Read more.

By - 2/17/19 - 1:29 pm

Mayo Kaan, born and raised in Revere (he eventually became head lifeguard at Revere Beach), went to his grave in 2002 proclaiming he was the male model on which Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster based the Man of Steel (literally - click the link to see his tombstone). Read more.

By - 2/12/19 - 12:06 pm
Elevated crash in old Boston

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

By - 2/11/19 - 12:43 pm
Boat stuck on Lincoln Street in downtown Boston

Of all the absurdities of the Winter that Never Ended, perhaps none was bigger than the boat that got stuck on an iceberg at Lincoln and Summer streets downtown, four years ago today.

H/t Kristie Helms for the reminder.

By - 2/9/19 - 10:21 am

There's the one in 1872 that we know about. J.L. Bell recounts the Great Fire of 1760, which started in a brazier's shop.

By - 2/7/19 - 3:47 pm
City Hall cake

There was cake! Photo by Brad Squirrels.

Mayor Walsh, Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola and others gathered inside City Hall today to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Cake was eaten and reproduction pins were given out. Read more.

By - 2/1/19 - 4:14 pm
BayBank sign partially emerges in Somerville's Union Square

The Tokist spotted a blast from the past in Union Square: The partial re-emergence of a BayBank sign over an ATM.

Proof its customers were real go-getters: Read more.

By - 1/29/19 - 9:43 pm
Memorial for Andrea Foye and Christine Ricketts in Roxbury

See it larger. Photographs by Sean Connor.

The Estuary Projects today began a three-month project to remember the 12 young black women murdered in Roxbury in 1979, with an installation at East Lenox and Reed streets. The site is where the first two victims, Andrea Foye, 17, and Christine Ricketts, 15, were found murdered, their bodies wrapped in a trash bag and a blanket, 40 years ago today. Read more.

By - 1/15/19 - 12:32 pm
People gathered in a ring in the North End to commemorate the Great Molassses Flood

Bostonians this morning lined the perimeter of the Purity Distilling Co.'s leaky, 50-foot-tall molasses tank, which burst around 12:40 p.m. on Jan. 15, 1919, creating a gooey flood that killed 21 Bostonians and a number of horses and destroyed buildings in its path. Read more.

By - 1/14/19 - 10:12 am
Molasses tank as seen from elevated railroad along Commercial Street

Pre-explosion view of tank from Commercial Street el, from Boston City Archives.

The Boston Archaeology Program, Parks Department and Landmarks Commission will commemorate the 21 people who died in a flood of molasses on Jan. 15, 1919, in a ceremony that starts at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday at Langone Park in the North End - near where a tank of hot molasses burst, sending a flood of girder-bending goo down Commercial Street.

Other molasses-related events.

By - 1/13/19 - 12:40 pm
Indian pudding at Durgin-Park

One last Indian pudding (made with molasses) at Durgin-Park.

Time to pour one out for Durgin-Park, the Boston landmark that opened in 1827 and closed last night, after serving its last prime rib, baked beans (in a bean pot) and Indian pudding, after the New York company that's owned it since 2007 decided it was never going to make money again. Read more.

By - 1/10/19 - 9:17 am

No, not the sweet smell that would rise every summer from the North End. Pacific Standard explains how the disaster on Jan. 15, 1919 led to dramatic changes in the way cities and states regulate construction projects to reduce the odds of shoddy work leading to catastrophe (we saw a similar thing after the Cocoanut Grove with fire-safety regulations).

Events marking the 100th anniversary of the Flood.

By - 1/7/19 - 11:06 am
Little kid in front of the Cape Co. in old Boston

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

By - 1/3/19 - 5:56 pm
Durgin-Park matchbook cover

Old Durgin-Park matchbook cover. See it larger.

The place that's been serving food since before you were born will close forever on Jan. 12, NBC Boston reports. The joint just doesn't make money anymore, WBZ reports. Has anybody checked on the Union Oyster House?

Image from the BPL matchbook-cover collection.

By - 1/3/19 - 4:06 pm
Molasses flood aftermath

Stephen Puleo, who literally wrote the book about the 1919 Great Molasses Flood (Dark Tide), will give a talk on the deadly, brown, gooey tsunami at the BPL on Jan. 15 - 100 years to the day after a shoddy, 50-foot-tall molasses tank on Commercial Street in the North End exploded, sending a deep river of warm molasses along the waterfront at 35 m.p.h., killing 21 people and several horses, demolishing a fire house and warping the elevated tracks that then ran above the street. Read more.

By - 1/3/19 - 9:39 am

Aline Kaplan explains its link to the Marquis de Lafayette and takes a look at its later descent into a key part of the Combat Zone.

By - 1/1/19 - 7:57 pm
Flag raised in Somerville

Ron Newman attended the annual recreation of the first ever raising of what we now know as an American flag, on Jan. 1, 1776 over Prospect Hill in Somerville.

Washington himself ordered the flag raised over the camp of what was the new Continental Army.

By - 12/28/18 - 3:35 pm

The Boston Fire Department reports firefighters were summoned to a fire at 94 Endicott St. in the North End around 5:14 a.m. by a resident who thought to use a street fire-alarm box when calling 911 from a phone didn't work - from the same location where the world's first ever municipal fire-box alarm was pulled in 1852. Read more.

By - 12/16/18 - 1:39 pm