Massachusetts Facts

State Location Massachusetts Location In The US
State Abbreviation MA
Statehood Feb. 6, 1788
State Capital Boston
State Size Total (Land + Water): 10,555 sq miles; Land Only: 7,840 sq miles
Number of Counties 14
State Population (2015)6,794,422
State Population Density866.6 people / square mile
Electoral Vote11
State Quarter Issue Date January 3, 2000
State Mottos Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty)
State Flower Mayflower
State Tree American elm
State Bird Chickadee
Nickname Bay State, Old Colony State
State Flag Massachusetts State Flag
State Gas Tax$0.2654 / Gallon
State Cigarette Tax$3.51 / Pack
Area Codes 339, 351, 413, 508, 617, 774, 781, 857, 978
Top 5 Cities (2010 population) Boston (617,594)
Worcester (181,045)
Springfield (153,060)
Lowell (106,519)
Cambridge (105,162)
Major Sports Teams MLB: Boston Red Sox
NFL: New England Patriots
NBA: Boston Celtics
NHL: Boston Bruins

Massachusetts Fun Facts

  • British colonist John Smith named Massachusetts for the Massachusett tribe. The name "Massachusetts" meant “near the great hill.”
  • The first lighthouse in the United States was built on Little Brewster Island in the Boston Harbor in 1716.
  • Basketball was invented in December 1891 by James Naismith in Springfield.
  • Volleyball was invented in 1895 by William Morgan in Holyoke. Volleyball was originally called "Mintonette."
  • Boston Common, established in 1634, is the first public park in the United States.
  • The Boston subway, which opened on September 1, 1897, is the first subway system in the United States.
  • Boston Public Library is the second largest public library in the United States. Harvard University Library, also in Boston, is the third largest library in the United States.
  • The first telephone call in history was made between inventor Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant, Thomas Watson, on March 10, 1876, in Boston. Bell spoke the words, “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you” and Watson heard it from the receiver in the next room.
  • Boston Latin School, founded in 1635, is the first public school in the United States. It is also the oldest existing school in the United States.
  • In Massachusetts, it is illegal to give alcoholic beverages to a hospital patient, unless directed by a physician.

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