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Portal:Massachusetts

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Massachusetts Listeni/ˌmæsəˈsts/, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is the 7th smallest, but the 14th most populous and the 3rd most densely populated of the 50 United States, and has the United States' sixth highest GDP per capita.

Massachusetts has played a significant historical, cultural, and commercial role in American history. Plymouth was the site of the colony founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims. Harvard University, founded in 1636, is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Protestant First Great Awakening originated from the pulpit of Northampton, Massachusetts preacher Jonathan Edwards. In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution. In 1786, a populist revolt led directly to the Constitutional Convention. Before the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center for the temperance, transcendentalist, and abolitionist movements. In the late 19th century, basketball and volleyball were invented in Springfield and Holyoke, respectively. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legally recognize same-sex marriage.

Originally dependent on fishing, agriculture, and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts' economy shifted from manufacturing to services. In the 21st century, Massachusetts is a leader in higher education, health care technology, high technology, and financial services.

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Selected article

102d Intelligence Wing emblem
The United States Air Force's 102d Intelligence Wing (102 IW), of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, is a military intelligence unit located at Otis Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts. Its primary subordinate operational unit is the 101st Intelligence Squadron. According to the Air Force, the history of the 102d begins with the 318th Fighter Group, which was active during World War II. After the war, the 318th was inactivated, and eventually the 102d Fighter Wing was formed, which had a direct lineage link. In 1946, the 102d was activated at Logan International Airport where it stayed until 1968, when it moved to Otis Air Force Base. Beginning in 1946, the wing began regular patrols of the Northeastern United States which took place in conjunction with Air Force active duty units. In 1968, the 102d was moved to Otis where it continued its regular patrols until 1973.

During the time that the wing had a flying mission, the wing deployed to many locations around the globe to assist in missions for the Air Force. In 1961, the wing deployed to France during the Berlin Crisis. Twenty eight years later, the wing deployed to Panama during Operation Coronet Nighthawk. It also participated in Operation Northern Watch, helping to patrol the No-Fly Zone north of the 36th parallel in Iraq. During the 11 September attacks, the 102d Fighter Wing deployed the first Air Force aircraft toward New York City, but they arrived too late to stop the attacks.

Over the years, the wing has controlled many other Air National Guard units. Following the inactivation of the 67th Fighter Wing in November 1950, the wing was put in charge of a few fighter units on the Atlantic Coast. In 1976, the wing even became responsible for the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group, located in Texas.

Military downsizing through the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process removed the wing's F-15C Eagles beginning in 2007, leaving the 102d with an intelligence gathering mission. It is one of three Air National Guard wings that works with the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency.

Selected biography

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (about 1853)
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. was an American physician, poet, professor, lecturer, and author. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Holmes was educated at Phillips Academy and Harvard College. Regarded by his peers as one of the best writers of the 19th century, he is considered a member of the Fireside Poets. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series, which began with The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table. Another of his most famous works, "Old Ironsides", was published in 1830 and was influential in the eventual preservation of the USS Constitution. Many of his works were published in The Atlantic Monthly, a magazine that he named. He is also recognized as an important medical reformer. He taught at Dartmouth Medical School before returning to Harvard to teach and, for a time, served as dean there. Holmes retired from Harvard in 1882 and continued writing poetry, novels and essays until his death in 1894.

Selected location

Gosnold Town Hall
Gosnold is a town that encompasses the Elizabeth Islands in Dukes County, Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 75, making it the least populous town in Massachusetts. Most of the residents live in the village of Cuttyhunk, while most of the land in the town is owned by the Forbes family. The town is so small and so remote that it is exempt from state nepotism laws.

The earliest settlers of the Elizabeth Islands were the Wampanoag Native Americans. The tribe did not settle permanently on the Elizabeth Islands, but used them in summer for hunting, fishing, and gardening. The Elizabeth Islands were discovered by Europeans in 1602 by Bartholomew Gosnold, who later attempted to establish a trading post there, the first attempt by Europeans to do so. Gosnold was first settled in 1641, the year of purchase of the islands by Thomas Mayhew, Sr. The islands were claimed by the Wampanoag until 1658, when the Wampanoag sachem transferred the deed of ownership to Mayhew. Gosnold was officially incorporated in 1864, having formerly belonged to the town of Chilmark.


Selected picture

Soldiers training at Camp Edwards in Barnstable County, Massachusetts
Credit: U.S. Army Signal Corps. (1942)

Soldiers training at Camp Edwards in Barnstable County, Massachusetts

State facts

Location of Massachusetts in the United States
Location of Massachusetts in the United States
Atlas showing the location of the major urban areas and roads in Massachusetts
Atlas of Massachusetts with Greater Boston highlighted

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