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Portal:Massachusetts

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Massachusetts /ˌmæsəˈsɪts/, 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.

More about Massachusetts...

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

John Hancock (1770)
John Hancock was a merchant, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is remembered for his large and stylish signature on the United States Declaration of Independence, so much so that the term "John Hancock" has become, in the United States, a synonym for signature. Before the American Revolution, Hancock was one of the wealthiest men in the Thirteen Colonies, having inherited a profitable shipping business from his uncle. Hancock began his political career in Boston as a protégé of Samuel Adams, an influential local politician, though the two men later became estranged. As tensions between colonists and Great Britain increased in the 1760s, Hancock used his wealth to support the colonial cause. He became very popular in Massachusetts, especially after British officials seized his sloop Liberty in 1768 and charged him with smuggling, charges that were eventually dropped. Following the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Hancock returned to Massachusetts and was elected governor of the Commonwealth, where he used his influence to ensure that Massachusetts ratified the United States Constitution in 1788.

Selected location

The Framingham commons
Framingham is a New England town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Sited on the ancient trail known as the Old Connecticut Path, the area was first settled when John Stone settled on the west bank of the Sudbury River in 1647. The town was officially incorporated in 1700. In 2012 Framingham was ranked at #36 on the list of 'Best Places to Live in US' by Money magazine.

In the years prior to the American Civil War, Framingham was an annual gathering-spot for members of the abolitionist movement. Each Independence Day from 1854 to 1865, the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society held a rally in a picnic area called Harmony Grove near what is now downtown Framingham. At the 1854 rally, William Lloyd Garrison burned copies of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, judicial decisions enforcing it, and the United States Constitution. Other prominent Abolitionists present that day included William Cooper Nell, Sojourner Truth, Wendell Phillips, Lucy Stone, and Henry David Thoreau. Framingham is also known for the Framingham Heart Study, a long-term, ongoing cardiovascular study on residents of the town.

Selected picture

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who built his career in Boston, and the namesake of Brandeis University in Waltham
Credit: Harris & Ewing (1916)

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who built his career in Boston, and who serves as the namesake of Brandeis University in Waltham

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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State symbols

Colors Blue, Green, and Cranberry
Motto Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem
Song All Hail to Massachusetts
Bird Black-capped Chickadee
Tree American Elm
Flower Mayflower
Bug Ladybug
Mineral Babingtonite
Fish Cod
Beverage Cranberry Juice
Fossil Dinosaur Tracks
Soil Paxton Soil

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