|Earliest: March 16, 2003||Latest: March 26, 2020||Total: 319|
First Independence Day Toast
The first Independence Day in Boston was a very special event. People were celebrating and fireworks going off all over the city. The guns were going off at Castle Island and at Fort Hill to celebrate the occasion.
At a Coffee Shop in Boston, perhaps the Green Dragon Tavern, thirteen people from various states gathered and each one shouted out a toast. Each person would have a drink and one by one they gave a special toast.
Toast to Independence Day
Here are the thirteen toast given at the very first Independence Day in Boston:
- The noble and honorable Representative of the United States in Congress, who voted the same free and independent. (Cheers!)
- May the Lord God protect the United States, now and henceforth, forevermore. (Cheers!)
- The United States of America and may the good people of the same support their independency. (Cheers!)
- The President of the Grand Continental Congress and the present members of the same (Cheers!)
- Our Noble and worthy General Washington and the Army (Cheers!)
- Success to the American Navy (Cheers!)
- May the Fourteenth string be added to the harp (Cheers!)
- May the Army of America vanquish the enemies of American independence. (Cheers!)
- Many none but men of honor and virtue test American freedom (Cheers!)
- Liberty to those who have the virtue to defend it. (Cheers!)
- May the union of American states be as lasting as the pillars of human nature (Cheers!)
- Major General Charles Lee and all our friends in captivity (Cheers!)
- The immortal memory of General Warren all al the rest of our brave officers who have been slain since the commencement of this unnatural war. (Cheers!) (Cheers!)<
After the thirteen general toast was given, a special toast was given to each of the thirteen states.
Source: Boston Globe and various history books.
"Gerrymandering" is a term used to describe a political practice of drawing district boundaries in an unnatural way to favor a political party chance of winning that district.
This term came about in Massachusetts in 1812 - when the Governor created a new district to help the Republican-controlled legislature stay in power. The weird shape district looked very weird and many people thought it looked like a salamander.
Five Facts about GerryMander
- The word gerrymander was used for the first time in the Boston Gazette on 26 March 1812 in reaction to a redrawing of Massachusetts state senate election districts under the then-governor Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814)
- The term was originally written as "Gerry-mander"
- Elbridge Gerry, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He is the only signer of the Declaration buried in the nation's capital.
- Elbridge Gerry was the Vice President under President James Madison.
- Elbridge Gerry was one of three people that refused to sign the U.S. Constitution at the Constitutional Convention (Edmund Randolph and George Mason of Virginia were the other two. Elbridge Gerry wanted more individual liberties in the constitution.
- The earliest occurrence of Gerrymander was the districting of New York State Orange County to help Monroe over Madison on February 2, 1789. Madison ended up winning the County.
Near this site stood the home of state senator Isreal Thorndike, a merchant and privateer. During a visit here in 1812 by Governor Elbridge Gerry, an electoral district was oddly redrawn to provide an advantage to the party in office.
Shaped by political intent rather than any natural boundaries its appearance resembled a salamander. A frustrated member of the opposition party called it a gerrymander, a term still in use today.
The word gerrymander (originally written "Gerry-mander") was used for the first time in the Boston Gazette on 26 March 1812 in reaction to a redrawing of Massachusetts state senate election districts under the then-governor Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814)
Finding the Sign
The sign is located on a red/white building near Downtown Crossing. As you enter Arch Street from Summer Street if you look to your right you will see UDG restaurant. If you follow along the wall you will see the green sign against the white wall.
Wicked Cool WiFi
Did you know that there are various free WiFi spots around the City of Boston? Two of the most popular tourist spots are also Boston's hottest spot to do work - Boston Commons and Boston Gardens.
In 2016, The City of Boston installed free wireless access points in the Boston Public Gardens and the Public Commons. Making these a great location for laptop users to go offsite and get work done in a nice relaxed atmosphere.
The "Wicked Free Wi-Fi" map has location points to where the access points are, but just about anyplace in the Gardens/Park has Wifi access. Just make sure your laptop is charged, as there is no place to plug-in.
Additional Free WiFi Spots
There are a couple of other Wi-Fi spots around the city that make for a great escape from the office or if the office WiFi is not working correctly. If your visiting Boston, these Wifi spots are great if you want to upload photos from your phone.
Boston Public Library at Copley Square
Grab a desk and get some work done at the Boston Public Library. Is it Performance Review times? Need some getaway time from all the constant interruptions? This is the place to go. Plenty of tables and comfortable places to charge up the laptop.
The two quietest places in the Library is the Kristen Science Center and Bates Hall. Bates Hall is really an inspirational place to work - very cool architecture. However, when someone moves a chair, it can echo and be a distraction. Kristen Science Center has lots of desk with USB and plugs. The chairs are more comfortable than Bates Hall.
Prudential Center Mall
The Prudential Center Mall has free WiFi for shoppers and visitors. You can even get WiFi access in the courtyard - which is very convenient if you work in one of the office buildings in the complex.
Wifi is also available at the Starbucks inside the Barnes and Noble. Get a Venti drink and a snack and work away!
There were a couple of times where the Prudential Center Mall Wifi came in handy when the power went out in the office.
Any Other Spots?
If you work in Boston, are there any other wifi spots worth sharing? Any places that might be inspiring to check out?
Louisa May Alcott House
Many people have heard about the Alcott's Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts. Did you know that the Alcott's moved around a lot? For many years the family lived in Boston.
If your walking around Beacon Hill you may encounter a sign on a house that Louisa May Alcott once lived at:
Fun Facts about the Boston House
- Louisa May Alcott and her Father lived here from 1852 to 1855 (She was 20-years-old)
- She wrote her first story here: The Rival Painters: A Tale of Rome
- Louisa May's room was on the third floor
- Thanks to the success of Little Women, the Alcotts was able to move to the more prosperous neighborhood of Louisburg Square.
- The house is part of the Boston Women's Heritage Trail of Beacon Hill.
Plaque on the Building
The plaque on the building reads:
As a little girl Louisa May Alcott lived in rented rooms at 20 Pinckney Street. The Alcott house was part of the Boston literary scene during the decades before the Civil War. Louisa's father Bronson Alcott, was an innovative educator whose friends included Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Henry Channing and William Lloyd Garrison.
In the 1800s, her reputation and fortune secure, Miss Alcott returned to Beacon Hill. She lived at 10 Louisburg Square until her death.
Finding the Boston's House
The house is located at 20 Pinckney St, Boston, Massachusetts. This is a private residence, there are no tours in this location.
Best Public Transportation Route: From Park Street Station, walk up to the State House, turn left on Beacon Street, and then right onto Joy Street then take your second left onto Pinckney Street. The house will be the eighth house on your left.
Wall of Literary Awards
While Hollywood has the "Walk of Fame", to celebrate the Stars. Boston has the Wall of Literary Awards Wall to celebrate the accomplishments of local literary writers.
In Copley Square, at the Boston Public Library, is a wall of Massachusetts literary writers that have won distinguished awards in literature.
The Literary Wall concept was created as part of the major library redesigned that was completed in 2017.
- Noble Prize for Literature - The Swedish Academy
- Pulitzer Prize - The Pulitzer Prizes
- National Book Award - National Book Foundation
- Pen/Faulkner Award - Pen/Faulkner Foundation
- Nebula Award - Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America
- Edgar Award - Mystery Writers of America
- Rita Award - Romance Writers of America
While there are many distinguished authors on the wall - Edgar Allen Poe makes several appearances. There are a number of authors that are not on the wall, simply because they haven't won any of the major awards. (At least their work existed long before the awards were ever handed out)
- Louisa May Alcott
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Henry David Thoreau
- Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Dr. Seuss
- Elizabeth Palmer Peabody
Finding the Wall of Literary Awards
The Wall of Literary is located on the first floor of the Main Library. It's located between the Fiction section and the Cafe.
Enter the library from Boylston Street, and head over to the Cafe. Take a left before the Cafe and you'll be in the Fiction area of the Library. Walk a few steps into the Fiction area towards the staircase, and then look back towards the Cafe and you'll see the Wall.
Marvin Goody Memorial
In the Boston Public Gardens, along Charles Street, is a flagpole and several granite benches. This is a memorial to Marvin Goody.
Who Was Marvin Goody?
This memorial is in honor of Marvin Goody, who was a former chairman of the Boston Art Commission and Friend of the Public Garden and Common, as well as an MIT faculty member.
Interesting Facts about this Memorial and Marvin Goody
- Born in 1929 and died of a heart attack in 1980.
- He was a well known and respected architect and worked at Goody Clancy
- He was one of the founders of the Friends of the Public Garden
- His Wife, Joan Goody, designed the circle memorial where the couple once walked each morning to their office to near-by Boylston Street.
- The memorial was partly funded by the Edward Ingersoll Browne Trust Fund
- The memorial is a circular arrangement of square stone block benches around a flagpole. (The benches are called "Pods")
- He worked hard to keep up the Public Gardens, which is why there's a quote at the memorial which reads, "To See His Work, Look Around You"
- There is a sycamore tree that was planted near the memorial in his memory.
- He founded the red stones used on the Public Gardens bridge
- He made sure that the fountains were working order and frequently checked them to make sure that water was always flowing.
- A $5,000 annual prize in Goody's name was set up in 1983 for architecture, city planning or engineering master's students at MIT.
Interesting Facts about the Flag Pole
- The Flagpole is one of the oldest markers in the Garden - older than the 1869 "Ether" statue.
- The Friend of the Public Garden help design the path around the flagpole in the 1970s - during the park restoration project.
- The Park Plaza hotel donated the American Flag, as well as funding for lighting. (By law the flag is to be illuminated since it is never lowered.)
- Flag pole base is made of Bronze and was made in 1921.
- Base of the flag contains the signature TF McGann & Sons - Boston MA
Home of the Future
One of Marvin Goody assignment was designing the Monsanto House of the Future. This was a project that was displayed at Disneyland in the 1960s.
"the house was envisioned as something that could be quickly and inexpensively constructed on nearly any terrain and could withstand most any force of nature" - Disney
Watch this Disney video about the home of the future:
Boston Chinatown Gate
Boston's Chinatown is the third largest in the United States, and just as most are, there is a decorative gate at its entrance.
The Chinatown Gate was offered by the Taiwanese government to the City. The gate is engraved with two writings in Chinese: Tian Xia Wei Gong, a saying attributed to Sun Yat-sen that translates as "everything under the sky is for the people", and Li Yi Lian Chi, the four societal bonds of propriety, justice, integrity and honor.
Fun Facts about Boston Chinatown Gate
In 1974, China gave the Gate to the City of Boston as the gift for the United States Centennial Celebration.
It took seven years to figure out how to pay for the installation. In 1975, the City of Boston created the Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund to direct spending on various city art projects.
Ground breaking was on June 7, 1981.
When the gate was placed, the entrance onto Beach Street was closed off from car traffic. This was to reduce the congestion from the Expressway into Chinatown. The street was re-open during the construction of the Big Dig, which caused issues with trucks knocking down the lions.
There is a lion, otherwise known as Foo Dogs, on both sides of the Arch - each weighing a ton.
The Chinatown Gate Arch is 30-feet high
The words on top of the gate mean, "A World Shared By All" - It's the same phrase that's on the Chicago Chinatown Gate and the Chinatown Gate in San Francisco. In Chicago, the translation is "The World Belongs to the Commonwealth." This was a common saying in the early 1900s.
Rededicated October 1990
Taipei, Capital of Taiwan, is Boston Sister city since 1996.
The Chinatown Gate installation was officially funded by the Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund.
Foo Dogs Controversy
At one time there were four Foo Dogs in front of the Chinatown gate.
During the construction of the Big Dig, sometime between 1991 and 2007, the Foo statues, were replaced with replicas.
Two of the originals were placed in a private home in Lexington. The home was owned by Paul Pedini, a former vice president of Modern Continental. The other two were placed in front of the Kowloon restaurant in Saugus.
Paul Pedini claimed that the original Foo dogs were not needed anymore and initial plans indicated that they were going to be destroyed because they were damaged. He had two of them placed in the rooftop garden of a 2.2 million dollar home he was building in Lexington.
Once public, via a Boston Herald story, the City of Boston has asked for all the Foo Dogs to be returned.
Paul Pedini returned the two statues. Kowloon has declined to return there's saying that it was a gift by the Chinatown elders.
The statues in front of the gate are still the replicas. The city hasn't decided what to do with the originals that they have. There has been some suggestion to place them in the Boston's Mount Hope Cemetery.
The replicas cost the city $4,800 each. The original ones were part of the entire gate package estimated to cost between $400,000 to $500,000.
Getting to Chinatown Gate
Chinatown Gate is located at the intersection of Beach Street and Hudson Street. The best way to get there is to take the Red Line to South Station and walk to Beach Street.
Royal Coat of Arms
In the Massachusetts Old State House are various exhibits where visitors can learn a lot about the City of Boston.
Royal Coat of Arms in the Council Chamber
In the Council Chamber Room, is where the Royal Governor of Massachusetts met with members of his Council. It was where key decisions were made before the American Revolution.
One artifact that people may miss is the Royal Coat of Arms above the door as you enter the room. This is a copy of the lion and unicorn heraldic crest - as it would appear in the chamber room. If you want to see an older version, walk down the stairs to the Keayne Hall. If you want to see the original one - head to New Brunswick Canada.
Four Fun Facts about the Royal Coat of Arms
- One of the original Coat of Arms was taken from Boston in 1775 and now appears over the doorway of the Trinity Episcopal Church, St. John New Brunswick. It was removed by the Revolutionaries to protect it from being damaged. It was brought to Halifax by Edward Winslow. Several requests have been made to return the Coat of Arms back to Boston but have been denied by the church.
- On the USS Constitution are some guns with the British Royal Coat of Arms.
- The Lion and Unicorn on the roof of the Old Massachusetts Statehouse are the same used in the Coat of Arms, a simple reminder of the past. The original Lion and Unicorn were burned in 1776. The ones currently on display were placed in 1882.
- The Royal Coat of Arms was once placed on the building at 17 Market Place. (Next to Faneuil Hall)
Sign next to the Coat of Arms in the Keayne Hall
A symbol of royal authority, this royal arms hung over the doorway of the Province House, the Governor's residence.
Boston, 18th century
Carved and painted wood
The Colby Trophy Room
The Colby Trophy Room at the Boston Museum of Science is a unique room where you can view many prize animal mounts. The room is a replica of Colonel Franc is Colby Trophy Room in Hamilton, Massachusetts.
The room gives visitors a chance to see what the hunting life was like in the late 19th century
Ten Interesting Things about the Colby Trophy Room
- Colonel Francis T. Colby was a soldier, diplomat, and a big-game hunter.
- He died on July 30, 1953, and gave the museum $700,000 to build a replica of his trophy room. (At the time it was known as the Boston Society of Natural History.)
- If the Boston Museum of Science had not accepted the donation it would have gone to the Boone and Crockett Club of New York.
- The original room was smaller than the one at the museum - it was 20 by 40 feet. Clearly, the room in the museum is much bigger - in fact, it's about twice the size of the original room.
- He lived in Hamilton, Massachusetts and a house in Nairobi where he frequently visited.
- He shared various stories of the animals displayed in the room when people came to visit him. He never wrote them down - they might have made a great book. Many big-name visitors, with similar taste, would visit his house to see his well-decorated trophy room. Ernest Hemingway, Holt Collier, and other big-name game hunters visited the original trophy room.
- In the middle of the room, is a six-feet-long plaster cast model of an Indian rhino by notable Katherine W. Lane.
- In the original Museum designs, the room was to be placed on the third floor.
- Some of the Spears along with the side of the room still has poison on the tip.
- The museum recognized the large contribution that Colonel Francis Colby and name an annual award after him. The Francis Colby Award has bestowed annually on members of the Museum of Science family who have made extraordinary contributions of time, treasure, and talent to the Museum
At 7 Water Street is the Winthrop-Carter building Boston's first steel skyscraper. The Boston Landmark Commission calls it a "fine example of Second Renaissance Revival style."
The Winthrop-Carter Building is a 9-story steel frame building with steel external alls and brick terra cotta covering.
Nine Interesting things about the Winthrop-Carter Building
- This was near the location of the John Winthrop home. John Winthrop was Boston's first Colonial Governor.
- Current structure was created in 1893 at the request of the landowner - Timothy Harrington Carter. Clarence Blackall was the architect.
- When the original designs were presented to the city for permits they didn't propose a steel frame, instead they proposed a seven-story brick building. However, the City complicated things by reducing the property size by widen Washington Street and straighten Water Street. Clarence Blackall had to go "back to the drawing board" to come up with a better solution.
- When completed the building was assessed for $672,000. Today the building is assessed for $4,038,500
- The Building was called Carter Building until 1899 when it was renamed Winthrop-Carter Building.
- This wasn't the site of the Winthrop house, instead, this was the site of the Great Spring, which would have been next door to the Winthrop house.
- The Great Spring was one of the main sources of fresh water for Boston. The Spring has not been visible since 1702.
- The Devonshire Street Subway entrance is on the Winthrop-Carter property. It was put in 1903 - ten years after the building was completed.
- Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in December 1973, it took the City of Boston 43 years to designate the building as a Boston Landmark. (There are no signs around the building indicating that it's a Boston Landmark or on the National Register of Historic Places.)
When looking at the building, look at the Terra Cotta detail on the third and fourth floors. Also look at the stained glass on the Water Street side.
One thing I notice when walking down Spring Lane - it felt like a movie studio backlot. Just the small space and the window fire exits on the building.
Sign On the Building
Built in 1893, this was the first steel frame "skyscraper" constructed in Boston. It was the work of innovated local architect Clarence Blackall, who modeled this building on the early still commercial structures of Chicago. The office building received unprecedented attention in Boston, praised for its technological achievement and also for its graceful curved design and facade of colored brick and terra cotta. Originally built for businessman C. H. Cater, the structure was renamed in 1899 to recognize the location on the site of the home of the city's first colonial governor, John Winthrop.
Location of the Building
The Winthrop-Carter building is located near downtown crossing. It's located at the corner of Water Street and Washington Street - directly across the street from the Old Corner Bookstore.