The Boston University Bridge on Commonwealth Avenue is one of the only places in the world where a boat can sail under a train passing under a car driving under an airplane.
The colored lights on top of the old Hancock building tell the weather: “Solid blue, clear view,” “Flashing blue, clouds due,” “Solid red, rain ahead,” and “Flashing red, snow instead” (during the summer, flashing red means the Red Sox game is rained out).
The famous CITGO sign in Kenmore Square used to contain five miles of neon tubing. In an effort to be more energy efficient, it now uses LED lighting.
The Fleet Center (now known as TD Garden) was built a mere 9 inches from the Boston Garden, so the classic structure had to be demolished brick-by-brick.
At 90 feet below the surface, the Ted Williams Tunnel is the deepest tunnel in North America.
The 60 story John Hancock Tower contains 13 acres of glass.
The signs along the Massachusetts Turnpike reading "x miles to Boston" refer to the distance from that point to the golden dome of the State House.
The Boston Children's Museum displays a giant milk bottle on the wharf which could hold 58,620 gallons of milk.
Phillip Brooks, the 9th Rector of Trinity Church, wrote the famous Christmas Carol "O Little Town of Bethlehem" after visiting the Holy Land.
On June 1, 1660, Mary Dyer was hanged on Boston Common for repeatedly defying a law banning Quakers from the colony. She is considered the last religious martyr in North America.
While the Library of Congress contains the most volumes in the country (29,550,000), Harvard University is second with more than 15,000,000 and the Boston Public Library is third with more than 14,000,000.
The largest art theft in U.S. history occurred in Boston on March 18, 1990, when 12 paintings collectively worth $100 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum by two thieves posing as police officers.
Boston was originally named Shawmut by the local Native Americans. It was founded on September 17, 1630 and named after Boston, England, a town in Lincolnshire from which several prominent colonists originated.
Boston's deep harbor and advantageous geographic position helped it to become the busiest port in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, surpassing both Plymouth and Salem. From its founding until the 1760's, Boston was America's largest, wealthiest, and most influential city.
Harvard was founded in 1636 and was the first college established in North America.
The Mather School was founded in Dorchester in 1639. It is the first public elementary school in America.
James Michael Curley was the first Mayor of Boston to have an automobile. The plate number was "576" - the number of letters in "James Michael Curley." The Mayor's official car still uses the same plate numbers.
Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Boston’s Emerald Necklace is a six-mile stretch of green parkland that includes the Boston Common, Public Garden, Franklin Park, Jamaica Pond, the Arboretum, Commonwealth Avenue Mall, Back Bay Fens, Riverway and Olmstead Park.
Emerald Necklace »
The Boston Tea Party reenactment takes place in Boston Harbor annually on December 16th.
Massachusetts first began to issue driver's licenses and registration plates in June 1903.
The U.S.S. Constitution, known as 'Old Ironsides', is the oldest fully commissioned vessel in the U.S. Navy and permanently berthed at the Charlestown Navy Yard.
On October 1, 1998, "Say Hello to Someone from Massachusetts" by Lenny Gomulka was approved as the official polka of the Commonwealth.
In 1838, the Boston & West Worcester Railroad became the first railroad to charge commuter fares.
The hottest day in Boston’s recorded history was on July 4th, 1911 when the temperature reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
The coldest day in Boston’s recorded history was on February 9th, 1934 when the temperature dropped to -18 degrees Fahrenheit.
Candlepin bowling was invented in Boston in 1880.
On January 15, 1919, the Boston Molasses Disaster occurred in the North End. Twenty-one people were killed and another 150 injured as hot molasses crushed, asphyxiated, and cooked many of the victims to death. It took over six months to remove the molasses from the cobblestone streets, theaters, businesses, automobiles, and homes. Boston Harbor ran brown through the summer.
Sports & Leisure
In 1907, owner John I. Taylor named his baseball team the Red Sox. Before that, they had been called the Americans as well as the Pilgrims, the Somersets, the Puritans, or the Plymouth Rocks.
Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, is the oldest original Major League Baseball Park still in use.
Until 1954, Boston was home to two major league baseball teams, the Boston Braves and Boston Red Sox.
The phrase “Banned in Boston” comes from the late 19th-early 20th century period when City officials took it upon themselves to "ban" anything that they found to be salacious or offensive. Theatrical shows were run out of town, books confiscated, and motion pictures were prevented from being shown.
The Boston Cream Pie dessert was invented at the Omni Parker House in Boston. It is now the official dessert of the State.
F.A.O. Schwartz toy store displayed the world’s largest Teddy Bear at its entrance on Boylston Street. The Bear weighs 6,112 pounds, stands 12 feet tall and is 8 feet wide. The bear now resides at the Floating Hospital for Children.
The State dog is the Boston Terrier.
The State bird is the Chickadee.
Boston has nine sister cities – Kyoto, Japan; Strasbourg, France; Barcelona, Spain; Hangzhou, China; Melbourne, Australia; Padua, Italy; Taipei, Taiwan; Belfast, North Ireland and Sekondi-Takoradi, Africa.
More Information On Sister Cities »
A golden pinecone sits on top of the gold dome at the State House.