Massachusetts, The Bay State

Massachusetts, The Bay State

By Sandra Merville Hart

The nickname of Massachusetts is The Bay State. People from Massachusetts are called “Bay Staters.”

Early History of Massachusetts

A ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, with 102 passengers in 1620. One person died on the voyage. One baby, Oceanus, was born along the way. The leaders wanted to go to near Jamestown, Virginia, but instead landed at what they called Plymouth, Massachusetts. This became our second colony. The Pilgrims went ashore near the now-famous Plymouth Rock.



Native Americans teach them to survive

The Pilgrims decided to build a town at Plymouth. Illnesses killed many of them during the first winter. In the spring, a Native American, Samoset, from the Wampanoag tribe, visited them. He introduced them to Squanto, who had been kidnapped by English explorers. Squanto spoke English and taught them skills they needed to survive in their new home.

Important colony during Revolutionary War

The shots that began the Revolutionary War were fired in Massachusetts. In 1775, Paul Revere made his famous midnight ride from Boston to Lexington warning the citizens that the British army was coming. The Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.



Massachusetts becomes a state

After the Revolutionary War ended, Massachusetts became a state on June 25, 1788. The capital is Boston. The state flower is the Mayflower.

Other fun facts about Massachusetts

You may have read some books by a famous author, Theodor Geisel, who was born in Massachusetts. Theodor is better known as Dr. Seuss. Other famous authors born in the Bay State are Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

You’ve probably eaten chocolate chip cookies. It’s the state cookie of Massachusetts because they were first baked in Whitman and served at Toll House Restaurant.

Patriots’ Day is a legal holiday in Massachusetts. Celebrated the third Monday of April, it honors Revolutionary War battles fought on April 19, 1775, at Concord and Lexington.

The state bird is the chickadee.



“13 Originals: Founding the American Colonies,” The Time Page, 2013/01/04

Davis, Kenneth D. Don’t Know Much About The 50 States, Harper Collins Publishers, 2001.

“The Bay State,” State Symbols USA, 2016/06/05

“The Mayflower and Plymouth Colony,” U.S. History, 2013/01/26


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