The banning of Christmas

The celebration of Christmas was banned by Puritans in Boston, Colonial America in 1659. The ban was revoked by an English governor in 1681, however Christmas celebrations did not gain popularity in the area until the middle of the nineteenth century.

Through these years the holiday continued to be observed in other parts of America. It fell out of favour after the American Revolution, but returned to favour some years afterwards.



The 1911 Heat Wave

Kids cool off in the Madison Square Park fountain, New York City, during the 1911 heat wave.

A major heatwave struck the east of North America in July 1911, killing 380 people over eleven days. Beginning on the 4th of July, in New York City alone, 146 people and 600 horses died.

Hot day-babies in a shady spot for the 1911 Eastern North America heat wave

The temperature in Boston reached a record high, which still stands today.

On this day: the Great Boston Molasses Flood

BostonMolassesDisasterPanorama of the Molasses Disaster site.

The wreckage after the disaster.

On the 15th of January 1919, a giant molasses tank burst in Boston, USA, causing a flood that killed twenty-one people. 150 were injured.

The molasses tank in the North End of Boston, before its explosion in 1919.

The tank photographed before its collapse.

Boston Post edition of January 16, 1919 describing the Boston Molasses Disaster.

The Boston Post reporting, before the final death toll was known.

The disaster occurred around 12:30pm, and at its worst the flood reached heights of about 25 feet (7.6 metres).

Elevated train structure damaged by shrapnel from the 1919 Boston Molasses Disaster.

The flood caused serious damage to points of the elevated train.

800px-USS_Ranger_(1876)_at_AlgiersUSS Ranger at Algiers on 6 July 1913. Later the USS Nantucket.

The first people to arrive on the scene were cadets from the USS Nantucket (photographed in 1913 before its name changed).

On this day: the Boston Latin School was established in 1635

1920 English High School Boston October

The school as it was in October, 1920.

The oldest public school and oldest surviving school in the United States, the Boston Latin School was established on the 23rd of April, 1635.

 First Boston Latin School House. Circa 1635.

First schoolhouse, circa 1635.

Modelled on the Boston Grammar School in Lincolnshire, England, the school would go on to produce famous alumni, including five signers of the Declaration of Independence, and also many a famous dropout, including Benjamin Franklin.

Helen Magill White

Helen Magill White

The school refused entry to women until the second half of the nineteenth century. Helen Magill White, the first woman in the United States to earn a doctorate, was the school’s first female graduate. The school’s first female principal took on the job in 1998.

On this day: Kathrine Switzer in 1967

1967: A race official tries to physically remove Kathrine Switzer – the Boston Marathon’s first registered female runner – from the race, while other runners try to protect her. Her boyfriend is at the right of the picture, and was later photographed shoving the official to the ground.

It would be another five years before women were allowed to join the race.

1967 A race official tries to physically remove Kathrine Switzer - the Boston Marathon’s first registered female runner - from the race, while other runners try to protect her. It would be another five years before women were allo

On this day: Great Boston Fire of 1872

Great_boston_fire_downtownGreat Boston Fire of 1872

The Great Boston Fire occurred on the 9th of November, 1872 and destroyed 65 acres of the city. It is thought at least thirty people died, but as with anything from that time, it’s hard to have an exact figure.


The fire began at 7:20pm in the basement of a warehouse. A number of things contributed to the enormous destruction – everything from poor building regulations to a flu that put many of the fire department’s horses (horse firefighters – heh!) out of action.


There is a huge amount of information on that oh-so reliable source Wikipedia. Actually, jokes aside, Wikipedia is pretty good with this kind of stuff.