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Surprising New England facts and firsts.



Basketball was invented in 1891 by Dr James Naismith in Springfield MA. You can visit the Basketball Hall of Fame there. Four years later, William Morgan invented volleyball in nearby Holyoke MA.

• The dollar bills in your pocket were probably printed on paper produced by the Crane Paper Company of Dalton MA, main paper supplier to the US Mint.

Great Barrington MA was the first town in the world to have electric street lights, in 1886.

• Sylvester Graham (1794-1851) of Northampton MA advocated a diet of vegetables and coarse-milled grains, so he invented the Graham cracker.

• Boston is at a latitude similar to Barcelona, Rome and Istanbul.

Harvard University, America's oldest institution of higher learning, was founded in 1636.

• Of the hundreds of people accused of witchcraft in Salem MA in 1692, only one confessed—and she claimed others had forced her into evil.

Mount Washington (6,288 feet), the highest summit east of the Rockies, had the highest winds ever recorded: 231 miles per hour. The summit qualifies as an arctic climate zone.

Boston's subway (underground railway) system was the first to be built in the western hemisphere.

New England History

New England Geology

New England Flora & Fauna

Travel Details


Town Hall, Northampton MA

Town Hall in Northampton MA,
birthplace of the Graham cracker.

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