Not a history buff? That’s okay, neither are we, but we do have you covered. February 6th is an important date in Massachusetts history, and we’re here to tell you why!
Massachusetts Becomes… Massachusetts
February may be one of the shortest months of the year, but it is also one of the most historic, at least here in the Bay State. The Patriots made history by losing their second Super Bowl against the Giants last night (not something many of us would like to remember), and President’s day will soon be upon us which we can celebrate with a day off of school and work. However, today is also significant for another reason. As many of you probably learned in grade school, Massachusetts was one of the thirteen original U.S. colonies. What you may not know is that on this day, February 6 in 1788, Massachusetts ratified the U.S. constitution to become sixth state to join the Union. Although they were not the first to ratify, Massachusetts’ ratification message was the first to include a list of changes to the Constitution, some of which would protect states while other changes would protect individuals. Ratifying the Constitution was an essential step in uniting the colonies as a nation, however only nine states needed to agree for the new government to become official. New Hampshire was the ninth state to ratify, and it was decided that the government under the United States Constitution would begin on March 4, 1789, a little over a year after Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify. On May 29,1790 Rhode Island joined the other colonies and became the final state to ratify the Constitution, uniting the original 13 colonies as a country. Of course we consider Massachusetts to be a state, but Massachusetts is actually technically a commonwealth, not a state, and its official title is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. There is no difference between a commonwealth and a state, though there are four commonwealths in the Union, Massachusetts, Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
Blizard of ’78
The Blizard of ’78 struck 34 years ago today. Massachusetts was covered in a record 27 inches of snow, which fell at a rate of an inch an hour at some points, stranding many cars on the highway. The storm had catastrophic effects, killing about 100 people and injuring thousands more, as well as causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Hurricane force winds and power outages furthered the extreme conditions. The blizzard is a far cry from today’s 50 degree weather.