First Church Built By Free Blacks
The African Meeting House on Joy Street in Boston was the first church built by free blacks.
The first horse drawn American railroad was built in Quincy to draw granite blocks from Quincy to Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown.
First Swimming School
Francis Leiber opened the first swim school in America July 23, 1827. Among the first to enroll was John Quincy Adams.
First American Telegraph
Samuel Morse invented the electric telegraph based on Morse Code, a simple pattern of "dots" and "dashes."
First vulcanized rubber
In Woburn, after years of failed experimentation, Charles Goodyear discovered that steam under pressure applied to a sulfur-and gum formula produced rubber as we know it today.
The typewriter was invented by Charles Thurber in Worcester.
First Sewing Machine
The first sewing machine was made by Elias Howe in Boston.
First Use of Anesthesia
William T.G. Morton, a Boston dentist, first demonstrated the use of anesthesia in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, using a specially designed glass inhaler containing an ether-soaked sponge.
First Women's Rights Convention
The first National Women's Rights Convention convenes in Worcester.
World History: 1861-65 US Civil War
America's greatest internal conflict - 3 million fought and 600,000 died in the War Between the States before General Lee surrendered his Confederate Army to General Grant at the village of Appomattox Court House.
First Architect Training in America
Robert Ware, of MIT, began the first professional training program for architects. Prior to this, architects trained in Europe or learned through apprenticeship.
Mass History: First African-American Legislators
First African-American legislators in New England were elected to the General Court.
First Christmas Card
The first American Christmas card was printed by Louis Prang in Boston.
The first telephone was demonstrated by Alexander Graham Bell in Boston on March 10, 1876 as he talked to his assistant, Mr. Watson, in the next room.
First Woman to Earn a Ph.D.
Helen Magill White becomes the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in the U.S. (Boston University)
First Country Club
The Country Club in Brookline became the first country club in America dedicated to "outdoor pursuits".
First Basketball Game
James Naismith invented the game of basketball game in Springfield, MA. The original game had 13 rules and was played with a soccer ball and peach baskets hung 10 feet in the air.
First Fig Newton Cookies
The Kennedy Biscuit Works (later Nabisco) used a machine invented by James Henry Mitchell to mass- produce the first Fig Newton Cookies and named it for the town of Newton, MA.
The first successful gasoline-powered automobile was perfected by Charles and Frank Duryea in Springfield.
First Volleyball Game
The first volleyball game, originally called "mintonette", was played in Holyoke. The game was invented by William Morgan.
First Public Beach
Landscape Architect Charles Eliot developed Revere Beach as the first public beach in America.
First American Marathon
April 19, 1897 was the first Boston Marathon. The race was run from Boston to Ashland and the starting field was 15 runners. John J. MacDermott of New York emerged the winner.
The first American subway system was opened in Boston.