Commonwealth of Massachusetts

ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Derived from the name of the Massachuset Indian tribe that lived on Massachusetts Bay; the name is thought to mean "at or about the Great Hill." NICKNAME: The Bay State. CAPITAL: Boston. ENTERED UNION: 6 February 1788 (6th). SONG: "All Hail to Massachusetts." FOLK SONG: "Massachusetts." POEM: "Blue Hills of Massachusetts." MOTTO: Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty). COAT OF ARMS: On a blue shield, an Indian depicted in gold holds in his right hand a bow and in his left an arrow pointing downward. Above the bow is a five-pointed silver star. The crest shows a bent right arm holding a broadsword. Around the shield beneath the crest is a banner with the state motto in green. FLAG: The coat of arms on a white field. OFFICIAL SEAL: Same as the coat of arms, with the inscription Sigillum Reipublicae Massachusettensis (Seal of the Republic of Massachusetts). HEROINE: Deborah Sampson. BIRD: Chickadee. HORSE: Morgan horse. DOG : Boston terrier. MARINE MAMMAL: Right whale. FISH: Cod. INSECT: Ladybug. FLOWER: Mayflower (ground laurel). TREE: American elm. GEM: Rhodonite. MINERAL: Babingtonite. ROCK: Roxbury puddingstone. HISTORICAL ROCK: Plymouth Rock. EXPLORER ROCK: Dighton Rock. BUILDING AND MONUMENT STONE: Granite. FOSSIL: Theropod dinosaur tracks. BEVERAGE: Cranberry juice. LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., 3rd Monday in January; Washington's Birthday, 3rd Monday in February; Patriots' Day, 3rd Monday in April; Lafayette Day, 20 May; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Veterans Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, appointed by the governor, customarily the 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December. TIME: 7 AM EST = noon GMT.


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Brown, Richard D. Massachusetts: A Concise History. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2000.

Federal Writers' Project . Massachusetts: A Guide to Its Places and People . Reprint. New York: Somerset (orig. 1937).

Hunter, Phyllis Whitman. Purchasing Identity in the Atlantic World: Massachusetts Merchants, 1670–1780. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001.

Mandell, Daniel R. Behind the Frontier: Indians in Eighteenth-Century Eastern Massachusetts. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996.

Pletcher, Larry. It Happened in Massachusetts. Helena, Mont.: TwoDot, 1999.

Porter, Susan L., ed. Women of the Commonwealth: Work, Family, and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996.

Rothenberg, Winifred Barr. From Market-Places to a Market Economy: The Transformation of Rural Massachusetts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Taymor, Betty. Running Against the Wind: The Struggle of Women in Massachusetts Politics. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2000.

Tree, Christina. Massachusetts, An Explorer's Guide: Beyond Boston and Cape Cod. Woodstock, Vt.: Countryman Press, 1998.

Whitehall, Walter M., and Norman Kotker. Massachusetts: A Pictorial History . New York: Scribner, 1981.