Noted as one of the original 13 colonies, Massachusetts gained its statehood on February 6th, 1788 as the sixth state of the Union. The first European settlers landed in Plymouth during the early 1600s; shortly thereafter the Puritans arrived, as both religious sects sought freedom from persecution bestowed upon them by the British Monarchy. The State of Massachusetts is embedded with other historical moments, such as the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the Boston Tea Party incident of 1773, and the Minute Men starting the Revolutionary War by combating British troops in Concord and Lexington. John Adams, a native Bostonian, played an instrumental role in molding and shaping the structure of the Massachusetts Constitution and the US Constitution as well. Throughout the history of Massachusetts, many notable political leaders managed to change the overall dynamic of the state itself, which eventually led to being a vehicle for transformation on a broader stroked level.
The state capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also its largest city. The state's population is 6,547,629, and the entire area is 10,555 square miles. The state's major industries include education, electronics, fishing, publishing, textiles, and tourism. Professional sports in the state have a rich tradition and are woven into the fabric of most Massachusetts residents; these franchises include baseball's Boston Red Sox, hockey's Boston Bruins, football's New England Patriots, and basketball's Boston Celtics.Massachusetts has a number of state symbols. The official state bird is the Black-Capped Chickadee, and the official gaming bird is the Wild Turkey. The state dog is the Boston terrier, the state horse is the Morgan, and the state cat is the Tabby. The Mayflower is the official state flower, and the American elm is the official state tree. The state rock is the Roxbury Puddingstone, yet Plymouth Rock is historically etched in the books. The state rock is granite, and the state folk hero is Johnny Appleseed.Colleges and universities abound in Massachusetts, with over 75 educational facilities and a variety of disciplines as well. The most storied university in the state is Cambridge's Harvard University, founded in 1636, and named after John Harvard. Since its inception, Harvard remains as one of the top schools in the country. Williams College, founded in 1793, also has a long history of producing successful graduates. Amherst College is also rich in history, as well as many other institutions of higher learning that were built since the 17th century.