19 Fun Facts About Boston

Few cities (if any) cities in the United States are as charming and rich in history as Boston. The capital and largest city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts boasts everything from Fenway Park, and Copley Square to Faneuil Hall and many of the country's most respected universities.

Here are 19 fun facts about the city dubbed the Bay State, many of which:

  • The city proper encompasses 48 square miles with an estimated population of 655,884 in 2014, making it the largest city in New England and the 24th largest city in the United States.
  • The city is the cultural and economic hub of a considerably larger metropolitan area called Greater Boston, home to nearly 5 million people.
  • Boston was founded on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England. It was the scene of several pivotal events of the American Revolution, including the Boston Tea Party, Boston Massacre, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston.
  • Boston is home to the United States' oldest public park, Boston Common, which dates back to 1634. 
  • The nation's first public school was founded in Boston.
  • The first U.S. subway, the Tremont Street Subway, was built in Boston in 1897.
  • Boston is named after a town in England.
  • The first American lighthouse was built in Boston Harbor in 1716.
  • "Happy Hours" are banned here.
  • The first U.S. chocolate factory was built in Boston.
  • It wasn't until 1920 that Boston began requiring a driving test before issuing someone a driver's license.
  • The city was nicknamed Beantown due to the popularity of the baked beans in molasses among early residents.
  • Boston’s Ted Williams Tunnel is the deepest in North America, running approximately 90 feet beneath the earth’s surface.
  • Christmas was banned here between 1659 and1681. It was against the law because the Pilgrims deemed it a corrupted holiday.
  • As if there weren't already enough firsts, The United States’ first public beach was Revere Beach in Boston.
  • Celebrities Uma Thurman, Barbara Walters, and Mark Wahlberg were each born in Boston.
  • Colored lights on top of the old John Hancock Tower, the tallest building in Boston, tell Bostonians the daily weather forecast.
  • As of 2012 and according to U.S. Census Bureau data, more than 15% of Bostonians walked to work -- the highest percentage among the major U.S. cities.
  • Boston has earned a reputation as "the intellectual capital of the United States."
Are there any facts you can add to the list?

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