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50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New England

We all know New England was responsible for our first Thanksgiving and has maple syrup of epic proportions, but did you know…?
  • Erica Zane
  • Writer & Peace Enthusiast
  • 226,083 views
  • 137 comments
  • Erica Zane, Writer & Peace Enthusiast
  • 226,083 views, 137 comments

1. The term “sideburns” is named after Ambrose Burnside, a former governor of Rhode Island.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New England
Source: wikimedia user Matthew Brady

2. In 1939, Maine passed legislation to make it illegal to put tomatoes in clam chowder.

3. The first Dunkin Donuts ever was opened in Quincy, Mass.

4. Walking on your hands across a crosswalk in Connecticut’s capital, Hartford, is strictly against the law.

5. Boston's subway was the first underground railway system to be built in the western hemisphere.

6. According to the Library of Congress—and despite a handful of rival claims—the first hamburger was made in Connecticut in 1895.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New England
Source: Flickr user Dcarlbom

7. Fig Newtons are named after the Boston suburb of Newton.

8. Around 1908, George Smith of Connecticut decided to apply sticks to sugary, hard candies and coined the name lollipops. Smith claimed to have named the candy after his favorite race horse, Lolly Pop.

9. There's a house in Rockport, Mass. that is built entirely out of newspaper.

10. Vermont has the most breweries in the United States: With 19 breweries and a 2008 population of 621,270, that makes one brewery for every 32,698 people, the most per capita in the country. Maine is fourth on the list.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New England
Source: Flickr user Shan213

11. Connecticut has the oldest U.S. newspaper still being published: “The Hartford Courant,” established in 1764.

12. Four years later, William Morgan invented volleyball in nearby Holyoke, Mass.

13. In 1891, Dr James Naismith invented Basketball in Springfield, Mass.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New England
Source: Wikimedia user D Gordon E. Robertson

14. The Von Trapp family, whose escape from Austria during World War II was made famous in the 1965 musical “The Sound of Music,” moved to Stowe, Vt. about 40 miles west of Burlington, because the place reminded them of the Alpine setting they left behind.

15. Texas is about 165 times larger than Rhode Island. It's no urban myth that Rhode Island can fit into some ranches in Texas.

16. But, no matter how small, Rhode Island still boasts 20 percent of the U.S.'s historical landmarks.

17. The highest wind speed recorded at ground level is at Mt. Washington, on April 12, 1934. The winds were three times as fast as those in most hurricanes.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New England
Source: soaringmuseum.org

18. The USS Nautilus—the world's first nuclear powered submarine—was built in Groton, Conn. in 1954.

19. The main paper supplier to the U.S. Mint is the Crane Paper Company in Dalton, Mass.

20. The first town in the world to have electric street lights was Great Barrington, Mass. in 1886.

21. New England is the oldest region in the United States.

22. The band Phish got their start right in the heart of Burlington, at the popular Nectar's lounge.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New England
Source: Wikimedia user Alpine

23. Maine has the largest toothpick manufacturing plant in the entire United States.

24. Maine’s earliest inhabitants were descendants of Ice Age hunters.

25. With a total area of 33,215 square miles, Maine covers nearly as many square miles as the other five New England states combined.

26. Vermont has the greatest number of dairy cows in the country in ratio of cows to people.

27. Woodstock in central Vermont became the site of the nation's first ski tow in 1933.

28. New Hampshire’s State House is the oldest state capitol in which a legislature still meets in its original chambers.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New England
Source: Wikimedia user AlexiusHoratious

29. Polo was played for the first time in the United States in 1876 near Newport, R.I.

30. The first traffic law was created in 1678, when authorities banned galloping horses on local streets in Newport, R.I.

31. In 1904, the first speeding ticket was also given in Newport, R.I.

32. Vermont has the most maple trees of all the New England states. More than 500,000 gallons of maple syrup are made here each year.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New England
Source: Blogspot user Sterling College

33. There are more than 2,000 islands off the coast of Maine.

34. Pez Candy was established in Orange, Conn.

35. The first public library in the U.S. was established in 1833 in the New Hampshire town of Peterborough.

36. The Maine Coast has about 3,500 miles of coastline, more than California.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New England
Source: Wikimedia user RapidFire

37. There are more blueberries grown in Maine than any other state. In fact, the state has 60,000 acres devoted to growing blueberries and produces roughly 98 percent of the wild blueberries in the U.S.

38. Luxurious Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard actually started out as glaciers and were formed into islands during the ice age.

39. In 1948 the first color TV also called Connecticut home.

40. The New Haven District Telephone Company published the first ever telephone book in New Haven in February, 1878. It contained 15 contacts.

41. Freeport, Maine’s famous L.L. Bean is open 24/7, 365 days of the year. It removed the locks from its doors in 1951 and celebrities have been known to be night owl browsers, when they're less likely to attract attention.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New England
Source: Wikimedia user John Phelan

42. Connecticut was covered by a glacier as recently as 15,000 years ago, making its landscape very young compared to the rest of the world.

43. The Narragansett language is the origin of words like “moose,” “squash,” and “pow-wow.”

44. The first, First Baptist Church in America is located in Rhode Island.

45. And Rhode Island is also home to the first synagogue in America as well.

46. Whirlwind I, the world’s first computer that operated in real-time, was invented at MIT in Cambridge, Mass.

50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New England
Source: wikimedia user Daderot

47. Boston Common was the first public park in America.

48. The first snowmobile was invented in Ossipee, N.H.

49. Of the 13 original colonies, New Hampshire was the first to declare its independence from England—a full six months before the Declaration of Independence was signed.

50. New Hampshire adopted the first legal lottery in the 20th century United States in 1963.

Feature Image Source: Flickr user Erik Daniel Drost

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Posted on: June 19, 2014
226,083 views, 137 comments
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New Listings in Massachusetts
135 Salem St #5, Boston, MA
$679,000
  • 2 Beds
  • 2 Baths
  • 1,148 Sqft
  • 1 Days on Movoto
639 E Sixth St, Boston, MA
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  • 2 Days on Movoto
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