Boston is the state capital, the seat of Suffolk County, and the largest city in Massachusetts. It is located in the eastern part of the state on Massachusetts Bay. It was incorporated as a city in 1822. No city in the U.S. is richer in historical associations than Boston, and no city has retained more of its original buildings as memorials to America's past.
The first European settler was Rev. William Blackstone, who arrived in 1623, just three years after the Pilgrims had landed at Plymouth in 1620. He was joined by Puritans from England in 1630. They named their new town Boston, after the former home of many of them in Lincolnshire, England. Fourteen years later, the pioneer Bostonians set aside the first public park in the U.S.—the Boston Common. The following year, 1635, they opened the first free public school in America. Today, the Boston area is home to 68 colleges and universities.
Boston is a major industrial, financial, and educational hub and has one of the finest ports in the world. The city's banking and financial services, insurance, and real estate sectors continue to drive Boston's economy. Boston is also a leading city in health care, with 25 inpatient hospitals and numerous community health centers. The city's unique cultural and historic heritage makes it a center of tourism, and its hotel industry ranks among the highest in the nation in occupancy. Boston's other businesses are in high technology, biotechnology, software, and electronics.
The city's tourist attractions include Faneuil Hall Marketplace, the JFK Library and Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the New England Aquarium, the USS Constitution, and many historic buildings and neighborhoods.
Boston is the site of the oldest and most prestigious annual marathon in the world. The Boston Marathon attracts more than one million spectators and usually 25,000 runners, a far cry from the 15 runners that took to the course for the inaugural race in 1897. In 2013, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the race. Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 260 people were injured.
Selected famous natives and residents: