Topic: United States/Massachusetts - Boston
The Great Molasses Flood, also known as the Boston Molasses Disaster or the Great Boston Molasses Flood, and sometimes referred to locally as the Boston Molassacre, occurred on January 15, 1919, in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. A large storage tank filled with 2.3 million US gal (8,700 m3) weighing approximately 13,000 short tons (12,000 t) of molasses burst, and the resultant wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph (56 km/h), killing 21 and injuring 150. The event entered local folklore and residents claimed for decades afterwards that the area still smelled of molasses on hot summer days.
- "Great Molasses Flood" | 2015-10-09 | 16 Upvotes 5 Comments
Phillis Wheatley, also spelled Phyllis and Wheatly (c. 1753 – December 5, 1784) was the first African-American woman to publish a book of poetry. Born in West Africa, she was sold into slavery at the age of seven or eight and transported to North America. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write and encouraged her poetry when they saw her talent.
On a 1773 trip to London with her master's son, seeking publication of her work, she was aided in meeting prominent people who became patrons. The publication in London of her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral on September 1, 1773, brought her fame both in England and the American colonies. Figures such as George Washington praised her work. A few years later, African-American poet Jupiter Hammon praised her work in a poem of his own.
Wheatley was emancipated (set free) by the Wheatleys shortly after the publication of her book. She married in about 1778. Two of her children died as infants. After her husband was imprisoned for debt in 1784, Wheatley fell into working poverty and died of illness. Her last infant son died soon after.
- "Phillis Wheatley" | 2018-10-29 | 50 Upvotes 4 Comments
"Banned in Boston" was a phrase employed from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century, to describe a literary work, song, motion picture, or play which had been prohibited from distribution or exhibition in Boston, Massachusetts. During this period, Boston officials had wide authority to ban works featuring "objectionable" content, and often banned works with sexual content or foul language. This even extended to the $5 bill from the 1896 "Educational" series of banknotes featuring allegorical figures which were partially nude.
- "Banned in Boston" | 2021-02-14 | 100 Upvotes 79 Comments
Aaron Hillel Swartz (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013) was an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, writer, political organizer, and Internet hacktivist. He was involved in the development of the web feed format RSS, the Markdown publishing format, the organization Creative Commons, and the website framework web.py, and joined the social news site Reddit six months after its founding. He was given the title of co-founder of Reddit by Y Combinator owner Paul Graham after the formation of Not a Bug, Inc. (a merger of Swartz's project Infogami and Redbrick Solutions, a company run by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman). Swartz's work also focused on civic awareness and activism. He helped launch the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in 2009 to learn more about effective online activism. In 2010, he became a research fellow at Harvard University's Safra Research Lab on Institutional Corruption, directed by Lawrence Lessig. He founded the online group Demand Progress, known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act.
In 2011, Swartz was arrested by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) police on state breaking-and-entering charges, after connecting a computer to the MIT network in an unmarked and unlocked closet, and setting it to download academic journal articles systematically from JSTOR using a guest user account issued to him by MIT. Federal prosecutors, led by Carmen Ortiz, later charged him with two counts of wire fraud and eleven violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, carrying a cumulative maximum penalty of $1 million in fines, 35 years in prison, asset forfeiture, restitution, and supervised release. Swartz declined a plea bargain under which he would have served six months in federal prison. Two days after the prosecution rejected a counter-offer by Swartz, he was found dead by suicide in his Brooklyn apartment. In 2013, Swartz was inducted posthumously into the Internet Hall of Fame.
- "Aaron Swartz" | 2021-08-31 | 49 Upvotes 1 Comments