89 Interesting Facts About Massachusetts

Last updated on October 20th, 2023

64. Mourners may only eat a maximum of three sandwiches at a wake in Massachusetts. You must make sure you are not hungry, or you may accidentally eat more.

65. Did you know that celebrating Christmas was banned in Massachusetts? In 1659, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony made it a criminal offense to publicly celebrate the holiday. In 1856, however, Christmas finally became a public holiday in the state.

66. An interesting law in Massachusetts is that taking a lion to the movies is illegal. If you are brave enough to own a lion, leave it at home on movie night.

67. It is illegal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to scare a pigeon.

68. In Massachusetts, it is illegal to have a goatee unless you have obtained a permit. To wear a goatee in public, you must pay a fee first.

A traffic signal

69. Stopping for red lights is not required by law unless they are flashing.

70. More than four percent of Massachusetts falls under the protected land category. That is more than one million acres of land protected as conservation.

71. Viruses brought to Massachusetts by settlers in the 1900s killed roughly 90 percent of the natives. The Native Americans had no resistance to the illnesses.

72. Twenty people were tried and killed during the witch-hunting trials in Salem. More than 200 people were accused of witchcraft, but only 20 were killed.

73. One of the most popular actors, Mark Wahlberg, hails from Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up in the working-class district of Dorchester and is the youngest of nine children.

74. Rob Zombie, the founding member of the band White Zombie, was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts. The inspiration for his name comes from the horror movie White Zombie.

75. Springfield lies at a distance of 24 miles from Hartford, the capital of Connecticut. The Springfield-Hartford region is known as the “Knowledge Corridor” because the region has more than 32 universities and shelters more than 150,000 students. This is the second-largest concentration of higher learning institutions in the United States.

76. The very famous writer of children’s books, Dr Seuss, comes from Springfield, Massachusetts. His real name is Theodore Seuss Geisel, and he was born in 1904.

77. The world’s largest pancake breakfast was served in Springfield in 1986. Since then, it has become an annual festivity where thousands of pancakes are consumed.


78. Massachusetts is one of the nation’s leading producers of cranberries.

79. The Fig Newton cookies were named after the town of Newton, Massachusetts.

80. The Boston Cream Doughnut has become the official doughnut of Massachusetts. It is filled with vanilla custard and covered with delicious chocolate.

81. The Cream pie, formally known as the Parker House Cream Pie, is now the official state pie. It is not a pie but a classic American cake topped with Chocolate Ganache.

82. The original Boston baked beans have been a favorite since the early 1600s. What makes this special is that it is prepared with corn syrup and brown sugar.

83. Another classic Massachusetts seafood dish is fried clams. For more than 100 years, many food experts have experimented with this dish to create the best-tasting recipe.

84. A vital dish in the Massachusetts food scene is the scallop. Some of the best can be found in New Bedford, with a world-renowned reputation.

85. The Clam Chowder is an official Massachusetts dish made with cream. Potatoes are also added to the mix and seasoned with black pepper.

86. The not-so-well-known Massachusetts-style hot dog is another dish you should look out for. The bun is small in size and is served with Boston baked beans.

87. Another hot dog-style dish is the Fenway Frank, which most baseball fans know. It is larger than the Massachusetts hot dog with grilled sausage.

88. You should remember the apple cider doughnut in Massachusetts. It may not have originated here, but it has become quite a favorite tasty treat in this state.

89. A hotspot for American cannoli is right there in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a cream-filled pastry you will find in most bakeries in this state.

About the flag of Massachusetts

Massachusetts state flag

1. Design and Symbolism

The flag of Massachusetts establishes the state’s values: a yearning for peace and a readiness to fight for freedom.

It shows the state coat of arms at the center of a white field. It has a blue shield depicting a Native American standing at rest with a bow planted on the ground. His arrow is pointing downward to imply tranquility.

At the upper left of the shield, you will see a white star near the head of the warrior. It represents Massachusetts as a state in the Union – as in one of the stars in the US flag.

Above the shield is a military crest displaying a bent arm with a broadsword. The blade points up, ready for battle, as a reminder that it took a revolution to win freedom. The crest represents the state philosophy: it is better to lose an arm than to live under tyranny.

A blue ribbon flows around the shield while showcasing the state motto: “Ense Petit Placidam, Sub Libertate Quietem.” This Latin phrase means “By the sword, we seek peace, but only peace under liberty.”

2. Adoption

Massachusetts officially adopted the current flag in 1971. However, efforts are underway to replace it along with the seal and motto due to racial controversies. A special commission is due to complete its work in March 2023.

3. Technical Details

The flag follows a proportion of 3:5. Folds in the ribbon serve as spaces for the words in the motto. It should be easy to read from the left and the right.

4. History

In 1629, the first seal of the Massachusetts Bay Colony depicted an American Indian and a scroll with the words “Come over and help us.” It highlights the missionary intentions of the colonists.

In 1676, changed the words to reflect the war between the natives and the colonists. The conflict reduced enthusiasm for indigenous conversion and integration.

In 1775, they created a revolutionary seal with a minuteman holding a sword and the Magna Carta. The Latin motto also made its first appearance.

In 1780, the revolution was over. Massachusetts created a peacetime seal with an Indian holding a bow and arrow at rest. It also had a silver star and a blue ribbon with the state motto.

In 1907, Massachusetts adopted a state flag with a pine tree in the middle. This widely used revolutionary flag is a symbol of peace in New England. It depicts the tree under which native tribes buried their weapons after decades of war.

In 1971, the current design with the coat of arms replaced the pine tree flag, which now serves as the official Massachusetts naval flag.

5. Flag Facts

Massachusetts is among three states that feature a Native American in its state flag. The other two are Florida and Minnesota.

6. Other Flags

The Flag of the Governor of Massachusetts is similar to the state flag except for the shape. It is a triangular banner with a white field and a coat of arms near the hoist.

The first flag flown in Massachusetts as a colony had a red field with a white square at the upper left containing a red cross. Residents used it from 1620 to 1708, after which the Union Flag of Great Britain appeared on the corner.

Massachusetts – quick facts and state symbols

State AbbreviationMA
State CapitalBoston
List Of 50 U.S. States And Their Capital
Largest CityBoston
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 10,555 sq miles; Land Only: 7,840 sq miles
(Estimate July 1, 2023 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodFeb. 6, 1788
State rank by population16th
State rank by date of formation6th
State rank by area44th
Number of Counties14
Complete list of 50 states and number of counties in each
DemonymBay Stater (official) Massachusite (traditional) Massachusettsian
Bordering StatesConnecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont
Official LanguageEnglish
Highest PointMount Greylock
3,489 ft (1063.4 m)
Lowest pointAtlantic Ocean
Sea level
Length 113 miles (182 km)
Width183 miles (295 km)
GovernorMaura Healey (D)
Lieutenant GovernorKim Driscoll (D)
Electoral Votes11
State MottosEnse petit placidam sub libertate quietem (By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty)
State NicknameBay State; Old Colony State
% Water25.7
Nobel Prize WinnersRoderick MacKinnon (Chemistry, 2003)
Roger B. Myerson (Economic Sciences, 2007)
Richard F. Heck (Chemistry, 2010)
Lloyd S. Shapley (Economic Sciences, 2012)
Eugene F. Fama (Economic Sciences, 2013)
James E. Rothman (Physiology or Medicine, 2013)
Kenneth G. Wilson (Physics, 1982)
Elias James Corey (Chemistry, 1990)
Merton H. Miller (Economic Sciences, 1990)
William F. Sharpe (Economic Sciences, 1990)
Henry W. Kendall (Physics, 1990)
Famous PeopleNick Buoniconti (Pro Football Player)
Jeff Bagwel (Baseball Player)
Chris Evans (Actor)
Paula Cole (Singer)
U.S. Presidents Born in Massachusetts1. John Adams
2. John Quincy Adams.
3. John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy.
4. George Herbert Walker Bush.
Folk song"Massachusetts" by Arlo Guthrie
State DogBoston Terrier
State FishCod
State BirdCactus Wren
State Game BirdWild Turkey
State GemRhodonite
State ReptileGarter snake
Marine mammalRight whale
State FlowerMayflower
State FossilDinosaur Tracks
State ShellNew England Neptune
State Berry
State TreeAmerican elm
State Horse
Morgan Horse
State beanBaked Navy Bean
Longitude69° 56′ W to 73° 30′ W
Latitude41° 14′ N to 42° 53′ N
Time ZoneEastern Time Zone
Area Codes339, 351, 413, 508, 617, 774, 781, 857, 978
Table last updatedOctober 30, 2023