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State Capital
City of Boston
Clockwise: Skyline of Back Bay seen from the Charles River, Fenway Park, Christian Science Church, Boston Common and the Downtown Crossing skyline, skyline of the Financial District seen from the Boston Harbor, and Massachusetts State House


Nickname(s): Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe), The Cradle of Liberty,[1] The Cradle of Modern America, The Athens of America,[1] The Walking City
Motto: Sicut patribus sit Deus nobis (Latin "As God was with our fathers, so may He be with us")
Location in Suffolk County, Massachusetts
Boston is located in USA
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 42°21′28″N 71°03′42″W / 42.35778°N 71.06167°W / 42.35778; -71.06167Coordinates: 42°21′28″N 71°03′42″W / 42.35778°N 71.06167°W / 42.35778; -71.06167
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Suffolk
Settled September 17, 1630
Incorporated (city) March 4, 1822
 • Type Strong mayor – council
 • Mayor Thomas M. Menino (D)
 • State Capital 89.63 sq mi (232.14 km2)
 • Land 48.43 sq mi (125.43 km2)
 • Water 41.21 sq mi (106.73 km2)
 • Urban 1,774 sq mi (4,595 km2)
 • Metro 4,511 sq mi (11,683 km2)
 • CSA 10,644 sq mi (27,568 km2)
Elevation 141 ft (43 m)
Population [5]
 • State Capital 617,594 ('10 census)
 • Density 12,752/sq mi (4,924/km2)
 • Urban 4,032,484 ('00 census)
 • Metro 4,522,858 ('08 est.)
 • CSA 7,609,358 ('09 est.)
 • Demonym Bostonian
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s) 617 and 857
FIPS code 25-07000
GNIS feature ID 0617565

Boston is the capital city of Massachusetts in the United States. It was founded in 1630. Boston is one of the oldest, wealthiest and most culturally important cities in the United States.


Boston was founded on November 17, 1630, by Puritan colonists from England. Boston's early European settlers called the area Trimountaine (Three Mountains). They renamed the town for Boston, England, in Lincolnshire because many important "Pilgrim" colonists came from there. Most of Boston's early citizens were Puritans. Shortly after Boston's settlement, Puritans created America's first public school and America's first university, Harvard University (1636). Harvard is in the city of Cambridge, which is across the Charles River from Boston. Until the 1760s, Boston was America's largest city.

During the early 1770s, The British tried to control the thirteen colonies with taxes. This made people from Boston start the American Revolution. The Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and several early battles happened in or near the city. It held its first town meeting in Faneuil Hall in 1743.[7]

Boston continued to grow and attract immigrants from around the world. Many immigrants came from Ireland, and gave Boston a very Irish culture that remains today. President John F. Kennedy was a member of an Irish-American family that lived in Boston. Many immigrants also came from Italy, and lived in Boston's North End, where Italian culture remains, with various Italian stores, restaurants, bakeries, and homes.

On 15 April 2013, two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon.[8] Boston is the only state capital in the contiguous United States with an ocean coastline.[9]


Boston is located on the Shawmut Peninsula. The city covers 48 square miles. Boston Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean is located east of the city.

The highest point in Boston is Bellevue Hill at 330 feet above sea level, and the lowest point is at sea level.[10]


Boston has a continental climate with some ocean affects. Summers are normally warm to hot, rainy, and humid, while winters alternate between periods of cold rain and snow, with cold temperatures. Spring and fall are usually mild. Existing wind patterns that blow offshore lower the effect of the Atlantic Ocean.[11]

The hottest month is July, with a normal temperature of 73.4°F. The coldest month is January, with a normal of 29.0°F. Extremes have ranged from −18°F on February 9, 1934, up to 104°F on July 4, 1911.

Boston's location on the North Atlantic moderates its temperature, but makes the city very likely to suffer from to Nor'easter weather systems that can produce much snow and rain. The city averages 43.7in of precipitation a year, with 45.1in of snowfall a year.


The tallest towers in Boston are the Prudential Tower and the John Hancock Tower.


Boston has a culture that's quite similar to New England, such as a New England accent and foods that are mostly seafood, salt, and dairy products. Irish Americans are very important in Boston's politics and religious activities. Boston people also have a style of talking which is called Boston slang.[12]

It is often thought that Bostonians have a strong sense of culture. Perhaps this is because Boston is famous for being a very intellectual place, with much of its culture coming from its universities.[13][14] The city has many complex theatres, including the Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston Opera House, Citi Performing Arts Center, the Colonial Theater, and the Orpheum Theatre. The headquarters of Unitarian Universalism (UU) is located in Boston. The Christian Science movement has also made its home in the Boston area.

Boston has many historic places and Bostonians take pride in their city's history. The American Revolution began in Boston and many of its leaders, such as Samuel Adams, John Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere were from the city. Many of the sites from the revolution are preserved in the city, including Fanuiel Hall, the Old State House, Park Street Church and others. These form the "Freedom Trail", a walk that takes visitors past many historic places in the city.

Boston today

Boston is one of the United States' most important cities in education and health care. Boston and the towns around it contain many of the country's leading universities. Harvard, MIT, and Boston University are some of the most famous.

Professional sports are an important part of life in Boston. The Red Sox play baseball at Fenway Park, the oldest stadium in Major League Baseball (1912). The Celtics, a basketball team, and the Bruins, a hockey team, both play at the TD Garden. Boston's football team, the New England Patriots, play in Foxborough, a town 22 miles south of the city.


The MBTA runs the city's subway (known as "the T"), commuter rail, buses, and ferries. The main airport for the city is Logan International Airport.

The main highways for the area are;

Number Highway
93 I-93.svg Interstate 93
90 I-90.svg Interstate 90
95 I-95.svg Interstate 95
495 I-495.svg Interstate 495
Tunnel Carries Opened Notes
Boston Harbor tunnels
Sumner Tunnel Route 1A South 1934 Toll of $3.50 for non-commercial vehicles and $5.25 for commercial vehicles.
Callahan Tunnel Route 1A North 1961 Repair work to this tunnel has caused complete closure, which began at 11 pm on December 27, 2013 and will end on March 12, 2014.[15]
Ted Williams Tunnel Interstate 90 both East and West 1995 built for the Big Dig
Mainland tunnels
Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Tunnel Interstate 93 North and South 2003-2006 built for the Big Dig
Dewey Square Tunnel Interstate 93 south (Congress st to Kneeland st) 1959
City Square Tunnel US Route 1 built for the Big Dig
Bridge Name Opened Notes
Charlestown Bridge 1900 connects Charlestown with Downtown area
Leverett Circle Connector Bridge 1999-10-07 connects Storrow Drive with Interstate 93, built for the big dig
Tobin Bridge 1950-02-27 Is more than two miles (3 km) from Charlestown to Chelsea over the Mystic River in Massachusetts. The bridge is the largest in New England.[16]
Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge (Zakim Bridge) 2003 built for the Big Dig, carries Interstate 93 North and South


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Boston Travel & Vacations". 2006. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  2. "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 1. Retrieved April 29, 2009.
  3. "United States by Urbanized Area; and for Puerto Rico". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 1. Retrieved April 29, 2009.
  4. "United States by County by State, and for Puerto Rico". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 1. Retrieved April 29, 2009.
  5. "Alphabetically sorted list of Census 2000 Urbanized Areas" (TXT). United States Census Bureau, Geography Division. Retrieved April 11, 2009.
  6. "ZIP Code Lookup – Search By City". United States Postal Service. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  7. ,, retrieved 2010-03-14
  9. Univ. of Alabama geography dept.. "US Map and State Capitals". Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  10. "Bellevue Hill, Massachusetts".
  11. "Weather". City of Boston. 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  12. Baker, Billy (2008-05-25). "Wicked good Bostonisms come, and mostly go". The Boston Globe ( Retrieved 2009-05-02.
  13. "Boston Culture". Columbus Travel Media Ltd.. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  14. Phelan, Joseph (November 2004). "Boston Marathon". Artcyclopedia.
  15. Hanson, Melissa. "Callahan Tunnel closure begins at 11 p.m.". Boston Globe. Boston Globe. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  16. Abel, David (2007-10-23). "Work never stops on Tobin bridge: Costs rising as crews try to maintain old structure". The Boston Globe.

Related pages

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Further reading

Boston: A to Z (2000), Thomas H. O'Connor, ISBN 0674003101
Built in Boston: City and Suburb, 1800–2000 (2000), Douglass Shand-Tucci, ISBN 1558492011
Lost Boston (1999), Mariner Books, ISBN 0395966108
Boston: A Topographical History, Third Enlarged Edition (2000), Belknap Press, ISBN 0674002687
* When in Boston: A Time Line & Almanac (2004), Northeastern, ISBN 1555536204
Gaining Ground: A History of Landmaking in Boston (2003), Nancy S. Seasholes, ISBN 0262194945
Boston's Secret Spaces: 50 Hidden Corners In and Around the Hub, (2009), Globe Pequot; First edition ISBN 0762750626
AIA Guide to Boston, 3rd Edition: Contemporary Landmarks, Urban Design, Parks, Historic Buildings and Neighborhoods, (2008), Michael Southworth and Susan Southworth, GPP Travel, ISBN 0762743379
Boston: A Pictorial Celebration (2006), Jonathan M. Beagle, Elan Penn (photographer), ISBN 1402719779
City in Time: Boston (2008), Jeffrey Hantover, Gilbert King (photographer), ISBN 1402733003
Mapping Boston (2001), Alex Krieger (editor), David Cobb (editor), Amy Turner (editor), Norman B. Leventhal (Foreword by) MIT Press, ISBN 0262611732
Boston Beheld: Antique Town and Country Views (2008), D. Brenton Simons, University Press of New England, ISBN 1584657405
Boston (2010) by Jordan Worek; photographs by Bill Horsman, Firefly Books, ISBN 1554075912

Related websites

City of Boston official website
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau
WikiSatellite view of Boston at WikiMapia