6 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Boston

On September 16, 1630, a small Massachusetts village of Shawmut changed its name to Boston. Want to show off your wicked Boston smarts? Here are six things you need to know about Beantown.


Boston is Named After a Town in England Many people wonder how Boston got its name and few realize that, much like other cities and towns in New England, it too was named after a city in England. The city of Boston, Massachusetts was named after the city of Boston in Lincolnshire, England. Many of Boston’s early settlers were from Boston, England in the UK, and decided to keep the name.

The Boston Red Sox Have a Patent on a Particular Shade of Green The Boston Red Sox are known for their Green Monster, which overlooks the ball field in Fenway Park. The color is so distinctive that the Sox have a patent on the color. If you really like "Fenway Green," don't worry; the Benjamin Moore paint company (the official paint company associated with the Sox) issued a line of baseball-related paints in 2014, including "Green Monster Green." The line inlcuded colors like "Boston Red" and "Foul Pole Yellow."


The First American Lighthouse Was Built in Boston Harbor in 1716 Little Brewster Island is where the first lighthouse was ever built in what is now the United States. While that lighthouse is long gone, the current island lighthouse dates back to 1783. Boston Light is the only Coast Guard-manned lighthouse in the country. It takes a special group of people to keep the light shining. Guiding a group of 32 assistant keepers is Coast Guard Auxiliarist Sally Snowman, the keeper of Boston Light.

Christmas Was Once Banned The Grinch had nothing on the 17th-century Puritans, who actually banned the celebration of Christmas in Boston for an entire generation. That's right – from 1659 until 1681, it was illegal to observe Christmas in Boston. In their strict interpretation of the Bible, the Puritans noted that there was no scriptural basis for commemorating Christmas. The ban was revoked in 1681, however it was not until the mid-19th century that celebrating Christmas became fashionable in the Boston region.

A Deadly Wave of Molasses Flooded The North End In January 15, 1919, a storage tank holding more than 2 million gallons of molasses burst, sending a giant wave of the hot syrupy substance through the North End of Boston. It killed 21 people and several horses and injured more than 100 others,making it the worst molasses-related accident in history.

The Fig Newton is named after a Boston suburb The iconic Fig Newton was one of the earliest commercially baked products in America. Although rumor has it the cookie was named after the pioneering physicist Isaac Newton, the Fig Newton is actually named after the Boston suburb of Newton, Massachusetts. The Boston-based Kennedy Biscuit company had a habit of naming their cookies after local towns, and they already had cookies named Beacon Hill, Harvard, and Shrewsbury when the Newton was created.