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  • 1000-15 Viking explorers land in Canada, and may or may not have sailed southward to New England. Evidence is spotty.

  • 1497 John Cabot, seeking to establish trade for England, reaches the island of Newfoundland in Canada and sails south as far as Maine.

  • 1602 Capt. Bartholomew Gosnold lands on the Massachusetts coast. Names Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and other locations.

  • 1604 French colonists settle on an island on the St. Croix River between present-day Maine and New Brunswick. They leave after a single miserable winter.

  • 1614 Capt. John Smith maps the New England coast, names the Charles River after King Charles I of England, and calls the area a paradise.

  • 1616 Smallpox kills large numbers of Indians between Maine and Rhode Island.

  • 1620 The Mayflower, carrying some 100 colonists (including many Pilgrims, fleeing religious persecution in England), arrives at Cape Cod.

  • 1630 Colonists led by John Winthrop establish the town of Boston, named after an English village.

  • 1635-36 Roger Williams is exiled from Massachusetts for espousing liberal religious ideas; he founds the city of Providence, RI.

  • 1636 Harvard College is founded to educate young men for the ministry.

  • 1638 America's first printing press is established in Cambridge.

  • 1648 First labor unions are established by coopers and shoemakers in Boston.

  • 1675-76 Native Americans attack colonists in New England in what is known as "King Philip's War."

  • 1692 The Salem witch trials take place. Twenty people (including 14 women) are executed before the hysteria subsides.

  • 1704 America's first regularly published newspaper, the Boston News Letter, is founded.

  • 1713 The first schooner, a distinctively American sailing ship, is designed and built in Gloucester, MA.

  • 1764 "Taxation without representation" is denounced in reaction to the Sugar Act.

  • 1770 Five colonists are killed outside what is now the Old State House in an incident known as the Boston Massacre.

  • 1773 British ships are raided by colonists disguised as Indians during the Boston Tea Party. More than 300 chests of tea are dumped into the harbor from three British ships.

  • 1775 On April 18, Paul Revere and William Dawes spread the word that the British are marching toward Lexington and Concord. The next day the "shot heard round the world" is fired. On June 17, the British win the Battle of Bunker Hill but suffer heavy casualties.

  • 1783 Treaty of Paris is signed, formally concluding the American Revolution.

  • 1788 Connecticut becomes the fifth, Massachusetts the sixth, and New Hampshire the ninth state to formally join the union.

  • 1790 Rhode Island becomes the 13th state and the final colony to ratify the constitution.

  • 1791 The short-lived Republic of Vermont (1777-91) ends and the state of Vermont joins the union.

  • 1812 War of 1812 with England batters New England economy.

  • 1814 The nation's first textile mill is built, in Waltham, MA.

  • 1820 Maine, formerly a district of Massachusetts, becomes a state.

  • 1835 Samuel Colt of Connecticut develops the six-shooter pistol.

  • 1861 Massachusetts Institute of Technology is founded.

  • 1892 America's first gasoline-powered automobile is built in Chicopee, MA.

  • 1897 First Boston Marathon is run; Boston completes first American subway.

  • 1903 The first World Series is played; Boston Red Sox win.

  • 1918 The Red Sox celebrate another World Series victory.

  • 1930 America's Cup sailing race is first held in Newport, RI.

  • 1930s The Great Depression devastates New England's already reeling industrial base.

  • 1938 A major hurricane sweeps into New England, killing hundreds and destroying countless buildings and trees.

  • 1942 A fire at Boston's Cocoanut Grove nightclub kills 491 people.

  • 1946 John F. Kennedy is elected to Congress to represent Boston's first congressional district.

  • 1957 Boston Celtics win their first NBA championship, laying the groundwork for a reign that will eventually include 16 championships.

  • 1963 New Hampshire becomes first state to establish a lottery to support education.

  • 1966 Edward Brooke of Massachusetts becomes the first African American elected to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction.

  • 1972 Maine's Indians head to court, claiming the state illegally seized their land in violation of a 1790 act. They settle 8 years later for $81.5 million.

  • 1974 In Connecticut, Ella Grasso becomes the first elected woman governor.

  • 1991 The Big Dig begins in Boston.

  • 2001 The New England Patriots win the Super Bowl, stunning New Englanders.

  • 2004 The Red Sox break the curse, winning the World Series for the first time in 86 years. The Patriots win the Super Bowl for the third time in 4 years.

  • 2005 The Big Dig nears completion and Boston's downtown area has unobstructed access to the waterfront for the first time in 50 years.
  • Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.