Boston Trivia – Fun Facts About Boston

Boston is one of the most unique cities in the US. It’s a city of ‘Firsts’ and tons of fun trivia that you just gotta read about!

Boston a City of ‘Firsts’ and Not Only for the US but the World

First Thanksgiving 1621: Plymouth

First Public park 1634: Boston Common

Fun Facts About Boston

Boston Commons – 1st Public Park

First public school in the world 1635: Boston Latin School

First University 1636: Harvard

Harvard University - boston trivia

Harvard – 1st University

First newspaper: 1704

First restaurant 1714: Union Oyster House

1st restaurant in USA

Union Oyster House – 1st Restaurant

Oldest pub 1784: Bell in Hand

Swimming Pool: 1827

Telegraph invented in Boston: 1824

Modern Hotel: Tremont House 1829

First police department: 1838

First sewing machine was built in Boston in 1845

Boston library is the first public library in the world: 1848 (also home to the first library in North America, which was private, in 1657)

First Aerial Photo, taken from balloon by J. W. Black, 1860 

First telephone, invented by Alexander Graham Bell: 1876

First woman Ph.D., Boston University, 1877

Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith in Springfield, Mass.

Volleyball was invented in 1895 by William Morgan in Holyoke, Mass.

First subway: 1897

1st subway in the US

1st Subway system in the US

First marathon: 1897

Disposable razor invented by Gilette: 1901

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) invented the first computer in Cambridge in 1928.

MIT - ivy league - boston

MIT – 1st Computer Invented

Chocolate chip cookie invented in Whitman, Mass. 1930

Medical Firsts

First time ether was used as an anesthetic during an operation at Massachusetts General. Hospital in 1846

First kidney transplant performed in 1954

First open heart surgery performed at Children’s Hospital in 1967

Boston Nicknames


Cradle of Modern America

The Hub

The Walking City

The Athens of America

Fun Facts About Boston – Pure Trivia

Mother Goose is from Boston, and is buried there

Boston Landfill – Back Bay: This section of Boston was once a large swampy extension of the Charles River that created a terrible smell at low tide. The city commissioned to have the area filled in during the middle of the 19th century. The massive project continued seven days a week for over 17 years.

Boston’s nickname, “The Athens of America,” is because the city features more than one hundred institutes of higher learning within its borders.

The USS Constitution, or “Old Ironsides”, is the US Navy’s oldest commissioned warship and it is berthed in the Charlestown Navy Yard.

The Boston suburb of Quincy is home to the first Dunkin Donuts (located on Hancock Street), as well as the nation’s first Howard Johnson’s (situated on Newport Avenue).

dunkin donuts - 1st in the world

1st Dunkin Donuts in the World

The Boston University Bridge on Commonwealth Avenue has the distinct recognition of being the only place on the planet where a boat can sail under a train going under a car that is driving under an airplane.

The Ted Williams Tunnel runs some 90 feet below the earth’s surface, making it the deepest in North America.

It wasn’t until 1856 that Christmas was made a legal holiday in Massachusetts.


About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

14 Responses to Boston Trivia – Fun Facts About Boston

  1. Franca says:

    Very interesting post, I felt like I’ve just had an intensive history (and not only) lesson about Boston! Cheers! 🙂
    Franca recently posted..Visiting the Taipei Biennial and Fine Arts MuseumMy Profile

  2. I didn’t get to know Boston until last year, but it was worth the wait! Such a pretty, vibrant place and who knew it has so many cool things about it!?
    Cat of Sunshine and Siestas recently posted..Seville Snapshots: Luarca, AsturiasMy Profile

  3. Karon says:

    I’ve never been to Boston, but it’s on my “Must see” list! And now I have a better reason to go: Celebrating the birth of the chocolate chip cookie!
    Karon recently posted..Roadtrippin’: Top Three Sites to See in Charlottesville, Va.My Profile

  4. HOW COOL!! i didn’t know so much of your great list!
    wanderingeducators recently posted..Alien Citizen: Third Culture Kids, from Everywhere and NowhereMy Profile

  5. Love these facts! Your series on Boston has been a delight for this Boston gal. There were some of these I didn’t know!
    Lillie – @WorldLillie recently posted..YUM! An Italian Food Market Tour of Boston’s North EndMy Profile

  6. Jennifer says:

    Wow, I had no idea Boston had so many firsts!
    Jennifer recently posted..Cooling Off in Flagstaff’s Lava River CaveMy Profile

  7. I’ve only visited Boston once and have always wanted to go back. Now that I know about the Chocolate chip cookie, I’m even more sold on Boston. 🙂
    Penny Sadler recently posted..Cool Building: Union Station, Los AngelesMy Profile

  8. I haven’t been to the U.S. yet, but as a marathoner, Boston is in my bucket list!
    Aleah | recently posted..Exploring Freetown Christiania in CopenhagenMy Profile

  9. I had no idea that Boston had the first public library. Thanks for sharing these fun trivia tidbits.
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..INTERVIEW: African Children’s Choir Brings Hope to the Children of UgandaMy Profile

  10. Melissa says:

    Really, really want to go to the Union Oyster House!
    Melissa recently posted..How many hours a day does a freelancing, homeschooling mom really work?My Profile

  11. Lori says:

    As always, so many interesting things to find out from your post!
    Lori recently posted..Interesting Design of the Chairs in the Bonaparte’s Apartment at the LouvreMy Profile

  12. Mary Paquette says:

    Correction, Boston Common, Not Boston Commons, You must have been watch old Cheers episodes. We don’t speak with Rose Kennedy accents! Either

    • Hi Mary,

      thanks for that. I fixed it. I’m not sure what you mean speaking like Rose Kennedy. I don’t even know who she is 🙂

      • Mary Paquette says:

        ROSE Kennedy was JFK’s mother that lived just out side of the Boston area near Ashmont station ( the subway in Dorchester). John Fitzgerald Kennedy president of the united states, Many of his family members speak with the same accent but this accent is not common in the Boston Area

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