Cocoanut Grove: How 492 Died in a Deadly Nightclub Fire in 1942

Within eight minutes of the first sight of flames, the fire, fueled by ample wall and ceiling decorations, had engulfed the entire club. By Daniel J. FlemingArchivistU.S. Naval War College Introduction Saturday, November 28, 1942, at the U.S. Navy Yard in Boston, Massachusetts, had been, for the most part, a relatively uneventful day. According to[…]

A History of Immigration to Boston: Eras, Ethnic Groups, and Places

Examining different time periods and ethnic groups to document the history of a city where immigrants have long been a vital force in shaping economic, social and political life. Eras of Immigration First Wave Immigration, 1820-1880 During the nineteenth century, Boston evolved from a bustling port town to a booming industrial city. Through landfill and[…]

“Well Known as Miss Betty Cooper”: Gender Expression in 18th-Century Boston

Miss Betty Cooper may not be “well known” to modern historians, but the ad claims that she was “well known” in Revolutionary-era Boston. In the years before the American Revolution, Boston newspapers routinely advertised the sale and recapture of enslaved people alongside news of Massachusetts’ resistance to British rule. In these ads, enslavers provided descriptions[…]