In the early days, voting here in Massachusetts was pretty informal.
"You showed up at the polls and you said who you were and the notion was that people there, and town officials, would know who you were and they would know whether you met the requirements," said Alex Keyssar, a professor of history and public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. The requirements were simple: You had to be a man. You had to have established residency in your town. And you had to own property. Notably, you did not have to be white.
Let’s face it: this winter’s been fierce. It’s not just the unrelenting cold and snow; some days, the wind is so strong it nearly lifts you off your feet. In certain spots around the city, the wind is intensified by the surroundings, creating a wind tunnel effect.
WGBH Curiosity Desk reporter Edgar Herwick went out to discover why are some places so much windier than others.
In February 1945, a few days into the Battle of Iwo Jima, one of the most indelible images of the World War II was captured on film: Five Marines and one Navy corpsman, raising an American flag atop Mount Suribachi.
What do you get when you add hefty snowfall to the Polar Vortex and sprinkle in a bit of Bombogenisis on top? The fourth warmest January on record.
It’s been a good old fashioned winter here in Boston, complete with 2 degree nights, 21.8 inches of snow, and (hyperbole alert) 8,342 stories in the local press about whether you can use a lawn chair to save your parking space.
On a recent snowy winter morning, I spotted Shelly Pearson cycling on the bike path along Memorial drive in Cambridge. As she approached, it was pretty clear she knew what I wanted to talk to her about.
“This is not the best weather to commute in,” she said, laughing, as she slowed to a stop.
January 13 marked what would have been the 273rd birthday of America's most famous traitor, Benedict Arnold. Arnold's betrayal during the American Revolution is so notorious that today his name is actually a synonym for the word traitor. But Arnold was by no means the only man to turn go turncoat on the U.S.A.
Katalin Coleman is from Hungary - she now lives in Sweden - but every Christmas she travels here to spend the holidays with her brother and father.
Among her duties each year: select the family’s Christmas tree. This year she went to Mahoney’s, a garden center in Boston. And so she’s picked out a 7-foot balsam fir, one of the most popular choices for a Christmas tree here in New England.
The iconic Hilltop Steakhouse served its last meal back in October, but this Saturday, the restaurant will open its doors one last time — not to serve up steak dinners, but to hold an old-fashioned on-site auction, where everything from kitchen equipment to memorabilia will go up for sale.
There is nothing quite like the sound of 37,000-plus Red Sox fans, crammed into every nook and cranny of baseball's oldest ballpark on Yawkey Way in Boston's Fenway neighborhood. The swelling chorus of approval for each David Ortiz home run, each John Lester strike out, each Drew-to-Pedroia-to Napoli double-play can be heard for miles.
But as the Red Sox filtered onto the field at Fenway Park earlier this week for an afternoon workout in preparation for the 2013 World Series, it was quiet at the ballpark. A tour guide led a small group along the mezzanine as batting practice got underway. You could even hear the buzz of the fluorescent stadium lights echoing through the empty stands. That is, until TJ Connelly went to work.
For the first time in history, we've left the solar system.
NASA has announced that new data confirms their Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched way back in 1977, exited the solar system more than a year ago, entering interstellar space.
If you're wondering what exactly interstellar space is, Merav Opher, assistant professor of astronomy at Boston University and a Voyager team scientist explained that it's an area filled with material from past dead stars and wind.
Sure, Shark Week is a neat idea. Yes, "Jaws" is an incredible movie. And, okay, "Sharknado" is a thing. But with New England shark sightings on the rise, parents vetoing swimming in area waters, and Chatham's use of sharks as the centerpiece for a marketing campaign, it's beginning to feel like the sharks are hogging the spotlight.
If you were looking up at the skies on Tuesday night, you might have noticed a big, bright full moon. What you might not have realized is just how rare that full moon was. It wasn't blue in color, but it was a true Blue Moon.
Full moons occur, on average, every 29.5 days. If you're standing on Earth, this means the sun is directly opposite the moon.
It's a steamy summer night in Dorchester and the air conditioner at the Carver Den is on the fritz, so a few industrial strength fans will have to suffice. It's Thursday, and that means heat or no heat The Original Steppers of Boston have some dancing to do.
Since 2006, this group has brought Chicago-Style Stepping to dance floors all over Greater Boston. Each Thursday, they hold a lesson and open dance at the Carver Den on Talbot Avenue in Dorchester.
That’s the hunch of a team of scientists at Harvard, MIT, and Massachusetts General Hospital. Christopher Carr is a research scientist at MIT for that team, which is known as the Search for Extraterrestrial Genomes (SETG). He said the big idea driving the research is that if life on Mars exists, it could be related to us.
To follow up on a report from earlier this week about public restrooms in Boston in which five of six automated city toilets were out of order, I caught up with Peter O'Sullivan, who runs the Boston's Coordinated Street Furniture Program. The program is responsible for many of the information kiosks and bus shelters you see around the city, as well as the city's eight automated public toilets.
Edgar stands outside a city toilet in Charlestown near the U.S.S. Constitution. It was out of service, but the open door allowed us to peak in and see a very dirty toilet and what looked to be an attempt to repair the floor or plumbing inside.
Each year, more than 12 million visitors come to Boston to take in the city's rich culture and history. We've got old . But there's one amenity that we keep hearing downtown Boston is distinctly lacking: Good, clean well-marked public restrooms.
Well that got us wondering, could it really be that hard to find a place to attend to one of life's most mundane functions in such a high-minded metropolis as ours? The only way to find out was to set out and see for ourselves.
Investigators exhumed the body of Albert DeSalvo on Friday, to test his DNA against evidence from the 1964 murder of Mary Sullivan. Sullivan, 19, was found raped and murdered at her home on Charles St. in Boston.
Jessica Meir is an accomplished woman. A graduate of Brown University, she has an advanced degree from the International Space University, and earned her doctorate from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Meir is an assistant professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, where her specialty is studying animals in extreme – low oxygen environments. But, only for the next month or so. That's because she just learned that her life's dream is about to come true.
Boston Bruins fans react at the Boston Sports Grille near TD Garden in Boston on Wednesday, June 15, 2011, after the Bruins scored in the first period of Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Even if its not a triple overtime thriller like Game 1 - or even a single overtime thriller like Game 2 - there promises to be a lot of activity at the TD Garden Monday night when the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks lace up the skates for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
I’m not talking Milan Lucic wrist shots or kick saves by Tuukka Rask.
I’m talking about cash changing hands at the concession stand, smartphones being scanned at the gate, plastic being swiped in the souvenir shop. I’m talking about economic activity.
WGBH Curiosity Desk's Edgar B. Herwick III and Boston Globe music critic Sarah Rodman joined forces to bring their favorite music picks to Boston Public Radio. It's a list that spans everything from folksy acoustic and classic rock up through country and electro.
New Music Picks from Sarah Rodman, Boston Globe pop music and TV critic:
The first act in one of the most anticipated criminal trials in Bay State history gets underway Tuesday as jury selection begins in the James “Whitey” Bulger case.
But, how will the court determine the jury of 12 peers who will sit on the Whitey Bulger trial from the millions of Massachusetts residents who qualify for jury duty? And, in a high profile such as this one, how does the court find jurors that present little conflict or bias with the trial?