Fortunate Daughter Notes
A.N.: These notes are in order of when they occur in the story.
-I based Liz's clothing off of Wampanoag traditional clothes.
-Western Massachusetts is filled with hills and mountains (The Berkshires). Our local public television station is called WGBH, or 'GBH for short, which stands for "Great Blue Hills."
-A large portion of the Native American tribes in Massachusetts were wiped out by diseases like smallpox, which the Europeans were immune to but the natives had no contact with. In one (and probably other) instance, tribes were purposefully wiped out by smallpox-infested blankets.
-The name "Massachusetts" is taken from the name of the Massachusett tribe, and it means "'near the great hill', 'by the blue hills', 'at the little big hill', or 'at the range of hills'".
-The "little girl from the north" is Maine, which was actually a part of Massachusetts until the Missouri Compromise in 1820 split it into two separate states.
-Boston, once it shook off most of it's Puritan history, developed quite a red-light district. To the point where some of the British commanders called it "Mount Whoredom."
-Most of the planning for revolution took place in taverns and pubs throughout the city, where the men would practice speeches and design inflammatory posters to put up around the city. Most of the rabble-rousing began in Massachusetts, but only after events like the Boston Massacre did it carry over to other colonies. (We were such punks)
-March fifth, 1770 was what became known as the "Boston Massacre." It started off as colonists taunting and throwing snowballs at British Regulars, but then it turned into and actual fight that ended up killing five people.
-The Boston Tea Party was a protest by the people of Boston in response to the (in the opinion of the Bostonians) ridiculous taxes that were being leveed on everyday necessities, particularly tea. They went out into the harbor in the middle of the night and destroyed countless rates of tea and dumped them into the harbor. Thus began the long and disgusting history of Boston harbor's pollution.
-This is where the description of the battles of Lexington and Concord should go, but I am a huge idiot and forgot to write about the battles that started the most important war in my nation's history. Go me.
-From April 19, 1775 to March 17, 1776 was the Siege of Boston. This is a really long and detailed historical event, and I really can't abridge it here as well as Wikipedia can explain it, so go check that article out. (Seriously, do.) The war Elizabeth references is the French and Indian War, which spanned the years 1754-63 (it's also referred to as the Seven Years' War).
-General Henry Knox was a bookstore owner in Boston who joined the Continental army. (fun fact-his wife Lucy's family were Tories, so he and she had to run away to get married). It was his idea to go up to Fort Ticonderoga in New York and bring the cannons down to Dorchester Heights to drive out the British. Basically everyone thought it would take too long, but then they put the cannons on sledges and pulled them down frozen rivers. And yes, it is still cold enough to snow in March in Massachusetts. We've even had a blizzard on April Fool's Day.
-General Nathanael Greene of Rhode Island was the youngest general in the Continental army. He's also my favorite person of this whole era, as you can probably tell by the fact that I focused a whole story on him and England having a chat in a pub ("Every Little Reason")
-March 17 is celebrated as "Evacuation Day" in Suffolk County (the county that Boston is a part of), as well as St. Patrick's Day, commemorating the day that the British were driven out of Boston. We party hearty in MA, as you can tell.
-We received a huge amount of aid from the French, a debt that we can never really repay and should still be grateful for. (this fact was seemingly -and shamefully- forgotten by our former president). Seriously, they saved our bacon in a huge way.
-As I mentioned above, "Mary" is the state of Maine, which up until 1820 was part of Massachusetts.
-Massachusetts' official name is not the "state of Massachusetts" but rather "The Commonwealth of Massachusetts." This has no real bearing on legal matters, and "state" and "commonwealth" are used fairly interchangeably in regular discourse. (There are three other "commonwealths" in the USA: Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Virginia)
-Not to brag, but Massachusetts is pretty damn good at baseball. It's just we never seem to make it to the world series (until recently, of course; look up the "Curse of the Bambino" for the reason why). 1918 is the last year (until 2004) that the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. It's also the year that an influenza pandemic struck the US. Our arch-nemesis is the New York Yankees. I am not even kidding when I say nemesis. ours is a feud to rival the Capulets and Montagues.
-The musical referenced is "Damn Yankees."
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy, or JFK, was the 35th president of the USA. He was born and raised in Massachusetts, and was both the nation's youngest president and its first Catholic president. (Fun fact: what people often think of as a "Boston accent" is actually the accent that the Kennedy family had, and is a fairly inaccurate depiction of a Boston accent. For an example, listen to the character Mayor Quimby from The Simpsons) He was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Joshua is Illinois, the home of Abraham Lincoln, who was also assassinated.
-Ah, Richard Nixon. Massachusetts doesn't hold you in fond regard, does it now? We were the only state who voted against him, and he didn't like that very much. He closed down every single one of our military bases with the exception of the Hanscom Air Force base in Bedford, Lexington, and Lincoln.
-Massachusetts is regarded as the state with the best "higher education, health care, high technology, and financial services." We were the first state to pass a law (in 1647) requiring that every town have a teacher and a schoolhouse.
-"Sweet Caroline" is a song by Neil Diamond, and is played at every home game at Fenway Park during the seventh inning stretch. If you're there, you are expected to sing along. It's pretty safe to say that almost everyone who grew up in MA can sing along to the chorus plus the additions that have been given to it over time. Also, people get kinda trashed up in the nosebleeds (the cheap seats).
-The Tanglewood Music Festival is held every summer in Lenox, which is up in the Berkshires. The festival consists of a series of concerts, including chamber music, choral music, musical theater, contemporary music, jazz, and pop music. If you preform at Tanglewood, you're hot stuff.
-Watergate is the huge scandal that Nixon was involved in that caused him to resign before he could be impeached. It's a huge tangled web of deciet and confusion, so only look into it if you're really interested. Needless to say, MA was feeling pretty smug afterward.
-The Big Dig started as a project to make Boston's highways more navigable and ease up traffic throughout the city. It was assumed to be a qwuck project, something that would take a few years and then everything would be peachy.
This did not happen. It ended up taking 20 years for it to finish, and traffic is still pretty lousy.
-Massachusetts was the first state in the US to legalize gay marriage, later followed by California (but that didn't last, to the anger and frustration of many at the level of injustice perpetrated).
-Oh man, in 2004 the Red Sox won the world series, and we went nuts. In out defense, it had been 86 years since our last win. There were riots in the streets, and I have a feeling that people were getting second-hand hangovers from just being around people who had been partying. It was a spectacular game, though.
-Again, the Big Dig. Boston looks nice now, but it's not any easier to get around.
-In 2006, a bill was passed that mandated health care for everyone who lived in the state.
-The Fourth of July celebration at the Esplanade on the Charles River is a fantastic celebration. In my opinion, it beats out all the others, but I'm biased.
Here are the names of the states that I used (In alphabetical order by state):