Massachusetts - The Bay State
Officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the state has played a significant historical, cultural, and commercial role in American history. Plymouth was the site of the colony founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims
, passengers of the Mayflower
. Harvard University, founded in 1636, is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. In 1692, the towns surrounding Salem experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem Witch Trials. In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution and the independence of the United States from Great Britain.