History

My Last Day with Ollie Noonan

William C. Crawford is a social worker, writer, and photographer who lives in Winston Salem, North Carolina. He was a photojournalist in Vietnam and has since written a number of books of photography and on other topics. The following story about Crawford’s friend and mentor Ollie Noonan Jr. (an AP…

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Lake Champlain and American History

Last week a friend emailed that he was taking a quick vacation trip to the shore of Lake Champlain. While the lake is a delightful destination relatively close to Lowell, I know it best as one of the most important places in American history, especially American military history. Noted British…

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Massachusetts Tercentary Markers

In 1930, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts observed its 300th anniversary, its tercentenary. To help commemorate the occasion, historical markers were erected around the state to mark important events in our history. The text of the markers was composed by Samuel Eliot Morison, Professor of History at Harvard University. The Secretary…

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The Wheelwright Deed

One of the oldest documents in the records of the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds was created in 1629. It’s a deed from a number of the various native American tribes in the Merrimack Valley and southern New Hampshire to John Wheelwright and several other residents “of the Massachusetts Bay…

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Philip L. Shea Bridge

Last Sunday, June 27, 2021, several hundred people from across the region gathered on Market Street at the Western Canal to witness the dedication of the Philip L. Shea Bridge. The cement and steel structure that was totally rebuilt in 2019 now bears the name of the only individual to…

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Juneteenth and Lowell

In honor of Juneteenth, here are some snippets of African-American history with Lowell connections: Harry “Bucky” Lew, born in Lowell in 1884, was the first African-American to play professional basketball. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached in Lowell on April 12, 1953, at the First United Baptist Church on Church…

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Boston Globe Reviews Miller’s New Poems About Merrimack River and Lowell

  Nina MacLaughlin of The Boston Globe (6-6-21) reviews Matthew W. Miller’s new book of poems, cover-to-cover about the Merrimack River and Lowell: “In his hewn and forceful new collection of poetry, “Tender the River” (Texas Review), Matthew W. Miller makes a coursing book-length portrait of the Merrimack River, its…

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D-Day: June 6, 1944

The Allied invasion of Normandy – D-Day – occurred on this day in 1944. In the pre-dawn hours, thousands of British and American paratroopers jumped into the dark and stormy night. Though they mostly landed far from their designated drop zones and in scattered small bunches, their mere presence was…

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