Boston: History and Education in Massachusetts
By Vic Liang
Boston, Massachusetts is the birthplace of the American spirit of freedom. Visiting this city, I felt like I opened an American history book. In addition to its storied role in the fight for American independence from British rule, Boston is home to renowned institutions of higher education and outstanding artistic venues.
A Tour of American History in Boston
Want to learn how American independence started in Boston? Walk along the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail and visit 16 historical landmarks along the way. This guided walking route along a brick path connects sites and monuments related to the fight for independence, and the past to modern-day Boston. Each of the stops is not far from the next, and most people are able to easily walk the whole trail.
Next, I visited the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, which was different from any museum I’d seen before. I boarded the boat, where there were actors waiting to re-enact the scene of throwing tea into the harbor. This gives you an immersive understanding of December 16, 1773, the night of the actual event. The famous Boston Tea Party was a key factor in the American Revolution and changed the course of American history. The museum also uses high-tech interactive presentations illustrating the importance of the tea trade and concludes with a short documentary called "Let it Begin Here," showing how the Boston Tea Party quickly led to other momentous events such as the battles of Lexington and Concord.
Elite Educational Institutions
When visiting Boston, of course you must go to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to stroll around these two world-famous colleges. Harvard University was founded in 1636 across the Charles River in Cambridge. Walking around the campus, I realized that in addition to its historic halls and impressive architecture, Harvard boasts an incredible collection of museums such as the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, and Harvard Art Museums.
At the Harvard Museum of Natural History, one can’t-miss exhibit is the world-famous glass flowers. From 1886 to 1936, two masters of glass art in Germany, Leopold Blaschka and Rudolph Blaschka, softened glass and molded it to model all sorts of flowers. The models include flowers, seeds and foliage in about 4,400 pieces. Each piece of glass has vivid and realistic detail. In addition to glass flowers, the bird eggs, Blue Morpho butterflies and trilobite fossils are also exhibits worth seeing.
On my quest for modern and innovative art, I arrived at an iconic building in the Seaport District, the Institute of Contemporary of Arts in the harbor area. With the shape of a half-opened book, the building is a giant work of art in itself. The museum exhibitions display all kinds of art at different times, and the ICA also offers spectacular harbor views, multimedia visual effects, a reading room and theater.
Come to Boston and experience this profound cultural, artistic atmosphere for yourself.