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Worcester was established as a town on June 14, 1722 and as a city on February 29, 1848. Worcester is located in
Central Massachusetts approximately 45 miles west of Boston, has a population of 172,648 and is the third largest city in
New England. Worcester has evolved into an education, medical and research center. Worcester, MA is the home of nine
colleges and universities, the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and the Massachusetts Bio-Technology
Worcester (Massachusetts), city in central Massachusetts, seat of Worcester County, on a series of hills overlooking the
Blackstone River. Lake Quinsigamond marks the eastern boundary of the city. Worcester is the state's second-largest
city after Boston and an important manufacturing, insurance, and transportation center.
Since the late 1980s, biotechnological research has been important to the city's economy. The Massachusetts Biotechnology
Research Park opened in 1987 and accommodates research facilities for numerous companies. CenTech Park was later
developed nearby specifically for biotechnology-related manufacturing. The Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology
(1944), a noted research center, is nearby. Worcester is an inland port of entry for foreign commerce, and major interstate
highways and rail lines traverse the city. Air transportation is through Worcester Regional Airport.
Worcester is noted for its fine educational and cultural facilities. Among the institutions of higher education are Worcester
State College (1874), Worcester Polytechnic Institute (1865), Assumption College (1904), Clark University (1887), the
College of the Holy Cross (1843), the University of Massachusetts Medical Center (1962), and Becker, QCC and MCPHS.
The city is also home to the headquarters of the American Antiquarian Society (founded in 1812), with a research library
specializing in Americana; the Worcester Art Museum, with a wide-ranging collection of Western and Asian art; and the
Worcester Historical Museum, emphasizing the city's industrial achievements. Also of interest are the Higgins Armory,
a museum of arms and armor, and the New England Science Center, with collections on the biological and physical sciences.
The annual Worcester Music Festival dates from 1858.
The Nipmuc people were living in the region when the first European settlers arrived in the 1670s and created a community
they called Quinsigamond Plantation. The community was renamed Worcester in 1684, possibly for Worcester, England,
as an angry gesture at King Charles II of England, who had suffered defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. Hostility from
the Nipmuc twice forced the abandonment of the settlement; the first permanent colonization came in 1713. Incorporated as
a town in 1722, major industrial development began after the opening of the Blackstone Canal in 1828, linking Worcester
with Providence, Rhode Island. Worcester was incorporated as a city in 1848.
Worcester played an important role in the political development of the United States. During the American Revolution
(1775-1783), it was home to pamphleteer Isaiah Thomas, whose words helped unite opposition to the British. The city
was active in Shays' Rebellion (1786-1787), a revolt against excessive land taxation that helped spur the creation of the
Constitution of the United States. Residents were also early supporters of reform movements such as the abolition of
slavery in the United States. The first national women's rights convention was held in Worcester in 1850.
Worcester was home to industrial innovation, including new methods of making wire, textiles, grinding wheels, and envelopes.
In 1926 rocketry pioneer Robert H. Goddard, a professor at Clark University, fired his first liquid fuel rocket in nearby Auburn.
Worcester covers a land area of 97.1 sq km (37.5 sq mi), with a mean elevation of 145 m (475 ft). According to the 1990
census, whites are 87.3 percent of the population, blacks 4.5 percent, Asians and Pacific Islanders 2.6 percent, and
Native Americans 0.3 percent. The remainder are of mixed heritage or did not report ethnicity. Hispanics, who may be
of any race, are 9.3 percent of the people. Population 161,799 (1980); 169,759 (1990); 172,648 (2000).
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OTHER POPULAR DESTINATIONS IN MASSACHUSETTS
Cape Cod Greater Area