This week in New England history: May 16-22

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A list of significant dates in New England history:

May 19

New England

New England

1643: Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven colonies unite to form the New England Confederation. The Confederation is created to provide military support against attacks from French and Dutch colonists and Native Americans.

1713: More than 200 people riot over the price of bread at Boston Common in what is known as Boston’s Bread Riot. Grain merchants artificially raised bread prices by hoarding grain, already in short supply. The riots helped pass legislation to handle times of food shortage, but this type of rioting persisted throughout the century.

Bread riots

Bread riots

1780: A strange darkness descends over most of New England. By noon, it is so dark that people use candles and nighttime birds take to the skies; many fear the apocalypse is at hand. Scientists have now confirmed that a forest fire caused the mysterious darkness.


May 20

1993: “One for the Road,” the final episode of “Cheers” airs, ending the show’s 11-year run.