Boston is the capital of Massachusetts. It is the largest city in the New England state and is rich with history. This is why over 12 million people visit the city every year. It is a very old city, founded in 1630 by English colonists fleeing religious persecution. The American Revolution, when colonists, known as patriots, fought for their independence from the British, began in Boston with the Battle of Lexington. Other key events in the revolution occurred in the city. One was the Boston Massacre, when British troops fired upon protesters, killing five. The Boston Tea Party, when colonists dumped an entire shipment of British tea into the harbor to protest taxes, was not a party at all. Paul Revere's "midnight ride", where he warned colonists of British troops approaching, also happened in Boston. Many of these sites can be accessed by taking a walk down the "Freedom Trail", a red line of bricks embedded in the ground through the city.
Boston is also a city of notable firsts. America's first public school was founded in Boston in 1635. Boston Common, where British troops camped during the American Revolution and where early colonists hanged people, is the oldest public park in the United States. Boston is also home to the oldest subway system in the United States.
Like many cities in the United States, immigrants played a large role in its development. Irish immigrants who settled in Boston, for example, played a large role in both local and national politics. Boston also has a large and active Puerto Rican community and Italian community. President John F. Kennedy and his family have ties to Boston.
Boston is also well known for many colleges and universities that surround it. Some of the most famous are Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Boston attracts more than 350,000 college students from around the world.