Signature Boston Blog
Fun Facts About Boston and Our Convention Centers

Known as a hub of innovation with a revolutionary spirit, Boston has deep roots in America’s history. As part of our Meeting Planner Toolkit, we offer up a variety of tools for meeting planners to use to market their events. Boston has tremendous destination appeal, and we want to be sure you have the information you need to inform your attendees of all that our city has to offer. From fact sheets about hotels, venues, restaurants, and our top industries, to fun facts about our city and convention centers, we have a ton of information to share with you.

Here is a sampling of what you’ll find in the Fun Facts section of the Meeting Planner Toolkit:

  • Approximately 72% of the population of Boston is under 44 with the median age being 30.
  • Boston is the fourth most densely populated city in the country.
  • Boston is home to the very first public school system, college, public library, elementary school and public school in what would become the United States of America. Boston Latin was the first public school. It was established in 1635. Harvard was the first the college, established 1636, though it was not known as Harvard until later. Dorchester’s Mather school was the nation’s first elementary school. It was established in 1639. Boston Public Library opened in 1653.
  • Boston is home to the very first subway system in North America. It is now known as the T.
  • Boston University Bridge on Commonwealth Avenue is the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train passing under a car driving under an airplane.
  • The BCEC is the largest building in New England–at 1,600 feet in length, it’s as long as the Empire State Building is high and twice as long as Boston’s John Hancock Building. The site is part of South Boston’s former harbor which was filled in the 1800s, requiring the superstructure and the exhibit hall’s on-grade floor slab to be supported on more than 4,000 precast piles and 200 drilled shafts.
  • The Hynes is located in the Back Bay neighborhood, which was once a large swampy extension of the Charles River. During the middle of the 19th century, the city commissioned to have the area filled in. This massive project was developed by working seven days a week and lasted for over seventeen years. A special railroad line was built to bring the dirt and stones from the town of Needham to the site. Once a block was completed, elegant mansions began to appear.
  • The Hynes is part of a climate-controlled facility, connected under one roof to three world-class hotels and two internationally renowned shopping destinations where the temperature is always a perfect 70 degrees.

Other Boston firsts and notable facts:

  • 1704: First continuously-published newspaper – Boston News-Letter
  • 1765: First chocolate factory – Baker Chocolate Factory in Dorchester
  • 1784: Oldest U.S. pub – The Bell in Hand (patrons included Paul Revere, Daniel Webster, and William McKinley). Still located and operating today on Union Street.
  • 1856: First Boston Cream Pie – the (Omni) Parker House (Hotel) claims to have served Boston Cream Pies since their opening in 1856, then known as either Chocolate Cream Pie or Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie.
  • 1876: First telephone – successful experiment of sound over waves by Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas A. Watson
  • 1901: First disposable razor – created by King Camp Gillette and William Emery Nickerson
  • 1950: First Dunkin Donuts – opened in Quincy by Bill Rosenberg
  • 1960: First modern computer – the Whirlwind computer was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was the first to operate in real time, use video displays for output, and was not simply an electrical replacement of older mechanical systems.
  • 2004: Largest social media network conceived – Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg while he attended Harvard University
  • 2006: Successful remote heart surgery from a convention center – the Heart Rhythm Society at the BCEC successfully completed a live remote heart surgery conducted from Boston in the BCEC Ballroom on a patient in Milan, Italy using the BCEC’s advanced equipment and satellite technology.

The Meeting Planner Toolkit provides marketing materials to help you build promotional programs for your event. You’ll find a variety of resources, including high-resolution photos and floor plans, marketing copy about Boston and our convention centers, fact sheets, maps, demographic information, and more. If you need any additional resources, please let us know how we can help.