Full name: the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, aka the bay state. Population: 6,000,000+ (13th in the US, per 1990 census), area: 8,257 miles (45th in the US). 43 cities and 309 towns. Major geological features include the Berkshire mountains in the west, and Cape Cod in the southeast.

First known human settlements circa 2000 bc. The pilgrims were the earliest european colonists, forming a permanent settlement in 1620, landing first in Provincetown and later remaining in Plymouth. A later group of settlers, the Puritans, founded Salem in 1628, and then Boston.

In addition to academics, software, and research, Massachusetts' major industries include health care, finance, pharmecuticals, tourism and fishing. It is also the world leader in cranberry production.

According to the state website, the official polka of Massachusetts is "Say Hello to Someone from Massachusetts", by Lenny Gomulka.

Major cities:
Boston (captial)
Worcester (pron. "wooster")
New Bedford


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