About the City
Boston, founded by Puritans in 1630, is the most populous city in New England and the capital of Massachusetts. It played a key role in the American Revolution, and its long history and rich culture make it one of the major sites for tourism in the US. It is home to the oldest public park, oldest public school, oldest free library, and oldest subway system in the country.
Today, the city and surrounding area are known as a center of education, medicine, and technology (especially biotechnology).
The weather in Boston is famously variable, but its proximity to the harbor protects it from extremes. June is usually a pleasant month, with average temperatures between 60°F and 76°F (15°C – 24°C), but occasionally reaching well above 80°F/27°C. The amount of rain is less predictable; on average there are about 11 rainy days in June.
Esperanto in Boston
Boston plays an important role in the early history of Esperanto in the United States. In 1905, the first Esperanto society in the US was founded in Boston. Within months, members of the Boston Esperanto Society also helped found the first national organization – the American Esperanto Association, headquartered in the Boston area – and published one of the first two periodicals in the US – The American Esperanto Journal. By the following year, both Harvard University and MIT had Esperanto clubs and a course was taught at the Roxbury Latin School – though the first student Esperanto group was at the Perkins School for the Blind. In 1908, at the first North American Esperanto convention, AEA was replaced by EANA, headquartered in Chicago, and The American Esperanto Journal merged with Amerika Esperantisto to become its official publication. In 1913, both relocated back to Boston, until 1927. Prominent names from this period (many of them officers of EANA) include Daniel Orzo Smith Lowell (president of EANA 1909-10, member of the Lingva Komitato 1908-18, and author of Esperanto for Beginners in 1923), Edward Saxton Payson (author of the original novella Juneco kaj Amo and translator of a dozen works), John Fogg Twombly, Edward K. Harvey, Dr Charles Hill Fessenden, George Winthrop Lee, Earnest F. Dow, and Miss E. J. Meriam.
In the 1960s, the Harvard Esperanto Club was very active, thanks to a number of young Esperanto speakers coming to study in the city at the same time – including Jonathan Pool, Humphrey Tonkin, and others at Harvard, MIT, and elsewhere. Along with other young folks in New York, they created Junularo Esperantista de Nordameriko (JEN) and published its newsletter, JEN-Bulteno. Pool, Tonkin, and James Lieberman – who was also at Harvard briefly during this time – went on to found the Esperantic Studies Foundation (ESF) in 1968.
Boston saw activity in the 80s, 90s, and 00s, thanks to organizers like Ralph Murphy, Florence Mack, David Wolff (former president of E-USA), Daniel Albro and Jens Karlsson (students who revived the Societo por Esperanto at MIT), and others at MIT who continued the activity of SpE until it disbanded in 2012.
Today Boston has a vibrant group – Boston Regional and Metropolitan Esperanto Group – which meets monthly and organizes several other events and outings (such as Paralela Universo) throughout the year.
Boston has been home to national Esperanto conventions since those early days. Under EANA, Boston hosted the 5th North American Esperanto Convention in 1912 and the 14th in 1921. And two prior conventions of Esperanto-USA have been held in the Boston area, in 1985 and 2003, both at MIT.