Why Is Massachusetts Called a Commonwealth and What Is the State Fish of Massachusetts?

Massachusetts and three other states, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, are called commonwealths, but they are also states of the United States.

There is no legal difference between the terms “commonwealth” and “state,” and they are used interchangeably.

The only true U.S. commonwealth, meaning a self-governing, autonomous political unit voluntarily associated with the United States, is Puerto Rico.

Massachusetts has a state fish: the cod. A sculpture of a cod fish hangs in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to remind people of the importance of cod to the state’s economy in the past.

Massachusetts is notable for three sports firsts.

Basketball was invented in Springfield in 1891 by lames Naismith, who wanted to devise a game that could be played indoors in the winter.

Volleyball was developed by the director of the Holyoke, Massachusetts, YMCA in 1895.

And the very first baseball World Series game was played in Boston on October 1, 1903.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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